BY RON WOOD
21-22 - I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and
overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed
in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the
saints took possession of the kingdom. Verse 25 - He will speak out
against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Most High.
I had a persistent prompting to watch the classic movie, "To Kill a
Mockingbird." It was the movie that earned Gregory Peck his well-deserved
Academy Award. He portrayed the noble character of a small town lawyer named
Atticus Finch, a widower, the father of two small children, who defended a good
black man from an evil (and lying) accusation of raping a white woman.
very next week after I viewed the video, actor Gregory Peck died. I felt like I
had lost a friend, like a hero had fallen.
movie was a parable to me, a picture-lesson of an unseen spiritual reality.
Atticus was a man who tried to keep his children safe from harm. The drama
showed the struggle against lies and against hatred, of good versus evil. How do
you raise children in a world where evil is present? It showed the depravity of
people with malicious intent, and the necessity of strong action to overcome
wickedness and work for justice.
was one scene where a rabid dog was approaching his family. Atticus took dead
aim with a rifle and killed the dog. "Thatís what war is like,"
I thought. Sometimes you have to be a man of war in order to keep the peace.
Evil doesnít seem real until it tries to touch us personally.
Scout, Atticusís little girl, we have to end our naivetť concerning
wickedness, the works of the devil, the presence of evil, and the persistence of
lies in the world. Like Atticus, a man who had the strength of character to
fight evil in behalf of others, we all need to rediscover our role as Christians
and act to preserve and expand our zone of peace under the rule of Christ.
Out and Beaten Down
of the Bibleís titles for Christ Jesus is "Prince of Peace." Where
Jesus is received as Lord (ruler, master, governor) so that His word is
obeyed, peace is the result in our lives. Right living, peace and
harmony, and spontaneous joy are signals that the
are all subject to spiritual "drive-by-shootings." We are in a war of
attrition that steals our joy, hassles our souls, and afflicts our bodies.
Devil doesnít want to just give you a bad day; he wants to take you outÖ
permanently! The earth is not a level playing field. Like the early American
settlers found out, the Indians were here first and they didnít easily give up
their land. Casualties occurred. Likewise, in our advancement of Godís kingdom
as we extend the light of the gospel, we have found out that the enemy is very
active. Ignorance of his schemes against us provides with absolutely no
protection, so there is no safety in pretending heís not real. In this war
innocent children, good people, and yes, even obedient faith-filled praying
believers will still come under attack from Satan and his wicked imps.
see, Satan has a skillful strategy. He doesnít come up to you and announce,
"Hello, Iím Satan and Iím here to wreck your life." No, he is
usually more subtle and secretive than that. Remember, he first appeared to
humanity as a snake in the Garden of Eden. He has mastered his craft of
deception, temptation, and destruction with eons of practice. He knows we can
overcome him by faith. So he focuses his forces against our confidence in God,
against our trust in Christ or His word, and against our self-confidence in our
new identity in Jesus.
goal is to wear down the saints. Do you feel it? This is a day of increasing
pressure against people, even people who gladly serve God. Battle
fatigue is a combat reality. If we ignore Satanís tactics, we will be
unprepared for opposition, ambushed by unmet expectations (We wail in tears,
"Nobody told me it would be hard!"), and we find our strength of heart
failing in the time of testing. The consequences? We cast away our confidence
and drop out of the fight of faith. The Devil then keeps the territory he was
claiming, and we forfeit our part of the victory that was due us. Sadly, due to
unbelief or fear, we will miss out on the inheritance in this life being offered
to us by God.
