Temptation Central

Q: Why would God give permission to have Job tempted?

A: Heeeyyy … cool down. The scriptures are complete and unbreakable. What happened with Job is what happened with Jesus and what happens with us daily.

Understand that when God speaks, he speaks across all time; past present and future since they are all the same to Him. And He speaks across all space; visible and invisible, in the heavens, on the earth and beneath the earth.

So,
In the beginning the earth was without form … It was chaotic both in the physical and in the spirit. And when God started with light and brought order to things he also brought order to the realm of the spirit. Why? He was about to make man and man was to be in charge of all, including spirits.

The fall of the first Adam was a breach of that order. The man had to *fall* for something else to be in charge. The devil had no power to ascend the throne of earth unless it was abdicated and left empty.

If you look well, you will see it is the same principle Jesus said demons use in possessing people. So even the devil has no new tricks.

Now God is the same past, present and future. He is not improving, he is not learning anything so He has not changed His principles of operation. The spiritual workings of Job’s temptation are therefore the same as Adam’s, same as Jesus’ temptation as well as ours.

Look at Adam’s account:
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man *in our image, after our likeness*: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Gen 1:27 *So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.*
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and *ye shall be as gods*, knowing good and evil.

Look at Job’s account:

Job 1:8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
Job 1:12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.

Look at Jesus’ account:

Mt 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Mt 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness *to be tempted of the devil.*

Study and compare and see this pattern. The subject has a connection with God, God boasts of and affirms the subject, Satan moves in to test that claim.

Look at our scenario:
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted *like as we are*, yet without sin.

Mk 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mk 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when *affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake,* immediately they are offended.

It’s been the same pattern since the beginning and it will remain. The devil has nothing to tempt a man over until God has spoken something to, for, or about the man. Satan has no original ideas.

Job’s case was not an experiment that God was conducting. God simply pulled back the curtain so that those who would read the scriptures would see what really happens in the realm of spirits and see that He is in charge and in control and he will not let us be hurt where it really matters – in our inner man.

1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Thankfully we see through the life of Job as well as Jesus’ life that the faithful God compensates us well for every trouble we take as soldiers of the kingdom for the praise of His name.

Job 42:12 So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.

Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
Php 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What God did for them He will surely do for us.

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Does God have Evil Spirit?

Q: Please I need clarification on this Bible verse o

1Sam 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

Does God have evil spirit? 🤔

A: Look at the verse again, the spirit *of* The Lord left and an evil spirit *from* the Lord came.

The former is God’s Spirit but the latter is not.

How come this evil spirit came *from* the Lord?

Bible calls God the head of principalities as in no one good or bad is above him. In fact, there is no space above him.

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

Nothing happens in the realm of the spirit without God’s permission. He is the boss.

That way, he can guarantee that whatever evil we face will not be beyond our capacity to endure so that we will not be destroyed.

1Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be bear it.

“Bearing it” does not mean lying down and letting the devil beat your brains out.

Another translation says “… that you might be able to bear up under it.” In order words “resist it”.

The way of escape is the word.

When Jesus was tempted, he escaped by using the word to resist the devil. This was what Adam, Saul, and Job did not do. It is what we must not fail to do.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

2Cor 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Always speak life.

Remember the world belongs to mankind. God made the earth for fleshy man. For any being to operate here it has to have flesh or the permission of a fleshy being to do so. But in the realm of spirits, they need rights to access that principle so there is a court in heaven where spirits plead their various cases to execute anything on earth.

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
Job 1:7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Job 1:8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
Job 1:10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

So, in Saul’s case, he became jealous of David and that evil spirit saw it as an excuse to afflict him. It was a clear cut case of open invitation and he could not be denied.

This is why sin and sinful life style is dangerous. Knowing that the grace of God is available excuses us in the court of heaven so we are not destroyed does not mean sin has no consequence.

Joyce Meyer said, Christ’s grace indeed excuses the sinner but not excuse the sin.

If you hang around sin, it may not touch your spirit immediately but it gains ground and yields a harvest that will work death in your flesh.

