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Who’s really in control here?-  Full Authority to the ALL-Mighty God
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
heavenly

I am so short of eloquent speech and slow to higher learning. Sometimes it takes nearly a truck ramming me down to get my attention. Therefore I thank and praise my King for being so very patient and brilliantly subtle with His prompts to me. Sometimes not so subtle, but always blessed.

Where to begin? It has been a famine of sorts for my personal available time in the word.Slowly digesting it and taking it in has been on rare occasions of late I am sorry to say. Every week the Torah portion is readily and thankfully consumed but it all goes by so quickly and then its back to the hustle and bustle. Over this famine like period though, I have realized that the Lord was ever speaking and illuminating. There has been an intensely wonderful conception and delivery of what to me has been no small revelation as of late,  and it has not come to pass  without some very painful birth-pangs. Therefore I know now that it is worthwhile to take the time to document and share however long it takes.

Is there a lie going forth in this world that has given many of us the impression that the destroyer and that evil has more power than in reality it/he actually does? Is there a veil between God’s children and the ultimate acknowledgment that He is absolute and sovereign even when it comes to ‘bad things’ which come our way? What benefit would the evil in the world obtain with this lie and veil between us and God?

John 8; 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.44 You are of father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 

[ “murderer” found this once in the Gospels = anthropoktonos– a manslayer –> anthropos – man-faced, i.e. a human being and kteino (to kill).]

In short this inquiry is regarding Who is really in control? Is there an ultimate answer? Is the case and fact that everything no matter what it may be comes from God Almighty? or, is there power in the demonic forces of darkness present in this world? and, to what extent to these forces have authority in our lives?

hiding the truth

Let me begin with this ‘disclaimer’. For (once again) in my personal life, certain “beliefs I hold to” have been misread and distorted through the avenue of lashan hara, inaccurate presumptions, misjudgment, and so on.

I do believe in what I know as being called “spiritual warfare”. I do believe there is a so called adversary or ‘devil’ of sorts, though not necessarily in the red cape pitchfork persona. I do believe there are powers of darkness contrary to HaShem at work in this world and in people. My intention here is to allow God’s word to strengthen and empower the reader to face such things with a clearer perspective on how to ‘fight back’against such ‘entities’. If God wills it.

First, let us investigate ‘demons’ or the adversary (devil) in scripture….but while we do I want you to always have in the back of your mind these thoughts/questions: Whose really in charge here? Where does the power and control come from?

הַשָּׂטָן

The Hebrew above reads ha’satan. Letter hey meaning “The” and satan meaning- adversary;an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch-enemy of good.

(Bear in mind the book of Yoav (Job) is speculated to have been written either near the same period or even before the Torah- five books of Moses.)

Yoav 1; 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (הַשָּׂטָן)  also came among them. The Lord said to Satan  “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.

Points and Questions to ponder:

  • Satan is obedient to God in that he comes to present himself before him at the appointed time (a certain day).
  • God initiates this topic of His servant Job, why? Why is God ‘provoking’ the adversary?
  • Job is protected from the adversary because God has a hedge of protection around him and all that he has. It is God’s to provide and God’s to remove.
  • God lifts the hedge of protection from Job and HE GRANTS THE DEVIL THE POWER TO EFFECT JOBS LIFE. Additionally He is NOT permitted to TAKE his LIFE (i.e. actually kill Job.)
  • Why is this happening? Rewind to verse 3….and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east. And flash forward to chapter 42 verse 10 The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. 11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the Lord had brought on him.  
  • God was not happy with the counsel of Yoav’s friends. We may go back to this but in short they are basically telling Yoav that he must have sinned somehow to exact such punishment. It was something within his control which caused these terrible things to happen to him. God ‘speaking, from Chapter 42; verse 7……“My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.”

 

rose blossom

 

There are several other instances where men are called “satan’s” or adversaries. There is even one place in the book of Bemidbar (Numbers) where an angel of the Lord is called a “satan” or adversary when he stood in the way of the wicked Balaam on his way to curse the Children of Israel.

Bemidbar (Numbers) 22 But God was angry because he (Balaam) was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as an adversary (לְשָׂטָן ) against him.

…..31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary (לְשָׂטָן ) , because your way was contrary to me.

But for the context of this inquiry we’ll continue with the scriptures referring to “the adversary” (devil).

There is a point in the book of I Chronicles, chapter 21 when the word Satan is mentioned. The text says that King David, beloved of HaShem….is influenced (וַיָּסֶת – cuwth- properly to prick, that is, (figuratively) stimulate; by implication to seduce:—entice, move, persuade, provoke, remove, set on, stir up, take away.) by the satan to take a census of his people. So what? There is a lot in this text, let us explore it:

I Chronicles 21; 1 Then Satan ( שָׂטָן) stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” Joab said, “May the Lord add to His people a hundred times as many as they are! But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why does my lord seek this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt to Israel?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore, Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. Joab gave the number of the census of all the people to David. And all Israel were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword; and Judah was 470,000 men who drew the sword. But he did not  number Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab. 7 God was displeased with this thing, so He struck Israel. David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

Now, there are two times in the Torah wherein censuses were taken. So why would is it so abhorrent that David would do this? Why would satan influence David to do this particular thing which is considered so offensive to HaShem? The censuses from the Torah were commanded by HaShem, not by a man. The first served several purposes. The children of Israel had just been liberated from a 200+ year period of slavery in Egypt and much longer exile there. God wants to ‘count his kids’ so to speak, much in the way a shepherd counts his flock after a long journey or situation where the flock became endangered (wolf attack for example). Additionally this gave each person the opportunity to come before HaShem and offer something that would be used in the construction of the Mishkan- Tabernacle (the silver shekel, which may have been used for the tenants in the courtyard.) The text itself explains that this accounting/ counting by the silver shekel was to be for the a memorial and for atonement for all the males 20 and up. This is for a certain age range, for the Children of Israel, at a certain time and place, for a particular purpose and it was commanded by God.