"wear down," I mean an effort to make us dissolve our resolve, cast
away our confidence, forfeit our faith, immobilize our emotions, or as a boxer
would say, "throw in the towel." Many a believer has walked away from
the fight because they were not equipped to endure the battles in order to win
the war. They never factored in the cost! We need proper training if we are to
endure difficult times or hardship. We need to be armed with an eternal purpose
that will fortify us with a temporal toughness. By Godís design, this kind of
"warfare equipping" cannot come exclusively from pastors, but has to
be out-sourced to selected apostles and prophets. (Colossians 1:28-29, 1
saw a carefully prepared colorful book cover coming down from heaven. As
I looked, it wrapped itself around the pages of a manuscript awaiting
publication. The interior pages were 8-1/2 by 11 inches (like a full-sized
teacherís textbook, or perhaps a manual or thesis). The sturdy cover was made
all of one piece, 11 by 17 inches, with a nicely done squared-off spine (called
"Perfect Binding" by commercial printers, and not an incidental aspect
of this vision since "perfecting the saints" is a term used for the
equipping task of the Five-fold ministry, especially apostles. For Biblical
references, see Ephesians 4:11-12, Colossians 1:28, etc.). The cover was meant
to bind the pages inside. I knew the cover represented the finished work of
teaching. The front cover signified teaching about apostles and the back
cover stood for teaching regarding prophets. The cover was all of one piece,
signifying the role of apostles and prophets joined together as an integral
unit. The interior pages of the book represented what pastors already
know, mostly doctrine about salvation. It was good as far as it went, but by
itself, it was incomplete. Without a sturdy cover, the pages would not hold
together, nor could the book be published with proper quality, nor could it be
easily distributed without falling apart. By the Spirit, I knew that God desires
to put the "finishing touch" on the doctrine being taught by
pastors. A new teaching grace, a new anointing of the Spirit with new authority
from God has arrived so the foundation ministries can teach the whole Word of
God with power. (Romans 15:19)
wants you to Surrender
a siege against a city, Satanís strategy is to wear down the saints. In a
classic military siege, a city is first surrounded by an enemy army thus cutting
off all ingress or egress. No food is allowed in. It is very cost effective
because no attacking soldiers die, no ammunition is wasted, the cityís
inhabitants are demoralized, and ó if it is not broken off by outside help ó
it is invariably successful. All it takes to win by means of a siege is sufficient
Psalmist David described the feeling of being under siege, of being hemmed in,
abandoned. "For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness* to me
in a besieged city. As for me, I said in my alarm, ĎI am cut off from before
Your eyes.í Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried
to You." (Psalms 31:21-22) It was in the state of siege that David
experienced something marvelous: Godís extraordinary great mercy and love.
hesed. Most often translated mercy or steadfast love in the
kjv, and Lovingkindness in the niv. Like its nearest counterpart in the Greek
New Testament, agape, it is a word that is difficult to literally
translate into a single English word because it is so full of meaning. My
informal "amplified definitions" are: steadfast love, undying
loyalty, unfailing faithfulness, persistent kindness, mercy that wonít quit,
covenantal fidelity, stubborn affection, aggressive grace, on-going goodness in
is his advice to us when we feel cut off from God and isolated? "Be strong
and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord." (vs. 24)
One of the great illusions of spiritual attack that alarms us the most is the
false perception that God has left us alone. Here is where our faith comes in to
play. Here is where our knowledge of and belief in the scriptures can help us
the most. How
about you? Do you feel under siege? Then read on as we uncover Satanís
strategy against you and show you how to overcome.
insight of the end-times
prophet Daniel pictured historic events as they unfolded, even events at the end
of the age. From his era of about 600 years before the birth of Christ, he saw
what was in store for Gentiles and for Jews with amazing clarity. He wrote
descriptions of what he saw, prophetic timetables in vivid imagery shown to him
by the Spirit of God (see Daniel 7:9-28).
scenario he foresaw was a scene in heaven. It was like a courtroom drama during
which the Lord appeared before the Judge of the Universe and a sentence was
passed in His favor. A decree from the throne was issued which gave the Lord
dominion over every kingdom on the earth. It was an everlasting dominion, an
indestructible kingdom, given to the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days. This
pictures for us the final purpose of our spiritual war, the consummation of all
human history, the triumph of Christís kingdom.
