One of the many lessons I learned during Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training (many years ago) was that only a doctor could pronounce someone dead. As an EMT, I could report a patient as having no signs of life but the emergency room physician would have to pronounce the person dead. In addition, the medical examiner would determine a more definitive time and cause of death. However, as an EMT, me saying a patient had no signs of life did not mean the patient was not officially dead, especially when multiple facts substantiated it.
I said all of that to lay the foundation for the following. You don’t need a love doctor to formally pronounce a relationship dead, especially when it has no signs of life. Additionally, in a relationship, either person can declare it dead. Some people have a warped view that a relationship is not over until he or she says it’s over, as if that person is the relationship’s love doctor. Let me be the love coroner by giving you some feedback on the cause of death of that relationship. If you believe a relationship is not over until you say so, you have the kind of mentality that is one of, if not the contributing factor to the death of the relationship. It is a sign that you viewed the other person as a possession instead of a partner. One of the things a coroner looks for is conjunctival petechiae (bloodshot eyes), which, when foul play is involved, indicates potential death by asphyxiation. Sometimes it is easy to tell that one person almost choked to death in a relationship because leaving has given the person a chance to start breathing again. It is an awful sight to see a relationship suffocating the life out of someone.
A person does not need to be a love doctor to see when a relationship is dead. Oftentimes, a key indicator is because only one person is fighting to save the relationship, as if administering CPR or using an Automated External Defibrillator. One of the implications of a doctor pronouncing a person dead is that it signifies the end of all attempts to resuscitate the person, or to keep the patient on life support. When the doctor “calls it”, all treatment stops. Many relationships are legally dead but they only look somewhat alive because they are on life support. For those of you who are Christians, stop asking the Lord to resurrect a dead relationship, especially one you had no business being in at all. When the Lord “calls it, leave it alone because it is dead. Have you ever noticed that towards the end of Jesus’s life we hear about Mary but not Joseph? We can assume that when Joseph died Jesus let him remain dead, to rest in peace, despite what Mary may have wanted. You will have no peace if you do not let a dead relationship rest in peace. Jesus did not raise everyone from the dead. We also see that based on His response to the man who wanted to go bury his father before following the Lord. You may think some of my comments have been insensitive, but keep in mind that Jesus told the potential disciple, ‘Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.’ ~ Luke 9:60 (KJV) Similarly, some people are not doing the working of the Lord because they are trying to maintain or resurrect a dead relationship instead.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
‘Therefore, behold, I AM against the prophets’, saith the Lord, ‘that steal My Words every one from his neighbour.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:30 (KJV)
There is a difference between stealing a prophecy from someone and being inspired to prophesy based on being in contact with him or her. Prior to being king, Saul crossed paths with a company of prophets and began prophesying, which made people wonder if Saul was also among the prophets (1 Samuel 10:10-12). A similar thing happened when Saul sent three sets of messengers to pursue David, all of whom prophesied when they came in contact with the prophets. King Saul later personally ventured out and began prophesying (again) when he came across those prophets (1 Samuel 19:18-24). A part of me saying that is, if you are a prophet/seer, or, you are prophetic, be very careful whom you come in contact with, and those who come in contact with you. One lying spirit misled king Ahab’s 400 prophets (1 Kings 22:21-23).
There are times when one person is prophesying and it is like one Word lights a fire that causes another to start prophesying in a similar manner. But that is not stealing a Word. The apostle Paul wrote:
“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (KJV)
Again, there are times when a person is observing while others are prophesying and the individual will get the unction (from the Holy Spirit) to prophesy also. Conversely, you may be a prophet, and others are prophesying, and even though you may be in right standing with the Lord, He may not have anything to say to or through you, or share anything with you for you to disclose, which means you should remain quiet. You can be the one to judge the prophecies that are going forth in accordance with 1 Corinthians 14:29-33.
Sadly, there are prophets, to include false prophets, who the Lord is not communicating with so they steal other people’s prophecies to seem relevant, and in right standing with the Lord. I generally cringe when I hear people claiming to release a prophetic word for the month, seemingly every month. Assuming the Lord has been giving them a “word for the month”, every month, what happens if after their followers have been receiving those words every month, and have come to expect those words, a time comes when the Lord does not give those messengers a word for the month? I can tell you that both of my professional Facebook pages have things scheduled to automatically post almost every day for the next six months. And that was after I moved up six months of posts to go for about every 30 minutes instead of every day. I wiped the slate clean so to speak and did not plan on posting anything else unless the Lord specifically directed me to. I did not go on strike, but I wanted to ensure I had not been flying on autopilot so to speak. The Lord told me something all right that sent me back to work J. The point is I don’t put myself in a position where I have to produce anything to appease anyone but the Lord. I actually work hard to keep quiet but I cannot escape getting inspired.
Tragically, prophets have been caught pilfering information from others, to include people who are not prophets of the Lord. There have also been cases where a prophet released a prophecy that did not come to pass, and then the prophet revealed, or claimed, he or she received the prophecy from someone else instead of directly from the Lord. Yet, the prophet declared the message as if it came directly to him or her from the Lord. It is an awful practice to repeat something you did not hear directly from the Lord. Can you imagine Jeremiah repeating one of Hananiah’s false prophecies as if he had heard it directly from the Lord? Actually, I cannot even begin to imagine that because the Lord gave Jeremiah more than enough to say and write, some of which is in the Book of Jeremiah, which includes prophesying judgment against the false prophet Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). Another important lesson we can learn from Micaiah is to not go along with what other prophets have to say (1 Kings 22). It is better to say nothing at all and be right, or declare the Word of the Lord (from the Lord), than to parrot a message from an errant or false prophet and go down in flames with that prophet. And I do mean in flames because false prophets will get sent to the lake of fire for lying and practicing witchcraft (Matthew 7:21-23, Revelation 21:8).
A prophet of the Lord does not have to steal Words from his or her neighbor. The prophet knows how to be quiet when necessary, even for long periods of time. But in many prophetic ministries today, that becomes challenging for prophets who are on the preaching and/or prophesying circuit where there is pressure to produce (perform), even when the fruits are not necessarily from the Lord. A prophet’s ability to remain silent, even for prolonged periods, is in part because prophets do more than prophesy, or at least they should. I close this exhortation with the following reminder of some of the seemingly unheralded, yet very important functions of being a prophet:
“And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” ~ Luke 2:36-37 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Do not get so accustomed to pushing the limits that you stop respecting healthy boundaries. There is a threshold between trying to conquer a perceived challenge and ignoring a potentially life-saving warning. Many people’s persistence prevents them from hearing “the voice of reason”, the warning that they are about to cross the line and go too far. Sadly, some refuse to listen to the obvious voice that lets them know they went too far, hence the pain and embarrassment they are now suffering.
The pain one suffers after an intense workout is different from the intense pain one suffers as a result of an injury. In addition, muscle soreness recovers much faster than a torn muscle for example. It is also easier to continue exercising with sore muscles. Working through the soreness will help with recovery. Conversely, an injury may require a cessation of physical activity, especially with the affected region(s), in order to heal properly. Improper healing is a more serious injury waiting to happen. It is similar to entering into a relationship too soon after leaving a toxic one. Also, not resting an injured area may result in a more serious injury or delayed healing. That is reminiscent of forcing a relationship to work but making it worse instead, or, revisiting things that continue to break your heart.
There is an idiom in Jamaica that states, “Trouble nuh set like rain.” Which means, unlike the obvious rainclouds that indicate a coming rainstorm, the onset of trouble is oftentimes seemingly without warning. However, the Lord has many ways of warning us of pending disaster, but many people fail to listen or perceive His warnings. We have to be more like “…the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” ~ 1 Chronicles 12:32 (KJV) Or, at least be like the other children of Israel, who did not have that gift, but were wise enough to heed the counsel of the children of Issachar.
