1. Prophetic Words Need to Be Married to Intercession Of the three prophetic words (I know there’s three) the Lord has released through our House of Prayer over the last two years, they have been tied to nearly 4500 hours of corporate prayer and intercession. I’m not saying this to boast about the number of hours of prayer. (The joy of engaging the Lord in prayer is the reward…) :) I’m saying it for the sake of contrast and perspective. Prophetic words that are not attached to a life of much intercession (before during and after) usually sound like it, feel like it and almost always bear no supernatural grace for the audience’s hearing and doing. Prophecy flows from a life of intercession for the Church. And all prophecy flows from the heart of the One Who “ever lives to make intercession” for the Church. (Hebrews 7:25) The object of prophecy isn’t correct analysis. It’s correct response to the Word of the Lord. And correct response to the Word of the Lord will only happen through intercession and the audiences’ receptivity to the grace of the Lord.
2. Prophetic Words Are About “Us” We are much more corporate than we American realize. We are much more tied to our fathers and our sons and each other than our individualistic, post-enlightenment culture acknowledges. Our sin and our blessings are much more encouraged, stimulated and a part of each other than we know. There is one Body. And if we’re ministering in the prophetic it is therefore implied that we are speaking FROM the Body – TO the Body; which means we’re also always speaking to ourselves. Jesus is our example for the prophetic. If He, in His holy state, was “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12) then we should assume no more elevated degree of separation. Humility and “identifying WITH the people of God” was also the lot for Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel and other prophets. Making prophetic words about “those people over there” devalues the Lord’s great passion that redeemed humanity “may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.” (John 17:21)
3. Prophetic Words Pass Through the Cross of Jesus In October, the Lord abruptly interrupted 6 months of praying through the book of Jeremiah by highlighting Psalm 22; David’s prophetic (and grisly) description of the Messiah’s death on the cross. I will never be the same. EVERY prophetic word of judgment and punishment against any segment of humanity (the Church or the world) ultimately was visited upon the Body of our Lord on the cross. Every single one. He willingly received the stripes for every indictment of lukewarmness. Every charge of hypocrisy. And every intimation of idolatry and unfaithfulness. It is impossible that a prophetic word be released from us in the Name of the Lord of glory without us understanding that what we are “calling out” first fell as wounds on His holy back. This should be the sober strainer through which ALL of our prophetic and pastoral words of correction flows.
4. Prophetic Words are Always, Always Redemptive There exists no prophetic word from the Lord that isn’t attached to the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus Christ. All of our prophetic words must be attached to instructions for redemption and healing intimacy with the Lord. All prophecy is a part of the redemptive work of God. Words that only condemn and do not offer hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our participation in the cross should be disregarded. Period.
5. Prophetic Words are Always About Lifting Jesus Up “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) If Jesus isn’t at the center, front and end of the prophetic word something (from immaturity to diseased neglect) is amiss. The end of all prophecy is that created humanity would be brought into agreement with the Father’s selection of Jesus as the anointed Ruler of this earth. The exaltation and worship of the historical, Jewish, resurrected God/Man, Jesus of Nazareth as Lord is the deep sea of glory into which all the prophetic streams flow.
Jesus lays out more than 55 distinct ways of righteousness in His Sermon on the Mount. As we transition from this age to the next, He is zealous that His Bride learn these ways of His heart. This is called “the Church making herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). It is also letting Jesus wash out every spot, wrinkle and blemish (of unrighteousness) from His Bride. (Ephesians 5:27)
“O Lord, when Your judgments are on the earth we, Your people, learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9)
The judgments of the Lord (which are currently on the earth) are designed “to train the Church to walk in the righteous ways of the Lord”.
A. We will not give ourselves to the rigors of having to learn these ways without the increased pressure in our lives that only the judgments of the Lord can provide.
B. We need to hold the trouble that the judgments produce in our hearts before the open flame of the Word of God, in order to behold and embrace the revelation of Jesus and His ways.
