THE ENEMY WITHIN
By Tom Lamb of New Zealand
Micah 3:5 Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.
THE ENEMY WITHIN
By Tom Lamb of New Zealand
James 1:22. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
The invisible war:
There are deceiving seducing spirits out there ( 2 Chr.18:21; 1 Tim. 4:1). But what if we have already been seduced ? What if we have already been deceived ?
If one is to wage war effectively against a stronger foe because he has superior firepower and numerically outnumbers your own forces, then the most effective way is to fight deceptive battles without a natural borderline. Because, when a definite line is used, like a military front, then is the enemy easily distinguished by being confined behind his lines of defence and can be detected and defeated by straight-out overwhelming odds. However, if the enemy is hidden within, with many covers and disguises, without a common Front between "us" and "them", is the superior side on the back-foot from day one. Because, although he is aware there is an enemy out there, is he confused into not knowing who, or where, or how, to combat him.
Remember, the delusion of the Vietnam War? Who was the enemy? The allusive VC? The peasants? The children in the market place? The North? China? Russia? International Communism? The National Liberation Front? Or the GI's own government at home? Or, all or most of these?
Through the 60's the media was fed the lie (so they could pass it on to the public) the enemy was being eradicated "out there" by highly exaggerated body counts. While the bulk of the enemy was alive and well within the paddy fields, the villages, the towns, the capital city, infiltrating the South Vietnamese Army, the Fire Bases, even controlling the American Embassy (at one time). Not always were the Vietcong or the North Vietnamese the opposition, but the Protest Movement at home, American celebrities visiting Hanoi, and the corrupt, propped up, puppet regime of the South. A war that was lost from day one because of the lack of front lines being established and the problem of not being able to discern your enemy. The Soviets found similar problems later in Afghanistan.
Israel ... from the late forties to the seventies! During this era they could fight a decisive war, with victory on their side, because of a visible, defined, enemy on the other side of the boarder. Even though the Israelis were out numbered by about twenty to one, could they pre-empt an effective strike against their Moslem foe, as they had common boarders to monitor, keep under surveillance, and eventually send over daring, accomplished, lightening raids. Because by a common boarder did they know who their enemy was, and where he was.
However, since the early eighties, because the IDF were not allowed to capture their entrapped enemy in Beirut, but instead allowed a safe passage of escape for him, through political interference, do they now incongruously have him armed and lodged within. Coupled with an impossible locked in, no-win conflict, without a common front to pinpoint your enemy.
Just as in the Garden of Eden, because the enemy is in the minority (looking at the overall picture) and because of his defeat at Calvary, do we have a spiritual enemy who will not fight on defined fronts, but by cunning and craft is he a master of covering up his traces and using disguises and smokescreens in order to infiltrate, cause havoc, and wear down the saints of God. In order to make the Lord's Church ineffective in setting the captures free, and finding the liberty there is in their Maker. Also, diverting worship away from the true God to craftily be redirected towards himself.
The hidden enemy:
I think most of us are very familiar with the following scripture mainly used today to disarm any criticism pointing at self, or what we hold dear, or are connected to, irrespective of whether it's of constructive or pulling down content:
Matthew 7:3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Suppose, beyond a common metaphor, in this passage Jesus was referring to our spiritual eye like we understand Jesus to be residing in our (spiritual) heart? Like when Jesus was referring to the spiritual temple when He spoke about His body? Or Him being the spiritual bread, the spiritual table and door, and so on? Isn't it clear, scripture is talking about spiritual eyes when it is referring to receiving revelation or discernment (seeing things spiritually)? Which puts us in a different seat of judgement when we come to exposing the enemy outside our own comfort zone; in relation to error, deception, the apostasy, or just plain "going off the rails"! It may also mean we can no longer justify our well primed and refined religious stance! Because it may mean looking at the beam in our own eye first! Then dealing with it, before when and if we redirect our artillery towards others "out there"!