Do not get caught in a situation like when Jesus said, ‘When it is evening, ye say, ‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering.’ O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?’ ~ Matthew 16:2-3 (KJV) Learn to discern the sign of the times, to include when you need to separate yourself from those who refuse to listen about their coming judgment. You do not want to be a part of the collateral damage.
I won’t leave you hanging so to speak. So here are some helpful hints to let you know that hell is about to be unleashed in your life, or the life of another:
You are living in sin. Whenever you violate the Lord’s Commandments, you give the devil access into your life. Many people erroneously think this only applies to the Ten Commandments. However, it also applies to other things, such as forgiving others like how the Heavenly Father forgives us (Matthew 6:14-15). Remember, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” ~ Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV) Many people are giving place to the devil by holding on to their anger, and even worse, by plotting and/or seeking revenge against the transgressor. Seeking or taking revenge is for the wicked, in part because the Lord will not defend them; they will reap what they have sown. The righteous can rest assured because the Lord said, ‘To Me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.’ ~ Deuteronomy 32:35 (KJV) The Lord will prosecute the wicked who persecute the righteous.
“These six things doth theLord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV) As a result, if a person has been slandering you, his or her judgment draws nigh.
Trying to ruin another person’s life to take him or her away from his or her God-ordained destiny, such as using any form of witchcraft. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV) Many people are seeking prayer and/or sympathy for the fruits of their evil deeds.
There are certain things, where even if the Lord does not give me specifics about their judgment, people who engage in such things inevitably bring calamity upon themselves, their cohorts, and their families. Sodom and Gomorrah were not cities with adults only. But rather, what the adults did had a negative impact on the children who were on path to grow up to be like their parents. Prolonged sin usually results in hardened iniquity. If you believe that was only an Old Testament example, take a look at Revelation 2:18-23.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” ~ Proverbs 16:18 (KJV) “But He giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:6-7 (KJV) Many people will not listen to the voice of reason, oftentimes the Holy Spirit of the Lord, which is why they pay the price. The Lord used Daniel to warn king Nebuchadnezzar about his pride, but the king chose to learn the hard way instead (Daniel 4).
It is easy to see the calamity hanging over some people’s head like a storm cloud. Similarly to how the water from the ground evaporates, condenses into a cloud, and then precipitates as rain, we reap what we sow. As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” Many people are crying in the outpouring they were told was coming, but they kept going across the threshold the Lord had emplaced for their safety. But with choices are consequences, especially for those who try to mock God. Sadly, some people have not yet figured out that their lives are not what it could be, simply because they keep sowing seeds of discord and they are reaping what they keep sowing. A part of why some have not figured out why calamity keeps striking is because the consequences of our actions are not always immediate. I won’t go into details, but I recall committing a sin and the Lord’s judgment overtook me two years later. I paid dearly but I learned greatly. I can attest that God is not mocked and He will avenge; He will not let anyone tarnish His name (Isaiah 48:11). Woe unto those who think they have gotten away with anything!
‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.’ ~ Revelation 18:4-6 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
It is a form of witchcraft (via control, manipulation, and/or intimidation) for a minister to tell congregants that they will backslide if they leave his or her ministry. It is even worse if the minister says people will be cursed for leaving his or her ministry. In the case of the latter, the minister is actually releasing a curse on those who leave the ministry. Intercessors, please, do not fall for the devil’s trick to “pray someone back into the ministry”. Your church is not the key to a person’s salvation, Christ is! Keep in mind that Jesus said, ‘I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.’ ~ John 14:6 (KJV)
A minister who puts people under bondage is insecure and errant at best, but may actually be a messenger of satan, a wolf in shepherd’s clothing. Please note the following regarding how the Good Shepherd, Jesus, reacted when people left His ministry:
“From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’ Then Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’” ~ John 6:66-69 (KJV)
The apostles stayed on their own free will based on what they saw in the Lord. Jesus does not force people to stay with Him, and neither should any professing minister of Christ. Also, the Lord never spoke an ill word against those who left; He simply let them go.
It is a shame what many professing ministers of Christ are doing in secret, and sometimes even boldly in public. As a Christian, “…Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness [to include from the pulpit], but rather reprove them. FOR IT IS A SHAME EVEN TO SPEAK OF THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE DONE OF THEM IN SECRET. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-13 (KJV) Do not stay in anyone’s ministry because of fear, obligation, or guilt “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) In addition, be leery of any minster who offers you a “leadership” position in his or her ministry at around the time you were thinking of leaving. Sometimes that is a way of keeping you in bondage based on obligation.
On a final few notes for those ministers, “…O ye shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; ‘Behold, I AM against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.’” ~ Ezekiel 34:9-10 (KJV) The Lord had 7,000 men in reserve to replace Elijah, and He has others to replace you if you do not repent. And just in case you want to go there, despite king Saul’s best efforts, he could not kill David, the one the Lord had anointed to replace him.
“Setting the captives free.”
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
The three “voices” in your life come from God, the soul (which is comprised of the mind, will, and emotions), and devils. It is very important for you to discern the source of the voice that is trying to influence you; there is only one voice that is always correct. After all, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” ~ Proverbs 16:25 (KJV)
Sometimes those voices are communicated via human messengers, who may not be aware of the source of their speech, and you have to discern for them. Imagine Peter’s shock when he thought he was doing a good thing by rebuking Jesus. “But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, ‘Get thee behind Me, satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’” ~ Matthew 16:23 (KJV) You may have to do the same thing to others when a devil tries to use them to speak into your life. Conversely, oftentimes, people think of how the following Scripture applies to others without realizing they have to apply it to themselves also: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1 (KJV) Everyone needs to test the spirit behind the voice that is trying to influence their life. The following is aimed at helping you identify which one of those three voices is trying to influence you.
The “voice” of the Lord aligns with His written Words in the Bible. However, the Words must be contextually correct and geared towards leading away from sin and towards a closer relationship with the Lord (Revelation 19:10). Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they will only follow Him (John 10:27). Note that He said His voice as opposed to His Words. Keep in mind that the devil used the written Words of God in an attempt to lead Jesus into sin (Luke 4:1-13). The voice of God leads us out or away from sin, and behavior that reflects negatively on the Lord. It is tragic when people get deceived into sinful behavior and they use the Word of God to justify their sins. When the lady was caught committing adultery, the Pharisees tried to use the Words of God to get her killed, while trying to tempt Jesus in the process. [The Pharisees were holy men yet their actions were reminiscent of the devil (Luke 4:1-13).] But the Lord found a way of escape for her that did not violate His written Words (Exodus 33:19). However, the Lord told her that He did not condemn her, but she should go and sin no more (John 8:1-11). He did not tell her to go stay with her lover because He is gracious. If you find yourself using Scriptures to justify living in sin, you need to seek counsel from people who have a close relationship with the Lord. The Pharisees knew the Law but they did not know God, or His Son [God in the flesh]. You do not need counsel from people who know the Scriptures but do not know God or they may misapply the Scriptures to your situation. Many things went into Jesus decisions to release the adulteress, such as how the Pharisees violated Deuteronomy 6:16, and misapplied the Law stated in Leviticus 20:10.
Just like how Jesus rebuked the devil who inspired Peter’s words, you need to rebuke devils too. However, there are times when people rebuke a devil but the source of evil actually came from a person’s mind. David was a king and I have no doubt that devils were around him trying to lead him into sin. For as the Lord said, ‘…smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) The devils know that principle, which is a part of why it is so important to pray for leaders, in the church and the secular world, even if you may not like or agree with them personally or professionally. Just take a look at the evil kings of Israel who led the people deeper into sin. Now, for as much as devils tried to influence David, I don’t think we can put too much blame on the devils once David walked out on the roof of his house and saw the beautiful Bathsheba taking a bath.