C. We need spirits that are both humble and yielded to be crucified and conformed to His ways.
D. We need a dialoguing relationship with the living Spirit of God Who will speak and fashion these dynamic realities of Jesus into our souls.
E. We will not embrace the ways of our King without being a part of an honest, humble fellowship of believers who are living out lifestyles of corporate prayer together.
We need all of these elements in dynamic operation in our daily/weekly lives in order to become people who are vibrantly alive to our Lord in the last days.
There are undoubtably more, but here are 30 dynamics (1 for each day of the month) I see the Lord is specifically developing in the heart of His Bride through the trouble/judgments of COVID:
1. Are we learning how to pray in prophetic agreement with the Spirit of the Lord re: His judgments on the earth?
2. Are we learning to join the Lord in releasing supernatural relief, healing, deliverance and salvation upon the earth in the midst of His judgments?
3. Are we cultivating faith in, and testimonies of His protection/provision?
4. Are we cultivating the primacy of corporate lifestyles of prayer together?
5. Are we cultivating a spirit of the fear of the Lord?
6. Are we cultivating a hunger for our Lord to rule the nations?
7. Are we cultivating a spirit that refuses to determine its own way?
8. Are we cultivating spirits that yield our identity to God?
9. Are we cultivating spirits that refuse to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil so that we remain intimately and daily dependent upon the wisdom and direction of the Father?
10. Are we cultivating spirits that revel in exalting and giving the mercy of God?
11. Are we cultivating hearts that celebrate the Father’s vision for race and ethnos?
12. Are we cultivating lifestyles that champion the Father’s purposes for Israel?
13. Are we cultivating first-commandment love for the Lord and His ways?
14. Are we learning the way of humility and meekness?
15. Are we learning the way of compassion and mourning?
16. Will we forgive and even bless our enemies?
17. Are we cultivating spirits that crave purity?
18. Will we put away the curse that so easily infests our thinking and speaking and learn to bless?
19. Will we give ourselves to the daily rigors of repentance?
20. Will we learn to fuel our hearts and minds with the exhilarating nourishment of exalting, praising and kissing the Son?
21. Are we letting the Spirit of the Lord bring down the idols in our lives and culture, so the way of the Lord can be made smooth and unhindered?
22. Are we living the way of the cross?
23. Are we learning how to hear and receive the Word of the Lord through dynamic dialogue with the Holy Spirit of God?
24. Will we let the Lord cultivate a spirit within us that is vigilant to that which is antiChrist?
25. Are we learning how to exalt Jesus in all things?
26. Are we learning to detach our hearts from the demonic contentions of this world and live with unoffended hearts?
27. Are we learning to embrace the uniquely precious nature of the judgments of the Lord?
28. Are we learning how to test all things and hold fast to that which is good? (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
29. Are we learning the Lord’s definition of righteousness?
30. Are we binding ourselves to others who are committed to “learning and celebrating these ways of righteousness” ?
What else would you add to this list?
____________________ JSB • November, 2021
One of the wisest endeavors we believers could engage in right now is to take the 55 injunctions in the Sermon on the Mount and pray them into our lives. At the end of our book, “Seek My Face” is a prayer guide to help you and your fellowship do just that. Blessings.
Over the last two years the level of fear in our world, and our own nation has jumped significantly. Apart from the normal daily fears that besiege humanity in a world under the curse of sin there are several new and/or heightened fears in our lives.
Here’s a list of increased fear-factors in our world: A. Fear of world-wide plague. B. Fear of not knowing where it came from, why it’s here, how to respond to its presence. C. Fear of not being able to avoid its troubling and destructive effects. D. Fear of social disorder. E. Fear of injustice. F. Fear of nefarious forces purposefully creating chaos in our nation. G. Fear of the “greater evil” that leads us to cut deals with “lesser evil”. H. Fear that we cannot see or predict the Father’s narrative clearly. I. Fear of disunity in the body of Christ. J. Fear of nefarious forces subterfuging our democratic order. K. Fear of ceding ground/liberty/narrative to a world antiChrist system. L. Fear of severe economic destabilization.