Easy to expose a movement, or group, or doctrine, independent of our own home base, than see an enemy alive and well at home, or in our own life or sphere of interest, because it has outwitted us by learning to coexist on equal "friendly" terms, over a long period of time, undetected, duplicating our very aspirations, habits, and personality. Obscuring our vision to the real full situation, because we have been trained and sensitized to see the more obvious outward conditions and manifestations.
How many are crusading against the rot down the road, or "over there"? How many pray against the evil in a community, or warfare against the principalities and powers over a certain place, or bring down the strongman in another domain, or are busy binding this or binding that, casting out this and casting out that, in or over others, and places? Always seeing the enemy at a distance, but never in the midst. Always over looking the real threat, the most dangerous elusive enemy ... within?
Better to apply the word of God to our own lives first, before we apply it to our "competitors". Better to try the spirits in our own midst, before pointing at the wicked ones over yonder.
However, this can be quite awkward for some to see. First, we have those (of whom some are my own friends by the way!) who actually use the Greek to undermine our English Bible. Now these people must be extremely clever as they are more apt at knowing the Greek than Jesus, Paul or the rest of the apostles (who spoke Greek by the way!) as they claim to know what the originals said, which have all since perished through centuries of time. What they fail to understand is Jesus, Paul and the rest of the apostles did not use the originals. In fact, it would be highly unlikely if they ever knew where the original penned, God breathed, autographs could be found. You see, Jesus, Paul, and the rest of the apostles used copies of copies of the originals, just as we still do today.
So claiming to convey or know the originals is as absurd as claiming to know the precise amount of fish in the sea. Yet they still have an audience (amazing what charisma and the gift of the gab can do?) and believe they are really doing the Lord a service by undermining (through naivety and ignorance) what He inspired to be written, and what He has preserved, and what He has kept, as the written scriptures, in the universal language of our day, in His book of life.
What if antichrist was not only a man but a spirit? F'instance, are you aware the word antichrist only appears four times in scripture and is never spelt with a capital A? Three times in the epistle of 1st John and once in the epistle of 2nd John. The only place it clearly refers to a 'coming man' in scripture is 1 John 2:18. But it also says there are, and implies there will be, many antichrists. From the other three verses do we learn clearly antichrist is a spirit. Why has there been such an emphasis on the antichrist as a future man only revealed at a given time, when there has been little said about the spirit of antichrist coexisting on planet earth (present tense), which denies the Lord Jesus was a man as well as being God. This opens up a can of worms and is why many are now denying, questioning, or undermining Jesus' divinity, His shed blood, and His complete finished work on the cross. The modern bibles are leading the way. For if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Then we still have others who only see movements, cults, and others as being 'out there', without a devil being pinpointed. Easy targets to throw stones at or take cheap shots. But what is man was not our enemy but deceiving seducing spirits as the New Testament clearly shows? What if the "half God said" club was more than a movement but a spirit? What if the Alexandrian Cult (using credentials and academic ability as an excuse to qualify in knowing truth above a brother) was more than just a cult but a spirit? What if much we put down to as deception, false doctrine, and apostasy, is just the result of a deceiving spirit (not just a another "school of thought") masquerading in many forms, to infiltrate into our own circle if possible, even lives, by coming as another or better guise?
F'instance, let's be ruthlessly honest? Is there any intellectual pride, spiritual ambition, a competitive attitude, another agenda, guile, hidden ulterior motives, religious subterfuge, political cover-ups, fear of letting go of tradition because of repercussion from friends or family, or fear of loosing financial support, residing deep in our own personal lives because we can't stomach everything the truth stands for? Inconvenient truth that is! Truth that's in the face! What the enemy could use as a loophole, and unbeknowingly intrude into our "sanctuary"? Even with the appearance of angelic innocence?
