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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All spirits are not created equal.......

     Last year, there was a lot of interest and hype about the coming of the end of the world and the final judgement.  It was being propagated for the most part by a group associated with the Rev. Harold Camping.  There was enough news media coverage over the course of many months, to arouse even the most skeptical person's curiosity as to ponder their personal end of days scenario.
     I did not buy into his eschatology due to scriptural reasons.  But, there were many people who did.  There were ones who were sincere of heart, and others of a more nefarious nature.  I do not fault anyone who is a sincere believer, even if they may not have thought all things through, as is required of them by scripture.   This post  though is designed to address the other part of the equation.  Where, when such events do not come to pass, the backlash can give the church a black eye.   What is even worse is when we find that the enemy of our souls has stealthly crept in to take advantage of the fervor. Here is our personal recollection of that  time, and I will let you be the judge.
     My wife and I were taking a Sunday afternoon walk. Strolling down the sidewalks of a nearby beach resort town.  We were walking and talking, when we noticed several hundred yards away on the other side of the street an "End of the World  street preacher".   I emphasize that statement because though he was associating himself with the above mentioned group, we did not consider him a valid witness to gospel Truth.  As we continued our stroll, we could hear him stop and confront, cajole, and preach to all of the people who just happened to be coming up or down his side of the street.  His car was covered with "the end is coming soon " graffiti. He seemed from all initial observations to be someone who was totally given over to his belief system.  He also fit every mental image that comes to mind, when you hear the term, sidewalk preacher complete with sandwich board.  We made a note to not to come back up that side of the street, when we were going to return from the beach.
     The sun was bright, the sky clear, a perfect California seaside afternoon.  We were lost in the moment of the day.  So much so as to not to remember which side of the street we had wished to avoid!  Yes, you guessed it.  Before we could recognize our error, we were coming right up to where the gentleman was preaching.  We thought that maybe luck was on our side, because he was already deeply engrossed in a one way conversation with another young couple who had stopped to hear what he had to say about The End.   We were close enough to hear every word of his very loud, bellicose expository diatribe as we passed.  It was as we had assumed, knowledge that we could not agree with in our hearts.
    Then it happened, he focused on my wife.  Now, she is not one to either mince words or tolerate objectionable people or things.  So with a wave of her hand, and a strength in her voice, she simply said "No!".  Now if I hadn't been  there, I wouldn't have believed what happened next.  But, I saw it with my own eyes.  The best description of what occurred is that this once forceful individual simply shrunk up and pulled back like a whipped dog.  He literally pulled back upon himself, instantly became silent, and went back to his corner.   My words fail to convey the unnatural reaction on his part to the simple rebuke.  The other couple just stood there, while we simply kept up the gentle pace of our stroll without missing a step. The man continued stand  there in complete silence, not even talking to the couple who was right in front of him.  For the first time since we had come to the town, his loud voice was not heard bouncing off the walls of the surrounding buildings.
     Then, as we were about 10 yards up the sidewalk from the man, he came back to life.  Through the corner of our eyes, we could see his reinvigorated life form moving, as he started yelling and pointing in our direction.  He was shouting, " You know the truth, You know the truth... why don't you share it?.."  It was almost as if he were taunting us, trying to manipulate us into confronting him there on the street.  This went on for 3 to 4 minutes until we were out of sight.
     Now, this is where I leave it up to you to judge.  For us, the whole story of Paul and Barnabas in Phillipi confronting the demon possessed girl came to mind.   Now, I know that for some Christians this may be totally off their mental grid,thinking  that such things just not could happen in "America"  in the 21st Century.  That is why I leave it up to you, and your faith parameters to judge.   But, the truth is that according to the Word, a Christian has authority and power over our spiritual enemy simply by being in Jesus.  Now,  though this man was "preaching supposed Bible stuff", it doesn't  necessarily  mean that he was a Christian,  nor does it discount the possibility that he  himself was filled with a demon, with the intention of bringing disrepute on the Gospel.
    Here is the what happened to Paul, if you are not so familiar with it:

Acts 16:16-19

New King James Version (NKJV)

Paul and Silas Imprisoned

16 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. 17 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.” 18 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. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

    
    
     
    

2 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I know a lot of "Christian" like this man... unfortunately, the more you interact on their level the louder and more aggressive they get. I would put them in the category that Jesus stated of, "This kind won't come out with out prayer and fasting.." The next question in my mind had always been... who does the prayer and fasting? Us or the individual who is confronted with truth and instead of fighting it, lets truth in.

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  2. Love how we walk in Armor just going about our daily business. The demons in that man saw Gladiators in the Spirit. Nice read about God's victories!

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