A couple of observations about these fear-factors:
1. These fear-factors have put increased pressure on our soul, our relationships, and our relationship with God. (This can be a good thing.)
2. Some of these fear-factors have specifically been released by God. Others are the result of our own small faith response to other fear factors.
3. The Lord isn’t necessarily interested in removing the fear-factors and the fear that they engender as He is in building a tower of strength in our minds and hearts (individually and collectively) that will be stronger than the “fear that’s on every side of us”.
4. The fear-factors on the earth are only going to increase in the days and years ahead. The “thlipsis” (greek for “trouble”) must come to the earth as the Lord transitions us from this present evil age to the age of the Lord’s reign. It must. There is no other way. Any other escape scenario is a fantasy. If we want to be faithful and “made ready” (filled with first-commandment love and the beatitudes of the heart) for the return of our Bridegroom King we will experience increased “trouble” AND, by inference, increased circumstances that will heighten “fear” all around us.
“We must, through much tribulation, enter into the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
5. The Lord is actually using the increased “trouble” (even fear) to align our hearts and minds to His way of thinking, relating and living. This is the theme of Psalm 27. This is why both “trouble” and “strength” are such prominent themes in this chapter. Here’s a link to a teaching we’ve been drawing on re: Psalm 27 over the last two years.
Side note: After intimately teaching and praying this Psalm for more than 24 months now here are 3 important, premise/conclusions I’ve come to: a.) There is more trouble/fear arrayed against us than we’ve acknowledged. b.) We’ve overestimated our ability to “handle” the little trouble/fear that we do see. c.) We see the trouble/fear in our world imperfectly. (This is why we need “the Lord to be our light” [Psalm 27:1]) d.) The Lord has far far more emotional, relational and strength of soul for us to appropriate in our lives than we have yet seen (This goes for ALL of us.)
6. The Lord Himself is the “strength” that He wants “increased” in our lives. The manifestation of Who He is is the strength that will prevail against the “fear on every side”. He Himself is meant to be our strong tower (Psalm 18:10) and the stronghold (Psalm 18:2).
7. Existential truth needs to become experienced truth. The Lord wants to build sufficient, holy fortresses in our heart and mind that have the ability to “take every fearful and dissuading thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) to the truth of His glory. These are the “thoughts” that will prevail against the daily onslaught of fear-factors that are increasing in our world. These thoughts and visions will not magically manifest themselves in our attitudes and ways. They must be cultivated through lifestyles built on DOING Psalm 27:4. “One thing”.
There are many reasons for this. The most prominent reason is that the strength that we will need from the Lord in the coming seasons is a strength that can only come from having a history of intimately dialoguing with the Lord in the context of mounting trouble and fear. Before David could come against Goliath, he learned that the Lord was gloriously “with him to be strong” against the lion and the bear.
This is why it is so essential for the body of Christ to emphasize, learn (yes learn) and become “households of prayer” in this hour.
In an hour when fear on every side threatens to capture our hearts and minds the Lord is saying, “Let Me strengthen you with superior revelations of Myself – the awesome and mighty One.”
In Jeremiah 20 a man that the Lord renames “Magor-Missabib” (Hebrew: “Fear on every side”) captures and imprisons the prophet of God. But the Lord quickly brings Jeremiah out of the chains and then strengthens him to prophesy against “Fear on every side”.
It is certainly true that “Fear on every side” is no match for the Lord and the Word of the Lord.
If we look at Jeremiah’s life as an allegory, we can identify with the fact that there are many many “Magor-Missabibs” in this hour that want to bind up the prophetic people of the Lord.
I believe the Lord is speaking 3 things to those who’ve chosen to walk in His prophetic purposes. Just as He does to Jeremiah, the Lord wants to strengthen us in the context of whatever level of fear it is that surrounds us.