Shemot (Exodus) 30; 11 The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, so that there will be no plague among them when you number them. 13 This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the Lord. 14 Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the Lord. 15 The rich shall not pay more and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the Lord to make atonement for yourselves. 16 You shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”

This silver shekel is in fact what was counted. To the Lord we are not to be considered a number, therefore it was the ‘ransom’ itself which is counted not the person, that there not be a plague among them when they are counted. Did King David take into account that God had not called for this census? Did the census serve a Godly purpose or was it to glorify the King- with such a strong hold of sword bearing people ? Joab is considerably upset because of the fact that David has commanded even non covenant people to be counted in the census. The second Torah census is found in Bemidbar (Numbers) 1. This census is to evaluate how many able bodied men for war are found within each tribe.

Bemidbar ( Numbers) 1;1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.

why God

If this all seems extraneous to the concepts we set out to explore let’s consider the consequence for David’s succumbing to the seduction of satan. God presents David with a mercy, there must be a consequence but he allows the King to choose. The three options are 3 years of famine (which is likely unprepared for and would be devastating), three months in the hands of their enemies (who would surely be ruthless and likely dominate and eradicate an immense amount of David’s people) or three days by the sword of the Lord= pestilence (or plague) in the land. David chooses the sword of the Lord because he knows nature and his enemies will show no mercy but the Lord would be forgiving and would not devastate His people too long.

I Chronicles 21; 9 The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself 12 either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 13 David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell.15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.16 Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

Points and Questions to ponder:

  • Even the beloved of the Lord are susceptible to the temptations to cave into the enticements of the adversary. In this case I think it was the strength and might, the power of King David’s Kingdom and therefore the Glory of King David. [ Acts 13;22 After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ ]
  • Why would David do this? Why would God be so angered? Why would God offer David a choice for punishment? Why did all the people suffer when it was the king’s command?
  • Who was in control here? Satan influences, David chooses, God punishes but mercifully presents David with another choice, then God has mercy still….staying the plague when He the distress of the people comes to a height. Then what happens?
  • The strife within his kingdom and among his people causes David to repent, he takes responsibility and asks for forgiveness. Soon after in this book of the bible we read about the beginning of the arrangements for the construction of the Holy Temple. Before this task could even be approached by King David (whose Son Shlomo- Solomon completes this honor) there has to be a complete surrender of all his own glorification.
  • Did God see something within David that needed to be dealt with and reconciled? Were there ‘innocent  bystanders’ who suffered and even died for the cleansing of this kingdom of men to make a pure place for a kingdom onto Hashem? Is that fair? Was HaShem fair in His dealings?
  • Sometimes things can happen in our lives which seem extreme or unfair, sometimes it for a cleansing which must take place. The adversary’s motives were to appeal to mans pride and glory, distorting God’s will and causing men to forget His magnification as being of foremost importance. The Lords motives are to remove the hidden hindrances separating a Holy God from His beloved people.
  • The adversary manipulates using our own nature. God displays His mercy and compassion.

 

trust

Let us look at a situation where once again an adversary appeals to man’s natural prideful tendencies, where man is given a chance to choose or to reason that he knows best .

Bereshit (Genesis) 3;1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

  • The serpent is a created being. God created him as well as everything else in the garden. God created the trees and commanded that Adam and Chavah enjoy each and every one of their fruits, except for the one tree He made to be a boundary, a limit, His tree to command as He pleased regarding.
  • The serpent began his deceptions by using conversation with Chavah. He appealed to her intellect and to her logic. He drew from her ‘biblical’ knowledge so to speak- to the understanding of God’s commandments- and he distorted His words.
  • Then the choice was up to Chavah. She could reason within her own mind what was good for her and her family as she saw it or she could obey God’s commandment. Whether she understood it completely or not she could have just obeyed her King and done what He asked, the one thing He withheld from her and Adam she could have respected knowing He had a better purpose in store for them for the future.
  • She chose to choose her own glory. She devised that she had best judged the situation and it was more reasonable just to take the forbidden and make use of it. She loved God, she was a child of God and the forbidden meant nothing foul to her, “that’s not what it means to me”. Therefore she decided she knew best. Better than God.

tree

Bereshit (Genesis) 3;  Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself. 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  

  • The man and woman are uncovered, God’s protection has left them. They have chosen to disobey God and have hearkened to their own sensibility and to the adversary’s voice. There is a fear coming from Adam about the punishment from God. There is hiding and then there is blame shifting.  Notice that Adam doesn’t blame the serpent, he blames Chavah. Or does he? In fact, Adam is blaming God. It is God who gave Chavah to him. He is aware of the ultimate charge of God. Chavah in turn does not blame anyone. That’s right she doesn’t blame the serpent she makes excuses for her own actions by explaining that she was deceived. Behind this deception is the serpent, but Chavah is still reasoning in her own way.

Bereshit (Genesis) 3; 14 The Lord God said to the serpent“Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;  and you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

  • God doles out judgment in accordance with responsibility. Foremost the serpent is cast down. Whatever form he came before this incident at this point he is cursed to his belly. He is cursed to eat dust and there is a hostility between the woman and her seed and the adversary from this point on until his ultimate defeat. Next God turns to Chavah who is the apparent instigator in this whole situation. Note, he does not curse Chavah. God places a punishment upon Chavah. So too with Adam, God reminds him that he was meant to be the leader in obedience and proper teaching/application of His commandments and because of his failure to live up to this role and to perhaps protect his wife from her delusions of grandeur he too is punished (not cursed). The greatest punishment of all is one we too suffer from as descendants of Adam and Chavah. This punishment? Exile and separation from our original communion and unity with God in the garden.
  • God is the creator of all things, this temptation originates from the existence of the tree itself. The adversary distorts the presence of the tree which was meant to be a reminder of Gods sovereign right over all things, and even of His graciousness and generosity…but this is all distorted when the forked tongue of those contrary to God’s laws and human pride and the desire to reason on our own way’s becomes intermingled and bad choices are made. The message of the tree was not received and understood.  There were, and are, lasting consequences to those choices.
  • Have you noticed that in many of these scriptures (keep an eye out as we continue through this) that with the presence of these adversaries and accusers there is also a present angel of the Lord and some connection to the sword?

dark clouds

 

Another instance in scripture is in Tehillim (Psalms) 109, the Psalmist is actually asking God to appoint a satan (adversary) over an enemy of his. This prayer upon first reading is extremely harsh.