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

1Cor 5:1,5 It is reported commonly [that there is] fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife … deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

You have a power to stay away from sin that Saul didn’t have. Use it and keep the devil away.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Shake the devil off.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 53

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:11 … care to love.

 

Does it make sense to ask someone to take care to ensure he loves someone else? Is it not something that is either there or not? Since love is a feeling, it’s either there or it is not, I mean, it’s either the person loves or he doesn’t … period. Right?

This verse of scripture, containing one of President Joshua’s final instructions to his people indicates otherwise. It appears that one can actually choose to love or not to love. It is shown here to be something one does and not just something one feels. It is so much so that it is something that is to be done with deliberate care so it is not lost.

Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore, to love the Lord your God. [Amplified]

One other translation even states, “This only take care of with all diligence, that you love the Lord your God.”

It becomes clear that the feeling of love is not love itself. One could get lost in the feeling and forget the real thing. It’s like using a thermometer to monitor temperature changes. The thermometer is not the temperature, but it is one device that is used to measure it. The common domestic thermometer is not even equipped to measure certain temperatures. If exposed to certain extremes of temperatures, our common thermometer will be destroyed.

In the same way, our feelings of love for God, for spouses, children and other people in our various lives can be a handy tool to help us as we love but there are “extremes of love” where the feelings or emotions become unreliable and might even fail but at every level of walking in love, we always have a choice to make.

It is to this detail that Joshua called his people to pay attention. It is easy to feel the love you have for God when you are daily wowed by His wonders in the pillar of cloud and fire, the daily supply of manna and of quails and the steady conquests on the field of battle but how long with that feeling last when you notice the pillar has moved out of sight, when you now have to cultivate the land and sweat for your food and when there are no more battles being fought and won? When such a point comes, it now becomes a task, a serious duty to love.

This is how Jesus put it, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”

Love is an action word. Love is a choice. We must take care to love.

John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 15:9-10.

Rhythms of the Heart

Hello friends.

I had a discussion … (I seem to have a lot of those, right?)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Sunday at my church, perhaps at yours too.

The contents of this discussion might make a difference in your heart and service tomorrow, and hopefully for all the numerous tomorrows to follow.

Once again, the identity of the person has been hidden but the conversation preserved.
Enjoy!

​Ez: Please Sir, what’s your take on praise as a veritable tool to fight the enemy (the devil and his agents)?

PD: God dwells in the praises of His People.

Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

These are direct lifts of scriptures. Praise as a weapon is a matter of fact.

The issue, however, is that, though we often sing songs and dance, we rarely praise God. There is a difference between enjoying good music and actual praise.

“Let us praise Him in the dance.”

Also another verse of scripture.

It means it is quite possible to not praise Him in the dance.

Ez: sir.

When could it be said that one is actually praising God?

PD: Like every thing else with God, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

It is what’s going on in your heart that’s really happening in the realm of the spirit. Mere words and outward actions amount to nothing unless one engages his heart.

Can you drive?

Ez: No sir.

PD: OK. Do you know about cars and driving?

Ez: A little

PD: You know the role the gear plays?

Ez: Yes sir

PD: What’s the role?

Ez: It engages the car for motion

PD: Correct.

So, no matter how powerful the car’s engine is, and no matter how hard you press down on the accelerator and how high the revometer goes and how loud the engine is sounding, if you do not engage the gear, there would be no motion.

Ez: Precisely.

PD: Now, imagine a car with the gear on neutral on a downhill slope; the car would be seen to be moving, right?

Ez: Yes

PD: And because the engine is making an audible sound and the driver is turn the steering wheel and using the pedals, it would seem he is driving a working car. Whereas he is just going with the flow, with the pull of gravity.

It is when the effect of gravity wears off or when the driver now wants to go uphill that it would be obvious the engine was not engaged all the while.

Ez: Hmmmm! This is deep

I stand to be corrected, sir

PD: 😯

What are you correcting?

Ez: Nothing sir.