The Lord says to His people:
1. Although the fear-filled opposition arrayed against you (Jeremiah 20:7-9) has made you want to withhold the testimony that I have made you to be for this hour, I am intensifying My Words in you. I am refining them through an eternal fire in your bones, so that you have prevailing power to be My witnesses to your generation. I am not removing the fear from all around you. I’m giving you something much greater than the fear. I’m giving you My own Word – which is greater than the sum of all fears – to speak in the middle of the fear. My Word doesn’t remove the fear. It displays My superior strength and increases your strength to stand through an hour of increasing fear on the earth. (Can you see the difference beloved?)
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One Who is (by His Word) able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
2. As great as the calamity is all around you: COVID, threat of national collapse, anarchy, loss of civility, loss of freedoms and rights, loss of righteous order, vulnerability to evil forces etc. it is not My intent to remove these evils from your midst. It is My intent to give you a vision of Myself that is, in all respects, superior to the evils in your midst. What you mostly have need of is not “liberty from the evil” but “an increased understanding of Who I Am in the midst of an evil generation”. Give yourselves to the increase of these revelations; in prayer and long hours of meditation; and beholding Me. Establish a lifestyle of cultivating the revelations of My superior strength. Do it now so that you don’t suddenly have to attempt to do something abnormal to your lifestyle in the midst of great and terrible realities.
“For I heard many mocking: ‘Fear on every side!’ But the Lord is as a mighty, awesome One. The persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed. They will not prosper. Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For His power to deliver is greater than the hand of evildoers.” (Jeremiah 20:11 and 13)
3. I am judging you; testing you; refining you; and tempering you for your increased strength now, and for the future of what is coming.
“The Lord of hosts, You test the righteous, and see the mind and heart.” (Jeremiah 20:12)
Both your heart AND your mind have great need of being strengthened. This will not happen in a less “threatening” context. The gold I am producing in you must go through fire.
(See Revelation 3:18 and Hebrews 12:29)
I am strengthening you with My Son for my Son, so that you stand with Him in His might as His like-minded and like-hearted Bride. You are being brought from strength to strength as I perpetually bring you to weakness. It’s essential that you deeply give yourself to this process. Saturate your mind and your heart with visions and understanding of the prevailing grace and strength of My Son. Do not allow “fear on every side” to capture your hearts or minds by anything that will overtake your focus on My Son. Again, I say “This is vital” for you to stand in the hour that’s coming.
TERROR is not too strong of a word for chapter 21 of Jeremiah.
(It’s taken me a few days to measure the level of physical trembling in my own spirit as I read these words. In that space, I’ve also thought about asking the Lord to lift me out of continuing to pray through Jeremiah. It’s too intense. Too severe.)
Imagine that the Lord of glory is speaking this word against YOUR CHURCH! Is it within your theological realm of possibility that the Lord would speak these type of “terrible” words to any portion of His covenant people today? “I’m against you.” “In Wrath. Anger. Fury.” “I will not spare.” “I will not pity or show mercy.” “My Face is against you for adversity.” “I’m executing judgment.” “My fury is going forth like fire.” “Because of your evil.” “I will punish you.”
Is it even kosher or healthy to consider whether the Lord would speak these words against us today?
I believe considering this question is not only prudent, it’s vital.
From a historical perspective, this is the comprehension that Daniel had to wrestle with as he read Jeremiah in (Daniel 9:2).
This is also the reality of the Lord’s relationship with all 7.4 billion inhabitants of planet earth.
Before we excuse ourselves from this company, let me say: I also believe this terrible reality is what the people of God, the redeemed of the Lord, the body of Christ needs to grapple with in this hour.
The fact of the matter is this IS our reality before the holy God. He is just and right and true to decree these terrible words over all of us – with zero exemption. Wrath. No pity. Fury. Judgment. Anger. Against us. Punishment.
…EXCEPT FOR ONE PURE FACT: God Himself stepped in a received the full impact of these terrible terrible terrible realities upon His own Person through the death of His Son, Jesus, the Messiah on the cross.
