Most of our guests at the Hiding place are heaven-sent. They have fought the good fight of faith. They have wrestled with the giants of adversity in the name of Jesus. They have fought anger, fear, depression, lust, addiction, pride, unbelief, sickness and insanity. They have been wounded and are often totally exhausted. They have come to the Upper Room to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and do serious business with their Maker and their Father-God.
But there are also those few that have been sent from the pit of hell and the pigpen of human depravity to try to destroy or discourage us. They haven’t! We may have gotten wounded or slimed, but in the end we have always learned something new and emerged stronger and wiser. We have learned that compassion without wisdom allows Satan to play games with us. Those who are called to extend the gift of hospitality must have wisdom.
The “guests sent from the pit of hell use deception to sneak past the defenses raised up to keep the Hiding Place safe, clean and holy. Our Lord Jesus had a Judas, a betrayer, in His midst who attempted to thwart God’s plan and so do most of us. They are the religious “con artists,” who have learned to use the Word of God to their own personal advantage, their own personal gain.
There are also those impostors who have learned to play with our heartstrings to gain entrance to the Hiding Place. They use guilt and pity routines to get you to open your larder. It is only after they are inside your gates and have soiled your linen that the synthetic quality of their masks becomes apparent. They bring along a retinue of unclean pets (pests to be more correct) - lazy and corrupt hitchhikers that defile everything they touch.
It is time for us to heed all the words of Jesus who said, “Don’t give holy things to depraved men. Don’t give pearls unto swine. They will trample the pearls and turn and attack you.” I cannot help but quote my Lord further to protect other saints from falling prey to these impostors from the pit of hell. I quote from the book of Matthew, chapter 7:
“Beware of false teachers who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can detect a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles.
“Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can’t produce what is good. So the trees having the inedible fruit are chopped down and thrown on the fire. Yes, the way to identify a tree or person is by the kind of fruit produced.
“Not all who sound religious are godly people. They may refer to me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey my Father in heaven. At the judgment many will tell me ‘Lord, Lord, we told others about You and used your name to cast out demons and to do many other great miracles.’ But I will reply, ‘You have never been mine. Go away, for your deeds are evil.’ “
The words I write and quote from the holy Word of God are fueled by countless battles we have fought against the demons of darkness and deception. We have had to call the police. We have had to call upon other saints for prayer support. We have had to wrestle many hours in solitary prayer during the middle of the night. But it is a recent “guest who indirectly taught us that we must never argue with or try to convert (save) the devil. He must be taken by the scruff of the neck and thrown into outer darkness. And should he try to return, we are never to open our door to him again.
Some of the lessons are learned best the hard way. Not until I cried out to God, “Enough is enough!” was my anger and frustration translated into positive action, which includes the writing of this epistle.
After throwing out the imposter, I immediately went to my workshop and translated the fury in my being into a number of sandblasted signs that expressed the sentiments in my heart. I blasted Satan by “blasting” these words into five pieces of hemlock fir: “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln.
We are not blessed by another Lincoln in the White House today, but we have his wise counsel. We do not have our Lord Jesus walking along the shore of Galilee today, but we have His Word to guide our footsteps. That must be enough. That is enough if we but obey it. We also have the gift and presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to explain and empower the words of Jesus for us. We are blessed.
How do we get rid of the devil? We must first expose him with the truth and then hurl the name of Jesus in his face. I have blasted many words of truth at the devil through the sandblasted signs we have made; but the words of Lincoln are especially pertinent to our time and need to be resurrected. If you want to place these same words in your home, welfare office, church lobby, rescue mission, or in the halls of Congress, the truth will be trumpeted twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In order to be heard we must speak up, and we must speak up often.
Our dentist has these words of Lincoln right above his dental chair where every patient can read them. We invite others to place the same words in conspicuous places where sluggards and con artists can read them and mend their ways. We must expose the con artists and stop them from reaching into the pockets of hard-working citizens.
I am not heartless. I know what it feels like to be paralyzed by fear and confusion, unable to take the first step toward wholesome employment. I know what it feels like to be standing in line with your hand out, waiting for a hand-out. I know that many of the hungry and homeless are the innocent victims of economic atrocities, victims of an economic chess game that values profit above people. We must never close our bowls of compassion to the needy, the hungry and the homeless; but we must also use wisdom in our giving. Some beggars are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They can be parasites that exploit and rob others as long as others allow themselves to be exploited. Helping these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” is equal to casting our pearls before swine. We must remember that the rich can exploit the poor just as easily as the poor can exploit the rich. As long as man is cruel, heartless and self-centered, this will happen.
