In speaking to the church in Thyatira, Jesus reveals himself as having eyes of fire and feet like brass. In other words, Jesus says he sees the situation in Thyatira. He stands in that situation to judge it and bring correction.
Fire and brass in the scriptures refer to God’s judgment, purification, and refinement.
For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:2
I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. Luke 12:24
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So, he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Exodus 3:2
They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. They made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 2 kings 25: 7
I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. Leviticus 26:19
Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be. Deuteronomy 33:25
Then I turned and raised my eyes and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming from between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze. Zechariah 6:1
Jesus tells the church at Thyatira that he sees their good works, faith, and service in the kingdom of God, But he also sees something else. He sees that God’s people have allowed “that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”
To understand what Jesus is referring to metaphorically, we have to go to the biblical story of Jezebel. In the Book of kings, Jezebel was a woman married to the king of Israel. This was an unholy union. To secure peace, Ahab, the king of Israel, allied with the Phoenicians. (modern Lebanon, where the cities of Tyre and Sidon were located)
Jezebel seduced King Ahab into worshipping the Tyrian god Baal-Melkart, a nature god. In other words, he allowed a seducing spirit or doctrine of demons to sway him away from worshipping the God of Israel. The church at Thyatira also allowed this seducing spirit to have a place in their congregation.
Jezebel was a zealous worshipper of the nature god Baal-Melkart. This god required allegiance to the earth. The elements of the earth were glorified through this god over the God of all the earth. The church of Thyatira allowed the nature god to have a place. Jesus makes it known to the church of Thyatira that this is idolatry. Glorifying the creation over the creator.
In the same way that the nature god was allowed to spread its teaching in Thyatira, there are parts of the church today that allows the Jezebel spirit to teach nature worship. The “save the planet, climate change” radicals have invaded God’s church today! There is an obsession in our culture with nature worship. Parts of the church today have gotten on that bandwagon.
For more info on that, I refer you to this article,
Jezebel seduces God’s people to worship nature. Jesus views this act as fornicating with a false god and partaking in fellowship with it.
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. Revelation 2:20
God gives “Jezebel” a chance to repent.Those associated with this seducing spirit, Jesus calls out of that false teaching. He also gives a warning to those who will not repent.
“Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into greattribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Revelation 2:22,23
Many times, if we don’t repent of our sins, we end up reaping the consequences. This includes tremendous hardship, sickness, and even death.
Baal worship includes the following nature-ordinated practices. As God’s children, we must examine ourselves to see if we have allowed fornication with this seducing spirit.
Jezebel taught dependence on Baal instead of Yahweh.
This dependence encourages mixing pagan ideology with Christianity or adopting parts of pagan ideas and practices into the church. By doing this, one enters the depth of Satan or commits spiritual fornication with demons. (Sorcery, or the false prophetic that uses pagan practices. )
What are some examples of Pagan practices?
Observance of special times of pagan seasons, ceremonies, and festivals. Such as Halloween, Easter practices, some Christmas practices.
Sacred spaces such as worship in particular places, at venerable monuments, earth-based devotions, observation of celestial bodies.
Devotional worship of ancestors, safe spaces, nature worship.(environmental ideology)
Rites and ceremonies, like practicing magic or using demonic methods for personal benefit.
Personal spiritual behaviors inducing self-promotion, such as wearing charms, burning candles or incense, chants, occultic mediation, and Yoga. (You can’t sanctify this practice!)
Devotion or worship of demons by use of shrines, crystals, holy water, sacred stones or feathers, charms, self-procured visualization, mantras, chanting, prayer beads, astrology, fortune cookies, use of essential oils or sage for purification, worship of nature objects, worship of Gia.
Use of symbols such as dream catchers, pentagrams, medicine wheels, tree of life jewelry, Celtic or Norse symbols, upside down cross, all-seeing eye, lucky charms, wishbones, celestial objects, feminist or false rainbow signs.
Jesus warns that adhering to these things releases demonic influence, resulting in sickness, poverty, and possible early demise.
Jesus admonishes his church because he loves it. He wants his people to repent and get right with him.