He was wounded on behalf of our (evil) transgressions. He was bruised (in the wrath and fury of God) for our iniquities. The chastisement (from the Lord) for our peace (fell) upon Him. (He took our) stripes and we are healed. The Lord (set His Face against Him and) laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)
This is the larger storyline. The Lord not only looks at our evil ways and pronounces judgment – He then steps in and receives the complete penalty for our evil, unfaithful, conniving, conspiring, twisted, destructive ways UPON HIMSELF!
We cannot read Jeremiah and the wrath of God against His own covenant people and NOT connect it to the wrath He poured out upon His own Son on the cross.
This is why we 21c Christians MUST engage the message of Jeremiah and not relegate it to Old Testament history. To fail to hear God’s heart in Jeremiah is to short-change our whole storyline; to short-change our God’s commitment to mercy-giving and the depth of the gift of His own Son.
In a season when the body Christian is filled with enflamed calls to all manner of “righteousness”, it is vital that we remember that we are fundamentally, first and always people who have been shown great great mercy. THIS is where all our prayers, our worship, our evangelism, our calls to repentance, our social justice, our conformity to His image, and our eschatology MUST remain rooted.
The incredible mercy that He has extended to us, our God is zealous to extend to others…
The degree to which the issue of racial injustice/sin animates our family is Holy Spirit (Psalm 27:4) fascinating… There is no other topic that seems to generate more strong objections, tears or deep, silent hope…This truth should tell us how important the matter of racial relationships is to the Lord, the One Father of us all. As long as we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not let us be at peace communicating with His Father’s heart. (Psalm 66:18)
Beloved. There is SUCH A GREAT REWARD in store for us in responding to Jesus’ judgment/analysis of our heart re: this issue and entering into the Father’s heart for bonafide, humble, compassionate unity through the reign of Christ! I’ve seen it here and there over 40 years when races engage in repentance, humility and celebration with each other. For years I’ve suspected that racial reconciliation is one of the Father’s BIG KEYS in unlocking revival in a region. The enemy fears this mercy-filled unity like nobody’s business!!!
I learned this years ago in several multi-racial incidents.
One of the most profound was in 1990 when I was serving as a teaching assistant with C.Peter Wagner at Fuller in Pasadena. He had gathered a hundred pastors from various countries into a class on evangelism and discipleship.
Throughout the two-week intensive course some of the Korean pastors were being offended by some of the statements being made by several of the Japanese pastors. After one particularly contentious afternoon session Peter wisely called for a break.
During the break the South Korean pastors gathered in the corner of the room and wept openly – and loudly. The rest of the class could hear them echoing through the garden that surrounded the classroom.
At some point two of the Japanese pastors re-entered the room (before the next session) and approached the Korean pastors. The two of them knelt down before their brothers and asked them to forgive them and their fathers and their father’s fathers for the long, racial hatred, murder and subjugation the Japanese people had inflicted upon the Korean people. When the rest of the class returned, we found the group of Japanese pastors huddled together with the group of Korean pastors all weeping together. (One of the most powerful spiritual encounters I’ve ever witnessed.)
How do you start a new session like that???
Peter again wisely asked if anyone could lead a time of worship. A beautiful pastor’s wife from Cameroon stood up WITH A GUITAR she had just purchased down the street at a nearby music shop and led the 100+ gathering into a ocean of praise.
After 15 minutes of streaming tears, the glory of the Lord filled the room, women and men were on their faces in the floor… overhead three of the large lights/chandeliers exploded nearly all at the same time raining glass and florescent powder down on the group…
Peter observed, “The enemy obviously doesn’t like what’s going on here…” And then he said with a wry smile: “Let’s keep exalting Jesus.
“Truth-be-told, the world has yet to face the greatest of all racial conflicts – and it will take the stage – front and center – at the end of the age the whole world will be confronted with the reality that the Savior of all 195 nations on the face of the earth is a resurrected Jewish God/Man. We haven’t yet seen the depth of offense that this racial reality will ignite both in the people of God and in the rest of the world.It behooves us today to enter into the chambers of the Father’s heart and discover the magnificently glorious vision He has for the diversity of “ta ethnos”. But buckle-up. It’s sure to be a rocky endeavor.