It is quite easy to “con-vince” ourselves we are too sick, too handicapped, too old to work. But we can also convince ourselves that there is something we can do besides begging or stealing, whining or complaining. Even when we are crippled and paralyzed, we can pray, an extremely worthwhile way to spend our time. Our heavenly Father may not answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will answer them. We must be willing to accept a “NO” or “NOT YET” as some of God’s ways of answering our prayers, lest we become discouraged.
Responsible hard-working citizens of this land, I urge you to challenge the many well-intentioned “giveaway” programs authorized by federal, local and private agencies. These programs are intended for the needy; but the greedy and the sluggards also quickly discover how to get to these free pots of honey. Everyone seems to enjoy playing Santa Clause or the Good Samaritan with your money. Don’t harden your heart and stop giving; however, do not allow yourself to be robbed. If you do, you are condoning parasites to drain the very life from your veins and the heart of this beautiful nation.
God cannot and will not bless us unless we are willing to obey His Word, obey the laws of the land, and are willing to work and pray for our daily bread. Love heals; but honest labor also heals! Both are essential ingredients to the healing process.
The Word of God and the statement by President Lincoln jarred me out of my paralysis. That’s the truth! I challenge all those squandering their lives in the pit of self pity, whining and complaining to try the remedy God has so graciously revealed to me; and that I have accepted for myself. It’s a universal remedy and it is free for all who will accept it and make use of it.
What I have written here is very tame. What we have actually experienced through our recent visitor would make the headlines in the most bizarre tabloid. I want to remind the reader that Satan can and does appear as an angel of light. He might be sitting next to us in church or next to us on a park bench. He might be our favorite preacher, priest, teacher, psychiatrist, counselor or movie star. Those we admire and trust and allow to influence our lives have the greatest opportunity to shape our future. We must therefore compare their counsel and actions to the Word of God. Do these people exhibit and live what they preach or tell us to do. What is their track record?
We must remember that Satan is a very sore looser. He will attempt to drag as many as he can deceive into the pit of hell, a very real place. Misery seeks company; and Satan likes lots of company. His most successful tool to accomplish his ends is “deception.” He used it in the Garden of Eden and he is still using it today.
What is the answer? How can we be safe? We must pray for discernment so that we can recognize and refuse the many shades of gray that can compromise the “Man of God” and the “Word of God.” We must also be willing to put on our boxing gloves and with Christ in us, expose and defeat that impostor, Satan, the enemy of truth, goodness and grace. However, we must not forget that every person alive today has picked up numerous hitchhikers (bad habits and bad attitudes) along the highway of his and her life. We are to deal with these devils before pointing our finger at others. When our own hands and our own house is clean, only then do we have the right to speak up and speak out.
I invite you to enroll in the school of discernment and wisdom. Allow the Word of God to instruct you. You can take a crash course in discernment and spiritual warfare by reading the book of Ephesians, the book of Jude and Second Peter. Don’t ever be flippant in the way you deal with Satan. He is a real and formidable foe. Never rebuke him in your own strength. I remind you of this frequently overlooked passage in the book of Jude: “Yet Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, when he was arguing with Satan about Moses’ body, did not dare to accuse even Satan, or jeer at him but simply said, ’The Lord rebuke you.’ “For your own safety and sanity, remember these instructions. Always let Jesus do the rebuking. Always call upon the Lord to dispose of Satan. He is the only One who has victoriously confronted Satan. We all know the score: Satan zero - Jesus Won!
There is a saying, “Let George do it!” George can’t do it all. We are all to be involved in the battle for righteousness and truth. The Lord has a place of effectiveness for all his saints regardless of age, sex, color, nationality or station in life. I challenge everyone to get acquainted with their spiritual weapons, gifts, and authority in Christ Jesus. I challenge everyone to do mighty exploits in the name of Jesus and thereby hasten the Kingdom of God to come.
If the words you have read cry “AMEN” in your spirit, copy them and let them march throughout the land. Through your step of faith and obedience, they shall renovate the landscape of the heart of man.
LION OF JUDAH, ARISE WITHIN US AND TAKE THE LAND!
Serving Jesus as Stretcher Bearer and Armor Bearer, Peter D. Laue