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 2:24-29
In the 58th chapter of Isaiah, the prophet speaks God’s heart concerning his people’s spiritual condition.
The prophet points out the nation’s sins.
The Lord never wants to bring judgment on anybody, but if his people will not repent of their sins sometimes he has to. The objective is to get our attention.
Before the Lord does this, he always gives his people a warning. He reveals to them where they have missed it and what they need to do to get it right.
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”
The rest of the chapter deals with the sins that his people have committed. In order to repent or get right with God, we need to know what to repent of. Sometimes we are so self-righteous that we don’t see our sins. God has to point them out to us.
When things start going wrong in our lives, and our prayers begin to bounce off the ceiling, we then ask God. “What’s going on?”
More often than not, we have become entangled in something God calls sin! With sin in the way, our prayers will not be received. Some people don’t realize this, but our prayers will go unanswered unless we repent of what it is we are doing that is displeasing to God.
‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Chapters Isaiah 58,59 point out a whole bunch of things that displease the Lord. Many of which we have been guilty of.
He then uses the spider analogy to give us a clear idea of what our sins do to us. Not only does sin hurt the Lord but our sin hurts us too.
God likens falling into sin like falling into a spider’s web.
Spiders, or the devils are predators. They tempt us to sin. The devil can only tempt us however, in an area of our life not yet surrendered to God.
In Job 8:13-15 the Lord tells us that the serpent (cockatrice) hatches poisonous eggs and the spider weaves a web for those who forget God. For those who live like hypocrites, and for those who put their trust in the ‘spiders web,’ or in the enemy’s deceptive devices.
When we leave God out of our lives or even a part of our lives, the serpent comes along and presents to us his ‘grand’ ideas. He gives us worldly wisdom with independent thoughts that, when hatched, become an ensnarment to us! The next thing we know after a while, our house comes crashing down all around us!
Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure. Job 8:13-15
We need to understand the serpent’s methods, so we don’t get trapped in a spider’s web. Although the serpent is the instigator of the entrapment, he uses the spider to do the entrapping. After all, the web must be woven by a spider because spiders, by nature, are the weaver of webs!
The spider’s objective is to catch prey. Some spiders may sit in their webs, hoping for some poor guy to come along and fall in, but this is not always the case! Some spiders use strategies to catch their prey. After the spider has weaved its web of lies, it then takes a sticky lasso cord to entangle its prey.
Deception has a way of wrapping us all up in entanglement. We become ensnared in our deception.
Trusting in our own strength is like putting our trust in the spider’s web. It is a deceptive entrapment to trust in our own might, intelligence, and prowess, leaving God out of our decisions.
When we become our own god, the serpent can hatch his poisonous eggs in our big fat ego!
After that, the spider comes along and weaves for us a master plan. We got it all figured out! We know how to solve this problem! We got it covered!
Oh, how many times we fall for that web of deception! Making decisions without consulting the Lord, trying to fix a wrong thing to make it right, building our own empires! There’s that sticky lasso! Getting us all caught up in entanglements concerning the affairs of this life!
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. Proverbs 28: 26
Some spiders will even mimic their prey in order to avoid being detected. They look so much like a nice Christian or a good person. They have a lot of good advice to give. Then before you know it, you’re trapped in the web of deception! Why didn’t I just pray about that person first?
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
There are even spiders who will run their prey down! They camouflage so you can’t detect them, then when you see them for who they are they try hunting you down! You can’t get rid of them! Ever have somebody like that in your life? Constant harassment!
Well, if I had sought the Lord on that friendship, I would not be in this kerfuffle!
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
Lastly, some spiders are poisonous. If you get bit by one of those, you are in big trouble! How often do we decide to trust a person or situation without consulting the Lord? Then we end up getting bit where it hurts! For me, more times than I can remember!
Like I told you in a previous blog; sometimes it takes a hammer to fall on my head before I get it. But better late than never.
Now I am learning to listen more closely to the Holy Spirit’s inner promptings. Greenlight, yes! Red light, don’t go there!
Before the prophet Isaiah tells God’s people why they ended up eating rotten serpent eggs in the spider’s web, he shows them their sin. If you look at those or any other sin for that matter, you will find a common theme: ‘refusal to submit to the Lordship of God (Jesus Christ) and doing our own thing.’