Daniel considered what he had seen in this "Holy Spirit forecast," he
was greatly disturbed. He inquired of the Lord for the interpretation of the
startling vision. An angel answered him, "But the saints of the most high
will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to
come." (Daniel 7:18 nasb) Notice the two different aspects of what the
saints must do: receive the kingdom, and then possess
the kingdom. These two things are sequential to and distinctive from one
another. Receiving the kingdom is not the same thing as possessing the kingdom.
is never our authority, but always His authority, merely on loan to us. It is
the kingdom belonging to JesusĖ earned by His perfect obedience and His death
on the cross, affirmed by His resurrection from the dead, begun by His
exaltation to the Fatherís right hand, and soon to be unveiled by His glorious
return! But for the saint ó the believers who suffer with Him and rule with
Him ó possessing this inheritance will not come without a struggle.
had insight into the struggle. He saw a cosmic contest in human history that for
us has become contemporaneous experience. In this conflict at the climax of
history, war broke out. An enemy of Godís purpose was "waging war with
the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was
passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the
saints took possession of the kingdom." (Daniel 7:21-22 nasb) The
deciding factor was a decree from heaven. Heavenís throne heard the
accusations, heard the defenseís arguments, and ruled in our eternal favor!
What was ours by right became ours in fact.
receiving the kingdom and possessing the kingdom, the resistance
of Satan and his agents of evil against the seed of Christ is unremitting. The
struggle appears on the earth but it is actually waged in the heavens. The
heavenly realm includes the spiritual dimension that is often unseen but is a
present reality nonetheless. This is the realm where we come under the authority
of (or are impacted by the power of) very real spiritual entities and forces. We
need discernment in these days. Every person needs to be asked, "Who is
your god?" "To whom do you submit?" "Whom do you pray
to?" "Whom do you worship?" "Where do you get your
values?" "Upon what do you base your beliefs?" "How do you
practice your religion?" "What spirit guides you?"
are ultimate issues. We will not come into our divinely appointed inheritance
apart from discerning the powers that are warring against us. Then to overcome,
we need genuine faith. We have to move from mere saving faith to a more powerful
warring faith, a faith that can evict the devil and take possession of
everything purchased for us on the cross by Christ. We wonít overcome unless
we can persist despite obstacles and evil enemies. To win, we need to defeat the
accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). We need to persist in presenting our
appeal to the Righteous Judge, the Lord of all the earth. And our appeal has to
be based on solid historical evidence and given by clear testimony.
means war. In other words, it is a war of words. Prayer and proclamation
will play a primary role in this battle. Prayer is presenting our petition to
God. The most powerful prayers are when we pray Godís agenda, "Thy
kingdom come, Thy will be done on earthÖ." Proclamation is declaring
aloud to men or angels the truth of God. Jesus did this when he announced,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me!", or when He said, "The
lose sight of the fact that at the center of our struggle is the throne of God,
the seat of all authority in the universe. What we do must represent the
authority of our King. The cosmic battle of the ages will not be fought at
Armageddon; it was already fought at
we come to the Father in prayer with the victory of Jesus chalked up to our
benefit, credited to our account, deposited on our behalf by Godís grace and
accepted by us by simple faith. This releases God's authority to work in us and
for us. The power of God is awesome to behold, but even more awesome is His
authority. To Christians, Godís throne is frightening, but familiar. For those
who trust in Jesus, it is not a throne of judgment, but a throne of grace
epic battle of the ages is this: Who is the rightful heir to the throne? Will
the children of God come into their inheritance with Jesus? (Romans 8:16-23) It
is a contest over who has the right to rule the earthĖ Satan, because of his
rebellion and Adamís default, or, Christ Jesus, because of His obedience and
the salvation He provides that includes us?
Two Main Weapons
the conclusion of the contest, at the end of the age when the war intensifies,
Satanís ultimate weapon is unleashed upon mankind. It is deployed in two ways:
accusation and pressure. Accusation refers to charges made by lying spirits
against God and His truth. Pressure refers to events Satan unleashes on earth
that puts fiery testing and fearful anxiety into every manís heart.
will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the highest
OneÖ" (Daniel 7:25 nasb) Satan is waging war on God and upon people who
are created in the image of God. He is accusing God to us and he is pressuring
our souls to weaken our faith, hope, and love.
warned: The devil wants to wear you out! How does he do this? He uses
psychological warfareĖ propaganda of the highest caliber, warfare designed to
break your will, divide your heart, cause you to cast away your confidence, and
turn you into a prisoner of resentment and failed expectations. Ask yourself:
Has the pressure intensified lately? Has your faith been under attack? Has your
hope dimmed? Has your love grown cold?
devilís first weapon is accusation. Accusation, unless it is justified because
we are guilty of a crime, is slander. Slander means false charges brought
against the innocent. Slander impugns our character and questions our motives.
