WAKE UP CALL PART 1

WAKE UP CALL PART 1

 Dec 2018 - I was on holiday, sitting in my hotel room thinking about a theme for collection 03 when God dropped four words into my heart; End of the World. At that point, I had been praying for a starting point for the next collection so hearing those words gave me goosebumps and for a second I thought to myself, did I hear that right? Nonetheless, I opened up my Bible to read what Jesus had to say about this subject which led me to Matthew 24 and birthed the concept of this design.

CONTEXT

To give you some context, Matthew 24 is about Jesus' Eschatological discourse with the Disciples. Eschatology is the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and humankind. It's a concept that's referred to as the "end of the world" or "end times." And so in Matthew chapter 24, Jesus and the disciples were discussing the end times, what it means for us as Christians and how to prepare ourselves for such times.

“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” -Mtt 24:3-4 NKJV [Emphasis Added]

Jesus and his disciples were walking out of the temple one day when Jesus turned and said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, (you know when Jesus say's "Assuredly" it's serious) I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:3) and walked off. This prompted the disciples to want to know more about what Jesus was saying so when they caught up to Him and asked Him about it, note that the first thing Jesus says is “Take heed that no one deceives you.”

DO NOT BE DECEIVED

What did Jesus mean when He said this?

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According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia the word, "heed," in the sense of giving careful attention ("take heed,") represents several Hebrew and Greek words: chief among them Shamar, "to watch, blepo, "to look," horao, "to see" as opposed to thoughtlessness, disregard of God's words, of the counsels of wisdom, of care for one's ways, it is constantly inculcated (instill an idea, attitude, or habit by persistent instruction) as a duty of supreme importance in the moral and spiritual life.

The Greek word for deceive is planaoPlan-ah'-o is akin to plane and is also where the English word planet is derived from. It signifies wandering from the right path or in the Passive form sometimes means "to go astray, wander."

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When we study the words "heed" and "deceive" from the Greek and Hebrew perspective; it gives us insight and clarity into what Jesus meant when He said, "take heed that no one deceives you."

You can almost hear the firm authoritative voice of Jesus confronting wrong belief systems and mentalities. The urgency in Jesus' voice indicates that this is a matter of supreme importance to our moral and spiritual life. He was stressing the importance of being ON GUARD (watch, look, and see) so that you will not be led astray or wander from the truth. Therefore, when you fail to admit to yourself that something is true you are being deceived. 

Who is the Truth?

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. -John14:6 NKJV

What is the Truth?

"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."-John17:17

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." -John1:1 NKJV

Truth in Action

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood -1John4:6 NKJV

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -2Tim2:15 NKJV

If we are at risk of being deceived it only means that there is a deceiver. So we have the liar and the lied too, the oppressor and the oppressed, the deceiver and the deceived, and since we know who is being deceived then who is the deceiver?

THE DEVIL

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" - Rev 12:9 NKJV [Emphasis Added]

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -Eph6:12 NKJV

How well do you know your enemy, the deceiver? Whether you know it or not, believe it or not, you have an enemy that is actively doing everything in his power to keep you from knowing the truth of God. Here is the devil's mission statement:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy - Jn10:10 NKJV

Deceit is the enemy's greatest weapon to fulfilling his mission. He knows that if he attacks your belief system and blinds you from the Word of God then he will gain an advantage over the way you live and conduct your life. The devil knows that if he succeeds in blinding and binding you from knowing the truth then he will succeed in destroying and gaining influence over you.

Why do you think some of you fall asleep every time you try to read the bible? Or better yet, when was the last time you actually sat down and spent time with God without looking at your phone or entertaining other distractions that are calling for your attention? But then you wonder why your life is stagnant. 

Friends, take heed! There is an enemy out there that is ACTIVELY working against you knowing the truth - that is the truth of Jesus Christ and His WORD

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. -1Pet 5:8 NKJV

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. -Col2:8 NKJV

The reason why the children of God are under attack from the devil is not that he's seen what's IN your house but what he is seeing AROUND your house. Imagine the activity of angels going to, and from, and circling your house and the devil knows that something is happening! Therefore he will bring hell to your life to blind and block you. So when you fall it's a sign that the devil is trying to figure out where you're going to be blessed.