Tehillim (Psalms)109; 6 Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser (וְשָׂטָן)  stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

Harsh and it goes on. Why would the Psalmist ask God such things? (Minding, the Psalmist asks God to appoint the satan for God is in command of ‘him’.) This is personal, the Psalmist has been degraded, abused and falsely slandered.

Tehillim (Psalms) 109;For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me without cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; but I am in prayer.Thus they have repaid me evil for good and hatred for my love.

Personal but there is more to it. This enemy is a personal foe but these are also enemies of what is light and good, the behavior is harmful to the point of murderous and this is not a plea for just personal vindication,it is a case against a being in total opposition to the values of the Kingdom.

 

strengthen each other

 

 

Tehillim 109; 16 Because he did not remember to show loving kindness, but persecuted the afflicted and needy man, and the despondent in heart, to put them to death.17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; and he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, and it entered into his body like water and like oil into his bones.

The Psalmist is appealing to the One Who is in control, knowing God is a just King, He is asked to show the kindness these enemies could not show. The prayer of the Psalmist, though at first sounded harsh…is about God’s hand of loving kindness being displayed when man himself failed to present such an attribute. In the end it is not some foreign force or being assigned punish that the Psalmist is asking to exact punishment upon his foes….in the end all the Psalmist does is acknowledge that it is these men’s behavior in their lives they will bear. It is their own curses, shame and dishonor which will clothe and cover them. The wicked deeds they performed in life, the merciless failures at compassion will themselves become their doom.

Tehillim 109; 26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your loving kindness27  And let them know that this is Your handYou, Lord, have done it. 28 Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, they shall be ashamed, but Your servant shall be glad. 29  Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, and let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.

Points and Questions to ponder:

  • How does one appropriately pray even against an evildoer? How does one supplicate HaShem when wronged? When is it right to approach HaShem for justice?
  • Glorifying God through the circumstance, convinced that His loving, kind, blessed ways are contrary to the snares, curses and terrorism of those who come against us…is a great way to open the doors for justice which we alone are not entitled to pursue.
  • When we are walking with and toward HaShem we will be attacked by human beings who are living contrary to a Godly existence.Human beings who may be being seduced by an adversary to themselves become adverse.
  • The deeds we put forth in this life are answered for in the world to come. We will either be clothed in the splendor of the good deeds HaShem inspired, enabled and encouraged us to produce or we will be clothed with our curses, evil speech, haughtiness, and all the pain we inflicted upon others. (Proverbs 31;Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.31 Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.)

resisting

 

So we see that there is a certain force at work. It seems to be a specific entity. This entity seems exist in the physical and spiritual sense as he is commanded to show up before God when he is expected and when he is asked by God to do something or commanded not to do something he must obey. In the vision of Zechariah we can clearly read about the Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) and his purpose for being there is to accuse him (remember the Kohen gadol is specifically a representative of the Children of Israel. Everything he does is in service to God on their behalf.) This word for accuse itself IS שִׂטְנ– satan- A primitive root; to attack, (figuratively) accuse:—(be an) adversary, resist. It contains the same Hebrew letters of the word we’d been previously looking over but has differing vowels and as you can see it doesn’t refer to THE satan specifically. It is a verb not an noun or adjective. Ha’Satan (the devil) stands at Joshua’s right hand to satan him, to attack and accuse him before God.

Zechariah 3; 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan (הַשָּׂטָן ) standing at his right hand to accuse (לְשִׂטְנוֹ) him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.”
The Lord responds directly to the devil and rebukes him.
יִגְעַר -ga’ar- A primitive root; to chide:—corrupt, rebuke, reprove.
He says that He has already chosen (הַבֹּחֵר-bachar-A primitive root; properly to try, that is, (by implication) select:—acceptable, appoint, choose (choice), excellent, join, be rather, require.)
…. His people, His land and His Holy City forever to be where His heart and eyes are fixed. That they are like unto a firebrand rescued from the flames of the fruit of the devil’s work within the land (the rebellion, the war, the destruction and division among the people.)
The Kohen Joshua’s garments are soiled, and God commands that said garments be removed and God removes his (and that of the people whom he represents) iniquity and God clothes him in festival garments.
God removes our filthy garments (remember our deeds are what we clothe ourselves in), the accuser may point out what we have done…and we all have failed and fallen short, soiled our garments with the excrement of sin, but God removes הָסִירוּ– suwr-  A primitive root; to turn off (literally or figuratively):—be [-head], bring, call back, decline, depart, eschew, get [you], go (aside), X grievous, lay away (by), leave undone, be past, pluck away, put (away, down), rebel, remove (to and fro), revolt, X be sour, take (away, off), turn (aside, away, in), withdraw, be without…. our filthy garments if we come in repentance.
God takes away our iniquity עֲוֹנֶ-avon- perversity, that is, (moral) evil:—fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin….to pass before Him. God הֶעֱבַרְתִּי-abar- to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation):—alienate, alter, deliver, do away,   escape, (make) go (away, beyond, by, forth, his way, in, on, over, through), have away (more), overrun, make partition, (cause to, give, make to, over) pass ( along, away, beyond, by, on, out, over, through), cause to perish, put away, rage,  remove, send over, set apart,  take (away)…. He kills our iniquity- in effect putting away once more the adversary’s temporary influence in our lives.
God does all this and then He grants Joshua a new array, clean clothing without soil, ceremonially pure headdress and a chance…a chance to agree to walk in His ways a repentant and just judge of His House.
The word for ‘clothe’ is וְהַלְבֵּשׁlabash- wrap around, that is, (by implication) to put on a garment or clothe (oneself, or another), literally or figuratively:—(in) apparel, arm, array (self), clothe (self), come upon, put (on, upon), wear….it is true that even the garments of the High Priest would atone for the Children of Israel, and that he was not only a leader in spiritual matters but he is also a protector a guardian of the Holy and warrior for the Lord.  It is as if the Lord has removed the soil and is now honorably arming His warrior Priest. He will head the leadership and facilitate the redemption and repentance and restoration for the people after all of their troubles.
The word for ‘mantle’ is  מַחֲלָצוֹת– machalatsah-a mantle (as easily drawn off):—changeable suit of apparel, change of raiment. This change of clothes is only found one other place in the Tanakh, Isaiah 3;22….a passage which speaks of the many graces and decorations the children of Israel had been donned with, that they were being stripped of by God….and now, He restores their covering of honor.

