Today’s selected reading is found in the second New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Thessalonians. More specifically today’s passage is found in the three chapters contained within this New Testament book. “Paul, and Silvanus, and TImotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:1-2).
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all the that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).
“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, excep there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good. Word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17).
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love God, and into the patient waiting for Christ” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our lOrd Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow USA: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and Travis night and day, that we might not chargeable to any of you: not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-16).
“The salvation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (2 Thessalonians 3:17-18).
When you come to the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Thessalonica you will find the second of two epistles written by the apostle. What you must understand about this epistle is not necessarily that it was written by the hand of the apostle Paul but that it was written by the apostle Paul from Athens. If you read the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts—specifically the words which are found in the seventeenth chapter—you will find the apostle Paul in three distinct places within what is considered the modern nation of Greece. Beginning with the first verse of the seventeenth chapter you will find the apostle Paul, Silas and Timothy coming unto a city called Thessalonica where they would reason together with the Jews and would teach in the synagogues on the sabbath day. What makes this truly unique is when you consider the fact that it would be there in the midst of Thessaslonica where there would indeed be those who believed the word which the apostle Paul preached while there were a number of unbelieving Jews who not only opposed and rejected that word but who also raised themselves against the apostle Paul, Silas and Timothy. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the apostle Paul and that which was experienced in the midst of Thessalonica. Not only this but as you continue reading the words presented within this chapter and passage of Scripture you will find that not only did the Jews reject and oppose the word and gospel the apostle Paul preached but they also raised up certain lewd men of the baser sort in that place and incited a mob against the apostle Paul.
As I sit here today thinking about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but think about and consider that one of the greatest tactics and strategies of the enemy and adversary is to incite a mob. I am absolutely convinced that one of the enemy’s greatest tools and one of the greatest weapons in his arsenal is that of riot and that of mobs of people who although they might appear to be united with one purpose are actually inciting themselves against peace and against that which is good. What makes this especially true is when I consider the events which took place two years ago in the summer of 2020 and how there were countless riots which took place in major cities throughout this nation. You cannot look at this particular year which was already marked by the Coronavirus, lockdowns, mask mandates and the shutting down of businesses. This particular year saw the entire world together with its economy come to a grinding halt as virtually everything but that which was essential being shut down. This particular year saw schools and church buildings alike being shut down as freedom of education and freedom of worship before and in the presence of the living God were completely and utterly brought to a halt. What’s more is that this particular year saw a global push for a vaccine mandate as well as a vaccine passport. Not only this but this particular year would also see and witness people being encouraged to stay in their homes and to only go out when it was absolutely necessary. The year 2020 was an incredibly unique and challenging year and perhaps the single greatest year marked with so much chaos and division I have every seen in my almost forty years of being alive upon this earth.
The more I think about the words which are found in the seventeenth chapter the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous reality that some of the enemy’s greatest work is done—not in the shadows but in the light. What’s more is some of the enemy’s greatest work is not done in the shadows or in the private but is done in the public in the midst of riots and protests. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for within the New Testament book of Acts we see this in full swing during the days of the early church and of the apostles. Of course within the year 2020 we saw riots and protests—not because of the preaching of the word of the Lord but because of police brutality, because of mask mandates, because of the shutting down of churches, and so much more which took place during that year. I am absolutely convinced that one of the greatest tools and weapons used in the hands of the enemy and adversary is chaos and disorder in the midst of the streets of the cities. What we saw two years ago is—in my opinion—just a foretaste and a glimpse of that which the enemy and adversary can and will use in the coming days. It was Jesus who declared that the love of many would grow cold and that many would hate each other and would betray each other. What we as the saints of God must needs recognize and understand is that when we consider the tactics and strategies of the enemy he is one that moves and operates in the chaos, in the confusion, in the violence, in the unrest and the like. Some of the greatest work of the enemy has been done when chaos, violence, confusion, unrest, upheaval and the like have been manifested within the streets.