PD: 😁

Ez: I am only trying to give you a feedback to know if I am following, Sir

PD: Funny guy.

Anyway, it’s the same with praise. We mostly just flow with the gravity of the music without engaging the heart. 

All the benefits and warfare and victory that come on the wings of praise are actually side effects.

Real praise originates from the heart; it requires the heart.

Bible says “making melody in your hearts unto the Lord”.

If real praise is offered, results follow naturally.

Ez: Since praise is God’s due right, it’s rendering is not conditional on our own part. Right?

PD: Yeah, praise is God’s due. We have to give it unconditionally. But you know, we won’t be able to do it unconditionally unless we know what it is.

Ez: Secondly, the analogy of the downhill can be likened to a easy cruise and at such we just render praise carelessly without our heart in it. After all everything is good and nice.

PD: Exactly.

Ez: But the uphill comes as a reality check that makes us realize that what is and what is not.

For those of us who have been flowing with mere rhythms and rhymes, we no longer see the good in God. But for those praising with the heart, it is firing all the way in spite of the uphill circumstances. Right?

PD: Exactly.

So the question how do we go from lazy cruise to power drive … is how do we engage the heart?

Ez: Doing what we do with real understanding i.e an understanding of what praise is and what it does.

Ez: Right Sir?

PD: Yes.

Although, what praise does is not up to us and knowing that only helps us to know what to expect, knowing what praise really is and how to do it right is critical and totally up to us.

The Hebrew language uses word pictures or concepts to communicate a lot of times and use many words to express subtle shades of difference in meaning so in the example of praise, there are a number of words. But these words our translated inconsistently, I guess based on context, as Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, and thus we use them interchangeably.

Although the three words are used interchangeably, they are slightly different. And since they are translated from the same 8 Hebrew words, the implication in reality is that they are interwoven and lead to one another.

Ez: 🤔

PD: I used to have an image somewhere that depicts this.

Lemme see if I can find it.

Ez: Ok

PD: I can’t find it. Let me just sketch it up for you.

Ez: Alright Sir

PD: Sorry it took so long. Photoshop takes longer on this type of work than Corel draw and I don’t have Corel on my system right now.

I hope it’s clear enough.

Ez: Very clear Sir.

PD: Great.

So, the three concepts lead one to another. No matter where you enter, you wind up going through them all.

The important thing is that the heart is involved.

Let me give you the definitions that God gave me and have helped me engage my heart each time.

Thanksgiving is the heart felt response to the generosity of God.

Praise is the heart felt response to the capacity of God.

Worship is the heart felt response to the personality of God.

Example:

God saw to it that I slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to me. I am grateful. My heart response is gratitude for his generosity towards me. What comes out of my heart is Thanksgiving. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Then, 

God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to this many people at once. I am awed!  My heart response is respect for his capacity to be good towards so many people all at once without getting tired or needing help. I’m thinking “wow!” What comes out of my heart is Praise. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Finally,

God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning, whether they are good or bad. He has been good to this many people at consistently for as long as He has been God without waiting for them to love him or even thank Him. He does this because of His personality or character. I am captivated and fascinated by His person!  My heart response is love for His personality;  to be good towards so all people, all the time, for all time. I’m thinking God is a lovely person. What comes out of my heart is Worship. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Thanksgiving says thank you; Praise says I respect you, you are powerful and great; Worship says I love you, you are just wonderfully irresistible.

The connection is me … my heart.

There is no way I will thank God from my heart without winding up praising Him and Worshiping Him.

If my heart is involved in my worship, I will remember His kindness to me and Thanksgiving will pour out.

On and on the triangle keeps flowing back and forth.

I hope you get this so far.

Ez: Yea Sir

PD: So, all we need to do is think well about what we are saying and not be absent minded or carried away by the activities around us.

I remember when I was music director, some years back. Service was one, music was on, the worship leader was up on stage, the rest of the music team was executing the various assigned tasks and I was overseeing. 

Then God spoke to me, “what are you doing?” And I said in my heart, I’m making sure things are running smoothly and keeping all the moving pieces together and making sure folks get to worship without interruptions. Then he said, “What about you? Won’t you worship?”