prayer

 

Points and Questions to ponder:
  • We all have sinned and fallen  short: Romans 3; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… yet we have the choice to return and repent, God will not reject a genuine desire for change:  Joel 2;11 The Lord utters His voice before His army; surely His camp is very great, for strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, and who can endure it? 12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord“Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13 And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and relenting of evil.
  • The accuser stands ready all the time to stand before God and and shew forth all our sins and shortcomings: Revelation 12;10 “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.” BUT we also have one who speaks on our behalf. If we have known him and loved him and live abiding in his commandments he will never cease to plead our case before the Father: I John 2;and if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
  • There is a lie that has been and will continue to go out before the end of days, that there is a limit and a threshold for God’s forgiveness unto the truly repentant sinner. The truth is powerful if one can receive it. The truth is that no matter how much you have cursed, denied, destroyed, harmed, violated HaShem….if you turn, even in the last minute of your life in sincerity and SEE Him and believe asking Him to save you, you will have salvation. Do not doubt it, do not forget it, and let it inspire you NOW to draw unto a God such as this! 2 Corinthians 2 : Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.10 But one whom you forgive anything, I also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. case in point: Luke 23; 39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Anointed? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed  justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him,“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” 
  • So ultimately, Who is in control here? There are schemes, deceptions, accusations that swirl all around us each day….sometimes they are coming from people, places, things that seem to be totally contrary to God, BUT if these trials and tests end up making us come to a place of acknowledgment, repentance and connection to HaShem in Whose hand and control was it all in truth?
There are angels, there are demons, there is an evil that is present in the world, there is a darkness, there is also a light which is constantly growing….so what conclusions can we come to? Does everything in fact come from God? What about sad things, what about hurtful things? Do our pains come from God? Does death? Or is it just the ‘bad guys’ winning and flexing their power and their own control when bad things happen? Of what advantage to we have knowing there are these forces at work? What benefit would there be IF it were in fact true that we could entrust each and EVERY occurrence, good or bad into the hand of Hashem and His ultimate plan for EVEN those things? Let’s look into some scriptures:
Deuteronomy 32;39 ‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
  • The devil does not kill people. He does not have the power to. Sometimes people are influenced and unfortunately can not hear the ever present voice of HaShem, ever drawing them closer to the choices of light and life, sometimes they go to the other road and give up their lives or God forbid…take another life. Sometimes lives are lost and it is unfathomable for most, I know that I have no personal experience in situations of, for example, terror attacks where there are child victims. This is a situation of a total disconnect from HaShem on the side of the terrorist, He has no chance to reach the murderer for there is no avenue to be heard- then their distorted sense of humanity and morality bears the horrid fruit of violence and a life is taken. The family members are left behind to mourn and come to terms with HaShem regarding reasons they may never fully understand.

 

lightning flash

 

  • I want you to hear the words of Naphtali Frenkel’s mother, a teenage Israeli boy who was murdered in 2014, after 18 days of searching the bodies of Naphtali and two of his friends were found in a shallow grave. This transcript is from a video message recorded after the death and mourning for her son. She is beautiful, she is smiling, she is vibrant with light : “Those 18 days were filled with the darkest hours but also amazing hours, we discovered our family our friends our community our country our people….people all over were saying these are not just your boys, these are our children. Sometimes I as myself ‘was this just an illusion?’, and I had this image of a person walking in the dark and its raining and they’re stumbling and they’re figuring our their way, don’t see anything, and for a second there’s lighting. In that second they see the reality of their surroundings, it helps them guide their way. We had days and days of lightning, it was no illusion, what we saw there ourselves we were a part of something huge we were part of a people, a true family, that’s for real…..“Cain asks, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ I think the answer came out loud and clear. We are one family and I am my brother’s keeper. Even if day to day life doesn’t feel like this, what we saw was real. Rosh HaShana is coming. Let’s all choose an act, large or small, to keep the spirit of those days alive. We went out searching for the boys and we discovered ourselves.”
  • To give the “devil did it” statement in any case, is in reality to empower adversaries in your life. If one can come to the understanding that even in life and death God is in complete control and that knowing His nature for the eventual and exponential good in our situations….perhaps we too can accept our losses with such vibrancy and even be empowered to encourage others to shine through theirs.

