It can surprise, annoy, embarass or shame us to discover that we, as believers, have a lawless side. "I'm not really like that," is a typical retort, as if to say that our bad behaviour isn't real and isn't really us - and so we ask the one who has witnessed our sinfulness to please ignore it. "That's not the real me - that's the enemy speaking," we might try to say.
OK, then, but what's the enemy doing there, and what are its grounds for expressing itself through you? If there is a demonic presence in your life, then, unless you are totally possessed, it is expressing itself through a part of you, and that part of you agrees with the demonic manifestation otherwise it wouldn't be able to do that. The enemy can't be there, expressing itself through your mouth, unless you give it legal grounds or permission to do so. No demon can force you to say or do something against your own will. In other words, that behaviour you claim isn't 'the real you' is you because you have wanted, and therefore allowed, the enemy to express itself through you. You have accepted the demonic nature - you have acknowledged it as acceptable, and therefore you own its presence, even if it isn't actually 'you'.
To say it isn't you is to deny reality. In saying, "it's not who I really am" and doing nothing about it is to accept a sinful status quo within. It is to accept sin in your life. It is to identify personally with that sin. It is to marry your being and essence to that sin. A proper response is to actively resist until it has gone:
That resistence can only begin by admitting in black-and-white that you really do have a problem and that it's your responsibility to deal with it.
"Therefore submit to Elohim (God). Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7, NKJV).
I had a dream yesterday in which I was a prisoner-of-war (POW) trying to effect a break-out with my comrades. It failed, we were recaptured, and our captors were very angry. I expected to find myself re-incarcerated in the dream, but no, I was suddenly wandering around London living an irresponsible bohemian lifestyle, doing as I pleased and ignoring one or two Torah boundaries. I liked it. When I awoke, I was surprised: "That's not me!!" I insisted to my conscious self, but I already knew the unpleasant truth that it was me. And I, a minister of the Gospel, who preach Messiah crucified and resurrected, who teach a Torah-obedient lifestyle, had to admit that I was double-minded.
My first resolution was to confess it to you today, say "no", and ask Yah'shua to help me overcome. Yes, it was 'me', not some enemy 'making me do it'. In my dream I chose what I felt and wanted. I was showing off and was not ashamed. "But it was only a dream!" I might have said. No, it was not "only a dream", it was a revelation of a disposition of part of myself. Yahweh was showing me a lawless, unsurrendered part of myself that was outside His Kingdom and had to be brought into line. "But you would never do that in real life!" someone who knows me might protest. True, I would stop myself, by an act of will, but that is not the point: sin might not be allowed to manifest in concrete physical action or the deeds that I dreamed about but it was a sin already sown in my mind and heart, causing inner division and warfare, and therefore sinful desires. Sin was already conceived - it was an unborn child within that would grow unless something was done. That's why I was a prisoner in the dream. And I was not bringing it to Yah'shua for resolution but trying to deal with it in my own strength and failing - hence I was recaptured after trying to escape. And what does it mean that I was trying to escape without Yah'shua? It means I wanted to be free of the enemy but not to repent - plain and simple. I wanted to be free to carry on sinning.
When you are in that state only two things can happen:
Simple as that. Or you can choose the third and only intelligent option:
- 1. The civil war continues inside, you resist committing external sin by shere will-power, resulting in stress, exhaustion and sometimes psychosomatic illness; or
- 2. You finally carry out the sinful desire in very deed and start the journey of the Prodigal Son away from home, to licentious living and finally end up as a spiritually impoverished metaphorical hired servant working on a pig farm - you are even attracted to the pig swill as food.
"The devil made me do it" or "that person made me do it" is just the coward's excuse to wriggle out of responsibility. Blaming others for your own choices and sins just prolongs the agony and gives Satan all the glory for something he never did.
- 3. You can choose to repent before the sin manifests in sinful deeds that hurt those around you even more than you are already doing, so making repentance a lot harder, with the result that it takes far more time to overcome, and hurting a lot more people (including yourself).
I know, this may be tough medicine for some of you to swallow but it is nevertheless true. In order to be free and happy within yourself you have to deal with it. Denying it just postpones the inevitable and prolongs the pain. You must choose to either be a saint or a devil - you have to choose between Heaven and Hell.
No doubt you are curious about what I dreamed that was so 'bohemian' - recognise that wanting to know about others' sins is the first stage of lashon hara and is a sin in itself. Why would you even want to know? To gossip? To find fault in me to make you feel better about your own sins? I don't know. I am going to tell you anyway because I want to set an example for you to do what is right in your own life.