I was singing along but my heart was not in it. I was busy watching and ensuring others worshipped God but I left myself out.

I immediately dropped all I was doing, closed my eyes, opened my heart and thought of the lyrics of the song at that time and I joined the church in worshipping Jesus.

It’s very easy to be in the business of church music and dance without actually connecting to heaven.

Ez: Very true

PD: So, I believe we have tackled your question?

Ez: Thank you sir

PD: You’re welcome.

Ez: Sometimes I wish I can host you.

PD: 😁

The number 3

The following is a discussion I had with a friend a while back. He was blessed. I thought it might bless you too.

Q: Please can I ask you a question sir?

Why is everything in the kingdom 3 fold? 

We have trinity; God the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We are made up of spirit, soul and body.

And we have 3 voices speaking to us at every point in time: the voice of God, the devil and ourselves. What’s the relationship?

A: The number 3 🙂


Q.: Hahahahahahaha.

Please it’s been on my mind. Trying to understand how it affects our daily living.

A: God is spirit. The three are one and that one is spirit. They are one (united) and so they are always in agreement on every issue. Right there is the difference between God and man, our own three are not one.

Our spirit always pleases God and our flesh always seeks to please itself (which effectively means pleasing the devil because the devil has programmed evil into it).

Therefore, every matter, for us, requires a vote.

Since we are “three”, we have three votes which means there will always be a decision made in the “house” which is always determined by the majority of two against one. So there will always be a campaign for the winning vote. The spirit votes for God always, the body votes for the devil always but the soul can be swayed.

As you know, the party whose campaign you listen to the most gradually begins to appeal to you.

This is why there is always an on-going campaign by the two parties we carry around. The devil uses everything he can to get our attention and win the deciding vote: everything around us, people, fashion, media etc. God uses the word through everything he can … church, people, nature etc. Both are trying to get the deciding vote.

The kind of person you are is determined by which party gets the deciding vote most of the time.

Interestingly, we were born without the ability to hear the campaign of one party and with the ability to hear that of the other effortlessly. So, though we had a spirit, we were dead to it. But to correct that, we get born a second time and this rebirth comes with all the devices working and so we can connect to the other party and hear the campaign.

However, it does not end there. Our soul is still more skilled at receiving input from the flesh and because we are now interested in hearing from the spirit we need to depolarize our souls so that we can hear our spirits just as well as we can hear our bodies. That’s what we call renewing of the mind and you know what we need to do that.

So now, when we take actions, it’s not 2 against a silent spirit. We can no longer say, we couldn’t help it, which means we all have the opportunity and capacity to be spiritually “minded” which means to have spiritual minds or minds that are prone to casting their votes with the spirit party … all the time, if possible.

It is easier to be spiritual if we surround ourselves with campaign materials of the spirit party.

I hope I helped.

OLD TESTAMENT vs NEW TESTAMENT

Q: 1Tim 4:13 Paul admonishes Timothy to give himself to reading. NLT says “scriptures”. My question is, what were they reading? Were the scriptures written at that time? If yes, wasn’t it the old testament?
image

A: You are right on both counts. They had the law and the prophets. Of course they also had the historical books. What’s your point?

Q: No point! Just asking to know. I was just pondering what Paul wanted him to read. If that admonition was given today, we all will assume the “bible”. So, it got me thinking on what he was to read.

A: Ok. Well, it’s common to throw punches at the old testament these days in the name of new testament Christianity. Whereas, when we say old or new testament, we often refer to a different thing from Apostle Paul. Some think old testament means Genesis to Malachi and New testament means Matthew to Revelation. Whereas, not everything in the “old testament” is old testament and not everything in the “new testament” is new testament. Testament means Covenant. It also means document. So, there was an old covenant in the old document but not all of the document is “old” as in outdated, some components of the old document are everlasting. Same applies to the new document. Not all the contents are “new covenant.”

Q: OK. Can you cite examples?

A: Clear examples abound.