How many of you know that the devil will come and attack your faith when you are trying to build your faith? He will never attack you if you have no faith. Why? because there is no need to attack nonexistent faith. It will only make sense that the enemy will attack you if he sees that you are actively building your faith. 

So what's the cure for deception? The Word of God!

Secret: The devil is afraid of the Word of God and the Revelation of God. Why? because when you have the Word of God within you, you will be able to defeat him. Note how Jesus combatted the devil during his temptation with the Word;

Now when the tempter (the devil) came to Him (Jesus), he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” - Mtt 4:3-4 NKJV [Emphasis Added]

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Heb 4:12 NKJV

When the Word of God is within you, the truth of God will be instilled within you and your faith will grow. When your faith grows, your confidence grows. When deceit comes your way you will recognize it and be confident to stand in the truth of the Word and defeat the devil and his deceit. 

Let me ask you this question: how much of the Word of God is within you to help you combat the deceit of the enemy? 

FAITH

Jesus says in Matthew 17:20 "...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." So immediately we know that faith is a very important tool used to defeat the devil and win in life. Have you seen the size of a mustard seed? Jesus said if you have THAT much faith you can move mountains!

Are you tired of your life being stagnant? Are you frustrated with life? Are you finding yourself asking God WHERE He is more than actually SEEING Him actively move in your life? Friends, it is due to a lack of faith. You are being deceived!

WHAT IS FAITH?

Let me start by telling you what Faith is not. Faith is not wishful thinking! You don't wish for something to happen and then expect God to make it come true. That is a lie of the enemy. God is not a genie!

Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen - Heb11:1 NKJV

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The Greek word for substance is hupostasis and refers to the underlying (hupo) state (stasis) of a thing. Similarly, break down the English word “substance” and we find: sub (under) and stance (stand). Substance is that which stands under a thing.

In Greek, the word hupostasis had a legal meaning which signified a foundational document, such as a title-deed (an important document that shows ownership).

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For example:

I have a car sitting in my driveway. I know that it is my car because I possess the title-deed, which demonstrates my ownership. If anybody wants to do anything with my car, they have to come and see me, because the car belongs to me. If I decide to sell the car or give it away to somebody, I will have to sign the title-deed over to them, because that will be their proof of ownership

If I have the title-deed to a piece of property, I do not even have to see the property to know that it belongs to me. I know it is mine because of the title-deed. As long as I possess that title-deed, there is no question that I am the owner.

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Let’s talk a little bit about hope. Today we often use the word hope in a wavering, doubtful sort of way: “Gee, I certainly hope such and such will happen, but maybe it won’t.” Not so in the Bible.

The Greek word for hope in the New Testament is elpis. It refers to the anticipation, a positive expectation. The same is true of the Hebrew word for hope in the Old Testament. In the Bible, hope is not a word of doubt, but confidence, and that is how it is used in Hebrews 11:1.

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Now, let’s put it all together: Faith is the substance, the underlying reality, the title-deed of things we are expecting. So we see that faith is NOT wishful thinking. Faith is the confidence in what we hope for (who is our hope? JESUS CHRIST) and the assurance that the Lord is working on our behalf despite our circumstances in the natural. Faith is the ACT whereby a person lays hold of God's resources, becomes obedient, putting aside self-reliance and self-interest.

How do we acquire faith?

So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God -Rom 10:17 NKJV

Faith comes by hearing so automatically we know that to acquire faith is to know the Word of God. It is your Knowledge/Intellect of the Word of God.

So let me ask you again: how much of the Word of God is in you to help you combat the deceit of the devil? How much of the Word of God is in you to help carry you through any situation you face in life? Because if Jesus said you only need faith as SMALL as a mustard seed then what are you missing? 

REVELATION: It is the QUANTITY of the Word of God within you that will help you combat and withstand any weapon of deception that is formed against you by the enemy - just like Jesus did during his temptation.

It's the ACT of reading and studying the bible that gives you the wisdom to strategically break down wrong belief systems making way for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to shine through your life. THAT IS FAITH!

We are being transformed through the Word of God by the renewing of our minds so that we can know that perfect will of our Father. It will be easy to recognize the deceit of the enemy when you KNOW the Word of God.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. -Psalm119;105

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” -Rom1:17 NKJV

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“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” -Mtt 24:3-4 NKJV [Emphasis Added]

- To be continued -

 

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