Wednesday, 12 April 2017


If we endure, we will rule with him. If we disown him, he will disown us. (2 Timothy 2:12)

But whoever denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God (Luke 12:9)

If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)

No experience of trauma or resisting to ‘the point of blood’ (Heb 12:4) tragedies, deprivations or nights of darkness usually makes Christians who naively believe the scriptures above aren’t relevant for them (and teachers, elders and preachers who believe they’re not relevant for their congregations) or ever will be. Other beliefs can get even more creative, and usually have to do with believers thinking this present life is all they should be (and need be) living for. In light of such beliefs, the scriptures above (they believe) can be passed over for another time, consigned (unbiblically) to the biblical time period in which they were written or a misreading of the effects of the New Covenant. But such beliefs reject true and accurate contexts, cancelling out the very purpose scripture was written (for every believer in every generation of human history), the substance and intent of the New Covenant (grace, based on faith, doesn’t negate warnings given for the very purpose of dissuading believers against rejecting faith), or the obvious realisation that the Bible's MANY warnings not to reject God were given for the express purpose of ensuring all believers of all generations would continue to follow Christ.  

If you’ve never experienced such bone-rattling and nerve-shredding trauma, don’t worry, if you’re human, you definitely will, as Christ promised we would in the form of taking up our cross, dying to self (on those crosses), and sharing in His own sufferings (Philippians 3:10) (Matt 10:24 - a student isn’t above their Master, and will need to endure great sufferings even as He did). We too will have our own Job moments, and sometimes generations of Christians will experience this on mass. This is especially the case when the devil rises up against Christians, albeit for a still-greater God-overruled sovereign purpose (Luke 22:53). Although the devil always walks around as a roaring lion, seeking those who he MAY (can) devour, there are times when he is allowed particular sway over the affairs and life of men. This is worked by a spirit of anti-Christ (1 John 4:3) which he puts in men who themselves become adverse to every godly moral and belief, including those who hold them.

The purpose of the spirit of anti-Christ is not only to come against Him by coming against Christians, but by ruling that which only God is supremely ruler of: everything in the world and everyone in it. This includes creation and everything natural to God’s image in all created things, including human nature itself (he started and partially succeeded with Adam and Eve when he led them into experiencing and ultimately passing on a fallen and thus marred human nature). This manifests usually by his trying to contaminate, change, and ultimately (and entirely) transform a society’s culture, religion, and laws. This is the most effective way possible for the enemy to TEMPT Christians to disown their faith in Jesus. This was his tact with Adam and Eve because it was through the temptation to ‘know good and evil’ that Satan made the first Christians fall. Similarly today, many Christians are often tempted by the society they live in to ‘know better’ or really know what’s best for themselves by accepting the world’s claim to the highest form of thinking, reasoning and perception in all matters to do with life, thinking, and spirituality (i.e the world’s knowledge of good and evil). If the devil can get societies looking as attractive, inviting, ‘life giving’, and as reasonable as possible (all while trying to make humans believe nothing is evil or wrong), then he doesn’t need an all-out assault on their bodies through attack or warfare, because he has what he’s really after: their hearts, minds, and ultimately their eternal souls.

The temptation form of the attack of the spirit of antichrist (well and truly alive right now) still comes with the necessity to disown Christ. Such a spirit can be easily recognized as a push by the world to fully identify with it in what it accepts, loves, and demands. If its ways aren’t fully embraced one first becomes misunderstood, secondly estranged, then fully isolated. The last stage is outright rejection, which sees the devil and his anti-Christ followers and leaders, including a society’s system itself sinfully overrun and satanically controlled, go beyond tempting Christians to disown Christ and instead, directly ATTACK them to do so via making them the actual objects of society’s hatred. At this stage, society’s members see Christianity as a virus it needs and will do anything to rid itself of. This even happened in the age of the Apostles, when many, like the Sadducees and Pharisees (and thus also ruling authorities) tried to rid themselves not only of the Apostles, but all those who followed the Way by threatening’s, witch-hunts and the vilest and cruel persecutions. So the Apostles experienced the wrath of the sum of its God-hating citizens by first being misunderstood (anger at their doctrine and teaching), then estranged (i.e. ‘speak no more in this name’), then isolated through arrests and being forced to flee from cities. The final stage of rejection meant imprisonments, and all-out attacks as beatings, stoning’s, torture, and many being martyred.

The point to all this is simple because the devil has two ways He attacks Christians to try and get them to disown (leave/ reject Christ) Jesus and their faith. One, he does it through tempting them, not only through normal temptations and trials, but through society itself offering them the tempting fruit of ‘knowing’ better than Christ; knowing the better and higher way (knowing good and evil). The more a society plunges in morality, the stronger this temptation becomes. The second way is the physical attack on our lives. It has been rare in the West, at least in the last half generation, for believers to experience physical attacks. Christians have experience the other levels mentioned (misunderstanding, estrangement, isolation), but rejection in the form of attack has been something we’ve thankfully avoided. It seems likely that, at the very least, believers will soon experience attack that manifests as rejection in the form of subtle or outright mistreatment and eventual persecution. War is also likely, which will mean an extreme attack on our feelings of wellbeing and contentment. These are not the product idle or fanciful imaginings or a pessimistic outlook. The enemy walks around as a roaring lion, and when he can, he will manifest as this in every way possible to him as societies and the Lord Himself allows.

The Lord has promised in His Word that all who live godly lives will suffer persecution, there will be times where we must resist even unto blood (unto the harshest and severest of trials) (Hebrews 12:4), and that loving discipline can come to us in the most daunting and traumatic of experiences. These are times when it will appear and actually be extremely difficult for even the righteous to be saved (1 Peter 4:18). It is NOW when we must draw our line by counting the cost of what we are willing to pay. Waiting will likely be too late, for raw emotion, rattled nerves and the possibility of broken hearts and expectations may tempt us to do even as Job’s wife, who before she faced any devastations probably thought herself a strong and steady believer. My motto over time, especially in light of the prophetic, has always been, “Hope for the best, expect the worst”. The Bible says that in this life we WILL (not may) have tribulations, even many of them, so we must strengthen ourselves in faith right now and determine with wholehearted devotion that come what may, we will always be Christ’s. Our hopes and association with God do not rest upon what we hope our lives will be in the future, they rest upon the WAY ahead Christ has made for us in the midst of the severest paths, Jesus's presence with us, and the destination at the end of all our troubles. God will never forsake us to trials, but make a way through and finally out of them, whether we experience this in the present life, or by entry into the next.

Psalm 23v4:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I will fear no evil;
 For You are with me;
 Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.