After being recaptured, I found myself in a strange restaurant in a cellar. What was stranger about it was the fact that it was waste-deep in water. But in the dream these odd circumstances did not phase me as they did when I was awake, neither did it phase my dream companions. We took it as given. Recognise that whatever is familiar, whether good or evil, feels 'natural' to the natural man. That is why sinners are more or less comfortable in their sinning because it is their chosen default or natural state. Thus holiness will appear both strange and offensive to them because this 'other way of being' disturbs their artificial comfort.
So that you understand the meaning of dream symbolism, let me explain some of the elements of this dream. A cellar or anything 'underground' usually has something to do with the carnal, natural, Adamic or 'earthy' nature. If you are a believer then this is not your default, awake state, but in the subconscious if it has not been dealt with and crucified properly. The water represents the feelings involved. However, a water-filled room is not natural, showing that the feelings themselves are not 'natural' in the spiritual sense. So this is the carnal realm.
The environment I was in was one of plenty, materialistically-speaking. It's the sort of place you 'let your hair down' and start climbing over the protective hedges of Torah given by Yahweh to buffet you against sin. It was an expensive restaurant, a place where in my right mind I would never go, partly because I could never afford it but mostly because I would consider it inconsistent with my stewardship over Yahweh's resourses - I believe squandering money is immoral. But living expensively wasn't even really the point. The point was that I was delighting in the feeling that I had broken some commandments and (so I believed) getting away with it - the thrill of defiance and rebellion. It was the devilish pleasure that comes from saying 'get lost'. But why was that defiance even there? That is the real question in dealing with the reason we are angry with God and blaming Him for our sin-prison and the inevitable misery that flows from it.
One of the members of my family asked me in a family devotional a couple of days ago whether we would still sin in the Millennium even without demons around. He assumed that no demons meant no propensity to sin. I explained that for unresurrected persons in the Millennium the flesh nature would still be there and that mortals would still have to surrender it to Yah'shua, but that the terrible life-and-death struggles we have fighting demonic invaders would be over. We would still have to make choices. And whilst the spirit of murder would no longer be present, we would still have to make the choice as to whether we would be in Messiah or ourselves.
What will it be like to be out of Messiah with no demons around? Emptiness, a lack of life, impaired social relations, stuntedness in maturity, disconnection, inactivity, no spiritual growth, no spiritual prosperity - but without the harmful side - enough to keep us out of the Holy City but not send us to hell. The demands of justice would still have to be met. Such a person could survive as a sort of spiritual slug until the end of the Millennium when a final choice would have to be made at the release of the demonic hosts again. At that point, swarms of demons would swoop down in such souls, claim their legal rights as they do today, and take ownership of those souls who refused to receive Yah'shua as Deliverer and Master. These souls would then be driven to murderous deeds as in our age. Thus a final separation will be effected before the demons are finally and permanently removed, never to be released again.
There is no escape from sin, no long-term avoidance, no escape from Yahweh's law and Justice, no repeatedly postoning Judgment. Yom Kippur rolls around every year to judge the unrepentant ones and plunge them into even greater darkness until a point of no return is reached. And when the last Yom Kippur arrives - the last one of your life before you die - then all that awaits you is Hell. It's your choice. Indeed, it has always been your choice! And if you end up in Hell it's not because Yahweh decided that's where you'd end up before you were born, as the perverse doctrine of Calvinists and others who do not believe in free will but in absolute predestination teach, but it will be because you had a genuine choice and chose to reject Yahweh's offer of Salvation. Where you end up is your choice, not the result of some blind fate over which you had absolutely no control.
I believe this is a wake-up call for many this year. For myself, I decided to reject and resist that perverse pleasure that part of me still seems to have, an inclination that comes from saying 'no' somewhere in my heart. No more. Time is running out. How absurd and ridiculous it is anyway trying to run away from Him which is what you're doing when try to get free of the demonic hold on your life without Him, even if you pretend that both Yahweh and Satan don't exist, using Freudian psychology to justify your atheistic humanism. Wake up!
Let's get ready for Pesach and make it count - we don't just want to go through a dead ritual as Messiah-deniers have been doing for centuries, and doubtless as some Messianics still do today. No amount of psychically creating an 'atmosphere' to 'fit' the festival will make the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) come and be there. This is no way to go. We have to be there for the right reasons - always.
May you be blessed in your personal preparations in Yah'shua's Name.