 

growing brave
2 Corinthians 7; 10 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong!
  • The sorrow which comes from God produces repentance, salvation, earnestness, self-vindication, holy fear, zeal and avenging of wrong! There is sorrow, this scripture tells us that it does sometimes in fact come as a message from HaShem and it serves a purpose. It is meant to teach us, to purify us, to perfect us.
  • This is a message which has changed my life. It has allowed me to personally embrace that all that comes forth in this life is ultimately from HaShem, even bad things….and they serve a purpose. They are a message from HaShem. It is our choice to acknowledge this in clarity and then begin the growth process of sorting out these messages, or to ignore God’s control in all situations and blame some other being or force enabling our own destruction:”Other people are also free agents, yet everything they do is ultimately controlled by God. If someone insults you or in some way harms you, know that this has been sent by God as a way to cleanse your soul. If things go against you, be patient. When you accept everything as God’s will, this causes the veil of concealment to be removed, thus manifesting God’s control over all creation..”..,.Everything we experience is actually a communication from God. This includes our inner thoughts and feelings. Even negative thoughts and feelings – heaviness, lack of enthusiasm, depression and the like – are from God. Everything you hear, see, or experience in life, whether from people you know or from complete strangers, is a call to you from God. Even unclear or contradictory messages are sent with a purpose: to give us choice and free will in order to test us. The way to sort out which messages we should follow and which we should ignore is by evaluating everything in the light of Torah.”20th century Polish Breslover Chassid, Rabbi Yitzhak Breiter
Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity. he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.
  • Do good things happen to good people? Do bad things happen to bad people? We know that there are no statistics to answer those questions except to say good and bad happens to all kinds of people. Sometimes it feels as though the negative messages are continual and there is no good that can ever come in our lives. Sometimes it seems as though truly unrighteous and blasphemous people prosper and flourish. I think it is fortunate for us that we can not see the end at the transition of times… if we knew what the outcome of our challenges would be what growth could we possibly obtain. We can not see when the wicked prosper in this life what their ultimate outcome will be, and likewise we can not see the great purpose for our own struggles:

    Tehillim (Psalms) 73;1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!
    But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps had almost slipped.
    3 For I was envious of the arrogant I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat.
    5 They are not in trouble men, nor are they plagued like mankind.
    Therefore pride is their necklace; the garment of violence covers them.
    Their eye bulges from fatness; the imaginations of heart run riot.
    They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; they speak from on high.
    They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return to this place, and waters of abundance are drunk by them.
    11 They say, “How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?”
    12 Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased  wealth.
    13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and washed my hands in innocence;
    14 For I have been stricken all day long and chastened every morning.                                             15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” behold, I would have betrayed the generation of Your children.
    16 When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight
    17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God; I perceived their end.
    18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.
    19 How they are destroyed in a moment! They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
    20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.       21 When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within,
    22 Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was a beast before You.
    23 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.
    24 With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory.                            25 Whom have I in heaven? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
    28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    That I may tell of all Your works.

    heart afire

 So let’s consider it, if we are truly walking the ways of HaShem, striving to be better every day, truly devoting all our resources to pursing the purpose He has destined for us here in this life….will we be effected by these satan’s and demons and adversaries? Will we be attacked? I am certain the people of God are attacked. We attack our own situations by giving in to our irritability and selfish tendencies, we are attacked by people who are close to us because there is jealousy and criticism, we are attacked by people who feel threatened by our work in the world, and yes we are targeted by the adversary because we tend to listen to his seduction .

IF we can start to understand that it is God’s power driving all things, His voice reaching out to us from even the dark times in our lives we can little by little strip these forces of all power they even seem to have and allow Him to truly be ALL-mighty. I’ve heard it said “boy you must be really doing something right if you’re being attacked by the devil so much, because you’re a threat to him in your service of God.”  I am not sure if that is the proper perspective. Maybe it could possibly be that because one is walking in tune with HaShem’s purposes he may become challenged through some experiences that God would like to hone Him through. Perhaps he is now held to a higher standard and thus might have more to overcome before his true status and authority in whatever position he feels called to is assumed. Maybe in fact its not the destroyer trying to derail his fruit, but rather God testing its quality and endurance? Or perhaps God knows of a future we can not fathom where we will need vaults of strength that can not be acquired by simply breezing through life, perhaps we are being tempered and trained for some future reckoning we’ll be prepared to face once having been tried and thus strengthened ? Read the following passages and bear in mind our question once again. Whose really in charge here? We know there is war, battle, and danger….adversity  and foe on the horizon but when God is in total control and you truly trust in that….there is a peace that is assured at least for those pockets of time in which you can be strengthened and invigorated by it!

Psalm 91; 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilenceHe will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 

You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

For you have made the Lord, my refuge, the Most High, your dwelling place 10 No evil will befall you,
nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.12 They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.16 “With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.”

Phare de "La Jument" lors d'une tempête. Erigé sur une pierre nommée la Jument, "Ar-Gazec" en breton. *** Local Caption *** Phare de "La Jument" et le gardien Théodore Malgorn. Le phare errigé en 1911 sur le rocher appelé "la Jument" ("Ar-Gazec",en Breton) est situé près de Ouessant dans le passage du Fromveur. Voir P 58 du livre "Tous les phares de France".

Let us revisit this concept of demons. What is a demon or devil? Looking into scripture one can find something very integral to understanding the extent of ‘their’ power and influence. In the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy). Moshe is leaving the people with the summation and expounding of the Torah. He speaks of the past, the present and the future. He explains how the people of God utterly betrayed Him and although He sheltered, guided, protected and provided for them all their way…they became idolatrous and worshiped the idols that they were commanded to abhor. They forgot the source of all things, of LIFE and of DEATH. Take a look at what he calls these idols:

לַשֵּׁדִים  – a daemon (as malignant):—devil.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32; They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread. 18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth.

He calls them devils. There was child sacrifice and all kinds of disgusting sexually perverse worship. There was worship which involved the transgression of every one of the commandments including crimes against each other. So their worship of these demons is akin to idolatry. To me this is personally eye opening. In past posts we’ve discussed the concept of idolatry being far and away from merely bowing down to a molten image in veneration. An idol becomes anything you put before your time, devotion, service, honor and regard for HaShem and His commandments. An idol can be anything which takes the place of esteem before the King of Kings. An idol can be your pride, your pursuit of wealth, addictions. That thing that makes you more glorious than another, that lack of a central focus on the service to and loving kindness for others in the world- which promotes healing in the world…can become an idol, might we say a demon? It makes sense. You’ve heard the term “I’ve got to face my demons,” to reckon with these unGodly and unbalanced drives and attributes which start to rule and command our lives. To dethrone these demons and to strip them of their control is to cease from idolatry and give the power and authority in all things to God to command. Put Him first more and more each and every day.