That is sin in a nutshell! If we are not submitted to God, we give Satan a place in our lives. Whether it is all of our lives or a part of our lives.
Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
The devil sets traps for his prey. While entrapment may be criminally illegal, the devil doesn’t care about legalities. He knows our weaknesses, what we may be susceptible to. That is why he is called the tempter.
Spiders often build webs in our homes! In our garden or somewhere else on our property. That is why we have to be on the alert. Keeping our eye out for those webs!
When one is entrapped, they lose control. Stuck in a situation that makes them feel trapped. Deception is a spider’s 🕸 🕷
Sin is a deadly poison! It is a rotten serpant egg! No matter how good it looks, if we ingest it, we could die! At the very least, become sick!
There is a way out, though. God, in his mercy, provided one for us. It is called repentance. Turning back to God. When we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify us from all the sin’s unrighteousness!
Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sin! That means he took our place. Aren’t you glad that he did that? Otherwise, we would be stuck forever in the web of deception, eating rotten serpent eggs!
If you need to get it right with the Lord today, why not seek him? He said in his word that he will never turn you away! No matter how far you’ve gone from him. He loves you and longs for you to turn to him for his forgiveness and healing.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
In this next blog, I want to expose another tactic of the enemy that he uses to kill, steal, and destroy. This is the bewitching spirit.
We hear about this spirit in the book of Galatians. Paul asks these new converts in Galatia, ‘who has bewitched you?”
Before we get into this demonic culprit, let’s do some background context.
Galatia was a major region of north-central Turkey. The name Galatia came from the Gaul inhabitants who settled in the region in 278 B.C. The Gauls were a Celtic people who invaded Greece in the 3rd century B.C. Two centuries later, in 25 B.C., the area became a Roman province.
Paul’s missionary work resulted in the conversion of some of these Galatians (Gauls)from polytheistic paganism.
The Judaizers Paul refers to were both ethnic Jews and Gentile converts, who continued to observe Jewish customs and laws. These sought to persuade Christians that one had to adhere to Jewish customs and laws to be saved.
Not only did these Judaizers bring in their religious practices to mix with Christianity, but they also brought in their elitist attitude. In other words, they thought their ways were better than the gospel of grace given by the Holy Spirit. Better than God’s method for salvation, which is grace through faith in Jesus Christ APART FROM works or deeds of the law.
For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8,9
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5
In the book of Galatians, Paul addresses the problem of adding works to salvation. He exposes these false teachers. Warning against adding anything cultural or social to the gospel for justification before God.
How does he do this? By asking them a question, ‘Who has bewitched you?”
This is significant. Paul is making a correlation here between witchcraft and adding works to the gospel. To understand precisely what he is talking about, we must know what witchcraft is!
While it is true that blatant practitioners of the dark side use witchcraft, it is also true that witchcraft is used by regular people and carnal Christians. That might be a new concept to some of you reading this blog, but if you understand witchcraft, you will know what I mean.
The Bible defines witchcraft as a work of the flesh. That means it is a sinful behavior not necessarily equated with blatant sorcery, although it can be.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Witchcraft, according to the scriptures, is a work of the flesh. Paul tells the Galatians that they are being bewitched by the Judaizers because they are being removed from the true gospel of grace into another false or perverted gospel. (Galatians 1:6)
Paul says that even if an angel came down from heaven and preached another gospel to them, don’t believe it! Paul tells the Galatians that he received the gospel of Jesus Christ through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, not from men. He said those who preach a false gospel will be eternally cursed or lost. (Galatians 1:7-9)
I would like to point out that the scriptures tell us that adding works of the law to our salvation is a false gospel.
Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Romans 3:28
While most Christians don’t adhere to Jewish customs and laws, some may still add works of the law to their salvation. To understand this fully, we must define what ‘law’ is.
According to Hugh Evander Willis, Indiana university of law, the definition of law (which I will paraphrase) is a rule of action prescribed by some superior that the inferior is bound to obey. Civil law he defined as “a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong. These have two main concepts: (1) the concept of a “superior” and (2) the concept of command. The law according to Hugh Evander Willis is a scheme of social control.