Lucifer - the counterfeit light:
Lucifer is omitted in most modern translations and renamed Day Star. This is incredible as Lucifer is replaced with a reference to Jesus, making them both one and the same. Can you see how the god of this age, Lucifer, corresponding with the Christ or the Spirit Jesus (the other Jesus mentioned in scripture), working through the lodges and secret societies, eastern mysticism and the New Age Movement, paves the way for the Man of Sin to manifest himself. This is because the new versions are always gathering momentum as they digress into a universal one world bible, suiting all, except 'born again' bible believing fundamentalists. (Dum dedum dum!!) The Day Star, the "Christ", the "Jesus", the One, these groups are referring to, is non other than antichrist. A replacement for Jesus in other words!
To have a clear understanding of this today, we first need to get away from the New World concept of the word anti. You see we have been conditioned, one way or another, into having a 'positive/negative' thought system entrenched into us. We have been subtlety programmed by the media, places of employment, and the education system, into a buying, selling, pitch, mode. A 'pros and cons', 'pluses and minus's', frame of mind. A form of opportunism ... "what's in it for me!?" Adding up the pluses hoping they out weigh the negatives, before we make a decision. Subconsciously, without considering whether it has any virtue or moral substance to its content. Nothing to do with consulting the Lord first, or finding His will. Nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. But everything to do with the self-improvement industry, the prevalent demeanour of self-importance, marketing ploys and empire building.
So when we hear the word "anti" we automatically think upon it in terms of "being against" which is only half of the story. This keeps things clear-cut into two categories, like' good and evil', 'for and against', and as mentioned, 'positive and negative', and so forth. So we see things as either 'stark grotesque evil' or 'nice and attractive', with the absence of a Trojan horse, a fifth columnist element, a questionable angle of light, or an infiltrating look-alike.
But what if the Devil appeared as an angel of light and promoted light? Even goodness? This would put things in a totally different perspective. And this is precisely the meaning of his original name Lucifer ... bearer of light. An evil dark being called Satan, the Devil, masquerading behind the appearance of "good". Also, renaming his fallen darkened hosts in the new versions as demons (meaning lesser gods under himself, the chief god of this world) questioning the connection between Lucifer and devils (our arch-enemies), both only rendered in the KJV. This is more than just "interesting stuff!!"
This means we would have to be more cautious and discerning for what would appear good than what appears evil, as evil would be much more obvious. Also, we would have to be aware at all times that what is 'good and perfect' is inspired and comes directly from God, whereas what is 'good and evil' is inspired and influenced from Satan, whether it comes directly from him, or indirectly.
Beware of the overly good:
Satan means one who opposes. Our enemy. Our adversary. Our opposition. But if Satan had of entered the Garden in a blatant threatening way; let's say undisguised, with a plundering army of caricatured angelic hoards, the first thing Adam and Eve would've done would've been to cry out to the Lord for help. Then no doubt Satan would've promptly found himself in the minority, up against the multitude armies of Heaven.
But to be out in the open like this would mean blowing his cover. So through cunning and craft Satan needed to come under another guise, an appearance that could match the bona fide. A replacement, to take God's place. Which brings us back to a true original meaning of the word anti ... to replace, to substitute.
The Devil had to enter a physically erect creature similar to man, like the Serpent, who was different from all other creatures, who could talk, have human like intelligence, stood above the beasts like man, and come as a replacement for the Lord walking in the cool of the day, seducing man through "good intentions".
Infiltration is the name of the game. Then divide and conquer. What better way than by using good and evil together. Always playing one off against the other. Then, appearing from the centre with the solution (an excuse to offer the poison) ... "Hath God said??" "Is God's word perfect??" "Can it be trusted??" "You need a higher opinion!!" "Another school of thought!!" "Another version of the truth!!"
So Eve took the bait and Adam wimpishly followed. And how many are taking the bait today, in the name of Jesus, without going to the word.
If the Devil can appear as an angel of light, then so too can his ministers appear as ministers of light.
