The Opposition (testing in the process of purification)

In meditation the Lord's words and visions are always kind, clear, moral, loving, and understandable. He will never make a statement calling for you to try to figure out what he is talking about; his communications are easily understandable. If you get any message that calls for you to figure out anything, it is not from him, (i.e., a message such as: 'there is a big problem between us' does not tell me what the problem is - so if I listen to it, I will become fearful that almost anything could be the big problem - this is not the way the Lord teaches - he is always specific, clear, gentle, and easily understood). His communications come with immediate understanding. He never asks questions, (unless he gives you the answer in the same sentence), because that calls for you to make a conclusion - which could be erroneous. Everything from Him will also be moral as tested with scripture from the Bible. He said, "To know what the Bible says is wrong is worthy, all my great men knew the scriptures." He told me, "If you don't thoroughly understand something, do nothing and wait for clearer understandings;" and don't worry about an unclear message and what it might mean - it is not from the Lord. He also said to me, "only do what I tell you clearly what to do and when to do it."

I don't want to frighten anyone, but after the Lord has prepared you, the enemy will appear. The enemy does not want you to hear from the Lord and will try to confuse you, discourage you, sidetrack you, play to your weaknesses, pretend to be Jesus, quote scripture, and generally be a nuisance to your efforts. The enemy is fallen angels, demons. Later they will subject you to Tribulation. But they are under control by the Spirit of God. Their work is to bring your lusts and pride to the surface so you can choose to avoid evil. It is a tough time of testing, but one whose rewards for completion greatly outweigh the efforts required. Be sober and vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


From George Fox's Journal:

temptations grew more and more, and I was tempted almost to give up hope and quit. And when Satan could not succeed against me in that way, he placed traps and lures in front of me to draw me to commit some sin, by which he might take advantage to bring me to depression or defeat. I was about twenty years of age when these exercises came upon me, and for some years I continued in that condition in great trouble, and would have been very glad to get rid of them.

When I was in the deep, under all shut up, I could not believe that I could ever overcome; my troubles, my sorrows, and my temptations were so great, that I often thought I should give up all hope in despair, and it was very tempting.

Still, I was sometimes under great temptations, and my inward sufferings were heavy; but I could find no one to tell about my condition except to the Lord alone, unto whom I cried night and day.

the Lord showed me that the natures of those things which were destructive in the outside world were also within in the hearts and minds of evil men: the natures of dogs, swine, vipers, of Sodom, and Egypt, Pharaoh, Cain, Ishmael, Essau, etc. The natures of these I saw within, though people had been looking without. I cried to the Lord, saying, 'Why should I be in this condition, seeing I was never addicted to commit those evils?' And the Lord answered, ‘It was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions?’

Then I could say that I had been in spiritual Babylon, Sodom, Egypt, and the grave; but by the eternal power of God I had come out of it, was brought over it, and by the power of it into the power of Christ.

The enemy will reason with you to do something wrong, such as "what you really need is more of what you lust after;" some twisted logic, like Jezebel in the Revelation Thyatira church who somehow convinced the other members that adulterous sex with her was good; perhaps some pitiful twisted logic like "cleansing in the church setting" or "transporting to purity or 'healing' through rapturous sex." Or, if you have a lust for alcohol or some drug, you will be tempted to believe that staying high on whatever brings you closer to God. They also use the logic that you need to get really sick of some habit before it can be eliminated; so you need more experience of falling to the habit in order to be able to repent. Don't laugh, we each have our weak points, and the enemy knows them. These are fallen angels. They still have power. They can read minds.* They know what is in your heart by listening to your thoughts. They appeal to your individual lusts and pride. It is your lusts and pride that tempt you, not God allowing you to be tested. They are the agents to bring them to the surface so that you can choose to avoid evil. They will persist in their appeal to your lusts and affections, until you choose without any reservation of your mind to shun evil; this is the test.

*Of the three men who visited Abraham, at least two were angels; the same two men were sent to destroy Sodom. In Job, the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not put forth your hand upon he himself." Satan left and the fire of God fell from heaven, and burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and a great wind from the wilderness smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, killing them. Don't underestimate the power of the fallen angels; reading minds is their least capability; yet greater is he [Christ] who is in you, than he who is in the world.

Aside from tempting you to do something wrong, the voices from the other side are different in spirit: they are sarcastic, bitter, condemning, taunting, harsh, leaving you to guess what they are talking about; whereas the Lords' voice is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging - never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation - never incomplete leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself - his spirit of Love - for he is Love. His will always be the same voice too. To distinguish the voice of the Lord vs. the others is to rightly divide the word of Truth.

The other side can intensify sexual feelings to a level you have never experienced in your life, and they do it at a time to tempt you to think you have an overwhelming attraction to some person or that you have an overwhelming need; that should you follow through on your feelings, you would dishonor your body in sin. They can turn up the heat. By even entertaining thoughts of your lust, (they hear your thoughts), or just touching someone, you give license to them to intensify your body sensations; but you don't have to give in to these feelings. They are an associative feeling to trigger the habitual response of the past; but despite these sometimes overwhelming feelings, they can pass too, without falling to temptation. It is hard to resist, but not impossible. As it is written, no temptation will so great that there will not be a way to avoid it.

