DISCERNING EVIL TIMES
by Pam Clark
Some days I can really tell and feel when the enemy wants to take on the Church.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
I am really not trying to “interpret” that passage like a theologian right now, but there are just times when you face or discern devils head on and can see they are up to no good. To discern you have to know the will of God. If you don’t, you can miss some things and we all should be growing in our spiritual understandings.
Now I am not trying to say that anyone I know or myself has arrived (funny that I even feel I have to clarify that, but there are the accusers of the brethren)… But sometimes you know when you have done all you know to do with a well intentioned heart or someone else has, and the devil still flaunts his pomp and glory…
There are a number of circumstances I am aware of all at once where it seems people people were victimized beyond good reasons. When we have good judges in the land, they can sort through a lot of that, but if they are on “the other side” then they really don’t care. They just want the selfish gain and will hurt and attack to get or keep it.
I woke up this morning thinking about a number of things on this track but one of them was one time when I was trying to help someone do their ministry in a compatible way with someone else and I got jumped on all sides. The more I tried to explain what the other people wanted and were looking for, the more I became the “bad guy.” Things were presumed that weren’t even true and I became the scapegoat! I know when people get like that to just back away. But the reason I was remembering it was because it was dovetailing with some other events in the same theme of taking advantage of true or perceived misunderstandings.
I had recently seen on the news where a young man had snapped and bludgeoned his mother to death and tried to kill his brother too, and his dad had died a terrible sorrowful death previous to that and the defense being used is that he had been a victim of abuse and no one paid attention to his cries for help. Now I don’t know if that is a true defense, I am not a judge there, but I can imagine a single mother doing the best she can with those circumstances and feeling so overwhelmed she can’t help her teen aged sons well. There is no excuse for the crime, but things like that can be a trigger for a lot worse.
I was also thinking of a number of other events where people had been set up to have the worst thought instead of the better. Some people just plain make up stories! and it’s a spirit. But it’s a spirit the Church has to get a handle on to bring peace to a land. When that accuser spirit has free reign in a church or family or group setting, there is going to be trouble. But on the other side, a licentious spirit (where anything goes) can be just as bad.
The point is that Christians and the Church have enemies, and if we just want to think there is this bubble zone where all is well and we have no conflicts, we are deceived. Everyone wants to be in that cocoon of the adored baby where everything is taken care of. Some people never even had that luxury but many in America have. And when things burst the bubble, anger can be a result.
For some, it can be an entitlement spirit where they think all this catering to them is just due them. I bet everyone can think of someone like that who has at least an “episode” of it, ha ha. Most of the time it’s not that serioius, but sometimes it is! Jesus leads us down the road of dying to self and offering sacrifice for a greater good. But that is not popular right now. And iIt’s not meant to be a forced or coerced sacrifice but from the good will of the heart.
Peace on earth and good will towards men comes from God. Many people are devastated from events and scandals and church splits because “the bubble” or “safe place” is not there. People expect the church to be a haven and more and more we see that it is not. We may even in fact look for “a savior” in a person or leader, but the safe place really comes from God.
After you have been set up a few times, you can figure out what to look for or you sense it, and sometimes it can make you feel paranoid even. You have to shake that off and find your foundation in God. But as someone once said, “Just because you are paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you!” LOL
This is where we need to learn the skills of handling the Word of God, rightly dividing it. Some people make light of Spiritual warfare saying it’s not needed, it all was done at the Cross, but they usually don’t mind extra help when they need it! There are devils out there! And as Jesus said, the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.
If America, beginning with the Church, does not catch on to this, and discern and get her House in order, things will very much not be the same in the future. A grocery store can be a wonderful place unless you have no money. The blessings of God can be awesome but there is a currency there as well.
The Church is going through a paradigm shift. Many of the leaders of the past that were a stronghold (knew each other, prayed for each other and stood up for each other in the right Spirit of sacrificial holiness) are graduating or retiring and the burden is now on the younger. We are not that far back from Azusa if you look things – it was only two generations.
A small group of people ushered that in and it spread but the leaders were known and recognized. Then there was the second generation and they mobilized the anointing. From traveling evangelism to the media waves, the word went forth but the gospel is not a thing, it is a Person. It works through people. It got diluted.
I see the leaders I know about and I am aware over the years of the different problems many have faced. They give their testimonies but now I am seeing “struggles” and “facing devils” poo-poo’ed like it is no big deal. People today will find ways to “handle it” that don’t necessarily line up with Scriptures and the Spirit!
People make it “a personal problem” and will victimize other people or scapegoat them. People need to define “the devil” in their life because things are not perfect for anyone, but they don’t always discern correctly the real devil and so ultimately it can end up in riots and bloodshed. Group think will get worked up and we have seen the riots overseas where people didn’t even see the movie but were ready to kill over it!
Why does God not intervene? The Answer is because He does not see His Son. His Son has the blood that covers. And God can discern hearts for real. So God will just let mankind turn on itself and do the job for Him! But there can be a lot of hurt along that way. That is what it says in the Bible – that many times God acted because the people had humbled themselves and requested His intervention and then the enemies would just turn on themselves.
We MUST learn the ministries and gifts of the Spirit if we are going to function in a cohesive and skillful way. The time is short! We are in a battle for the better way. But we need to get good at it, yes?
The good news is the next verse to that passage above:
v.8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
This will be an actual event. The world’s circumstances are leading up to it.
Even so, Come Lord Jesus!