Over the recent years have we been hearing horror stories of people coming out of the closet, with their reports of child abuse at its worst, committed by people (in a lot of cases) who have appeared role models and pillars in the community. Even mass rapists and mass murderers have shocked us by their well presented, well mannered, well educated, aura, being the least expected in the community to commit such crimes. Not to mention well meaning devoted people in society, whether as humanistic or religious role-models, promoting the good and well being of mankind. Sadly, outside the word of God, offering no eternal security whatsoever. Because outside of Christ the scriptures say all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Even sincerity or good intentions is not enough.
The issue therefore is the scriptural one ... "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?"
We can either ignore Him in our good deeds and acts of human kindness, or we can call out to Him by falling on our faces and, realizing ... the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.
There are many nuns and humanitarians who excel and are devoted to good, but the Lord without guile (meaning possessing no ulterior agendas) weighs the motives. We mustn't say anything negative about saintly people, while Mother Teresa would let Hindus die as Hindus, without eternal security, and pray to the Queen of Heaven. And Princess Di had no hesitation contacting clairvoyance's or admitting adultery when she got caught out. Then again, even "the plowing of the wicked, is sin". Which means, a man going about his business, not apparently hurting anyone, is still considered sin by God, when he is not honouring or acknowledging his Maker through His Son in his everyday affairs.
The great tragedy is multitudes will buy into this end time lie; a replacement for God, a substitute for the Son of God, an antichrist, and be snared. Because it will appear good, plausible, appropriate, and beneficial for all mankind.
Which brings us to the "Man of Peace", clothed in white, ruling from the City built on seven hills, in a palace adorned in scarlet and gold, promoting unity of all nations and all religions, riding on the emerging Beast of the New Europe ... the Pope of Rome himself (or maybe his predecessor?). For upon his mitre above his forehead is written in latin (and adding up to 666), translated ... "substitute for the Son of God". Antichrist in other words.
The written word of God makes a distinction ... Lucifer, the pseudo light, or Jesus, the true light! Remove Lucifer from the Bible, and you remove a very vital link in scripture, while the Beast walks in.
Now let's not get too carried away with a more obvious enemy out there (although multitudes still cannot see it). Let's take a look a little closer to home and deal with the enemy within.
Another spirit in the midst:
Acts 16:17. "The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation."
In this passage of scripture do we find a young unmarried woman (damsel) making a bit of commotion, deliberately drawing attention to someone for a specific reason. At first it appears this "someone" is Paul and Silas as everything this girl proclaimed in regards to these men was true, and factually speaking, could not be faulted.
"These men (Paul and Silas) are the servants of the most high God"!
A true statement! As was Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18), as was Abraham (14:19), as were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 3:26), as too in this new testament were Paul and Silas ... servants of the most high God!
... "which shew unto us (the unsaved populace) the way of salvation"!
Another true statement! Paul and Silas were indeed the servants of the most high God, pointing people to Christ, who is the way unto salvation.
Surely this gifted girl was a blessing as she was assisting the cause of Christ by giving Paul and Silas a helping hand to their ministry, encouraging people to hear and to respond to their message? A big plus for the kingdom of God would one think?
Even though this girl appeared to be in a supportive role by saying what was true, it wasn't long after this episode commenced did it begin to dawn on Paul something was amiss as his spirit was not at peace with the situation, discerning another spirit alien to the Spirit of God.
True, what the girl was saying was correct and factual. However, it became apparent to Paul the spirit in which this girl was operating in was not a true spirit, the Spirit of truth, the only agency sent by God to lead us into all truth. Therefore, even though she outwardly appeared true, spiritually she was not, as the spirit acting through this girl was compromising the truth.
How was the spirit compromising the truth? Because, in essence, what this spirit was really saying was "fortune telling is compatible along side preaching the gospel!"
