The beast is coming to destroy the witness of God’s children. In the first great persecution of Christians, they were falsely accused or blamed for burning down a section of Rome. Two thousand years later history is on the brink of repeating itself. We don’t know at this point how much of America will be burnt down if any at all, but we do know that there has been a tremendously large deployment of troops in and around Washington DC along with other strategic areas throughout the country specifically for the inauguration. Fear from the political leadership has driven this deployment along with their aggressive hunt for all those who made it inside the Capital, on January 6th, even if their actions were not nefarious. The connection has already been made. All intruders were followers of Trump, which primarily included Christians who conservatively fought with him against abortion, the increasing scourge of sexual immorality, the invasion of illegals across our Southern border, the unending foreign wars, the ridiculous treaty with Iran, and his opposition to a New World Order. We also supported his Middle East peace deals with Israel and the moving of our embassy to Jerusalem just to name a few. Yes, the connection has been made, so if anything happens, we will be blamed. The beast is coming.
Although I am confident that our people will not cause any damage to life or property, we do know it will not let us off the hook. We will be blamed as followers of Trump and the persecution will begin. So, how do we stand firm against what’s coming? We do so by recovering the forgotten fruit of the Spirit. The Bible says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Although we hear a lot about love, joy, peace, and faith, we hear very little about gentleness and goodness. Moreover, we hear almost nothing about longsuffering, meekness, and temperance. Let me suggest that these three, longsuffering, meekness, and temperance are the forgotten fruits of the Spirit, the lack of which, will have the most devastating effect upon God’s children living in the West when persecution comes. Persecution, the shackles of slavery discussed previously, and a lack of faith will cause the great falling away. Most will be unable to stand against the beast or the fires of persecution because they have not cultivated these Spiritual fruits in their life and by not having a correct understanding of their faith. How tragic.
So, let’s begin by learning how to cultivate this missing Spiritual fruit in the believer’s life, then we will correct our understanding of faith so that we can stand firm in the coming days. Although we will only be looking at the three fruits of the Spirit that have been largely ignored in the modern-day, we must cultivate all the fruit. The Bible says, “… against such there is no law” because the fruit of the Spirit is brought forth by cultivation and not through obedience to the law. Simply put, we must walk in all the Spiritual fruit, every moment of every day. In the beginning, it will be most difficult because you are not used to it. It will feel awkward and even a bit strange, but the Spirit will help you to overcome these feelings. The more you walk in the Spiritual fruit the more it’s cultivated, helping you to stand firm as God’s children. So, let’s start with the Spiritual fruit of “temperance” variously translated as self-control. It describes the inner strength by which a man takes hold of himself, refusing to be swept along by errant desires or impulses. He looks at everything critically asking if God approves it.
We have all desired to be free from the downward spiral of our society that’s bringing forth the grossest of immorality and teaching our children that it’s acceptable. We may not have approved of all that Trump did or said, but he did hold up our moral imperatives, so we greatly desired to see him continue to serve another four years. As stated above, we liked many of his policies and have abhorred the thought of having them all changed with the new administration. Many of us have prayed, we have marched, and some have even cried. Yet, nothing has helped to change the reality that a new president is taking office in a couple of days and everything is going to change. Dear friends, we don’t need to look far to see how Satan is using this by sending forth his seducing spirits causing us to chase after different conspiracy theories, promising to give us our heart’s desire. We have lost all control. It’s much easier to accept the conspiracy theory rather than accept the reality that we have lost. It’s much easier to give in to our passions, aroused by the conspiracy theories, to strike back at the other side. However, we must cultivate the Spiritual fruit of temperance (or self-control) for it’s essential to our freedom, from the tyranny of the flesh.
Dear children, even if your conspiracy theories are true, we must still maintain self-control. I am afraid if we don’t cultivate temperance (self-control), then we will be led to strike back causing the political establishment to blame us. If we are blamed, for what is soon to come, then we will be persecuted. If that happens, then let’s hope that you have begun to cultivate the next Spiritual fruits of meekness and longsuffering. For you will need them to stand firm. Meekness is a tremendously beautiful fruit of the Spirit, Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). They inherit the earth because they have kept their great strength under control, which is precisely the meaning, strength under control. They would not do or say anything without first checking with their Father in heaven. Christians would fare a lot better if they cultivated this Spiritual fruit. To check with your Father does not make you weak, to the contrary, you will need your strength to either stop what you are doing (self-control) or to proceed with a very difficult task that He has given you to do. Unfortunately, many have been led astray by the seducing spirits because they did not check with the Father, either prior to listening to them or allowing Him to interpret what it says, before believing it and sharing it on social media.
Now we turn our attention to the Spiritual fruit of “longsuffering” variously translated (forbearance or patience). This is an amazing Spiritual fruit, which is also an attribute of God (See Romans 2:4). When people come against you with false accusations, hurtful language, or even physical blows hoping to rile you, we must choose to suffer rather than retaliate. We remain calm displaying the other Spiritual fruits of love, joy, peace, gentleness, and goodness. Let me be very clear, if you have not been cultivating the fruit of longsuffering in your Christian walk, you will have a most difficult time doing it during the persecution. You can start today in all of your relationships. Don’t let anger overtake you. Cast out those unwanted thoughts of revenge immediately. Stop making excuses for your explosive temper. Demonstrate forbearance toward others even if you completely disagree with them. As they come against you demonstrate patience by turning the other cheek or going the extra mile (See Matthew 5:39-41). Don’t render evil for evil but follow God’s Word that says, “Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Keep this also in mind while in the heat of it, the Bible says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). Dear children, to follow the seducing spirits believing in their conspiracy theories will only cause you to strike back at the other side, contrary to who we are in Christ. God forbid.
Of course, without faith, it’s impossible to please the Lord and stand firm. The Spiritual fruit of faith defines who we are in Christ. A lot of people say they have faith but don’t understand all that it means. Faith is much more than just believing the facts. Even Satan believes the facts and we know that his destiny is the lake of fire. Faith also means trustworthiness, fidelity, and total dependence upon God. Our first allegiance is always to God trusting Him alone for the care of our whole body and Spirit. We depend upon God for all of life, realizing that we cannot do anything apart from Him. This is the kind of faith we will need when persecution comes against God’s holy children. Persecution will start by silencing our witness. Once our witness has been successfully silenced, then the beast will arise (See Revelation 11:7). I hope that you can see by now, that all of this Spiritual fruit is essential to help you stand firm in the coming days of intense persecution. The beast is coming. The persecution is coming. Only God’s faithful children who are cultivating the fruit of the Spirit will be able to stand firm. All others will fall as they follow the seducing spirits of our age sent by Satan himself. God help us to stand firm. The beast is coming.
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