The devil is entitled to set his bait but you don’t have to take it. The Lord told Cain that sin was at his door but he must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Also keep the following in mind:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7 (KJV)
It is hard to tempt a person with something he or she has no desire for.
One of the reasons David did not need demonic assistance for what happened next was that he already had many wives and concubines at that point, which was symbolic of his desire for women. For single people who struggle with sexual temptation, do not assume that being married is going to make the temptation any less. Being married is probably going to make it worse, and that is when the devil will most likely send his best assets to target you and your marriage. Like the Lord said, sin is crouching at your door but you must rule over it. When you get married, sexual sin may begin knocking on the door of your life more fervently. When David asked his servants about the woman, one of them said it was Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 11:3). The Lord had just given David a way of escape. But rather than having his servants going to get one of his wives or concubines to satisfy any urges he may have had, David had them bring Bathsheba to him. Before David was king, he felt convicted for cutting off a piece of king Saul’s robe. Saul was a wicked man who was trying to kill David, but he would not harm the king because he was the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24). But as the king, David did not have the same conviction to stop from going too far with Bathsheba. David would have been more justified in killing Saul than defiling Bathsheba.
Similarly to how there are three voices, there are three portals of sin, which are: “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” ~ 1 John 2:16 (KJV) David apparently succumbed to all three and it started when he fixed his eyes on Bathsheba. Many people stumble at that point because their lust activates the voice of their soul (the mind, will, and emotions). Keep in mind that the Lord said, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ ~ Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) Just look at how David’s son Amnon claimed he was basically madly in love with Tamar, and how quickly that emotion changed to hate once he exerted his will on her (2 Samuel 13). It also did not help that Amnon fed the lust of his flesh by taking a messenger of satan’s advice when he listen to Jonadab. Amnon listened to the wrong voice and it cost him his life. Undoubtedly, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
When it comes to “voices”, the Lord said the following, which also applies to those who are not prophets:
‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV)
‘How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:26 (KJV)
That reminds me, the three voices are also the three sources of dreams and visions. Sometimes people are utterly convinced that a dream or vision was from the Lord when it was actually the deceit of their own heart manifesting in a visual way.
When the voice aligns with Scripture but feeds the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and/or the pride of life, it is a sign that it is most likely not of God. Again, this is a part of the reason why it is vitally important to have a relationship with the Lord. Many false prophets give prophecies about how great the Lord is allegedly going to make a person, in part to feed the recipient’s pride. Sure, the Lord gave Joseph two dreams regarding how his family would one day bow down to him (Genesis 37). But, because the dreams (prophecies) were from the Lord, He took Joseph through a 13-year humbling process before Joseph got in position for them to bow down to him, and then he had to wait about 7 more years before it happened. If a person is full of pride upon receiving a prophecy but does not begin to go through a humbling process before the alleged appointed time, there should be a high index of suspicion that the prophecy was not from the Lord. There are so many Scriptures that address the fact that the Lord humbles the proud and exalts the humble. For example, ‘…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ ~ James 4:6 (KJV) The voice of the Lord is going to drive a person towards humility. Look at the incredible ways in which the Lord used Moses, even the Lord said to him, ‘See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.’ ~ Exodus 7:1 (KJV) But we see why the Lord could say that about Moses, and entrust him with so much power. It is written: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” ~ Numbers 12:3 (KJV) Pride has a way of blocking one’s ability to receive the things from the Lord. People tend to shut God’s voice down and listen to things that feed the soul, which makes them more prone to listening to the carnal voices from the soul or a devil.
It is a bad sign when a person refuses to listen to wise counsel, especially because it contradicts his or her desires. After all, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14 (KJV) People perished because the following kings failed to listen to wise counsel, and as you will soon see, there is a difference between counsel and wise (Godly) counsel. Lest not forget, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” ~ Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)
When satan inspired David, a king and prophet, to conduct a census of Israel, his general, Joab, gave David wise advice to not trespass against the Lord. But the king overruled his general’s advice and incurred the Lord’s wrath. Sadly, 70,000 people perished because David would not listen to Joab’s wise counsel (1 Chronicles 21).
The prophet Micaiah warned king Ahab to not go to battle at Ramothgilead lest he die. However, the king imprisoned the prophet and ignored his wise (Godly) counsel. Subsequently, the king died a slow and painful death (1 Kings 22).
Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as Israel’s king. The king had a tough decision to make when his people petitioned him to lighten the yokes king Solomon had imposed on them. Rehoboam consulted with the old men, who had served with the wise king Solomon, and they recommended that he grant the people’s requests in order to retain their loyalty. But then the king sought the counsel of the young men whom he had grown up with. They appealed to the king’s pride by recommending that he make things more difficult for the people to make it known that he was “better” than Solomon. King Rehoboam followed the advice of his friends and ended up losing the 10 northern tribes of Israel to Jeroboam, and one of his men was killed. Rehoboam remained king of Judah to the south while Jeroboam reigned over Israel (1 Kings 12).
We are instructed to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-13 (KJV) Yes, it is a shame to speak about what some Christians, to include ministers, are doing or thinking about doing in “secret” on this very day. The Lord gave David time to repent of his transgressions against Bathsheba and her deceased husband Uriah. But since David did not, his rebuke and subsequent judgment were made public. No one is going to discredit the Lord and continue doing so for too long. The devil is a deceiver, but as previously mentioned, he is not the only source of deception. The late Arthur Fletcher of the UNCF is credited with coining the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Sadly, many Christians are wasting their minds on sinful things, sometimes cloaked under the Lord’s name. When a person does something that he or she alleges is from the Lord, but has to take measures to cover his or her tracks to avoid detection or in order to gain access, those are indicators that deception (evil) is involved. Too many Christians are using their minds to accomplish evil as opposed to glorifying God. Please stop using Scriptures or the Lord’s name to justify sinful actions.
Another sign that deception is indicated is when a person tries to obtain an allegedly Godly objective by inducing a spirit of fear. That is witchcraft because it involves imposing one person’s will on another individual. It gets even worse when such witchcraft, based on a spirit of fear, is made to look like succumbing to it will be pleasing to the Lord. Fear of that type is not the reverential fear of the Lord. Sadly, it has to do with control by supplanting a person’s will, which is not pleasing to the Lord, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) Fear is one of the reasons why some people are seduced into cults but find it hard to leave when they discover the dark truth.
One of the many aspects of inducing the spirit of fear is how people are afraid to speak out against errant religious leaders, to include the wolves in shepherd’s clothing. For example, congregants are often told [from the pulpit] to not touch the Lord’s anointed, as if they aren’t anointed too. In addition, some of the so-called “Lord’s anointed” are not anointed at all, or at least not by the Lord. Also, lest not forget that King Saul was the Lord’s anointed but the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him and an evil spirit began troubling (influencing) him (1 Samuel 16:14). We are even told of Saul prophesying under the unction of an evil spirit, after which he demonstrated the fruit of that spirit by trying to kill David (1 Samuel 18:10-11). Some Christians are doing the same thing. They are listening to the wrong voice, sometimes errantly professing that they are hearing from the Lord, even when the fruits clearly contradict that assertion. [See Galatians 5:19-23 to compare and contrast the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Holy Spirit.] Many of those deceived individuals are trying to silence those who are truly hearing from the Lord and communicating His messages.