The law of God was given by Moses for much the same thing. For social control of the sinful nature through rules and regulations to have a society operating justly. Since this was not a perfect system, God also set up animal sacrifices as temporal atonement for the sins of the people.
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Galatians 3: 23-25
Falling from grace is when the law is added to salvation as a justification rather than faith in Jesus Christ alone.
This brings us to the thief culprit. The bewitcher who operates in witchcraft.
To bewitch means to attract or interest someone by manipulating them through influence in order to have power and control over them. That’s the definition of ‘bewitching’ in a nutshell.
This is a method used by many in the church to control others. Witchcraft is a carnal act. It is a sin.
To manipulate in order to control another person for our own benefit or to keep them under our thumb in any way is to practice witchcraft. Whether a bully club or a honey pot is used to do it, does not matter!
Formal witchcraft uses these methods! According to the formal operation of witchcraft, Elemental magic or Elemental manipulation is a craft using demonic influence to control. Whether it’s to control the natural elements or a person or persons.
In much the same way, people not formally practicing witchcraft are, in fact, witchcraft practitioners if they are using manipulation to control another person(s).
The term witchcraft comes from Old English wiccecraeft.Wicca (masculine) or wicce (feminine). It denotes one who practices sorcery or charming. That’s where we get the word, charm from. (the power or attribute of delighting or arousing admiration.)
The bewitcher had developed the art or skill of manipulation, charm, indoctrination, groupthink, mind control, and enchantment over others through manipulation.
Paul calls this art of witchcraft a work of the flesh. In other words, it is a sin in which carnal Christians participate. To manipulate or control through artful means for one’s advantage at the detriment of another is the art of witchcraft.
Using control through condemnation, guilt, intimidation, fear, charm, or other manipulative means is practicing witchcraft. To bewitch is to charm through deceit in order to sway a person’s thinking.
The Judaizers were adding Jewish customs and practices to the gospel of Jesus Christ to control others. Paul says Gentiles DO NOT have to observe Jewish holidays or cultural practices to be saved. (Romans 2:12-29)
However, other forms of social control are used in the church to control others. When someone, even preachers influence by the flesh in order to get someone to do something they want rather than allowing Holy Spirit to do his job, (which is to teach, counsel, draw, influence, and control), then they are operating in a spirit of witchcraft.
Does that mean that God does not use people? No, it does not. God uses people to administer his gifts, but the Holy Spirit is the controller of another person, period! The teacher or preacher’s job is to instruct in scriptures, then leave the rest to God. Using scriptures out of context to manipulate, dominate, and control other people is a sin. It does not matter, even if it’s for a good cause!
How can you know if you are being bewitched? By the fruit that results in your life!
Bewitching through manipulation, domination and control causes condemnation, guilt, an inferiority complex, feeling not good enough, you don’t measure up, powerlessness, defeatism, fear, and other negative emotions. There is a difference between Holy Spirit conviction and condemnation.
Holy Spirit convicts through love. He tells you your problem then gives you a solution, like a Father correcting his child. He does not use a big stick to tell you to measure up or else!
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:17-18
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1,2
Spiritual abusers use witchcraft to manipulate, dominate and control others. They tell you that if you do not adhere to such and such, then you are not good enough. They give you guilt trips and condemnation in order to make a person feel inferior. It’s their craft! A form of control. Some even use honey sticks. ‘If you do this, we will do that for you’!
Let me give you some examples.
When I was a young Christian, I began attending this church. Lo and behold, I found myself in the middle of a split! One side wanted to do things one way, and the other side wanted to do things another way. I hardly knew anybody because I was new to the congregation. As it turns out, the leader of one side wanted to secure my vote. (Why I could vote anyway was beyond me) This leader told me that if I voted for their side, I would be given my own bible study. I didn’t have to be a mature believer to know that was wrong, so I found another church, getting out of that mess!
If you have been saved as long as I have, you probably remember the days of the prosperity preachers. Today some still do the same practices. In those days, preachers would use all kinds of ways or gimics to get your money! Manipulation was rampant! Thank God I stayed out of that stuff! The Bible clarifies that giving to the Lord is a free-will offering that should be delivered from a cheerful heart, not because of necessity or because you have to or don’t measure up.