UNDERSTAND THIS: When you are seeking, and you make a mistake while believing you are doing what God wants you to do, you are automatically forgiven; you made the mistake in faith; it was not intentional; so forget it, and keep going, no matter how horrible it appears. DON'T look back. Christ has you covered. It doesn't count. If you fail, you are not lost - only delayed. Just regret it, feel your weakness/addiction, ask for help, and keep on seeking.

One thing he made very clear to me: "he who practices adultery cannot be my disciple; but I do not judge someone coming out of such a relationship, unless they fail to repent;" so this has to stop before you can make any progress. He is speaking about faithfulness being important in a committed relationship; you cannot be unfaithful to man and faithful to God. When he was on earth; he sent the woman at the well out to preach, knowing she had five previous husbands and was living with a man unmarried. If you are in a successive marriage or you are not married, but living committed to your partner, he does not condemn you, nor disqualify you for receipt of his purifying power. If and when he wants you to change your marital status, he will tell you in no uncertain terms.

They can also control others around you to the point that they are unreasonable beyond your experience, severely tempting you to anger and rage; but remember this is done with the permission of God and is purposed to help you grow in forgiveness and love. They can turn up the heat. When you can accept that the evil done to you by others, is so that you can grow spiritually through forgiving them, you have made a giant step.

As George Fox said, "whatever your are addicted to, the devil will come to you (cloaked in another's person), to offer you whatever you want." People that you haven't heard from in years suddenly show up, offering you renewed friendship, distraction from seeking God, and temptation to your lusts, affections, and addictions.

Recognize, these temptations can help you become strong. Each time you say no, you get stronger. I, and several people I know, can remember when, in a time we did not seek God, we decided to get married and proposed; immediately afterwards, within minutes, beyond strange things happened. I had not seen an old flame for several years, and suddenly she appears in front of me in line to pay the restaurant tab. Another close acquaintance relates how he proposed, and then got into an elevator, where two women suddenly start paying him attention, even rubbing their hands on his chest; when he had never experienced such attention in his lifetime. Both incidents were beyond coincidence. Both designed to strengthen our resolve to get married, at a time when we were most able to resist distractions. So you can look at temptations as either a contribution to your downfall, or a strengthening of your moral fiber- depending on how you respond to them. As the master potter continues to mold the clay - eventually bringing you to Him.

Lust for things, people, and pleasures is an illusion. There is no lasting satisfaction. You get one thing you want, and you immediately start wanting something else. This is earth school - learning the emptiness in lust for possessions, pleasures, power, wealth, etc., until we decide to look beyond the visible for happiness. Perhaps you can relate to the false joy of Christmas - after the presents are opened, after the big dinner, after the music has stopped - how many times have you felt let down, empty, almost desperate for another fix - go for a walk, take a ride, visit somebody, have a drink - anything to fill the void that you can rarely identify? For worldly joy is transitory, while godly joy is permanent. From George Fox's Letter 245.

So hear his voice, everyone of you, that speaks from heaven,
whose voice shakes the earth, and not the earth only, but the heavens also.
The heaven imports joy; so all the false joys,
the lifted-up joys, or exalted joys, and joys in vain glory, and joys in the world,
of any outward thing or creature, and men or women ;
his voice that speaks from heaven shakes the earth and the heavens;
and these must be shaken and removed, both the heavens and the earth;
before that does appear that can never be shaken,
the noble, royal seed, elect and precious, before the world began.
Being heirs of him, come to inherit him;
in him you shall know that which cannot be shaken,
and there is the true joy, in that which is from everlasting to everlasting,
who is the beginning and ending;
here are not any either lifted up or fallen down to despair.

You must sicken of failure so much, that entertaining possible failure in your mind becomes sickening; so much so, that your desire to consider evil is overwhelmed by your revulsion to toward failure. Gradually, over a long time, the associative response turns around from being triggered to participate, to being triggered to flee. This is like gold being refined. It is heated by fire until the dross rises to the top; it is scooped off. It is heated again until more dross rises to the top; it is scooped off..... again, again. Until finally, only pure gold remains. Purification.

When you realize your thoughts are being read, and when you realize you are being watched; it can be a little frightening. You can feel like a goldfish in a bowl, being watched. Christ once told me, "what man fears most is public ridicule." This is what we get: ridicule from a public others don't hear. It is tough. It invades our privacy - our private privacy. It is easy to get resentful. Reason with yourself. Understand it is part of the process. You feel condemned, but Christ does not condemn you; he allows this as part of the purification process. It ultimately results in purification and more trust for Christ. It is humbling. You realize how filthy and insignificant you are. The discipline can become a comfort to you, knowing you are in the pressure cooker, which few are privileged enough to experience. (Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.) Yes, even the pain of the rod and staff can be reassuring. To the hungry, seeking soul, even tribulation can be encouraging: The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet, Pro 27:7. He will still give you messages and encouragement during the process so that you will not feel alone and abandoned. Several of the Psalms speak to being surrounded by mighty men, like bees, with burning darts, snares, evil words, etc. See Psalms 17, 23, 25, 31, 35, 38, 43, 44, 56, 64, 66, 71, 86, 88, 118, 120, 139, 141; and Job 16:9-14; which are some of the many that reference these supernatural adversaries.

By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls. But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know and understand that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, Luke 21:19-21 [flee to Christ, the rock, and trust in Him; the scourge will eventually pass].

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