Self-doubt then slows us down. Now, I know the devil accuses us to God and to
each other. Thatís why we need to walk in covenant love with one another and
also be quick to confess our sins. But the real accusation is bigger. It is a
lie leveled against God.
lie gives advantage to our enemy only if it is believable, and Satanís BIG LIE
has worked very well. The greatest indictment Satan has brought against God is
an accusation that has been extraordinarily successful in these last days. It is
an idea at first hard to refute which now has become as pervasive as any modern
cultural worldview can possibly be among western peoples.
is THE LIE that all the wrong things in the world can be fairly attributed to
God since He (God) is sovereign and so must be in control, therefore, the bad
things occurring in our lives and the tragedies in the world must logically all
be Godís fault. How has the Devil accomplished this lie? He has brainwashed
society and used our own institutions of education and higher learning to do it.
He has packaged a clever lie that has deceived the saints and offended secular
has used humanistic enlightenment (the pursuit of knowledge which
basically produced western scientific thinking) and erroneous theology
(the Augustinian notion of sovereignty incorrectly represented as meticulous
control absent spiritual warfare as present reality) to cleverly impugn Godís
master of deception manipulates peoplesí thoughts, implanting philosophical
deceit into minds that are unguarded by the truth of Godís Word. His ploy
has worked remarkably well among prosperous Americans. You might even say
the devil is a genius at mind-games. The sad thing is, when you are deceived,
you donít realize it! Our only protection is to understand Godís word and
Godís ways as revealed in the Holy Bible and then accept it by loving the
truth more than we love our own pride or our own knowledge.
yet convinced that people are deceived? Then think about this: Even today, when
something tragic occurs, the very first thoughts in someoneís mind or the
first words they say are,
did God let this happen to me?" "If God is so good, why does He allow
bad things to happen?"
then we ĎChristianizeí our wrong thinking by coating it with this religious
platitude: "Well, God must have a higher purpose in allowing this
suffering." We put God into the category of a father who hurts his kids
"for their own good." (While suffering patiently can certainly be a
refining agent to our faith, or merit praise as a testimony if we keep
our faith joyfully, or it may be incidental to our apostolic task as we fulfill
our calling, it is not Godís preferred method of disciplining people, nor are
we to remain passive regarding evil.)
you see the not-so-subtle accusation? Satan has succeeded in slandering God and
in getting us to join in the accusation! The Devil gets a pass but God gets the
blame. By this clever ploy, he persuades us to doubt God. Satan has led vast
portions of the Church to withdraw from spiritual war, to welcome affliction as
though it came from God, and to quit practicing discernment. We have laid down
our weapons, forgotten where they were stored, and weakened our will to resist.
U.S. Army General said, "War is a human endeavor. We equip the man, we
donít man the equipment." Hey, ChristiansÖ neither does God! If
we donít fight, the enemy wins. God is looking for people willing to be
equipped for war. "I sought for a man to stand in the gapÖ"
We keep waiting on God, but God is waiting on us. We need to learn to discern.
We need to be trained to know our part and also to know Godís part, because
you canít confuse the two issues. We have certain responsibilities in this
western rationalism causes us to believe in cause and effect. Thatís
scientific thinking and thereís nothing wrong with itÖ if we have all
the facts and if we start with the correct set of assumptions. For
example, we think God causes everything but we ignore the reality
of the Fall of Man. We have to take into account the reality of evil and the
structure of the universe in which freedom of choice exists. We need a new
quantum physics model of looking at spiritual reality.
and Eveís plunge into sin by their rebellion demonstrated that freewill is
allowed in this world. But people are not the only free agents. The Devil and
demons, forever irredeemable, also make choices and seek out targets. They lie,
steal, and destroy, and like roaring lions on the prowl, they look for the weak
or the lonely to prey upon, and they do it under the cover of "Its all
erroneous system of thought ó the notion of blaming God for evil ó was not
part of the
insidious and malicious is the serpent, to slander our loving Lord, to attribute
wicked works and ill motives to our holy God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Creator-God of the Bible who alone among all the gods is worthy of
worship by men and angels.
