Standing Against Evil & Deceiving Spirits

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek first the rebuke of God against deceiving spirits and evil authority in this world (Jude 1:5-11). #StandingAgainstSatan #StandingAgainstDeceivingSpirits

“The Lord Rebuke You Satan!”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude 1:9 presents an interesting account of a dispute between Michael the Archangel and Satan over the body of Moses. Nothing further is known about this specific account. Any explanation is conjecture. What we do know is that when Moses died, God buried him (Deu 34:5-8).

We also know that there is a mighty war being waged against evil in this world (2Co 4:3,4; 1Jn 5:19). The war against evil is also being waged in spiritual realms as well (Dan 10:12-14).

I take the Bible at its word. I believe it to be the inspired, inerrant word of God. I accept Jude’s account at face value. Read verse nine in context (vv5-11). After some study and prayer, this is my humble conclusion about Jude’s account:

Even the Archangel of Heaven, Michael, does not take matters into his own hands when dealing with those who have authority (bestowed or otherwise). Even satanic authority.

Michael doesn’t call Satan names. He doesn’t make accusations. He doesn’t command decrees. He doesn’t pronounce any curses. HE CALLS FORTH THE REBUKE OF GOD against the archenemy enemy of Christ. “The Lord rebuke you.” This same prayer is used against Satan in Zech 3:1,2 where he is the accuser of Yeshua, God’s High Priest (See note at the bottom*).

Herein lies a key weapon in the battle against deceiving spirits and evil authority in this world or in the church. PRAYER! Prayer that calls forth the the LORD of Hosts, the Mighty Commander of Heaven’s Armies to fight our battles.

PRAYER is a powerful and mighty weapon against evil. PRAYER, calling forth God’s intervention, will bring down all the mighty, all the corrupt, all the arrogant, all the perverted and (in this text) all the apostate. Prayer for God’s intervention into the affairs of men and the affairs of the church is the first plan of action, not a last resort. God will fight your battles (Exo 14:14). This is what I believe to be the point of Jude 1:9.

Jude is saying, in context, to this old sentry that I must be alert to apostate teachers (or any other deceitful authority), alert to the evil they represent. I must not be drawn into their web of deceit and assassination of the truth of the Gospel. BUT IN PRAYER, CALL ON THE POWERS OF HEAVEN TO INTERVENE. This is how I should respond first to those in any seat of authority. Then follow God’s counsel from there.

* Little is known about Jude’s accounting of the argument between Michael and Satan. But the phrase “The LORD rebuke you” is used elsewhere (eg. Zech 3:1-4). That should signal some thoughts of validation in Jude. My study of the Zechariah passage reveals to me that the prophet had a vision of the high courts of Heaven. The High Priest, Joshua [or Yeshua – symbolic of Christ], is standing before the LORD. Satan is at his side accusing him. “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘I, the LORD [rebuke you], I reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you.’”

But it is not the sin of the High Priest in Zechariah’s passage that is represented here. It is all the sin of Israel, as it were, represented in him, and what befalls the nation, that is the image here. The “filthy clothes” of the High Priest is the familiar symbol of sin before God; and he wears it, just as he wore his sacerdotal dress before God, in his official capacity.

The High Priest was the embodiment of the nation. He stands before the judgment seat, bearing not his own but the people’s sins. This is a for-shadowing of our High Priest, Christ Jesus. He stands bearing all the sin, all the filth, of the world on the cross at Calvary. He is our substitution. He would die for our sin, be buried with our sin, then be raised from the dead cleansed from all our sin and clothed in robes of righteousness. This Christ did for all of mankind. HALLELUJAH!

It is for Satan’s accusations of the Son of Man, our High Priest; it is for Satan’s defiance of truth, that the Scriptures announce…

“The LORD rebuke you Satan.”

Comments Welcome

One Immutable Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Hold fast to the truth, that one “faith” entrusted to you (Jude 1:3). #OneFaith #DefendTheFaith

Truth; Chiseled In Stone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude further explains “the faith“ I am to defend. It is that faith “entrusted once for all time to God’s people.“ This “faith“ is the one eternal truth given in the gospel – that Christ lived a sinless life and became the sinless sacrifice for all men. In his death he satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin. Christ died that our sin be forgiven. He was buried and raised from the dead to secure men’s eternal life (1Co 15:1-4).