The Law, as it came through Moses is what in actual fact is “Old Covenant” as Apostle Paul says again and again in his inspired writings. Whereas, the covenant God made with Abraham is still standing, “through you all nations of the earth shall be blessed and to your seed shall I give to inherit this promise”, the seed being Jesus. And by faith, we are partakers of the blessing of Abraham Galatians 3 is replete with this thought. Walking by Faith which we claim is new testament, started before the old testament. Abraham walked by faith and was justified by faith in God just as we are justified by walking by faith in God who presented himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 4.

Q: Are there examples in the new book that don’t belong to the new covenant?

A: Well, in a way. Jesus’ entire life and ministry was based on the good old covenant promises. I meant on the same old covenant promises. Not on the law but the covenant that predates the law. That’s why he always seemed to ignore the law without consequences, and was never found guilty, not even by the devil. He did what the law required but not as serving the law but as serving the God of the law who predates and obviously postdates the law. He established a new covenant with the father, in his blood, but this new covenant was to connect us to the covenant/blessing of Abraham’s eternal covenant which began before the old covenant based on the law.

Q: In essence, read the whole book but replacing the “new covenant in Christ” with the “law by Moses”.

A: You are very sharp. The law was a task master that kept Israel intact till the promise made to Abraham to save the whole world was fulfilled in Jesus. God had to use the law as favour to Abraham so that Israel would not be lost before the promise of salvation arrived. Once it did, the law was retired and the covenant of faith continued. Balaam was a prophet of God, Jethro was a priest of God, but neither of them had a lasting dynasty of relationship with God cos nothing was there to restrain their generations after them till the promise was fulfilled. Had God not done Abraham this favour, Israel too would have been a lost dynasty. And Jesus’ chances of being born through a virgin seriously compromised.

Q: Hmm……wow! I knew Jesus opened the scroll and read Is 61 and said “today is this scripture fulfilled”. So, yes the old testament wasn’t entirely irrelevant but I never though deeply about it. Now, it makes sense Thanks! Now I know why I have to study the whole book

SAINTS and PERILS

Hello friends.
I was part of a discussion on a social media platform and I thought to share it here.
I trust you will be blessed by it.
[Q refers to the person who asked the question, P1-3 were other participants in the discussion, A refers to myself]

Q: I have a question. I need us to examine it thoroughly.
Are trials from God or from Satan?

P1: First,what is a trial?

P2: Test of your faith. Test of the strength of your beliefs.

P1: Okay. So, who will test your Faith or the strength of your Faith? God or the devil OR God and the devil?
Temptation is clear,God doesn’t tempt us cos it is designed to make you fall and it is evil.

P3: On trials… I don’t think trials come from God.

My belief is this, temptations are a form of trials, to test what we truly believe. Also, in the parable of the wise and foolish builder, Jesus said trials of life will come (this I believe is a result of the fall of man and the earth with him), but he didn’t say he was the one trying their faith.

My 2 cents

A: Saints and Perils

TEMPTATIONS are pleasurable experiences that lead you to give up self control and sin against God. They are set up by the devil and allowed by God within our capacity.
The aim is to give access to the devil into your life with the ultimate objective being death and destruction.
Temptation is overcome by resistance which could involve fleeing.
James 1:12 – 16: Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it.]

TRIALS are unpleasant experiences and they are TARGETED AT THE FAITH of those who have it. It aims at BREAKING YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE WORD OF GOD. They are orchestrated by the devil and allowed by God within our capacity. Knowing the quality that faith IS and has, God is not afraid to let it be tested.

The objective is beyond making you fall into sin. It’s for you to deny your faith in God out of frustration a d if you do, swift destruction often follows. But the beneficial side effect is that your faith gains new perspective and thus strength.

Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth FOR THE WORD’S SAKE, immediately they are offended.

1Peter 1:3-7: Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations [GK: putting to proof by experiences of good or evil, adversity, try] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Trials are overcome easier when the objective is clear to the person being tried. All he has to do then is to retain a steadfast resolution that God is good and faithful and is not behind the unpleasant experience. Of course, other spiritual arsenals may be brought into play such as praying, fasting and so on.