is important to understand this distinction between God and Satan or else we
will fall into the trap of blaming God for all our trouble. This becomes even
more critical as we approach the end of the age and here arises the last
generation before Christ returnsĖ a generation which will see troubles beyond
the scope of what we have imagined. When it happens, whom will we blame?
on the Saints
said we are to discern the times when there is dismay among nations, when men
are fainting for fear of the things coming upon the earth. In addition to global
and political upheavals, there will also be a heavenly shaking- "the powers
of the heavens will be shaken." (Luke 21:25-36) This refers to the
invisible angelic powers that have influence over the affairs of nations. (See
Daniel 9- the "prince of
these events occur which Christ prophesied, there is a "then" and a
"when" (Luke 21:27-32). It is timeframe-sensitive. It will eventually
affect the whole globe (Luke 21:35). It is all a precursor to the return of
Christ. Christís ear-shattering earth-shaking trumpet-sounding descent is
imminent (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Despite the turmoil and pressure preceding it,
as believers in Jesus, we are to look heavenward and rejoice for our redemption
is drawing near!
we need to have fireproof unshakeable faith. Can your faith endure suffering?
Are you an over-comer or a quitter? We need a kind of faith and a quality of
faith that will not fail or cave in when tough times come. Why? The pressure is
intensifying. Because Satan has come down "having great wrath, knowing that
he has only a short time." (Revelation 12:7-12)
a dream, I saw a mountain with a highway coming out of the base of it. The
highway passed alongside the house where I was looking from the window. I heard
these words, "Where do apostles come from?" Then I heard the Lordís
answer, "Out from under great pressure."
confuse the trouble instigated by Satan on planet earth for the ultimate
redemption and glorious kingdom being offered to us by God. Even in fiery
trials, knowing the character of God will hold us steadfast as we keep on
trusting despite momentary suffering or setbacks.
Devil is not God. He is not an equal to Jesus, and he is not to be feared. God
has given us power over Satan and over all his forces (Luke 10:19), and we are
specifically told not to fear the Devil. Look at the differences:
alone is eternal. God is uncreated. He is Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end, eternal, unrestricted by our dimensions of time and
space. Satan is a created being whose existence is bounded by the limits of time
and restricted to a certain place in space. The Devil is a fallen archangel,
terrible in beauty, full of pride and ambition, angry at his failure to gain
dominion, and doomed to a certain fate in hell. But he is not equal to God or to
Jesus and he never will be.
alone has power over life and death. The devil might kill the
body, but not the soul. Only God can send a soul to ultimate death, which is
eternal separation and darkness, a place called hell. In Christ, we are given the
gift of eternal life and made partakers of His nature. Only one religion
includes a resurrection, Christianity. Only One Man has ever come back from the
dead never to die again, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
alone is good. God is someone you would like to spend time with.
The Devil is not that kind of person. The fruit of Godís life in us is
wonderful, while the wages of sin is death, confusion, and disintegration.
Satanís seed become like him in perversion and hatred.
alone is holy and yet also full of grace. Satan is unholy and can
never be saved or sanctified. And if he lies and tries to get someone saved by a
false religion, it is always through works, not grace. Indeed, all paths do not
lead to God. There is only one way of salvationĖ through Christ. Godís
holiness is not religious, not legalistic rules filled with reasons to punish
alone is the Creator. His words hold all things together. No
other god or angel has the power to speak words that cause matter or energy to
spring into existence or bind into molecules, much less bear the spiritual
imprint of encoding so life can reproduce itself.
alone is love. No other being has the innate willingness to
sacrifice its own life for the object of its affection, as Christ our Savior
demonstrated for us already on the cross.
alone is truth. He has all wisdom and all
knowledge. No other being in heaven or on earth has total information or
accurate perspective on the universe or the reason for its creation.
is time we made an informed decision that we are on the Lordís side. In this
conflict at the end of the ages, we have to choose to fight a good fight of
faith in order to overcome Satan.
the apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation, in his glimpses into the eternal
realm saw the conflict of good against evil. He described the contest in poetic
imagery. He told us of three weapons which Jesusí followers are able to use to
overcome the devil (Revelation 12:7-12). These three weapons are: 1) the
blood of the Lamb; 2) their spoken testimony; and, 3) fearlessness,
or not protecting our lives by compromising when faced with threats. To say it
another way, we can be victorious over the devil by means of faith in the
completed work of Jesus on the cross (the blood); by using the power of our
personal testimony (agreeing with Godís Word and declaring what God has done);
and by living sacrificially for God despite danger, even trusting that our God
is able to raise us from the dead (willingness to suffer for the cause of
Christ). This is the kind of faith, original and apostolic, once delivered to
other sources of strength to us are the Scriptures and the ministry of prophets.
To overcome our trials, we have to know and apply the Scriptures from the Holy
Bible. They feed our faith and inject strong encouragement into our souls,
giving us many examples of victory through overcoming. If you read the back of
the Book, you see in the last chapter that Christ and His followers will win!
source of encouragement: the prophets of the Lord. The early Church dispatched
prophets to travel a circuit through the churches to edify them, to keep them
from the trap of legalism, and to build up the saintsí faith (Acts 15:30-35).
We need prophets among us helping the pastors. Churches should be refreshed
regularly by the catalytic ministry of the Spirit provided by the prophets of
spoke a parable in Matthew Twenty (verses 1-16) that taught about laborers in
his fields. Some workers got bent out of shape because God paid the last workers
the same wages as the first. We miss the point if all we see is that God is
generous and has the right to pay anything he wants. The real point is to
consider what it means to be the last man remaining standing in the field.
donít have the opportunity to be the first in the field. That honor went to
the early Churchís first disciples, especially the Twelve apostles. All but
one died as a martyr for Christ. They paid the price. They laid the foundation.
Their words are inscribed as sacred text, canonized as Holy Scripture, a perfect
pattern the Lord has said is accurate and true for all time. These original
laborers bore the heat of the day.
is surprising is that Godís generosity offers us in this modern era twenty
centuries later the chance to earn the same reward as those early pioneers, here
at the end of the day when the time is short. But payment only comes at the very
end and it only comes to those who are still standing. The issue is, will we
Holy Spirit has highlighted this phrase, "the last man standing."
There is something to be said for staying on your feet in the heat of the day.
God admires those who finish what they start. This phrase refers to all
believers as well as the Lordís full-time workers who are able to endure and
not give up, overcoming pressure, both internal and external, and
keeping on working despite Satanic accusations and pressure, displaying the
patience of the prophets and the perseverance of the apostles in order to bring
in the harvest and thus please the Lord.
described the end of the age. He said the "harvest is the end of the
age." Whatever else may happen at the end of the age, one thing we know for
sure: it is harvest-time. Jesus said angels would be activated and would
accompany us in the harvest. (Matthew 13:39) Angels will help with the reaping
of the fields. They will take people out who persist in evil. A divine sorting
into holy and unholy groups is already underway. The stakes are high. This
battle is over the harvest of souls that Jesus paid for on the cross.
tactics are all designed to discourage the workers so as to prevent the harvest.
Like Tobiah and Sanballat, a pair of evil workers who tried to discourage
Nehemiah from rebuilding the wall of
also sends unauthorized usurpers (illegal squatters) into the storehouse to rob
Godís workers of their wages (For more on this warfare regarding money, see my
book Thief in the Storehouse).
the Apostle emphasized the need for wisdom over money in the last days. He said
wealthy people are guilty by reason of the rust on their riches. "In
the last days you have stored up your treasure." (James 5:3) Wealth is
another mark of the last days. Covetousness will be uncovered in these last
days, when wealth is abundant, but hoarded. It is a sin to live in luxury while
laborers in the field have to do without.
was God angry? Why was the Judge standing at the door? It wasnít about people
living comfortablyĖ God has no problem with that at all. God wants us blessed!