There may be different denominations, but there is only one “faith.” That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, given “once for all time“ [its chiseled in stone]. Those who claim some “new truth” are false teachers (liars) and lead men away from the truth. Lord, my confidence rests in the sole immutable truth of the Gospel.

Lying Lips

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May our lips know only the truth; may we be discerning of truth (Jer 9:3-9). #TellTheTruth #WhereAreTheTruthTellers

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In the larger scheme of things, it seems like “lying” would be way down on the list of things that offend God. But lying is an abomination to God (Pro 12:22). Judah, God’s people, were slanderous, stood against the truth, were untrustworthy, defrauding, scheming and conniving against friends and family. They were good at lying, stacking lie upon lie and refused to acknowledge God. God asks, “How can I not bring judgment on this behavior?”

People often have a problem with telling the truth (not just politicians). We lie because it is in our nature to lie. Lying is the way we deflect blame and responsibility for our own sin and wrong doing. We lie to give ourselves the advantage. Our lies will often mean someone else is intentionally harmed. Lies deny others the benefit of knowing the truth. How will God not judge any nation that breeds a culture of lying? Lord, may my lips know only truth.

“Everybody, Lies A Little”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we always speak the truth in life (Jer 9:3) #BeATruthTeller

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So what is the big deal with lying? According to blues musician, B.B. King, “Everybody, Lies A Little.“ The people of Judah were a lying people. They took a stand against the truth. The people of our modern culture, think some lying is okay. Lying is common. It comes natural. [Ever notice how a child needs no instruction on the art of lying?] Yet, it is listed with the “really bad” things, like immorality, stealing, murder and dishonoring God.

Lying is a sin against God (v 9; also, Pro 12:22). it is the opposite of the truth. It goes against all for which God stands. Lying is, according to the NIV translation of the Bible, the native language of the Devil (Jhn 8:44). A French national speaks French. The Devil is from Hell, where the native language is Lying. That is the Devil’s “go to” language. He doesn’t have to think about it. That is just his language. He lies. As humans born into sin, our native language is lying. Only a true relationship with God can change our sin nature and make us truth tellers.

Learn From History

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn from the past God’s faithfulness to do what he says he will do (Jer 7:11–15). #BelieveGod #PutFaithInGodAlone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah‘s message to rebellious Judah was to look to the past for clues in the present. God had destroyed the first site of the Tabernacle of God in Shiloh, because of the rebellion and idolatry of his people. Surely he will not spare the temple in Jerusalem.

The people of Judah should have learned from history and given heed to God’s word. They were warned. Now God was about to do in Jerusalem what he did in Shiloh. This aged sentry may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. But I am sharp enough to believe God and take him at his word.

America today is in an abyss of sin. She will pay a heavy price for ignoring God; for flaunting her sin. But if she will turn to God he will be merciful. PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

Self-imposed Blindness

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stop, look and listen to the call of God; surrender to him (Jer 5:20-25). #StopLookAndListen #SurrenderYourHeartToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I had a wise elder mentor who used to say, “None so blind as those who won’t to see; none so deaf so those won’t hear.“ This was Judah and Israel. The seas and the seasons obey the limits of their reach set by God. But God‘s people had breached the limits of their covenant with God.

God’s people refused to see God‘s goodness or listen to God‘s voice. So they are deprived of the blessings of God and are robbed of what good things they had. This is the result of stubborn hearts that reject and abandon God. Lord, may I always have a heart that is surrendered to you. Open the eyes and ears of my beloved nation to the call of God.

A Loosing Strategy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we not continue to tempt God by perpetual sin and indifference (Jer 4:21, 22). #RepentTowardsGod #TurnNowToGod #DoNotTemptTheLordGod #LoosingStrategy

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah’s weeping cry to God is, “How long must I see the destruction of war on the people of God?“ God does not say. But he reiterates Judah’s foolishness in not listening to God. They are wise toward doing wrong and but have no idea about how to do right; opposite of Pro 1:1–4.