In other words, this spirit was using the credibility of two genuine Bible preachers of the gospel to get the approval towards someone who was actually promoting the occult. This way Satan could remain camouflaged by two apparently "naive" preachers who were out to win people to the gospel, hopefully at any expense, even if it meant at the expense of truth. This would create a mixture where Satan could function as a servant clothed in false righteousness, in the midst of the company of believers, sowing seeds of deception and confusion with no definition to the truth.
However, Paul being a man of conviction, in touch with his Lord, who was not going to preach the gospel at the expense of truth, (or in pretence like many today) because he might offend some. After a period of time Paul was realizing this spirit was not actually promoting them on the same level, but through commotion and drawing attention, was it placing the girl and her message in the centre of the public arena. She was actually drawing attention to her own supernatural gifting and the effectiveness of the occult. The end result would've been a profit for her pimps as well as a deceived audience, if a discerning man of God had not intervened.
Enough was enough, so Paul cast out of this girl the deceiving spirit, to the profiteers hurt, who then nastily turned on Paul and Silas. A picture of when true believers don't tolerate Jezebel in their midst whatsoever, and wont waver from declaring a clear scriptural message of salvation, which in the end bears much fruit. It is also a picture of what happens to believers persecution wise, when they refuse to compromise, but instead make a stand for the truth.
Today, because of scriptural ignorance and a lack of spiritual discernment, do Christians fail to see parallels, and believe when someone is promoting Christianity irrespective of a scriptural base or bearing right fruit, is it a good thing (the old "end justifies the means" concept!), and therefore the counterfeit runs riot going largely unchecked. Hence, the enemy within! By the usage of Christianized pagan days as a platform for the gospel. False signs and wonders in "Christian" meetings going unquestioned.
Hypnotic suggestion done in the name of Jesus, bringing congregations under a mass deluding spirit. Hidden soothsaying and fortune telling techniques masquerading as words and prophecy spoken over people for guidance. Invented visions and dreams incorporating scripture to make it look biblical. Meetings ending in complete bedlam because the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus is made reference to. Predictions made by so-called men of God when adjustments can be made at a later date when they don't come to pass (e.g. Y2K or the predictions of a region being wiped out by an earthquake before a certain date). We could go on and on! All because man listens to man instead of listening to God direct, through personal conviction and revelation from the scripture. Proving ... there are not many Bereans today, but many Nicolaitans.
Steve Van Nattan-- Balaam's Ass Speaks-- I want to add another alien spirit here. This is the spirit of false conversions. Altar calls are long and emotional, and people walk the aisles. The pastor does only enough follow up later to get the "convert" baptized and counted on the church rolls and his resume tally of success. The new "convert" was never born again, and the assembly goes on merrily boasting of all the people who got saved and baptized in their church. This was fostered mightily by Jack Hyles and his devil, and has been duplicated in thousands of so called Fundamental Baptist churches. There is a spirit of antichrist preaching the right thing, but in the power of Satan. Thus, these churches are populated by spiritual babies and sin.
How many accentuate the lovey-dovey by over emphasizing the scriptures on "love", ignoring or soft peddling the gutsy scriptures on being deceived and not rightly dividing the word of God (emphasis mine)?
Psalms 138:2 ... for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Jeremiah 14:14. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 23:25. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
Jeremiah 23:26. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart
Matt. 7:21-24. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them (being a doer of the word), I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mark 8:12. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
We have the scriptures (Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read). We have the Holy Ghost (who will fill us if we ask) who is in agreement with the word and will lead us into all truth. As well as endow us with Divine power to overcome our weaknesses and to have boldness to witness. Brothers encouraging each other in the word is encouraged. A sign is not necessary. Neither is a human go-between. The Lord has given us the bare essentials. Anything else is a substitute and needs to be exposed and given the (personal) heave-ho treatment.
The enemy may be out there and driving or deceiving our religious "competitors". Let's save our stones! What about the enemy within?