PERSECUTIONS are unpleasant experiences set up by the devil and allowed by God. The aim is to slow down or stop the advancement of the kingdom of God. Thus, by definition, if a person is being persecuted, it must be because, and only because, the person is actively pushing the Gospel of the Kingdom.

There is no cure for persecutions. We cannot overcome it. We may escape it, run from from it, be spared it or delivered from it but we cannot resist it. In fact, we are to rejoice over it.

John 15:18-20: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, FOR MY SAKE. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

This should not be confused with acts of violence against Christians.

Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth [his] hands to vex [GK: to exasperate, harm, hurt, make evil affected] certain of the church.

The basis for the violence could be religious persuasion but the objective is not against the Gospel but against the Christian.
So those recent killings of Christians in the North because they were eating while moslems are fasting or whatever else are acts of violence that should be condemned in every way possible.

There is also SUFFERING, and in my opinion, it is an unpleasant experience for the which the objective eludes the victim. He doesn’t know why he is in the predicament and based on his level of understanding, he could blame it on God or the devil or both, depending on how he is feeling per time. This will continue until knowledge comes and truth sets and makes free. This has no prejudice to whether the person is a Christian or not.

TRIBULATIONS are unpleasant experiences. In simple language it means trouble. And it could be in the form of a temptation, or a persecution or a trial.

AFFLICTIONS are unpleasant experiences. The issue with this word is not the experience itself but it’s origin. It betokens the intentional targeted attack on a person. Therefore, it can take the form of a temptation, trial, or persecution.

Then, there is also the TEST. This is from God. The objective is not to damage or inflict harm but to give you an occasion to demonstrate your strength, especially based on a recently acquired insight. It can also be to instruct. Consider that you are in a school of the spirit and your progress MUST be demonstrated and documented, not to God who knows all but to yourself and those watching.

1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy PROFITING may APPEAR to all.

Not all the situations are considered pleasant but those who are in that particular walk with God are not afraid or disturbed. It is usually those of us on the outside looking in that are puzzled. Invariably, a major blessing is recorded after such an examination is cleared.

Hebrews 11:17-19. By faith Abraham, when he was TRIED, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son], Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: ACCOUNTING THAT GOD [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

John 6:5-6. When Jesus then lifted up [his] eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to PROVE HIM: for he himself knew what he would do.

Every time Jesus said, “O ye of little faith”, it was because a test cane and the people failed.

The problem with all these concepts is that the same Greek words (Peirazo amongst others), are used for all of them or such words that their meanings overlap and interlock and in most cases, it is the context that the holy spirit uses to give the insight. The clear exception to the above statement is the one used in Acts 12:1 translated as “vex”.

The interesting thing is, whether it be a temptation, trial, or whatever, God sees and seizes the opportunity to instruct, build and strengthen… if we allow Him. This He did with Jairus’ daughters death, and with Lazarus’ death. He seized the situations and turned them to God’s glory. Hence, the scriptures cannot be broken… Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

This, perhaps, is the reason for the confusion.

As we used to say those days, everything is medicinal, including the devil.

Q: Thanks a lot.

A: OK.
I’m wondering Why you asked the question in the first place? As a man of you calibre, I expect you know these things already.

Q: Hahahaha!!! There is always room to share thoughts with the brethren.

A: So YOUR reason for asking was to share with us?

Q: Secondly, it is a topic/question which came up in some quarters yesterday morning, with quite some divergent positions reflected by those who answered. I actually was the one who raised the question. It was so interesting to see how much it stirred our minds to look again at the scriptures. I thought of us on this platform also partaking in the blessing. So, I asked.

A: Then, I should have just kept quiet and waited for you to share.

Q: As touching the direction, couldn’t trials be possible coming from the Lord, though not carried out by Him?

A: Trials (trouble) are ONLY allowed by God. Unless by trials, you refer to what I called tests.

Q: Alright. I really appreciate the detailed analysis.

A: Shalom.