God was fixed on his judgment of sin (rebellion against God’s way). God would even tell Jeremiah (7:16) to stop praying for Judah. GULP! Nowhere else does God issues such a directive. Oh Lord, I pray that my beloved nation would not continue to test your long suffering; a loosing strategy. May she turn quickly to you in repentance.

Time Is Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly bow in repentance before God while there is still time (Jer 4:5–9) #NoMoreTime #Repent #TurnNowToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This is Jeremiah’s straight up warning to Judah that destruction was on its way. Time was out. The coming devastation would make all weep and mourn with broken hearts.

Babylon would fall upon Judah like a fierce lion falls upon its prey. God would withdraw his hand of blessing and protection from Judah. They would feel the full consequence of their sin and unrepentant nature. The king, all the officials, the priests and prophets would look on in horror. For they have ignored God and have themselves deceived the people.

America is not Judah of old. But her unrepentant nature mirrors that of Judah. She will pay the price for her sin. Even now she is reeling economically. Her social fabric is being ripped to shreds. Her borders are broken. Her enemies are licking their chops. Her leaders deceive us and explain away her woes. The voices of those in ministry are largely silent.

Lord, may the watchmen blow the trumpets of warning. May the hearts of this beloved nation be broken for sin. May she turn now to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Walk The Talk

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION TO…

…Come in SINCERE repentance toward God; turn fully back to him (Jer 3:6–10). #SincereRepentance #WalkTheTalk #Revival

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Josiah, king of the southern kingdom of Judah was a good and gracious King. He was instrumental in leading Judah in a revival (2Ch 34). Unfortunately it was limited in its scope. The nation was bent on following the example of her sister Israel. So she flagrantly put other gods (who are no gods), gods of her own making, ahead of Jehovah God.

Judah should have learned from Israel‘s total collapse that she should repent and turn sincerely back to God. But she never fully did. Her revival was short-lived and mostly a pretense, a show. She abandoned the One who had saved her, assuring her fate (2Ki 23:25-27). Lord, may I (my beloved nation) learn from the examples of history. May I (my beloved nation) come to you in sincere repentance for sin. May my (our) behavior match the repentance.

When God Stands Down

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you not persist to ignore or reject the infinite love of God; he will stand down (Jer 2:31–37). #DoNotIgnoreGod #TurnBackToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

More than just an angry, infuriated lover to Judah (God’s people) the Lord desires reconciliation. He says, “What horrible thing have I done to deserve your rejection? Why do you wish to be free of me? I have loved you, why are you now so ashamed of me?“

God goes on to compare Judah’s alliances with other godless nations like that of a prostitute subduing her lovers. All the while she disregards the poor, leaves them to die. But her newfound lovers will let her down. They will turn on her. She will be led into captivity as God looks on with pity.

Lord at times in my life this old sentry has acted incorrigibly toward you. My sin led me to captivity. You stood down from me. But ultimately my brokenness led me back to you. Your love for me, Oh Lord, is infinitely greater than any humanly contrived invention.

“Admit It And Quit It!”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come clean with God for your sin (Jer 2:26). #AdmitItAndQuitIt #Incorrigible #Repent

You talkin’ ta me?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like the thief who never feels shame…until he is caught, is Judah before God (v26). They say, “Oh no, it wasn’t me“ (vv23,35). INCORRIGIBLE! The facts (pesky facts) of their abandonment of God prove otherwise (vv27–32). I am afraid that I myself am guilty of this all too often. Aren’t we all?

Like the cat who ate the canary, the kid who is caught with his hand in the cookie jar, there is no denying Judah’s guilt of sin. Nor my guilt of sin. On my best day I am prone to sin. Rather than deny it, I need to own it. “Admit it and quit it,“ as someone once said. Lord give this sometimes wandering sentry the honesty to own his sin, confess it and receive your grace and mercy.

When Idols Fall

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Rid yourself of anything that comes between you and God (2Ch 34:1–7). #WhenIdolsFall #SeekGodWithYourWholeHeart

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So, young Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah (he followed his wicked father Amon). It is hard to know exactly how and when the prophet Zephaniah may have influenced Josiah, but by age sixteen he had begun to earnestly seek Jehovah God.