God does not need our money. He owns cattle on a thousand hills. The scriptures tell us how to give and how to receive. Each is to be led by the Lord in their giving. Using manipulative methods to get someone’s money is a form of witchcraft.
Offering special privileges if you do something is a form of witchcraft. Brow beating from the pulpit by using scriptures taken out of context to make one feel inferior or manipulate them to perform something is witchcraft.
Playing someone through manipulation to do something or buy something is witchcraft. Jesus said to let our conversation be yes or no. In other words be straight up! Many marketing methods used by Christians today are witchcraft. They use misleading click bate, sensationalism, and downright deception for gain. A good product will sell based on its worth. Just tell the truth about what you are offering! Then leave the rest to the Lord.
One last example (there are others) is the use of condemnation. This is also rampant in the church. To make disciples for themselves, some teachers, preachers, and church leaders bewitch others to see themselves always in perpetual need. Constantly feeding spiritual baby food, keeping the people ignorant, constantly having prayer lines, constant inferiority blasted at the sheep from the pulpits. It’s just horrible.
Jesus said…go and make disciples for him, not for yourself! The teaching ministry exists to train, instruct in righteousness, and mature God’s sheep, so they don’t need your services anymore! Making disciples means letting the sheep go when it’s time. Letting go when they are ready, when they get itchy feet to leave home. Helping the lambs mature so they can go out and do the work of the ministry! You wouldn’t let your young adult son or daughter stay home forever, would you? It is the same with sheep or those we mentor or disciple. The objective is to train them in the ways of the Lord then let them go!
Paul gives a remedy for the Galatians who have been bewitched. He tells them that they have been justified and made righteous before God by faith in Jesus Christ without the deeds of the law.
To be justified means that a person has a reasonable and acceptable basis for something. In common law, this is a type of defense. This defense exempts the defendant from liability because the defendant’s actions were justified.
In other words, the defendant will not suffer the usual penalty for their actions in a court of law because they had a valid justification. The defendant could not have been asked to act any differently in this situation. (Cornell law school legal information institute)
It is the same with God’s law. The shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ is our justification for the penalty of sin. (Hebrew Chapter 9)
For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Romans 3:28
Paul tells the Galatians that he is now dead to the law (It’s an old method) so that he can live for God by faith in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in him!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Returning to old methods by adding works of any kind for our justification is slavery, according to Paul. Bewitchers want to make slaves to be under their control. (Galatians 4)
Bewitchers want to bring you under their laws, customs and forms. They seek to bind you to a custom, practice, or rule of conduct in order to control you! Witchcraft is the manipulation of the flesh. It is a skillful art used by bewitchers to control others.
God’s Holy Spirit brings the fruit of righteousness; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against this fruit, there is NO LAW! (Galatians 5:22-23)
The next culprit the Bible talks about for the Christian to be aware of is the scorpion.
Scriptures tell us that the Christian is given power over serpents and scorpions, but did you ever wonder what scorpions mean?
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents, scorpions, and over all the enemy’s power, and nothing shall hurt you. Luke 10:19
Scorpions are lobster-shaped insects about 2 or 3 inches long. These give a venomous sting through their tails from a gland at the end of their tail. When a scorpion stings, it secretes a poisonous fluid into the wound or a prick on the skin within one or two minutes.
Scorpions live in tropical climates. In the Bible, these creatures lived in the wilderness of Sinai.
It is interesting to note that unless you happen upon the scorpion’s territory, you probably won’t meet one, but if you do enter their territory, you must be watchful in prayer, so you don’t get stung by one!
Scorpions are usually found in dry and dark places. They may be hiding under stones or in the ruins of a building.
Most of us will avoid places where scorpions live, but if you have a ministry to reach those living in darkness, you may meet up with a scorpion, maybe more than one! This is why Jesus says that he gives us authority over scorpions.
Scorpions attack in a very threatening way when they are not hidden. If a scorpion sees you on its territory, it may move towards you threateningly with its tail up, ready to strike!