Lest you think this is something that is somehow simply untrue I would invite you to consider the words which are found in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. What’s more is that you will even find this particular reality manifested in the twenty-second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. From Philippi, to Thessalonica, to Berea, to Corinth, to Ephesus and to Jerusalem you will find the power of mob and the power of riot used in the hand of the enemy to destroy peace and to create chaos and confusion in the midst of the earth. We know that Jesus did in fact declare that He did not come to bring peace but a sword, however, we must recognize that the enemy and adversary is the master of chaos, the master of confusion and the master of unrest and violence. This is something we must needs recognize for if we want to truly understand the words which are found in the writings of the apostle Paul unto the churches of Philippi, Ephesus, Corinth and Thessalonica we must recognize that they were written to churches which had personally witnessed the enemy and adversary using mob, using riots, using violence, using chaos, using confusion and using disorder to disrupt the work of the living God in the midst of the earth. With this being said it’s important to note that the word of the Lord continued to be preached and continued to go forth. Not only this but even in the midst of the unrest, even in the midst of the chaos, and even in the midst of riot and confusion churches still thrived and were established within these cities.
It is at this juncture I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twenty-first chapters of the New Testament book of Acts. Within these chapters we encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the unbelieving Jews present in certain of these cities and their need to incite a riot against the apostle Paul together with his companions. What’s more is that within these chapters we not only see Jews but Gentiles alike raising themselves up in opposition against the word and work of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth during those days. It was in the midst of the city of Philippi where the resistance and opposition would come—not from the Jews—but from Gentile masters when they realized their hope for profit and gain was gone. Within the cities of Thessalonica and Corinth we find the chaos, the confusion, the disorder and the riot(s) being incited by unbelieving Jews who opposed and resisted the word, the gospel and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that it would be the unbelieving Jews from Thessalonica who—when hearing that the apostle Paul preached the gospel in Berea—followed the apostle Paul to Berea and would incite a riot and chaos in that place as well. In the city of Corinth it was the unbelieving Jews who not only resisted and opposed the word and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ but who would incite a mob and riot against the apostle Paul in the midst of that place. This same reality would indeed be manifested in the city of Jerusalem after the apostle Paul would return for the final time after departing from Asia and returning unto that place. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in these chapters beginning with the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts:
“Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation. And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of parotid was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, These men being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe. Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks” (Acts 16:16-24).
“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three sabbaths reasoned with them from the scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ. And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and now a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus. And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go” (Acts 17:1-9).
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and stirred up the crowds. Then immediately the brethren sent Paul way, to go to the sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there. So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with all speed, they departed” (Acts 17:10-15).
“After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshipped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, Do not be afraid, but speak and to not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law. And when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, If it were a matter of wrongdoing or wicked crimes, O jews, there would be reason why I should bear with you. But if it is a question of words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves; for I do not want to be a judge of such matters. And he drove them from the judgment seat. Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. But Gallio took no notice of these things” (Acts 18:1-17).
“When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome. So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time. And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the other craftsmen. He called them together with the words of similar occupation, and said: Men, you. Know that we have our prosperity by this trade. Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. So not only is this trade of ours in danger of failing into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship. Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians! So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theater with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions. And when Paul wanted to go in to the people, the disciples would not allow him. Then some of the officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent to him pleading that he would not venture into the theater. Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together. And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people. But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, Great is Diana of the Ephesians! And when the city clears had quieted the crowd, he said: Men of Ephesus, what man is there who does not know what the city of the Ephesians is temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Zeus? Therefore since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rashly. For you have brought these men here who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess. Therefore, if Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a case against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. But if you have any other inquiry to make, it shall be determined in the lawful assembly. For we are in danger of being called in question for today’s uproar, there being no reason which we may give to account for this disorderly gathering. And when he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly” (Acts 19:21-41).
“Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place. (For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.) And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. He immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and al the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. Then the commander came near and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and he asked who he was and what he had done. And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another. So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, Away with him” (Acts 21:26-36).
I recognize and acknowledge there was a lot of Scripture that was just presented to you, however, I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to these various passages as they bring us face to face with how the enemy and adversary operates in the world. We would like to think that the enemy and adversary simply moves and operates in the shadows and in the darkness and that he has never moved nor ever does move in the midst of the light. The truth of the matter, however, is that this simply is not the case. Based on the words which I find in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twenty-first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts I am brought face to face with the absolutely tremendous truth surrounding the enemy and adversary doing some of his greatest and best work in the midst of confusion and chaos. I am absolutely convinced that if we want to truly understand that which took place two years ago within this nation we must needs understand that it was indeed and was in fact the enemy and adversary moving and operating—not in the shadows and darkness but in the light. We would be incredibly naïve to think and consider—even for a moment—that the enemy and adversary is not the author of confusion, chaos, disorder and unrest. It was the apostle Paul who emphatically declared that God is not the author of confusion and it is based on this particular declaration we must needs recognize that anytime we see confusion, anytime we see chaos, anytime we see disorder, anytime we see unrest we are witnessing the enemy and adversary at work.