2 Timothy 2; 1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David,according to my gospel, 9 for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned. …14 Remind of these things, and solemnly charge  in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. ….19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” ….21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses  from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

You want to understand the method for disposing of the ‘demonic forces’ in life? Consider the text above. The author is speaking about numerous personal qualities and attributes of HUMAN BEINGS that are meant to be cleansed and others which are meant to be adopted. THIS is how one obtains sense and resists the snares of the devil. To be captive to his will is not that he is controlling us and has power making us , it is more that our unGodly attributes are playing into precisely what aligns with the ‘will’ of the devil and thus contrary to HaShem.

קָדוֹשׁsacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary:—holy (One), saint.

Consider the word Kadosh- the word means Holy, it means set apart. The Lord had designated His chosen people as a Kadosh nation. They were to go forth into the nations BUT He warned them to start out with a clean slate. When they were to enter the Land they were to first ‘call out peace’ unto the people there and next….clean up the place. In what would seem like a harsh command they were to remove all the peoples and all their practices at the point of the sword and burn the corrupted plunder. Harsh! Killing women and children! The Canaanites would desecrate their women sexually as and act of worship, they would take, as an act of worship,  their babies and children and ‘pass them through the fire’ offering them to the demon idols. This was a common practice before the sword of Israel even arrived and this sword was called forth to cleanse the Land at God’s behest. Why? Because precisely what happened He told them beforehand. They did not cleanse the land of the the people who supported the right to choose to end a young life before it began, even mothers. (Sound familiar to anything we see today?) The idolatrous practices clung to the people and infected them and they began to do the very things that God warned them would be their undoing.

Tehillim (Psalms) 106; 34 They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, 35 But they mingled with the nations and learned their practices,36 And served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, 38 And shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood. 39 Thus they became unclean in their practices, and played the harlot in their deeds.

temple light

 

My question was, how are we to understand the method for disposing of the ‘demonic forces’ in life? Separate from the secular world. We have to go to work, we have to go into populated areas, we can not avoid being casually exposed to commercials and other secular extensions in life ….so how do we accomplish this set-apart living? Prioritize, make less and less time for secular programming, sports, music, entertainment, indulgence. Make more and more time to read the bible, to pray, to study with fellows and to speak of the Glory of God. There is a balance, I am not proposing to judge another because the judgment begins in my own house. I am not, however, making this up:

Ya’acov (James) 4;1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “ He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you….

12 There is one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

Pay more attention to the messages He is sending us through our lives and experiences (all of them) and listen to what He is trying to ‘get across”. If you feel a nagging pull or influence by what you might perceive to be demonic or dark, try and evaluate how much of the world and its lures you are actually consuming. Separate yourself bit by bit, reach upward and inward and focus your attentions and investments in a higher spirituality and service to others in this life.  Resist the world and thus resist the devil and in effect draw near to God. As we look at what the Children of Israel did in defiance of God, let us look at our own defiance however slight. Read the next passage as I have and be warned and also warmed by the capacity for forgiveness and the understanding of the patient and loving nature of this King we so often put second to something or someone else.

Tehillim (Psalms) 106; 40 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against His people and He abhorred His inheritance. 41 Then He gave them into the hand of the nations, and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were subdued under their power. 43 Many times He would deliver them; they, however, were rebellious in their counsel, and so sank down in their iniquity. 44 Nevertheless He looked upon their distress when He heard their cry45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake, and relented according to the greatness of His loving kindness.

read the bible

We are in the world. We see around us such darkness gathering. Extremism, terrorism, violence, oppression, degradation, moral disintegration and it is a marvel. The nonsensical is presented as fact, the media is consumed with propaganda and censorship. The youth are corrupted from the schools and trained to forget history and regurgitate the ‘new political correct’.  We are in the world.

John 16; 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, an hour is coming, and has  come, for you to be scattered, each to his own, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. 
We are in the world and see tribulation yet our Lord tells us to take courage. Is it possible we can become braver and more courageous when we acknowledge His ultimate and ALL-mighty hand in everything that comes, even the darkness?  Is it possible that we will be enabled to unveil a renewed source of strength and inner might when we strip the ‘devils’ and ‘demons’ and ‘satans’ and ‘adversaries’ of any authority or credit as we strive in the world?
Matthew 10; 28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. ”
Hebrews 5:7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.
Matthew 11; 27“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Matthew 28;18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Temple- in the world
 