However, most of the time, scorpions are hiding. For those who live in the desert or are walking in the desert, these scorpions might be hiding in the crevices of walls in a house, under stones in the yard, or in empty containers. Even in dung heaps!
In Deuteronomy 8:15, Moses tells the people that God led them out of the wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions.
The wilderness experience is an uncomfortable place to be. It represents a time of testing, refining, and temptation. There are many scorpions that live in the wilderness!
Scorpions dwell in dry places where there is very little rain. The Lord likens the place of scorpions to a place where there is no life of the Spirit. A religious or secular place. A place where the rebellious dwell.
And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though (briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, (though they are a rebellious house.) Ezekiel 2:6.
God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Psalms 68:6
Even though the sting of a scorpion is rarely fatal, it is a very painful experience. God likens the words and body language of the rebellious who dwell in a dry land to be extremely painful. They are filled with bitterness, anger, scoffing, rejection, and ridicule.
I Kings 12: 11 tells us that the scourge of scorpions is synonymous with being scourged with whips with bits of metal.
The same type of whipping that Jesus received from the Romans after being given over by the religious leaders. (the world and religion)
Then Pilate, therefore, took Jesus and scourged him. John 19:19
Receiving tongue lashings from others is like getting a scorpion bite! Words hurt. The Bible tells us that slander and backbiting are like the sting of a scorpion.
A slanderer or backbiter is a false accuser. One who defames others. They bring an evil report against someone. The motive is usually to undermine someone’s character. The root cause is always envy.
Backbiting is defaming others. To speak against them with a motive to ruin their reputation. (2 Cor. 12:20)
When the religious leaders handed over Jesus to the government of the day, their motive was envy.
For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy. Matthew 27:18
To be envious is to feel discontented or resentful because of someone else’s possessions or qualities.
When a person slanders, they are trying to undermine. In this way, the slanderer raises themselves in a higher position because pointing out others’ faults undermines any good qualities.
The religious people did this to Jesus. They found fault with him. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, ate with unclean hands, and sat with sinners. All the while, though, they were envious of him. This was because of their pride.
Being religious, the religious people of Jesus’ day studied the law. Every jot and tittle of it! Then here comes this upstart with great wisdom and healing powers showing them up!
The religious people rejected Jesus because he upset their way of doing things! We don’t do that in our church! Who told you to do this? Where are your credentials? How many years of Bible school do you have?
The Bible tells us that slanderers are foolish because they do not fear God. They do not fear the consequences of their words or actions against others. (Proverbs 10: 18)
However, the Lord tells us not to fear the sting of scorpions or slander because he has given us authority over them. We are called to tread on snakes and on scorpions. To tread is to walk on or set our foot on. How do we do this?
We tread on scorpions with our gospel boots. Wherever we go we go in the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (Romans 15:29)
By presenting the truth of the word of God wherever we go, we tread on the slander of others. Those words will lose their power. Others will see our fruit. They will see because God will show them that he has called us.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
This is God’s strategy for dealing with scorpions. Whether they be secular or religious. We present the Gospel wherever we go, and God will defend our reputation.
Jesus tells us that when we ask for the power of his Holy Spirit, we will never receive a rebuke or tongue-lashing.
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? Luke 11: 12
When we go to the Lord, he always gives us bread to eat. Manna from heaven. It doesn’t matter how many degrees we have or don’t have. Holy Spirit gives wisdom to the simple. Child-like faith receives more of God’s grace than any kind of education.
Not that education (religious or secular)is bad in and of itself because the Lord can use it if it’s yielded to him BUT never does man-made education replace Holy Spirit wisdom, knowledge, and power!
If you envy other people’s gifts and callings, how about seeking the Lord in Spirit and truth? Dwelling in a dry land is very disheartening. It will keep you from experiencing the rain of the Spirit. God has a special call tailor-made just for you! Unique gifts only you can impart to others! You will find them as you dwell in the secret place with Jesus!