I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found within these passages and I am confronted with the fact that the enemy can use any group of people when it comes to creating disorder, chaos, confusion and unrest. Within these passages of Scripture we find two examples of the enemy and adversary using the Gentiles—both in Philippi as well as in Ephesus—to create and produce unrest, upheaval, chaos and confusion in the midst of the cities of Ephesus and Philippi. Within Corinth, Thessalonica, Berea and Jerusalem we find the enemy and adversary using the Jews themselves to incite unrest, to incite chaos and confusion, to incite an uproar and to incite violence in the midst of those cities. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for the enemy has never nor does he now have a specific group or groups of people that he uses more than others to incite mobs and riots in the midst of the streets and the cities. There is something incredibly unique and powerful about this—something we must needs understand within our hearts and minds—for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the enemy and adversary using riots, protests, uproars, unrest and the like to create confusion and chaos in the midst of cities, states, and even countries. How many times have we witnessed in various countries throughout the world riots and protests that have erupted as countless thousands—perhaps hundreds of thousands—of individuals have sought to resist tyranny and have sought to overthrow and topple governments? How many times have we seen violence, riots and protests in other countries which have devastated and completely decimated the peace and rest that was present in the midst of them. There have been countless countries within and throughout the world that have indeed been ravaged by protests, by riots and by civil unrest as mobs and riots have risen up in the midst of them and have completely and utterly created havoc in the midst.
The more I think about and consider this the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding this concept of riot, mob and protest for I firmly believe the enemy and adversary moves and operates in the unrest, in the chaos and the confusion. We see this clearly in the New Testament book of Acts among both the Jews and the Greeks while in the four New Testament gospels we see this same reality of mob and riot being present among the Jews in the city of Jerusalem. Although it was the chief priests and the religious leaders of that generation who incited the Jews against Jesus that they would cry out calling for him to be crucified we must needs understand that it was ultimately the enemy and adversary that was working behind the scenes together with the chief priests and religious leaders to create this unrest, this chaos, this confusion and this turmoil in the midst of the city. During the days of the Lord Jesus it was indeed against Jesus Himself whom this riot, this mob and this unrest was directed toward. During the days of the apostles and the early church—although the apostle Paul and his companions were the seemingly obvious target of the fury and rage of the mob and riot—the truth of the matter is that the riot(s), the protest(s) and the unrest was not against flesh and blood but against the word, the gospel and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We would be incredibly naïve to think that the unrest, the chaos, the confusion and the disorder we find within these chapters in the New Testament book of Acts is against the apostle Paul, against Silas, against Timothy, against Luke and against the other individuals of the early church. Even that which we find in the fourth and fifth chapters of the New Testament book of Acts demonstrates and reveals that the true and ultimate target of the fury, the rage, the outcry and the hatred of the religious leaders was not the apostles but the word, the gospel and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I find it absolutely incredible to think about the words which are found in these chapters within the New Testament book of Acts for they call and draw our attention to that which we witnessed within this nation two years ago. It was back in 2020 when we saw our cities and streets overrun and overwhelmed with riots and protests as countless hundreds—perhaps sometimes thousands—of individuals would move throughout our cities inciting violence among men. We witnessed the destruction of small business and stores which were already decimated by being forced to shut down due to the lockdown and mandate due to the Coronavirus. Within the summer of 2020 we witnessed the death of George Floyd which incited the nation against police brutality and even called for the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the Defund Police movement. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely astonishing truth that the enemy and adversary can and will seek to destroy cities, nations and even neighborhoods, families, churches, schools and the like through chaos, through confusion, through disorder, through unrest and through mobs, riots and the like. While we did in fact witness what might have been considered to be “peaceful” protests we must needs understand that 2020 was marked by a serious division within this nation across the political spectrum. If there is one thing we must needs understand about 2020 it’s that the political divide which was already in existence within our nation was increased and enhanced to a great measure when you add in mask mandates, vaccine mandates, support for Trump and the like. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth that what we witnessed was indeed the enemy and adversary seeking to destroy this nation through protests, through unrest and through the uproar of the mob.