Then, at age twenty, Josiah destroyed every pagan shrine, altar, carved image and symbol of the pagan god Baal. He purified, cleansed, all of Judah and Jerusalem. Revival was on the way. Lord, I see that revival begins when I seek you and my heart is cleansed of every idol (something I love more than you).

Nations Bow

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God in humble worship (Zep 2:5–15). #EveryKneeShallBow #WorshipTheLord

How God Views Our World

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Final and swift judgment will also come upon all those who taunt God’s people. God will use the evil of those nations who hate God’s people (Israel) to discipline his people. But those nations will, “receive the [just] wages for their [sin] and pride, because they scoffed at God and his people” (v15).

There will be a day when the nations of the world will worship the Lord (v11). May the nations of the world bow down in repentance and worship the Lord even today. Lord, there is none who escape your view. All men will one day bow before you. May that day be sooner than later.

Carpe Diem

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Take advantage of this season for repentance (Zeph 2:1–3). #Repent #TurnToGodToday #SeizeTheMoment #CarpeDiem

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The deafening siren of alarm preceding judgment is only superseded by the urgent clarion cries to repent. The prophet is saying, “If you are hearing my message of judgment, then there is still time to repent and return to God.“ The season for repentance is brief and will quickly dissipate.

Seize this moment in time. Repent and turn to God while there is still time. Seek the Lord in humble contrition for sin. Follow his ways and do what is right. Repentance will deliver us through certain judgment. Lord, may I take every advantage of this season, this moment, to repent and turn to you .

Consequence Of Sin

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Never flirt with nor tolerate sin in your life (Zeph 1:10–18). #CertainDestructionOfSin #NoEscapingSin’sConsequence

Don’t Ignore Sin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This prophecy takes your breath away. It is swift, sweeping and severe (it took me a couple of days to absorb it). The prophet minces no words. God fully intends to punish sin and purify his people. When judgment comes, people inside the walls of Jerusalem will wail in sorrow over their destruction. No one, no sin, will be overlooked, to the darkest recesses.

Property and homes will be destroyed. Plants, vineyards, all life will be destroyed. Strong men will weep. Distress, gloom and blackness will sweep the city. It’s walls will be smashed. Blood will run in the streets and bodies will lay rotting on the ground. Life in Jerusalem will come to a terrifying end. Why? Because of sin (v17).

Lord, remove toleration of sin in my life (the life of my nation) far from me (from us). “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalms 139:23-24 NLT

Mixed Up

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Expose and expel any idolatrous worship of the heart (Zeph 1:5–9). #MixedUp #HonorGod #TurnToGod #Judgment

Who Are You At Worship?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The height of hypocrisy is to claim to love and serve Jehovah God, then worship the gods of Baal and Molech as well. The people of Judah had mixed the religious practices of many religious pagan beliefs. Isaiah condemned this practice, as did Jesus (Isa 29:13; Mat 15:8).

For the idolatrous worship of Judah, God will bring sweeping judgment (vv2–4). Religious leaders will be severely judged for their role in misleading the people. The deceitful practices of the heart will be destroyed. So it was when Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. So it will be in the end of time. Father, search for and expel any idolatrous worship in me; in my nation.

Forsake Ungodliness

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Maintain a pure heart towards God, free of ungodly influence (Zph 1:2-6). #GiveGodAPureHeart #ForsakeUngodlyWorship #VeraciousDevotionToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Zephaniah unloads a stark message from God to the people of Judah. One of the greatest sins of Judah, if not the greatest, was the worship of Baal, the worship of Molech. These pagan gods were hideous in their nature. They elevated child sacrifice, burned by fire – destroyed.

Ashtaroth was a third popular (female) God, although not mentioned here, but by other prophets of God. So, sexual rites and temple prostitutes were in abundance. Impressive temple structures, loud music and lude dancing had captivated the hearts of God’s people. Lord, give this intercessor sentry a pure heart, free from the worship of any other gods but you.