Who shall dwell in the Lord’s temple? He who does not backbite with his tongue. Psalms 15:3
The word of God is so powerful that it can set captives free, make the blind see, and give understanding to the simple. In my neck of the woods is a coffee shop where many people with developmental disabilities hang out. I like to sit with them and enjoy their fellowship when I go there. I get the opportunity to share Jesus and be their friend. One particular guy I call the “Bible man” always carries a Bible with him. He quotes scripture about everything! One day we were sharing about the word of God when he looked at me and said, “It’s not all intellectualism, is it, Kim?”
The Holy Spirit is all over this guy all the time! It’s wonderful! I knew immediately that Holy Spirit had just spoken to me out of that guy’s mouth! I pondered the statement and discussed it with the Lord afterward. He revealed that his word is so powerful that it bypasses human reason. That man considered slow by human standards has more Holy Spirit power in his life than most Christians! Why? Because he is full of the word of God!
For every situation, this guy has a scripture. That’s all he talks about! If someone is struggling, he will give a scripture. If anyone has a need, he gives a scripture. Only some people receive what this guy has to say, though. I heard complaints once. “Oh, all he talks about is the Bible! That’s too much!”
I replied, “Well, that’s why he has the power of God in his life!”
They all became silent. No one disputed it!
Jesus told us that faith in his word could move mountains! He said his word had the power to heal, set free, and deliver. Jesus would often ask a person a question before he laid hands on them for healing. He would say, “Do you believe I can do this?”
The key to receiving our miracle from God is to believe his word! If we do not believe God’s word, we will not receive what the Lord has for us.
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Hebrews 4:2
The ‘Bible man,’ full of the word of God and Holy Spirit power, sits among people all the time, but many remain oppressed and defeated. Why? Because they look at the natural. They have their eyes on material things. How could a simple man help them?
How can a simple carpenter heal the sick and do many mighty miracles? We need to see things the way God sees them. Even in the mouth of a donkey, the word of God is a powerful force of miraculous power. Take, for example, the prophet who wanted to curse the Hebrew children. The Lord gave the donkey speech to bring forth his word. (Numbers 22:21-38)
Paul told us not to regard any person by the flesh but by the Spirit because those born of the incorruptible word of God are temples of the Holy Spirit. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
Often, the flesh is weak, and we may not understand or even like the vessel born of God, our brother or sister. That’s alright. We are all a work in progress! However, we need to remember that God uses imperfect people. No one will be 100% to our liking until we go home to glory! But if we look to Holy Spirit inside that person, we can receive from their gift.
I learned over time as a Christian that God’s word is powerful no matter who speaks it! If it’s pure and unadulterated! I have learned that a vessel may be used by God for our benefit if we are open to looking past the flesh.
I don’t always get along with my husband. We have different ways of doing things, but I know he has a healing anointing. If the devil tries to put sickness on me many times, I go to him for prayer because I believe in God’s word. I get healed every time!
God’s word is so powerful that it can change any circumstance! All we have to do is believe it! Will we get tested by Mr. Devil? Yes, for sure, but if we trust in the Lord’s word above every other word, he will honor his word in his way and in his time!
God’s word is yes, and amen! God can’t lie! I tell the devil that all the time! “You are a liar, devil! God told me, and he cannot lie! Get away!”
Do you want to prosper and be in health? Do you want to walk in Holy Spirit’s power? This is the instruction I got from the Lord. Obey what he says, and you will find your life transformed!
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; andin his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
What does it mean to depart from the faith? To ‘depart’ in the Greek is aphistēmi which means to revolt against, remove from, desert, depart or draw away from.
You can’t depart or leave something unless you once were in something. Now its debatable whether the one who departs was once really saved or not but they had some understanding. They were enlightened. Scriptures tell us that if one has been enlightened and tasted of heavenly things and falls away it is impossible for them to repent.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:4,6
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1
This “departing” is departing from the faith or pistis. That is the conviction of reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Instead those who depart give heed to demonic doctrines which do not rely on Jesus Christ for salvation.
Some departing doctrines are obvious to most Christians but others are very subtle. That devil is a wily one.
The main theme to look for is if the teacher or preacher, prophet or apostle, pastor or evangelist moves away from trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation. Even a teeny weeny bit.