The more I think about this the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the enemy and adversary not only inciting and being the author of chaos and confusion but also moving and operating in the midst of it, The enemy and adversary can and will use chaos and confusion as a mask and cloak in which to hide and conceal himself that he might accomplish his sinister plans and agenda in the midst of the earth. With this being said I would dare say that during the year 2020 we had our eyes on the wrong people and even on the wrong target. We spent 2020 focusing our attention on the government, on science, on Black Lives Matter, on Defund the Police, on mask mandates, on vaccine mandates, on politics, on religion, on the LGBTQ+ agenda and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply was the wrong way of looking at things. They say that hindsight is always 20/20 and with this being said I can truthfully say—looking back on the events of two years ago—that there were many who were duped into turning their eyes on to the wrong enemy and the wrong adversary. What we witnessed and what we saw two years ago was flesh and blood turning against each other along the lines of political views, along the lines of scientific views, along the lines of religious views, along the lines of sexual orientation and the like. What’s more is that even as recently as this year when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade we witnessed this division, this unrest, this chaos and this confusion once more. That which the enemy and adversary did was cast our attention and cast our focus upon flesh and blood—against the Supreme Court, against the justices and judges, and even against Pro-life facilities and religious organizations—rather than against the true enemy and adversary. It was the apostle Peter who emphatically declared that the enemy prowls around like a raging lion seeking who may devour and the truth of the matter is that over the last two years we have witnessed and seen the enemy move freely throughout this country with very little resistance.
I write these words right now and I am convinced that over the past two and a half years we have been wrestling against flesh and blood and have directed our vitriol, our hatred, our rage, our animosity and the like against flesh and blood while the whole time the true enemy and adversary has been free to not only continue to create havoc but also continue to move in the shadows. What’s more is that this has even crept into the church as men and women within the church have expressed their distaste, their displeasure and in some instances even their hatred, offense, bitterness and malice toward those whom they disagree with. This is perhaps seen in a great degree and measure surrounding the events of January 6th of last year when the Capitol Building was stormed and chaos and confusion was created. On that day there was indeed violence that was incited to a certain degree, there was unrest, there was confusion and chaos, and there was indeed protest and a mob and we must needs recognize that the enemy and adversary can and will use these events to conceal himself—despite the fact that he is in all reality moving and operating in the light. I am convinced that the enemy and adversary showed and revealed himself in a great measure during the year 2020 and has continued to show himself over the past two and a half years. What’s more is I am convinced that in these last days the enemy and adversary is become more brazen and more bold in his tactics and strategies. While there is still an element of darkness, mystery, shadow and concealment that surrounds the enemy and adversary I firmly believe he is moving and operating in the light more than he ever has before. I am convinced that the enemy and adversary moved in the light during the days of Jesus the Christ when he incited the Jewish mob against Him to crucify Him. I believe the enemy and adversary moved in the light during the days of the apostles and early church when he incited the Jewish and Greek mobs against the apostle Paul, against his companions and ultimately against the word, the gospel and the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
THE ENEMY WILL BE MORE BOLD! THE ENEMY WILL BE MORE BRAZEN! COMING OUT OF THE SHADOWS! SHOWING HIS HAND! SHOWING HIS NATURE! I firmly believe that what we have witnessed over the past two and a half years is the enemy and adversary moving in the light perhaps more than he ever has before. What’s more is the enemy and adversary has created chaos and confusion within this nation and has caused men and women to focus all their attention against flesh and blood rather than against the true source of evil, the true source of violence, the true source of destruction that has ravaged our streets, our neighborhoods, our cities, our towns and our nation. We have been led to think that it has been and is Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the LGBTQ+ community and the like that have been the course of much of the chaos and confusion within this nation. We have been forced to direct our attention to and against flesh and blood not entirely nor at all realizing and understanding that the greatest threat to our nation is not flesh and blood but against principalities, against spiritual wickedness, against rulers of darkness in high places. We have been duped into directing our rage and our violence against flesh and blood and against our brother(s) and sister(s) while the enemy and adversary has been allowed to move freely within and throughout this nation. There is and there has been an inherent danger that is found in this and we must needs recognize and understand it for this evil—the true source of evil within this nation—must be confronted by righteousness, by truth and by light. We have spent a great amount of our time directing our attention against the wrong enemy/enemies and against the wrong adversary/adversaries. We have spent more time destroying our own nation not even realizing and recognizing that we are simply pawns being used in a sinister plot by the enemy and adversary. Oh it is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found within the New Testament epistle written unto the saints of Ephesus, the second epistle written unto the saints of Corinth, the first epistle written by the apostle Peter and the epistle written by James:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20).