What about rebuking the devil? I’ve seen videos, heard sermons about casting out the devil from people, places, things. Is that for real? The bible tells us about numerous demon possessions and the entry of such ‘forces’ into places and animals, etc. That is for real. ( See: Matthew 4; Luke 11; Matthew 8; Mark 1; Luke 4; Mark 7)  But remember, WHO had the authority over these entities? They exist but are created, they are subservient to the ALL-mighty. When Yeshua spoke and when he gave his disciples authority to do so….the demons obeyed and fled. Can we, if we feel there is some entity at work in our lives or homes or families, rebuke the demons? Well in the name of Yeshua I have done it many times. In the knowledge of the power of his great name yes I have felt relieved in the past knowing that fact….’they’ are obedient to him and must be subservient to His will. BUT I think there is more to it, as we have been discussing in this inquiry. I think that rebuking the devil can become a sort of ‘charm’ or ‘cover’ which will be like a band-aid on a puncture wound. We’re talking about the clarification of a mentality and the healing of a lifestyle and the growth in HaShem that comes with effort, study, work, trust, faith, surrender, and ultimate acknowledgment of HIS authority alone.
Genesis 45;5 and now be not grieved nor be angry with yourselves that you sold me hither; because to preserve life did God send me to you. …7 and God sent me before you to give for you a remnant on the earth, and to save you alive for a greater deliverance, 8 so now it was not you that sent me hither, but God….
The quotes above are spoken from Yosef (Joseph), beloved son of Ya’acov (Jacob).
[see Bereshit (Genesis) 37-50]
  • He lost his mother Rachel who died giving birth to his younger brother Benjamin.
  • He was favored and thus hated by his 10 older brothers and then thrown by them into a pit,
  • he was sold into slavery and eventually slandered and wrongly imprisoned.
  • Torn from his beloved father, exiled from his home and family, forced into an idolatrous environment and tempted he was cast into deep darkness.
  • In the darkness he found a faith unlike any he could have acknowledged in a life of privilege and favor. He was raised from these pits and became the most powerful man in the known world.
  • He was enabled to save any people and restore and reunite with his family.
  • I can’t imagine God lifting him to such heights if he ever gave the demonic forces any credit. Had he blamed his brothers evil or despised the lies told about him as wicked…who knows what could have happened.
  • In the dungeon he found the will to surrender to the total control and power and authority of HaShem no matter what happened and in his statements you can hear this ultimate acknowledgment. He is an excellent example for each one of us.
  • He forgave his brothers completely and allowed for the open door to restoration to remain as such,
  • he responded to their repentance and did not become stubborn,
  • he refused his rights to revenge or justification and
  • he just allowed the Lord to heal and repair everything. All that was meant for harm was turned into a great good:
Genesis 50; 18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21 So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
light on the path
 But what about ‘spiritual warfare’? We hear this term all the time. What does it really mean? Let’s get down to some texts that may enable us to come face to face with the realities of the powers we’re really dealing with here. Is it physical? Is it spiritual? What control does the darkness have? Can we truly continue to perceive bad things coming at us from satan? What are we supposed to do? Who’s really in control here?
Revelation 12; 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. 12 For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has a short time.”
  • There is a war in heaven. The angels of Michael and the angels of the ‘dragon’ or ‘serpent of old’ or ‘the devil and satan’ are making war with each other. The ‘bad guys’ are thrown down to earth (and the sea) and the heavens rejoice. The brethren (children of God) are commended because they have overcome these destructive ‘forces’ because of their faith in the Lamb of God (Yeshua) and their testimony (their lives lived for him- which they were willing to give up).
  • The devil has come to earth with great wrath, there is an intensity….because he has very little time (in the scope and scale of the ‘big picture’) to deceive the worlds inhabitants and help us choose to turn away from God (or not to see Him at all) .
  • With all that in mind let’s read about how we are to approach this predicament:
demon
1 Peter 1; Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the anointed ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua the anointed from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  • This grieving by various trials what is its outcome? That our faith be tested for genuineness. That our faith be found more precious than gold. That our faith be tested by fire. That our faith be found to result in praise, glory and honor. These trials could NOT be being administered by the devil, for why would he desire such outcomes!
2 Corinthians 4;1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God.For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Yeshuas sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Messiah.”
  • Because of His mercy we are inspired to love, because He first loved us. We are his and we live in His sight. Nothing is hidden from Him. Nothing is beyond His control and His hand.
  • The truth of HaShem in existence, in control, in authority is a truth which is veiled to those who have chose this world and its allures to be their desire and devotion. This world is passing away and if this is all one clings to, when it expires….so will we.
  • The god of this world has his way when we cease to share the good news of life in Messiah Yeshua. When we fail to live his example or fail to strive to be under his authority alone…. we are assisting in this deception and blindness. The light of the good news of salvation from sins for repentance and faith in Messiah Yeshua doesn’t have to be placarded to a sign or boomed from a bull horn. It can be exemplified in our homes with our families, in our daily dealings with people in the world.
  • The light which is to come forth is precisely what we are meant to shine forth, that part of him within us. If we give any power, responsibility, credit or authority to anyone or anything else we are belittling his ALL-mighty control in all things. How will people see the light?
  • Glorifying God is not just something you do now and then, when you pray or sing a song….glory means- You are IT! All the time! God everything is in Your power to command! Your will be done!

 

women worshiping
John 12; 27 “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29 So the crowd who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. 34 The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”
  • Can you see it yet? Yeshua’s very soul is troubled and does he rebuke satan at this point for making him feel so foul? He calls upon the One who brought him into this pain, Whom will give him the strength to endure it, Whom will bring Him through it and glorify the purpose for which he was destined to live it! Yeshua knows it is for God’s purposes his ultimate trial has been ordained. Can we do the same?
  • Children of God are not destined for judgment at the second coming of Yeshua. The wrath and judgment of God is for those who have rejected Him. OUR JUDGMENT IS HERE AND NOW. The trials we endure are a part of the pain of our being birthed to new life….imperishable. This is part of the judgment….that the ruler of this world (the serpent of old, the devil) is working, but his time is short and he IS CAST OUT. Yeshua’s being lifted up as an offering to die on behalf of all whom could never offer anything of great enough value to cleanse or atone for our own lives…. IS the event which NAILS and dethrones the victory and authority of sin and evil and darkness in this world. Is it still present? Yes. BUT is it of any authority? How could it be when Yeshua has already won?
  • Walking in the light of the word of God will shine your path. You WILL be able to see where you are going when these trials arise. You WILL be enabled to trust in His almighty hand in everything. By giving the power, complete power back to God where it belongs you too WILL be given the power to discern the light and in turn become sons of light welding it for all others to see.
John 12; 25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.
  • Yeshua promises us a helper (God’s Ruach- Holy Spirit) who will teach us His Torah (aim, mark, teaching and instructions) and write it on our hearts. This reality is sealed by Yeshua’s willingness to be obedient to His Father even to die.
  • The Jew’s didn’t kill Jesus, the Roman’s didn’t kill Jesus, the devil didn’t kill Jesus…Jesus tells us that the ruler of this world (may it be strong man, evil influence, or the adversary himself) has NOTHING on Yeshua…He chose to follow GODS COMMAND: that he be put to death. Harsh…..but remember what we’ve been discussing, that is not the end of it. There is a resurrection and eternal life, something much better than could have been for seen or hoped for by man as Yeshua hung on that tree. Death and pain and trial that are endured….is NOT the end.