There is no specific day of the week, no ritual or rite, no performance, no other way, no other man made book, no self help principle, no personal preference, no successful endeavor, no jot or tittle, no other name, no addition, no subtraction. NOTHING.
There is nothing that can give you salvation with eternal life but complete trust and reliance on Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
It is written.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10
Sometimes the trials of life can be so difficult we don’t know how we can make it through, but the Lord never breaks a promise. He tells us that if we put our hope in him, we will never be disappointed. The God of all grace will comfort, strengthen, restore, and establish us after we have suffered for a while. In his kindness, God has called us to share in his eternal glory through the mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The key to endurance in a trial is prayer. Through prayer, the supply of the Spirit is given. God gives us the strength to hold on. To be patient and trust in him.
“Because I know that through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, my distress will turn out for my deliverance.“Philippians 1:19
Through prayer, we cling to Jesus, and he will come through for us in our affliction.
“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.”
Through prayer, faith enters our hearts. Faith is trust in God’s provision and deliverance.
“When you pray believe you receive,” Mark 11:24
Prayer will give us our miracle!
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:17-18
For with God nothing shall be impossible! James 5:17-18
After having done all the Bible says, we stand. Ephesian 6:13
Stand and see the salvation of our God! He is working all things together for our good! Romans 8:28
What seems grievous now is working a far greater eternal weight of glory! 2 Corinthians 4:17
In other words, the trial will lead to eternal benefit!
The Lord always has our eternal life in mind. He sees what we do not see. He knows what we do not know. Sorrow lasts for only a night. Only a small fraction of time on this earth, but joy comes in the morning!
Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
“For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the LORD, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54:10
In Matthew 6:28 Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field.
The most probable flower that Jesus was referring to is considered by plant specialists to be an Anemone coronaria, a common field flower which can be red, purple or pink with black centers.
The Anemone coronaria incidentally is Israel’s national flower.They are usually found in meadows and grassy hillsides. In Jerusalem the red ones are more frequently found while in the basalt slopes north of the sea of Galilee blue and white are found growing on the hillsides.
The Hebrew name for this flower is Kalanit from the word kala which means beautiful like a bride.
Consider the lilies of the field. The Kalanit arrayed like a bride which Jesus says are more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory.
Jesus likened these field lilies to be more beautifully arrayed than Solomon’s kingdom.
Considering that Solomon’s glory was a magnificent kingdom full of pomp and splendor this is a fantastic statement.
Why would the Lord say that field flowers were more beautiful than Solomon’s glory?
The fact that their name means bride may give us a clue.
Was Jesus looking to his future bride? His bride so beautiful that she is more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory?
These field lilies are not only beautiful but Jesus told us that they do not toil or spin. That is they do not do any work!
To toil in Hebrew is kopiaō which means to work hard or labor until one is fatigued.
To spin is nēthō which means to spin yarn.
Spinning yarn was a laborious work in Jesus’ time. Spinning was twisting fibers together by hand in order to make material for clothing.
In Solomon’s kingdom all the pomp and splendor was achieved by hard work. Also the temple Solomon build was constructed by slaves. These slaves did hard labor. Probably from sunup to sun down.
The lilies of the field do not labor or spin. They just naturally grow and become beautiful without any labor at all. With rain and sunshine provided by their Creator the lilies of the field become beautifully arrayed in their glory.
It seems that Jesus is pointing out that under the law like Solomon’s Kingdom, the slave must work to build a temple or building for God to take up residence.
Those under the law are servants of sin who must labor under a ruler or the law, sacrificing animals to atone for their sin in a temple made by men.
Jesus is using a metaphor to tell us that the splendor of the dispensation of the law is not as glorious as the dispensation of grace where the beauty of the Lord resides in his bride.
The bride has no need to labor for the Savior has purchased her with his own blood. The bride has no need to spin or be clothed with the temporary intermedatories of animals because she is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
The bride is altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely in her pure white garment! Altogether more splendid than the glory of the former dispensation!
Consider the liles of the field for they neither toil nor spin. They take no thought to toil laboriously to achieve right standing with God.
All the work has been done by Jesus Christ the Messiah ! (Yeshua Mashiach) It is finished!