Righteous Anger Prevails

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live your life before God in sincere and humble repentance (Nah 3:1-8). #CityOfShamelessSin #JudgmentOfSinInevitable #RighteousAnger

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

What was Nineveh to God? She was a “city of murder, city of lies“ (v1); her victims reveal “countless casualties, heaps of bodies“ (v3). She was a “city of faithlessness, a city of deadly charm“ [fatal attraction] (v4). Nineveh was a city of extreme violence, brutality and cruelty (v19). She was a city of pride and arrogance (v8).

There is bad, and then there is evil. Nineveh was evil, on par with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:24). Though Nineveh had repented under Jonah’s preaching (Jon 3:6–10), she later ruthlessly destroyed Israel (the northern kingdom). She was now threatening Judah (the southern kingdom) and the entire history of God’s people.

When sin/evil threatens the work of God and his redemption plan, God, in righteous anger, will move to eliminate the threat (note also Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). Lord, may I live a life of sincere repentance towards you.

A Warning To The Nations

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May God bring a halt to predatory rapacious nations today (Nah 1:1-3). #WarningToTheNations

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The scene shifts from Judah to Nineveh (capital of Assyria; It is CIRCA 620 BC). A century earlier the prophet Jonah preached judgment in the streets of Nineveh. She repented and was spared. But she has since descended into a cesspool of sin – idolatry, extreme violence, pride, murder, treachery and injustice. The prophet Nahum now announces that Assyria’s cup of judgment is full. Judgment is about to fall.

Nations today who overpower other nations, because they can, who show indifference to the destruction of life, property and human suffering will face the full fury of God’s anger. Father in these days the barbarian attack of Russia on Ukraine comes clearly into view. Woe to this godless and abominable leader, Vladimir Putin.

May the Ukrainian people know the full mercy of God. May Russia be decimated in her efforts to trample the sovereign nation of Ukraine.

Depths Of Evil

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Avoid at all cost going down a road of sin and rebellion (2Ch 33:3–10). #HowLowCanYouGo #DepthsOfEvil

The Picture of Dorian Gray” – Story of Inner Sin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jewish history reveals Manasseh, king of Judah, as one of the nation’s most wicked and vile kings. He built pagan shrines. He erected alters with images of Baal and other evil symbols. He worshiped, bowed down, to the powers of the heavens; built alters to these powers in God’s holy temple. He sacrificed his own children to Baal.

Manasseh practiced sorcery, witchcraft and the like. He consulted mediums and psychics – all things forbidden by God. He stirred God’s anger against him. He did more evil than even the pagan nations God had destroyed. He ignored all God’s warnings.

The sentry may question how God can tolerate such sin. Then I am reminded of my once rebellious heart and the extravagant Grace of God.

Deserter

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be not drawn by the world away from faith in Christ (2Ti 4:9,10). #Deserter

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Among Paul’s closing words to Timothy, he mentions Demas. I had a pastor in the mid-1970s who preached a message on Demas. I’ve never forgotten it. He showed the progression of a man from follower of Jesus to failed deserter of the faith. All that is known of Demas is in three verses. But the message is clear.

In Philemon 1:24, Demas is called,“fellow laborer.“ In Colossians 4:14, he is listed last, with no ministry designation. Finally, here, he is listed as “deserter.” Lost to the things of the world. Somewhere along the way the gospel seed in him was overwhelmed by the world (Mat 13:22). Lord, it is my joy and my testimony, by grace, to have lived out many years in faithfulness to you.

Sin = Rebel Heart

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Would that God’s Spirit move on the sin ridden hearts of men today (2Ti 3:2). #WhatIsSin #SinsPayoff

Offended? Ev’thing You Need To Know About Disregard For God.

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“In the last days.“ Not only will men scoff at God, they will be disobedient toward their parents and ungrateful. Nothing to them will be sacred. Elsewhere Paul explains that men knew God but they would not worship him as God and they were thankless, “ungrateful“ (Rom 1:21 & all of Rom 1,2).

It is today as it was in Paul’s day.

To disregard God, disregard parents and show no gratitude is to disdain any authority. It is this attitude of rebellion in man’s heart that God calls sin. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Lord in these last days would you send revival and awakening in the land. Oh, that men’s hearts would be open to you.