 

yeshua facing devil
Ephesians 6; 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual of wickedness in the heavenly . 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil . 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
  • I am certain if you are a believer you have heard these scriptures before. Again is seems clear the adversary works in schemes and distortions and yet it is just as clear that we are CAPABLE of standing firm.
  • There is indication in these verses that there are definite powers, and forces of darkness and evil. Where does the text state these battles are raging? Is it not in the heavenly, the war we read about in Revelation….could it be ongoing now? Could it be that these forces and powers for evil have not yet arrived in the physical and will not until the ‘evil day’ (when satan and his angels are thrown to earth)? Clearly we feel reverberations and elements of this war raging in the earthly and for these challenges too we have been armed.
  • The armor is not a charm or a chant, it’s not a token or trick…the armor and weaponry against the delusions, deceptions, seductions and snares of the adversaries in our lives ALL comes directly from God. It is in the knowledge of God’s word- TRUTH. This is not an external wisdom, it is the internalization of the Torah and commandments of HaShem which leads to the next tool, RIGHTEOUSNESS….which is shown in how we live our lives. The material and content we are meant to enlist, produce and use is the good news, the gospel of HaShem, of Yeshua….its the same Word- there is life eternal and freedom from the curse of sin and death through faith, belief and trust in God and in Yeshua the Messiah.  The SALVATION of which we are sure can be depended upon as vitally as a helmet is to the rider, and the Spirit of HaShem whom we have been given while Yeshua is ‘away’ to teach us what to do and how to live until his return wields the sword of the WORD.
  • In focus- we can glorify the fact that we have an awareness of this  big battle raging and spiritual warfare going on and on around us, one can magnify the evil forces at hand each day….or we can pinpoint what this passage is really telling us. There is a battle but we have been WELL EQUIPPED and should be able to see that God is Master of Legions, in command of all of it. Do we need to understand the reasons behind everything? I think the only thing which will truly magnify and empower the One Who deserves all capability and Glory in every situation is to submit and genuine place all sovereignty and Authority over to the ALL-mighty without stipulation or limitation as to our own ‘lines’ regarding what is and what is not in God’s hand.

 

Peace

 

 

John 16; 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. 21 Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23 In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

 

  • It seems sure, there is grief and lament in this world. We will suffer incredible losses. There will be unfathomable tragedies and atrocities. All the grief and torment is a precursor to the great things God has in store. None of it will be remembered, can you imagine that?! The joy which awaits us if we endure to the end will never be taken from us. If we can internalize that truth and really believe it….how will we look at the troubles which arise in our lives? God knows we have questions. He asks us to submit our questions. When bad things happen we should evaluate everything. Will we start in the own heart, in the house first if we’re busy blaming away our troubles on the wicked world? I doubt it. If it all is a message from God we will immediately ask, ‘what do you want me to know?’   ‘What are YOU trying to show me through this?’ He tells us to ASK.

 

Romans 8; 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 Just as it is written, For Your sake we are being put to death all day longWe were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

  •  This section is the lifeblood for this entire inquiry. One could perhaps have asked the question I have posed and gone straight here to Romans 8 to find the answer and the best encouragment one could ever need.
  • IF we are functioning and working toward the will of God and if our goals are His goals, if we have made Him ALL and central to our lives in all aspects…is it safe to say He is ‘for us’? Then what assurance do we have- who will be against us? Well it seems there are often quite a bit of things or people against us….but what is the outcome?
  • If our justification comes from God then what matter is it if we are falsely accused, slandered, berated, abused, tortured and tried? He has our end in mind and it is always for the good He intends, so ‘bring it on’ world.
  • NOTHING will separate us from His love. NOTHING is beyond His control and power and authority. Not tribulation, distress, persecution, hunger, sickness, poverty, terror, war. NOTHING that we can see on the horizon is beyond Him or separate from His command and rule and authority.
  • HOW will we conquer all the trials we are blessed with? Not by any human means or reasoning. Not by intellect, not by excuse or blame shifting. We conquer, and not just obtain victory….but it is an upset, a staggering defeat of darkness which we are to be a part of. To me that is absolutely thrilling!

 

truth

 

 

If you take nothing else with you take this: The trials that take place, even deaths…even the depth and height of creation….any created thing, any evil force….can not and will not separate you from Gods love. God is drawing you near not pushing you away into a darkness. Take it with you along with the understanding that is it truly God alone who is in charge here.

 

Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God !!!

 

Blessed are You my King, blessed and praised for Your great goodness. For your wonders, favors, miracles and mercies that are with us every day. If even one heart can open and dethrone the destroyer in their lives then I know Your removal of this veil will have been a blessed fruit in my own life. I have already tasted of the goodness You are pouring out and felt the empowerment You have granted by giving us in Your words ….this understanding of Your absolute control and sovereignty. I seek not to undermine anyone’s pain, please humble be and forgive me for any element of haughtiness or assumption to presume all situation are alike. I know that we all have pain and trial, be ALL things to ALL people Lord. May every eye see and every heart understand how very gracious and loving and kind You are. Please give comfort to all those who are dying for Your name and for the Name of Yeshua. To the families who have suffered losses from terrorist and more. To all you children who struggle with attacks, I pray that they turn to You alone for the answers. Thank You my King for the honor it is to be called a servant and I pray that You are glorified in this work. That is the only reason I have.

 

Blessed are You Lord our God King of the universe, You have blessed us with Your Torah of truth, You have blessed us with the entire counsel of Your living word. You alone have planted among us life eternal.

Blessed are You.

Yeshua smiling

 

For resources see: My Resources entry which can be accessed on the homepage

To contact for any questions, comments, concerns, etc. : safeguardingtheeternal@aol.com

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