The Lord of the Harvest (Mt. 9:38) was angry because his workers were being
deprived. His anger was about the harvest in the field being neglected. God
waits for "the precious produce of the soil." (James 5:7)
season of harvest is simultaneous with the season of judgment. The threshing of
the wheat looks and feels, to the wheat, like tribulation. The ancient paddle or
rod used by Romans to crack the husk off the grain and let the breeze carry away
the chaff was called in Latin a tribulatum.
is a good word to describe what is now coming against the saints. Everybody in
the world feels it, but Godís people are especially targeted. Pressure is like
heat. Eventually it cooks out and uncovers whatever constitutes our soul.
Pressure comes from two sources: internal and external.
saw the Lordís hand offering us something. In his hand were four foil-wrapped
candies. Two were hard candies and two were soft. They were all intended for our
consumption. With them would come a sweet insight that would bless us. The two
hard candies stood for Job and Joseph, two businessmen-prophets who suffered
unfairly. The two soft candies represented two gifts of power from the Holy
Spirit, the gift of faith and the gift of miracles, even nature miracles such as
Elijah performed. These gifts are being re-activated in the Church for warfare
and Joseph stood for wealthy businessmen who walk with God but endure trials of
faith because of their calling. "Consider the endurance of JobÖ see the
outcome of the Lordís dealingsÖ" (James 5:11) The Book of Job
suddenly became an end-times parable to me. Job came under an undeserved
series of attacks from Satan. Even then he didnít yield, not until he started
speaking doubt, then he went into confusion. His friends tried to find fault to
justify his suffering, but there was no one to blame but Job or God. They had
left Satan out of the equation! Only by radical forgiveness and stubborn faith
did Job manage to endure. Then God rewarded him with a double blessing. God
judged the situation and the parties involved, and used the Devilís attack to
justify blessing Job in the end with great favor and an increased inheritance.
(See 1 Peter 2:19-23, and 3:9)
we can wreck our own lives if we ignore or if we conceal our sin, if we hang on
to an inadequate self-image, if we hold on to old hurts and refuse to forgive,
or if we settle for a woefully deficient barely-get-by kind of faith. Character
issues are not peripheral to Godís purpose in our lives. Do you realize,
that with sufficient Christ-like character, we can actually cause time to be on
our side? We can be so strong in spirit, so joyful in praise, so filled with
enduring hope and so out-fitted with genuine faith that we can actually wear the
Devil out! I have seen it happen. This is the patience of the saints. The Judge
is on our side. He will rule in our favor.
we face enemies that are not flesh and blood, but sometimes these enemies
utilize people who donít know what they are doing. Therefore, we need to adapt
our ways and our thoughts to line up with Godís ways and Godís thoughts (see
Isaiah 55) God has ways that reveal His wisdom. We will never defeat Satan using
Satanís ways. Godís wisdom works, not human cunning. Its source is heaven,
not the world. Divine wisdom is (or should be) demonstrated by apostolic models
of covenant love in communities that are living by overcoming faith. With
sufficient Spirit-inspired faith, we can move mountains of Satanic resistance
out of the way, advancing Godís kingdom as we keep putting our hand to the
plow and doing His work.
is restoring a new measure of apostolic and prophetic teaching to the Church
that will enable us to deal with both of these realms using new insight into
Godís Word and Gods ways.
is training his children to persevere, to overcome, to band together so we can
stand together, so we can survive and thrive in the heat of the battle, and live
to see the glory of God, multitudes saved, Satanís works destroyed, and Christ
glorified among the nations.
Real faith emerges from the fire purified, not destroyed. Godís payback time has arrived. The devilís plan will backfire on him as we cast him out or wear him down. If he sticks around past his eviction notice, heíll have to listen to us praising God and worshipping in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:14, 18). We have heard our Lordís instructions, "having done all, stand thereforeÖ"
on the Saints" is a prophetic teaching distributed by Touched by Grace Inc.
Permission is granted to copy and share this article providing all its contents
are kept intact including the information in this byline. The author is Ron
Wood, President of Touched by Grace, a 501-c-3 non-profit organization. Our
assigned task is to equip emerging apostles in the developing church.
us at Touched by Grace,
are Touched by Grace to Touch the World!