When it comes to religious leaders, the apostle Paul wrote, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:19-20 (KJV) Initially, we are told to not receive unsubstantiated allegations against an elder, which basically means not to receive gossip or slander. But that does not mean a young parishioner who was secretly abused by a priest should not report it, especially since evidence can be gathered in some cases to support the person’s claim. Subsequently, we are told to publicly rebuke those who sin so others may fear. Sadly, throughout history, many abusive elders were simply reassigned without admonishment, so they left a trail of destruction wherever they went. The same apostle who wrote that letter to Timothy publicly rebuked Peter, a senior apostle in terms of having been a Christian and being commissioned as an apostle much longer than Paul (Galatians 2). Yet, Paul publicly exposed Peter’s hypocrisy, which included leading other Jewish believers from fellowshipping with the Gentile believers. Not only is that an example of publicly rebuking an errant elder, it also demonstrates that actual or perceived seniority does not always equate to greater righteousness. Again, back to the example of Saul and David, it was David, the junior of the two who was being led by the Spirit of God and was the more righteous. Saul was serving as king but the Lord had rejected him and accepted David (1 Samuel 13-16). The Lord may have anointed many of today’s religious leaders but some have since been rejected. One of who failed to publicly rebuke someone who basically called him a fourth member of the Godhead. Eve made the same mistake when the devil told her that eating the “forbidden fruit” would make her and Adam like gods (Genesis 3:1-7).
In addition to everything presented thus far, when it comes to discerning the source of the influencing voice, you can also to draw from the following:
“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (KJV)
Without going too in depth, a part of judging prophecy is discerning which voice is influencing a person. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives a Word of knowledge regarding such matters, or you can tell via the gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12). You can see how the prophet Jeremiah judged Hananiah’s prophecy. The prophecy sounded plausible so Jeremiah initially said ‘Amen’. But Jeremiah followed up with a few things to help others judge the prophecy, and to give Hananiah a chance to repent. One of those statements include, ‘…when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.’ ~ Jeremiah 28:9 (KJV) It may take the fullness of time to determine if something had truly come from the Lord, which is one of several reasons to record what people declare in the name of the Lord in accordance with Habakkuk 2:2-3. Another way to discern which spirit a person is of is based on when he or she is questioned or even challenged on their words. It becomes more blatantly obvious if what was stated in the name of the Lord does not come to pass. But, the Lord did not allow people to wait to see if Hananiah had truly spoken on His behalf. Jeremiah had left the house of the Lord when God sent him back to confront Hananiah:
“Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; ‘Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.’ So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” ~ Jeremiah 28:15-17 (KJV)
The pride of life may have plagued Hananiah, even to the point where he did not repent when he had the chance. He wanted to be noticed or he would have kept quiet. He had no reverence for the Lord to make proclamations in His name, even though the Lord had not spoken to him, sent him, or commanded him to speak. Misusing the Lord’s name carries serious penalties, to include being labeled as a lying or false prophet. The Lord addressed the consequences of that when He said, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of theLordthy God in vain; for theLordwill not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.’ ~ Exodus 20:7 (KJV) In addition, what happened to Hananiah may have been only the beginning of his torments, for as Jesus said:
‘Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
Hananiah prophesied in the Lord’s name, yet he was a worker of iniquity. He may have fooled some people along the way but he could not fool God. He hid some things in the dark for a while but the Lord exposed him in the light. Hananiah wanted notoriety and he got it, but as a Biblical example and a warning to errant and false prophets. One of the ways to help discern which spirit a person is of, which is a part of why the spirits of the prophets is subject to the prophets, is to get to know the Lord’s voice for yourself. When you are used to hearing from the Lord for yourself, the voice of another you will NOT follow.
Another helpful tip in determining which spirit a voice is of is to look for evidence of a snake. Snakes hiss when confronted; confront a false prophet and see what happens, to include how they try to slither away from taking accountability for missing the mark. Snakes have a forked tongue, so from the same mouth may come smooth seductive words followed by the voice of a devil. Some snakes have fangs that inject venom, which is what happens when a person lies, it spreads poison. Other snakes are constrictors (with teeth) and they want to squeeze the life out of your relationship with Christ. Whether the snake is venomous or nonvenomous, it twists the truth to meet its objective. Snakes set traps by lying in wait, sometimes along trails that lead to watering holes. So when a person is on track to seek the living waters of Christ, the snake tries to prevent the person from getting to Jesus. And finally, I think, do not overlook the undeniable sign when you see the shed skin of a snake. No matter how many times a snake sheds it skin, it is still a snake, but each time it becomes an even bigger snake without ever improving its character.
Listening to the wrong voice for too long may cause the Lord to hand a person over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). A person who refuses to heed wise counsel and listen to the truth may develop a disdain for the truth. So, “…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 2:10-12 (KJV) Do not ignore the signs when a person who claims to be speaking on the Lord’s behalf is delusional. For “…the [Holy] Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV) Moreover, ensure you are listening to the right voice. Do not let pride get in the way of your repentance if either your soul or a devil (seducing spirit) leads you astray. Arguably, the only thing worse than getting deceived is remaining in the deception when you know the truth. I sincerely doubt it was the first time Hananiah had told lies in the name of the Lord, but it certainly became his last. It is very important to know the voices in your life, both when you are alone and when others are communicating to you. Please, try the spirits because not every spirit is of God. Do not allow the “yes” you have contrived in your deceitful heart prevent you from hearing the “no” the Lord is communicating to you.
It is great to have a pastor who will protect you from the wiles of the enemy. However, does that pastor equip you to discern and defeat the enemy?
Just in case you are wondering why you need to defeat the enemy, since he is “a defeated foe”, maybe your life is somehow free of any form of demonic resistance. But let’s assume that it is, I invite you to refer to Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 2:11, 10:3-5; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-19.
One of the best ways to defeat the enemy is by fulfilling your calling from the Lord. A pastor’s “protection” is sometimes what prevents people from fulfilling their Godly calling. By the way, not every calling involves starting a church. The Lord may have called you to preach without calling you to be a pastor. In addition, He may have called you to preach but not in your church or any church building… Many people know their place in the church building, to include where they sit, but they don’t know where they stand in the kingdom of God. Would you be completely lost without your shepherd (pastor) or do you know how to find the Good Shepherd (Christ Jesus)? Can you lead someone to Christ or do you only know how to lead people to your church? What do you do when you know what the Lord has called you to do but no one in your church either knows your calling or wants to acknowledge it?
Please keep the following in mind:
‘Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) Consequently, pray for ministers, especially those who are effective against the kingdom of darkness because they endure a tremendous level of spiritual warfare.
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (KJV)
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” ~ Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)
Are you prepared to do what the Lord has called you to do, and are you doing it?
So, while those who watch out for you will have to give an account to the Lord for you (Hebrews 13:17), everyone will have to give an account of him or herself to the Lord (Romans 14:12). Keep “The Parable of the Talents” in mind, with specific emphasis on the master’s rebuke and disposition of the servant who hid his talent without putting it to good use (Matthew 25:14:31). Again, are you doing what the Lord has called you to do? In fact, do you know what the Lord has called you to do and where He wants you to be? If you don’t, I strongly suggest that you ask Him.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Many so-called prophecies fail to come to pass because of errant teaching from ministers who are obviously clueless about what prophecy truly is, or, they are intentionally deceitful. Instead of “prophesying” from the soul, lest not forget, “…prophecy came not in old time by THE WILL OF MAN: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” ~ 2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) That standard has not changed. Take a look at the prophet Ezekiel’s actions in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37); he only spoke as directed by the Lord.