The Lord of the Nations is calling His children to humble themselves, seek His face and take the cross to our centuries-old sins of racial hostility. He’s calling us to thoroughly turn from our self-justification and hear His heart for the ethnos in our communities. He’s also empowering us to live in meekness with those affected by the generational sins of our fathers. We need a thorough appreciation of the mercy He’s extended to our nation’s sins of RACISM, slavery, dehumanization, murder, and genocide. And He’s calling us to engage in the hard Kingdom work of celebrating and championing His Kingdom’s purposes for black, native, Hispanic, etc., individuals and cultures. Racial insensitivity is an abuse of God’s sacred design for the human community. He loves the diversity of nations and the multifaceted ways they express His glory.
(The riots that rose from the murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, served as stimulants for a tsunami of protests, debates, and demonstrations that have exploded, in both unrighteous and righteous ways, across the United States and the world. The enemy continues to use the fire of ongoing racial flash-points to ignite unholy responses within our society’s politically conservative and politically liberal segments. The Lord is calling the Church to cultivate her voice to call a racially angry, wounded, and defensive nation to the way of the cross.)
Father, we need You! We need Your heart and wisdom to know how to navigate our relationships with sisters, brothers, and neighbors from different races. You’ve established us as a country made up of vastly different histories, cultures, and backgrounds. Thank You for the beauty of the diversity. Forgive us for the many ways that we’ve not valued your blessings. Forgive us for the official policies, theologies and personal biases of subjugation, genocide, and dehumanizing discrimination. We acknowledge that the centuries of unrighteous attitudes and cultural ways have left deep scars on millions of native, black, and Hispanic lives and families. Forgive us for attempting to distance ourselves from our nation’s sins and our neighbors’pain and brokenness. We repent of this sin against Your intent for us as Americans AND as Your spiritual family. We repent and wholly turn from our nation’s history of racial sin. Forgive us for attempting to justify ourselves with unloving and critical arguments that only compound our sin. We ask for the shed blood of Your own Son to cover us and the water of Your Word to heal us and unite us. Your righteousness is the only way to heal the maze of wounds and relational paradigms. Give us the grace to show compassion to one another. Give us the grace to walk humbly with one another and to champion and celebrate one another. We pray that You will, in all manner, be glorified through our racial relationships – under the authority of Your Son, Jesus.
Beloved. It is vital that in all our ways we give ourselves to beholding Jesus so that we may understand the heart of the Father. This is our one and true source of strength and wisdom in this hour. The rest will be apparent to us.
JSB • October, 2021
Here are two articles and a reprint of a third article about the antichrist that I posted exactly one year ago today (October 19, 2020)
(Proverbs 16:18) tells us that “pride goes before destruction…” but most often, pride and destruction arrive together in an unholy, catalytic mixture.
Our culture is currently being torn between millions rising up to burn the civic and economic systems down, and millions who are rising up to take a wrecking ball to deep state and conspiratorial world orders. BOTH are looking for special exemptions from the Sermon on the Mount.
Beloved, we’re being primed.
In the heat of the chaos, and the emboldening of self, the earth has never been more ripe for the ascendancy of the anti-Christ. Nor has it been more stirred with an anti-Christ-spirit (which I believe is laden with the anti-beatitudes) to hail his dominion. We dare not be deceived that the factions of the devil would rise against each other. The kingdom of satan, though united in its destructive purpose is administrated through perpetual chaos, fear, deceit, prideful intimidation and hostility. Both factions (yea, other factions as well) will promise economic peace, or peace that comes through command, or a peace that comes through a new social order, but in the end, the spirit itself (in apposition to Jesus’ leadership of love) can only produce the fruit of compounding destruction.
“Now when they are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
This anti-Christ spirit is a spirit that entices both the “haves”, and the “wanna haves”.
“Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” (1 Timothy 6:9)
It will also be a “contra-Christ” spirit endorsed by the “prophets” who refuse to advocate first-commandment cross-bearing as the way of Christ.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber..” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
Although each faction vows the destruction of the enemies that oppose their order of peace, the end of both is borne from the same animating principality that is fomenting their rise in this hour: “destruction”.
“They have as king over them the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon (the destroyer).” (Revelation 9:11)
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
Beloved, there’s no other way. The day is far spent. We may have a willing rhetoric, but our flesh is indeed very weak. We cannot afford to let our eyes wander to the left, to the right, or be closed in slumber. This is the hour to watch Him and pray with Him.
“Could you not stay awake with Me for one hour?” – Jesus (Matthew 26:40)
“When the wicked come against me to eat up my flesh… though an army may encamp against me… though war may rise against me…” (Psalm 27:2,3)
One of the key objectives of the “enemy” is to foment soul-destroying attitudes in our emotions and relationships. At the end of the age, he will raise up the “man of lawlessness” (2 Thessalonians 2:2) – a real man – who will massively foment these destructive attitudes in humanity across the earth. By nature, these unrighteous attitudes will have the power to “war” against our “heart and flesh”, and grow stronger and stronger within us, so that they actually corrupt and “devour” our soul.
These attitudes (listed in the graphic above) will be the mirror opposites of those that Jesus blessed in the beatitudes. What’s more, these issues are deeply deeply engrained in our culture (meaning, we’ve become blind to them, and accept them and reenforce them as our social status-quo) – and they are mounting all the stronger…
It’s so vital that the redeemed learn to let the Holy Spirit guard their hearts against these attitudes today. We need the “light” (Psalm 27:1) of the Lord to illuminate us so we can agree with where HE sees them, and how He wants to “save” (Psalm 27:1) and “strengthen” us (Psalm 27:1) against these wicked (Psalm 27:2) attitudes growing in our hearts.
Being “saved” from these destructive heart-attitudes won’t just happen to us in our casual, on-the-run, Christian lives. This is why it’s SO critical that we be people of “one thing”(Psalm 27:4) who see the great value in seeking His Face (Psalm 27:8) in this hour.
We need to immobilize our fearful and restless hearts, posture ourselves before the Lord, and let Him shine His light upon us so He may graciously remove these cancerous attitudes from within us.
If I let the Holy Spirit identify the anti-Christ ways within me, I will have no need to fear an anti-Christ in the world. If I give myself to identifying all the clues about the anti-Christ in the Word and the world, thinking my detective skills will keep me safe from the power of anti-Christ, but give no vigilance to that which is anti-Christ within me, well……we don’t wanna be that guy.
What I’m learning through the last few weeks of turbulence and prayer is that even more important than furtive signs that point to the identity of the “anti-christ” (1 Thessalonians 2:8-9), are the character traits of the many “anti-christs” that (1 John 2:18) tells us have already gone out into the world.
If “Christ’s” character was/is marked with the beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-12, it stands to reason that the character of the “anti-christ” (as well as the anti-christ spirit ref. 1 John 4:1-6) will be marked by the opposite of Jesus’ heart attitudes:
If Jesus is marked by Poverty of spirit Antichrist is marked by Narcissism & Pride
If Jesus is marked by Meekness Antichrist is marked by a Ruthless, Self-determination spirit
If Jesus is marked by Compassion Antichrist is marked by Bloodlust, revenge & retaliation
If Jesus is marked by Righteousness Antichrist is marked by Sinful Appetite
If Jesus is marked by Mercy Antichrist is marked by Acrimony and Condemnation
If Jesus is marked by Purity of Heart Antichrist is marked by Defilement
If Jesus is marked by Peacemaking Antichrist is marked by Hostile Alienation
These anti-qualities should tell our evangelical family more about the identity of “anti-christ”, (and all that we should steadfastly identify as hostile to the glory and reign of our Lord) than any speculative event.
“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that theAntichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)