“Now I Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in the presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with all that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we all in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:1-6).
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit 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. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren,. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:1-12).
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for he cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:5-11).
Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found within these passages of Scripture for within them we encounter a very real enemy and adversary who seeks whom he may devour. What’s more is that within these passages of Scripture we clearly see that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. What’s more is that although we walk in the flesh we do not wage war in the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds and the casting down of imaginations. With this being said I am absolutely convinced we as the saints of God must needs recognize the movement and the activity of the enemy and adversary within our culture, within our society and within our nation during the days in which we are living. For the past two and a half years we have been focusing all our attention against flesh and blood while the principalities, while the powers, while the rulers of darkness, and while the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places have been allowed to go unnoticed and unaddressed. What’s more is we have refused to acknowledge—much less confront the spirit of antichrist that is and has been present within our culture, within our society and within our nation. It is absolutely imperative we understand that the enemy and adversary is becoming more brazen and more bold in his tactics and strategies and is moving more freely in the light. Not only this but we must also recognize that what we are witnessing within this country during this generation is indeed the spirit of the antichrist working in the midst of the earth preparing and paving the way for the actual person of the Antichrist to be manifested within the earth. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found within Scripture concerning this man of lawlessness and sin:
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
“Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And the the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:5-12).
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads anda ten horns, and on his. Horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leapoard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme, His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:1-10).
“Then I saw another beast coming up out out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth—by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:11-18).
Consider here the following words which are found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel beginning with the seventh chapter:
“After this I saw in the nigh visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this. Horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous word. I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of he’s head like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. I watched them because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the nigh visions, and behold, One like the Son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before HIm. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:7-14).
“Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast which was different form all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mount which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. Thus he said: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour t he whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart” (Daniel 7:15-28).
“Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood up upright. And he said, Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appoint time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall rise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future” (Daniel 8:18-27).
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incredible to draw our attention to the fact that what we are witnessing and what we have been witnessing within this nation—and not only this nation but also the world is the spirit of the antichrist at work behind the scenes. I firmly believe that the enemy and adversary has moved and operated in the shadows for generations and centuries since the beginning of creation, however, in these Last Days I firmly believe that we are going to witness the adversary move into light and begin to move more openly. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to consider it is I firmly believe the enemy and adversary is going to do this through the manifestation of the Antichrist and the man of sin who will be revealed at the appointed time. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we are witnessing in this generation is the enemy and adversary moving into the light and using chaos, confusion, riots, uproars, unrest and division to move freely in the midst of the nations of the earth. If you want to know where the enemy and adversary is within this nation you need look no further than the upheaval, the unrest and the uproar for it is there where the enemy’s presence will be manifested in its truest and greatest sense. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the fact that what we have witnessed in increased and exponential form over the last two and a half years is the enemy and adversary inciting and moving in the midst of the chaos and confusion for it’s in the midst of such realities his presence is able to be largely missed as men and women focus on flesh and blood and view them as the enemy and adversary. What we must needs recognize is that the enemy and adversary continually seeks to incite violence, unrest, division, chaos and confusion for it is in the midst of those he is able to move free and do exactly what he wants to do.
I am absolutely convinced that in the coming days, in the coming weeks and months ahead we are going to see in even greater measure that which we have witnessed over the past two and a half of years can and will be increased in even greater measure in the coming days and weeks ahead. I firmly believe that what we have witnessed over the past two and a half years is merely preparation and training for that which lies ahead of us—especially when the spirit of the antichrist is so active and present within our generation. I firmly believe that everything we have witnessed over the past two and a half years has been nothing short of preparation for the days of trials and tribulations which are ahead of us. I believe the spirit of the antichrist is at work and will continue to be at work within the earth and what we are seeing with the global agenda that has been front and center of these past two years is all a prelude to the ultimate agenda which will be introduced by the man of sin and lawlessness. Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are those who possess the wisdom, the understanding, the discernment and the endurance to be able to stand in the midst of the days ahead. Even if the chaos, the confusion, the unrest, the upheaval, the division, the violence and the like increases in exponential form in the coming days we must needs be those who remain strong and firm in our faith, in our hope, in our trust and in our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ. The riots, the protests, the unrest, the violence, and the like is going to increase in the coming days and there is a great need for us to recognize that we have indeed been called to be men and women who stand firm clothed in the full armor of the living God that we might indeed resist the devil knowing that he will and must flee from us.