Many people have been led into practicing witchcraft by proclaiming things and expecting the Lord to react like a genie to fulfill their commands. Ministers need to stop giving motivational speeches that are thinly veiled as prophecies. The Lord clearly said, ‘But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, ‘How shall we know the word which theLordhath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of theLord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which theLordhath not spoken,but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (KJV)
People continue to “decree and declare” yet have not figured out why they have not gotten anywhere. The Lord is only required to fulfill His Words. Sadly, ministers will continue with the antics because people tolerate them. For as the Lord said, ‘A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?’ ~ Jeremiah 5:30-31 (KJV)
Additional References: Jeremiah 28:15-17, 29:30-32; Ezekiel 13; “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
When it comes to divorce, the easy answer is, “God hates divorce”, and that is what many ministers will tell those who are contemplating getting divorced. “Somehow” even though very Biblical, I cannot give such a cookie-cutter answer. Brace yourself because the following may cut across the grain of your application of Scriptures. While this dissertation addresses divorce, it is meant to serve as an example of what Jesus meant when He said, ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV)
Undoubtedly, God hates divorce because He clearly said so (Malachi 2:16). Unfortunately, the devil tries to counterfeit and/or corrupt the things of the Lord, to include marriage. There are Christians who have gotten in bad marriages, and it may seem as if there is no way out, besides adultery, but both parties are being faithful. However, despite being sexually faithful to each other, it is now painfully obvious that the union was of the devil, and he has one or both people trapped. In some cases, what seemed like two lovers of and believers in Christ getting married is now apparent that the other person was an imposter, an emissary of the devil. The other way out of a marriage is death, but it may seem as if the other person has the lifespan of a Galápagos tortoise. Moreover, to compound to that, each day with the person is seemingly taking away from your lifespan, which is a part of the devil’s plan. Many people have committed suicide in an effort to escape from such demonically arranged unions.
The Lord is serious about divorce because He is serious about marriage. The message I am inspired to convey is no way meant to take away from that. But rather, it is to encourage you to have a personal relationship with the Lord because sometimes He may have to remove you from a situation in an unconventional manner when the devil has you bound. [Okay, take a second to catch your breath after reading that…] I must also caution you that while the following may be like an escape clause, it is one the Lord uses sparingly, and most likely limited to dire situations where the life of one of His sons or daughters is at risk. The Lord is not going to condone getting divorced for trivial reasons such as weight gain, “falling out of love”, snoring, etc. In addition, before I delve into the issue of getting divorced, let me first address getting married. While people know that God hates divorce, they may not consider that He hates doomed marriages, especially the ones the devil puts together in an effort to steal, kill, or destroy a person’s destiny. Many people can testify that they got into a horrible marriage because they ignored the Lord’s warnings. The Lord gave those warnings in an effort to avert a looming disaster.
Getting married is a choice, or it is supposed to be. Consequently, do not let anyone use witchcraft to pressure or manipulate you into getting married. I have heard many incredible testimonies of how the Lord brought two people together in holy matrimony. Tragically, I have also seen where people misused the Lord’s name to get a spouse (and somehow though it was pleasing to the Lord, and He was going to bless the “union”). For the record, the Lord is not going to force two people to be in a relationship. In Genesis 24, Abraham commissioned his servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant asked what if the woman was not willing to be Isaac’s wife. Abraham said an angel of the Lord would go and help, but, if the woman was still not willing to be Isaac’s wife that the servant would be released from the oath. So, even though the Lord was going to use an angel to find a wife for Isaac, not even in those days, He was not going to force them to be together. So, if you believe someone is your God-ordained spouse, but you are trying to force the person to be with you, you are engaging in witchcraft. If you force someone to be in a relationship with you, to include a marriage, you may end up in a marriage where you are asking the Lord to get you out and He will most likely have you stay to suffer the consequences. Conversely, if you use witchcraft to manipulate a person into getting married but that person wants out, the Lord may create a way of escape for that person… I implore you to include the Lord in your decisions, especially regarding whom you should marry. The Lord may not always tell you who to marry, but please do not ignore Him when He tells you who not to marry. One of the things that may count against you in what I am about to present is if the Lord clearly told you not to marry someone and you disobeyed Him. There are times when the Lord’s communications are not very clear (Numbers 12:8), so if He warned you in such a manner, the level of grace He may extend to you will most likely be greater. Many things play a role in the Lord’s decisions, and even when we may not like His decisions, the Lord is a righteous judge.
The devil has used to the Lord’s hatred of divorce to keep many Christians in awful marriages. It may seem impossible to get a pardon from the Lord in the matter since Jesus said:
“And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ Tempting Him.
And He answered and said unto them, ‘What did Moses command you?’
And they said, ‘Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.’
And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’
And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter. And He saith unto them, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.’” ~ Mark 10:2-12 (KJV)
“It hath been said, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, ‘That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.’” ~ Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)
“And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’” ~ Matthew 19:9 (KJV)
Maybe you can see where God’s grace is needed in this issue already. For example, what if you are on your first marriage but your spouse was previously married to someone who is still alive? Does that mean your marriage is adulterous in the Lord’s sight, and your spouse should divorce you and return to his or her first spouse? Because, if that were the case, you would end up becoming a divorcee, and if someone were to marry you then he or she could be considered an adulterer. But if you think that provides a playground for the devil to use the Lord’s Words to ruin lives, there is more. Also, note that the Lord did not make a provision for a person who got divorced before becoming a Christian. In addition, what if someone has been married twice but both spouses had been married before, and their previous spouses are still alive? Yes, we need to refer to the Scriptures, but we need Jesus, the righteous judge, to render His verdict on an individual basis. I can imagine that the Lord hates divorce in part because it makes things so polluted and convoluted.
Christians oftentimes site adultery as a Biblical grounds for divorce. Even though it is, it does not mean they are commanded to get divorced in the event of adultery. Quite frankly, and this is me speaking, some marriages need to end because lives are at risk, but the one who poses the threat is faithful. The end of that union may not have to be a divorce but a permanent separation. Some people would much rather get out of that toxic relationship and remain single if necessary. The devil has founded many religions so he has emissaries who know how to fake holiness, to include remaining faithful to prevent the other person from escaping. However, that does not mean the Christian should go and have an affair to create a biblical ground for getting divorced. That will get the Christian in trouble with the Lord, and like David discovered, the Lord may forgive you of your sin(s) but there will be consequences (2 Samuel 12). Some Christians have had to deal with infidelity in their marriages but the Lord still did not release them from that marriage.
Another Scripture that complicates the possibility of getting divorced is:
“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, ‘Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.’ But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:10-11,15 (KJV)
There are times in a marriage when things get challenging and getting divorced may seem like the best choice. But the Lord does not want divorce to be an easy “solution”; particularly for an issue He could help the couple resolve. There were times when Jesus seemingly bent the rules, but He did not when you look beneath the surface. That was a part of why He said, ‘If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at Me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:23-24 (KJV) On the surface, it may have appeared as if they were righteously upholding the Law where the Lord said:
‘Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ ~ Exodus 20:9-11 (KJV)
There are times when two or more of the Lord’s commandments collide so we need Him to decide which one takes precedence. For example, I previously mentioned a person using witchcraft to manipulate a person into getting married. And that witch can rightfully tell the victim that God hates divorce. But the Lord also said, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’ ~ Exodus 22:18 (KJV) What do you think a witch would choose if the Lord gave that person a choice between getting divorced or suffering the consequences for practicing witchcraft? Again, it is important to not give cookie-cutter answers, especially since the Lord judges every case individually and righteously.
The Scriptures tells us that it is permissible for the unbeliever to depart, and that the Lord has called us to peace. But what if the unbeliever won’t leave because, as a messenger of satan, he or she gets pleasure from ensuring the believer does not live in peace? Again, the Lord takes divorce seriously because He takes marriage seriously. The Lord also takes adultery very seriously, so much in fact that the penalty is death. However, Jesus mercifully made a way of escape for the lady who had been caught committing adultery (John 8:1-11), even though the adulteress should have been put to death in accordance with Leviticus 20:10 and Exodus 20:14. That may have seemed like a clear violation of the Law, but the Lord had also said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of theLordbefore thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.’ ~ Exodus 33:19 (KJV) Sometimes we get in a bind and we need the Lord’s grace and mercy, we need Him to implement what I have been inspired to call the “mercy rule”.
Sometimes it seems as if people forget that Jesus does not condone our sins, yet He is merciful and will forgive us of our sins without condemning us for them. A person who is convicted of a crime may file a motion to have the judge seal or expunge that record. In either case, if successful, the petitioner can legally deny ever being convicted to a crime. A sealed record still exists but is harder to access while an expunged record is destroyed, as if the crime was never committed. Do I really need to go any deeper with the parallels to the redemptive power of Christ’s blood to seal or expunge the record of your sins, in His court?
The following is a beautiful example of how the Lord seals or expunges a person’s sinful records:
“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden Him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, ‘This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner.’
And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.’
And he saith, ‘Master, say on.’
‘There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?’
Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.’
And He said unto him, ‘Thou hast rightly judged.’ And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, ‘Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, ‘Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.’
And He said unto her, ‘Thy sins are forgiven.’
And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves, ‘Who is this that forgiveth sins also?’
And He said to the woman, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’” ~ Luke 7:37-50 (KJV)
So, if you are on your second marriage and your spouse is on his or her fifth, and the Lord has mercifully given the both of you a fresh start, please, don’t take that opportunity for granted. Never lose sight of what the Lord has forgiven you for, and never go back to a relationship the Lord has rescued you from, especially if He told you to never return. You may have missed the warnings that were not so clear and gotten in trouble, but when He lets you out, don’t you dare go back in. The Lord hates divorce but He is not merciless. If you cried out to the Lord and He had mercy on you, like how He mercifully forgave the sinful lady who anointed Him and wiped His feet with her hair, thank Him and move on.
Those who have been married to their high school sweetheart for the last 30 years, or may never have been married, may not agree with those previous statements. In fact, they may vehemently oppose those remarks because they did not need God’s grace in the matter like others. Or so they may think, because the Lord also said, ‘Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’: But I say unto you, ‘That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’ ~ Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV) In one way or another, we all need God’s grace. Take note of David’s reaction when Nathan told him about the rich man who had taken a poor man’s only sheep. The king pronounced a judgment of death, until he was told he was the rich man. Then he sought the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy instead (2 Samuel 12).
Jesus is oftentimes referred to as Lord and Savior. Some people need His saving grace when it comes to being bound in a demonically arranged marriage. They need the Lord to do something similar to what He did when He healed the lady who had a spirit of infirmity. By the way, rather than rejoicing that she had been delivered from the demonic oppression, the Pharisees chastised the Lord. But the Lord put them to shame when He retorted, ‘And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?’ ~ Luke 13:16 (KJV) Despite my proclamations about God’s grace, I must caution you that the “mercy rule” is not one to take lightly. For as Jesus said to the man He healed who had been crippled for 38 years, ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’” ~ John 5:14 (KJV) God’s grace is never freedom to sin, but rather, it is freedom from the devil’s bondage and freedom from sin. Do not abuse God’s grace, especially when He goes to great lengths to give it to you.
I could have ended this discourse with my previous statement. However, I feel led to keep going deeper to give further insight regarding how the Lord may make a decision in your case. In doing so, I will also provide additional Biblical precedence for the Lord’s seemingly controversial rulings.
Firstborn sons were to inherit the bulk of the inheritance and receive the father’s blessing, yet there were the following exceptions:
Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn son, yet the Lord instructed Abraham to follow Sarah’s desire to put away Ishmael and his mother Hagar (Genesis 21). Even though the Lord would bless Ishmael, His covenant would be with the younger brother, Isaac. Ishmael’s descendants have an issue with Isaac’s descendants to this day, but their real issue is with the Lord’s decision (Genesis 17). On the surface, it may not seem fair, but who are we to argue with the Lord once He has made a decision?
Jacob (Israel) received the birthright instead of his older (twin) brother Esau, for as the Lord had said to their mother Rebekah, ‘…the elder shall serve the younger.’ ~ Genesis 25:23 (KJV) One of the things Esau discovered was that his father’s actions were irreversible.
Rueben was Israel’s eldest son, yet the birthright went to Joseph, Israel’s 11th In fact, Israel took Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh as his own, similarly to how Rueben and Simeon were his first and second born, respectively (Genesis 48:5). As an added twist, when Israel blessed Joseph’s two sons, he gave the blessing of the firstborn son to Ephraim instead of his elder brother Manasseh (Genesis 48).
Whenever you have an issue, take it to the Lord first because His ruling may contradict your pastor’s. But just like how your pastor will have a Biblical justification for that answer, so will the Lord. I strongly recommend that you obey the Lord; He is never wrong, to include when His decisions are controversial. Jesus is a righteous judge, and He instructed us to ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV) When it comes to marriages, many people erroneously assume all marriages were ordained by the Lord, and that both parties entered into the marriage willingly. As previously stated, some marriages were snares orchestrated by the devil to destroy a believer’s life and destiny. Similarly to the woman who was bound by a spirit of infirmity, the devil uses marriages to his children to bind children of God. Arguably, what is even worse is when he and his cohorts act as if the Lord is supposed to let them get away with their evil deeds. Jesus said, ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ ~ Mark 10:9 (KJV) But that does not mean all marriages are of the Lord. A homosexual “marriage” is not of God yet it is a marriage that people can apply those same words to. Furthermore, many heterosexual marriages are not of the Lord either. In retrospect, many people who are in those ungodly marriages can now clearly see how the Lord tried to stop that union. In some cases, they knowingly disobeyed the Lord and now they know why He tried to stop them from getting married, without violating their free will.
In the matter of a divorce, what happens if a professing Christian is in a homosexual “marriage” but then loses his or her homosexual desires. Should that person remain in the marriage because God hates divorce? Sometimes a commandment of the Lord will usurp another in a particular situation. That is a part of why every situation requires a holistic review, and most certainly the Lord’s judgment and guidance. In another scenario, so while God hates divorce, what happens if a married couple discovers they were first brother and sister before they became husband and wife? Scripture tells us that ‘The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.’ ~ Leviticus 18:9 (KJV) So which precept is going to be more applicable, God hating divorce or His commandment against incest? Or, should they remain married but stop having sex? The “mercy rule” is vital in times when God’s grace is needed, even in less extreme cases than those cited. In the cases the individual clearly heard from the Lord, possibly on the wedding day, to not get married, but he or she disobeyed Him and is now regretting that rebellious decision. Yet, even for those who knowingly rebelled against the Lord, He is merciful to forgive those who confess their sins, even if He does not make a way of escape from that marriage. The implementation of the “mercy rule” is solely at the Lord’s discretion.
The other aspect of marriage is that some people do not get married of their free will, which may cause the Lord to implement the “mercy rule”. Genesis 29 tells the horrific story of how Jacob was in love with Rachel but ended up marrying her older sister Leah instead. Jacob did everything that outwardly seemed as if he was in full agreement with the union, to include consummating the marriage. But as we know, Jacob woke up the following day, and when he came to his senses and saw the light, he knew he had married the wrong person, a woman he actually hated. Ladies and gentlemen, there are people who are as sinister as Leah’s father Laban, and as desperate as Leah, to use witchcraft to get a spouse. Witchcraft is a work of the flesh to cause a person to do something against his or her will (Galatians 5:19-21). In some cases, even though still a work of the flesh, witchcraft may involve the use of impure spirits to obtain that objective. Sadly, and even tragically, some people have gotten married to someone they felt was their God-ordained spouse. However, the ruse was because a devil pretended to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and deceived one or both parties into getting married. Many ministers have fallen into the trap of joining people in what they call holy matrimony; yet oblivious to the fact they were helping to form a covenant with the devil. The “mercy rule” is a tool for the Lord to break those demonic covenants.
Some ministers have even counseled couples based on the fact that they are married without judging righteously. It is important to examine how the couple met and what fueled their decision to get married. A sign that a marriage is most likely not of the Lord is if both parties cannot (honestly) agree that the Lord ordained it. The person who says the relationship is not of the Lord may say he or she never had peace prior to the “union”. The individual may even report being physically and/or spiritually manipulated into believing the sense of Godly peace would come after getting married. However, in some cases, there was never any peace, and it became readily apparent that the marriage was a terrible mistake from the onset. By the way, the one who was ensnared into the marriage may be willing to get divorced, even if it means never getting remarried. Conversely, the other person may be vehemently opposed to getting divorced, despite how the other person feels. That latter individual may cite Scriptures to justify his or her opposition to getting divorced, and may thereby appear outwardly righteous. But sometimes just a little discernment will help to uncover a more sinister agenda. Even the devil used Scriptures in an attempt to mislead Jesus and derail His destiny (Luke 4:1-13). Also, lest not forget that Jesus chastised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They looked outwardly clean and righteous but were full of uncleanliness, extortion, excess, hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew 23:25-28). Some people got and are in marriages as a result of extortion by a person who is a covert monster.
One of the signs of (true) love is being willing to let go. Be very mindful of a person who claims to not want to grant a divorce (if applicable) because it is a God-ordained union. Sometimes the marriage is idolatrous, and that individual would not be willing to let go, even if the Lord was simply testing the person like He did when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22). What Abraham was willing to do was what God eventually did. The Lord let go of what He loved the most. ‘For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ~ John 3:16 (KJV) God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, out of love. Be careful of anyone who claims to be in love but is unwilling to let the other person go. That form of idolatry may indicate why the Lord is choosing or chose to implement the “mercy rule” (see Exodus 20:3-6). Even the prostitute whose son was stolen by another woman was willing to give him up rather than for him to die. The other prostitute had no love for the child so she would have preferred to have the child killed so the other woman would suffer too. Be careful of a spouse who gets pleasure from seeing his or her partner suffer.
King Solomon’s wise decision regarding the case between the two prostitutes is symbolic of how the Lord separates fact from fiction (1 Kings 3:16-28). Both women were claiming to be the mother of the son, which was impossible, yet they each had a convincing story. If a man and a woman cannot agree on the source of their marriage, something is definitely wrong. When Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his son Isaac, it was readily apparent to Rebekah’s family that it was of the Lord. The Lord made it known to them via one of His angels (Genesis 24). Always be discerning to look for the Lord’s hands in a union, if the Lord is absent then the devil is probably present. In another example, when Joseph was going to quietly divorce Mary, the Lord sent an angel to reassure Joseph that her pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit, and for him to take her as his wife (Matthew 1:18-25). Be careful when one spouse tries to convince the other, or you, that the relationship is of the Lord. That is a form of manipulation (witchcraft), especially when the Lord has not spoken to the other person directly, or even worse, when the Lord has made it clear but the other person is defying the Lord. Remember, ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ ~ Amos 3:3 (KJV) When you examine the story of how Elijah was taken to heaven, every prophet knew that was going to be Elijah’s last day. They were all of one accord, from Elijah to Elisha, and even the prophets they encountered in Bethel and Jericho (2 Kings 2).
One of the signs that the Lord’s hands are in a relationship is peace. Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6) who provides peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I am confident that Hosea was at peace when the Lord made one of His many “controversial” decisions by telling the prophet to go and marry a promiscuous woman (Hosea 1:2). The same thing goes for an even more “controversial” decision when the Lord told Hosea to go and redeem the woman who had left him and was living with another man (Hosea 3). One of the things that made the Lord’s second decision so controversial was it seemingly contradicted the Law on divorce and remarriage (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4). But God’s decisions were based on Christ’s relationship with the Jews who would first reject Him but He would pay the price to redeem them (and us). So again, peace is one of the hallmarks of a God-ordained relationship, “for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)
Another sign of an ungodly union is if the woman proposed to the man, or pressured him to marry her, to include feigning a pregnancy. When things go outside the Lord’s created order, look out for Jezebel and her father the devil. Ruth expressed an interest in Boaz but she never pursued him, it was he who pursued her (Ruth 3-4). It is “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22 (KJV) While the Lord may bring a woman to a man, as was the case with Eve and Adam (Genesis 2), and Rebekah and Isaac (Genesis 24), He is not going to have a woman chase a man. A marriage that starts outside of God’s divine order does not have to worry about trying to keep devils out because they are already in it. A good rule of thumb is anything that starts wrong will probably end wrong. Whenever you look at a relationship, and especially a marriage, start with the foundation.
The Lord sees and knows all, which is why He may implement the “mercy rule” to extricate His son or daughter from a marriage that was from the devil. The Lord takes divorce seriously because He takes marriages very seriously. However, sometimes the “mercy rule” is implemented to prevent Him from losing one of His sons or daughters to the devil. King Solomon started off on the right track, like his father David, but he married women the Lord had commanded the Israelites not to marry. The Lord had forbidden marrying those people because He knew they would turn the Israelites’ hearts away from Him. Solomon, a king who had encounters with the Lord, began worshipping idols and made places of worship for them, because he was involved in ungodly unions. Do you really think the Lord would have objected to Solomon divorcing those women, or simply sending them away (which would have been worse for them because they could not remarry while he was still alive), in an effort to preserve his relationship with the Lord? [Take another break to catch your breath after that one also…] Keep in mind that king Solomon’s ungodly unions with believers in other gods caused a rift in his relationship with the Lord. The rift even resulted in a rift in the country that became the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1 Kings 11). The “mercy rule” is meant to avert a worse disaster as a result of an ungodly union.
One of the many reasons why the Lord allowed Jacob and Leah’s union to stand was because she was going to help give birth to a nation. Leah gave birth to six sons who would be the six patriarchs of the tribes that formed the nation of Israel. Also, even though the Lord could have worked around it, they had consummated the marriage. The term consummate means to make a marriage legally complete through sexual intercourse. By the way, without getting too graphic, in today’s age, I need to elaborate that sexual intercourse refers to a man’s primary sex organ entering into a woman’s primary sex organ in a manner that could result in reproduction.
I mentioned Solomon’s ungodly marriages and there were other similar cases, but those Israelites handled it differently. The Israelites put away (divorced) their foreign wives and their children when they realized those unions had put them at enmity with God (Ezra 9-10). Some marriages are of the devil because he knows the marriage will have serious negative impacts on the person’s relationship with the Lord. By the way, we know that marrying an unbeliever is called being unequally yoked, but the same may apply to marrying a believer if your God-ordained destinies will take you in opposite directions. In addition, it is one thing to marry an unbeliever. But it is even worse to marry someone who believes in another god, a god he or she may be more committed to than you are to your God. That marriage will be steeped in spiritual warfare because only one god will reign supreme in a marriage. Every god is jealous and possessive, and the true and living God will not yield His glory to another. For as He said, ‘I AM theLord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.’ ~ Isaiah 42:8 (KJV) In addition, the apostle Paul stated, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) Sometimes it is impossible for two people to get along because their gods won’t get along, especially when one serves the true and living God. One of the reasons why the Lord sent the prophet Hosea to get his unfaithful wife was to symbolize Him redeeming Israel from other gods, so he paid the price to redeem her (Hosea 3:1-2). So Christ, having paid the price to redeem His children, is not going to let devils keep those who belong to Him.
The “mercy rule” is an extreme measure, one the Lord uses sparingly, but He can and does use it. Sometimes the Lord knows that if two people stay together it will end in a homicide, suicide, or a murder-suicide. It is a difficult thing to deal with telling two people to stay together because God hates divorce, and then the marriage ends in bloodshed, something the Lord was trying to prevent. In some cases, the one who ends up committing murder is the one the Lord was trying to extract from the marriage, His son or daughter. You may be annoyed with me referring to some people as the Lord’s sons and daughters. However, despite being God’s creations, we are not all his sons and daughters. Keep in mind that Jesus said:
‘Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.’ ~ John 8:44 (KJV)
‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.’ ~ Matthew 23:15 (KJV)
Please do not mistake this dissertation as an argument for getting divorced, especially under frivolous conditions. This is more of an argument for taking marriage seriously, having a relationship with the Lord, and to lessen the possibly of being deceived and remaining deceived. But just in case you get snared, maybe the Lord will impose the “mercy rule”, as was the case when He found a way of escape for the lady who had been caught committing adultery, a transgression for which her and her lover should have been lawfully executed (John 8:1-11). Yet the Lord, even though He did not condone her behavior, He did not condemn her for it either. Instead, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. Those the Lord has forgiven of much tend to love Him even more for extending that grace and mercy to them. I begin to close with the following reminders of God’s love, as exemplified through His mercy and grace, which is the inspiration for what I have been calling, the “mercy rule”:
“And theLord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, ‘TheLord, TheLordGod, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’” ~ Exodus 34:5-7 (KJV)
“And He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of theLordbefore thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.’” ~ Exodus 33:19 (KJV)
‘I even I, AM He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ ~ Isaiah 43:25 (KJV)
‘For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ ~ Hebrews 8:12 (KJV)
If you know the Lord has extended the “mercy rule” to you, and like the woman who was caught committing adultery, you know He rescued you from certain death or another form of calamity. Even though the Lord may have washed your sins away, you will have to wrestle with condemnation from devils. Those stubborn devils would love to make you feel condemned to the point where you would even return to what the Lord rescued you from. Please, don’t fall for that because you will most likely end up in a worse position than before. In addition, the Lord may not be as merciful in the future because you would be operating in willing disobedience against Him. The Pharisees were correct in the judgment for the woman under the Law, even though they did not mention the same judgment applied to the man based on Leviticus 20:10. But one of the things that counted against them was they were violating another Law by tempting Jesus (God), as a way to accuse Him (John 8:6). The Pharisees seemed righteous but they were being hypocrites, which is something that displeases the Lord. So, while they were focused on the woman committing adultery, and trying to use it as a snare against the Lord, Jesus was more focused on their hypocrisy and them violating the Law which states, ‘Ye shall not tempt theLordyour God…’ ~ Deuteronomy 6:16 (KJV) The Pharisees seemed holy but their actions were of the devil, about whom the following Scripture says, ‘…the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.’ ~ Revelation 12:10 (KJV)
When the Lord forgives you, He truly forgives you. When the accusers come along, keep in mind that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2 (KJV)
Notes: Despite the length of this discourse, it only featured some of the things the Lord may use when determining the outcome of your case. Jesus is a righteous judge, and He will judge your case accordingly. Again, the “mercy rule” is not for frivolous divorces. I implore you to seek the Lord before getting married and follow those instructions, even if He gives them at the last minute. A cancelled wedding is better than a scheduled divorced. There is room at the cross for those who are going through a divorce, and it is not an unforgiveable sin, but let us work together by preventing divorces by preventing ill-advised marriages. There were people who knew Laban was about to deceive Jacob into marrying Leah, yet they said nothing. As a result, Leah ended up in a marriage with a man who hated her. She suffered the consequences for her desperate and deceptive actions by being condemned to a life of misery. So please, if you see something, say something. Divorce is a major problem in the world, to include in the church. Many marriages end before the photographer and/or videographer finish editing the files from the wedding day. Sometimes the wedding officiant knows the couple is not right for each other yet proceeds with the ceremony… So many things factor into people getting divorced, to include like when Leah married Jacob even though he was in love with Rachel. You may recall Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. The Lord said the man she was with was not her husband (John 4:16-18). Many people are in a similar situation because they are married to someone whose heart truly belongs to another, which is why the marriage was in trouble since its inception. But that is something for another discussion… So while the Lord hates divorce, I for one believe that it grieves Him when He sees two people who are about to get into a marriage with disaster written all over it. Particularly when the devil is about to put one of His sons or daughters in bondage. While marriage is a covenant, sometimes a person is making a covenant with a devil instead of a person and the Lord. As a result, the “mercy rule” allows the Lord’s sons or daughters to divorce the devil and break every covenant they knowingly or unknowingly entered into with him.
If the Lord has extended the “mercy rule to you regarding an ill-advised “marriage”, you should be able to relate to the following:
‘Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: BUT TO WHOM LITTLE IS FORGIVEN, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.’ And He said unto her, ‘THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN.’ ~ Luke 7:47-48 (KJV)
“Setting The Captives Free”
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of My people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? You bring shame on Me among My people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to My people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live.’
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I AM against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare My people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting My people free like birds set free from a cage. I will tear off the magic veils and save My people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I AM the Lord. You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue My people from your grasp. Then you will know that I AM the Lord.’” ~ Ezekiel 13:18-23 (NLT)
I won’t go too in depth (this time), but there are times when the Lord speaks to us in a parable of the night (a dream or vision), but He is not clear about its meaning (Numbers 12:6-8, Daniel 2, Genesis 40-41, etc.). But rather than getting frustrated, please keep the following in mind because you have just received an invitation from the Lord to have a deeper relationship with Him:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” ~ Proverbs 25:2 (KJV)
‘For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction…’ ~ Elihu (Job 33:14-16 (KJV)
The Lord conceals His messages to you in a dream or vision, and then invites you to search out the matter. Lest not forget how Jesus spoke in parables and many people did not understand what He was saying, even His closest disciples at times had to ask Him to reveal the meaning of the parables. There are different ways to search for the meaning of your dreams and visions, such as:
Like the disciples, ask the Lord for the meaning of what He communicated.
Search the Scriptures. I recently had a dream where I saw a specific portion of I-435. While “I-435” is not in the Bible, Isaiah 43:5 is, which was where I needed to go to begin unraveling what the Lord had revealed. In addition, a part of searching the Scriptures is to test the spirit behind the dream because some dreams come from the soul or even demonic entities (Jeremiah 23:25-32, 29:8, etc.).
Inquire of someone who, like Joseph and Daniel, may have the skill and/or gift to interpret dreams and visions (Daniel 1:17, 9:21-23). But please note, neither men spent their lives interpreting dreams and visions. Ultimately, you will have to develop your own relationship with the Lord, which is something a prophet will lead you towards. Also, while Joseph seemingly gave the baker, cupbearer, and later the pharaoh an immediate interpretation of their dreams, that won’t always be the case. Daniel prayed to the Lord for the answer to King Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream, which the Lord later revealed to the prophet in a vision of the night (Daniel 2:19). That is a reminder to never be in a hurry to prophesy, not even to a king. When the king had his second dream, Daniel inquired of the Lord and it took an hour for him to answer the king (Daniel 4:19). By the way, the Lord may give you the interpretation of a dream or vision but not authorize you to release the information.
Another source is an Internet search engine, such as Google. However, be careful about seeking dream interpretation from websites, especially those that are not Biblically based. I once had a dream that involved a small shark with long pectoral fins; I woke up wondering if such as shark even existed. When I searched the Internet, I came across a Longfin Mako Shark. I don’t recall ever having seen one before, yet the color and details of its skin that I saw in the dream matched what I saw on the Internet. The Lord created the shark so He could certainly show it to me in a dream and then lead me to its photo on the Internet. Once I found the shark, I began reading about it. Yes, sometimes it takes effort, which is why some people prefer to ask others instead of doing the work for themselves.
Inquire of the Lord. I say that again because you can gather information from various sources, but you still need the Lord to put things together for you. For example, some dreams have transitions that may or may not be related, and only God knows.
In closing, dreams tend to be more symbolic while visions tend to be more literal. Yes, it would be easier if the Lord made every dream or vision a literal one, where what you see is what you get, or, if He were to give an immediate interpretation to every dream or vision. However, when you pursue the answers to your dreams and visions, you are also pursuing the Lord. On some final notes, I recommend that you keep a journal of your dreams and visions because the Lord may seal the interpretation so no one will have its meaning until the appointed time. When the time comes, He will remind you of the dream or vision and give you the answer.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”