Spiritual Shielding

ome
of you are aware Christian Media has maintained its own print
shop for our many periodicals. Shortly before Christmas, our printer,
and longtime friend of over 16 years, was murdered. The
details are gruesome, so the coroner simply called it "homicidal
violence." The perpetrator, or perpetrators are still at large,
and in an apparent effort to cover the crime, they set his body
ablaze and burned our print shop to the ground.

The
fire took all the printing presses, paper cutters, binding equipment,
laser printers, computers, and book inventories that were located at
the shop. This uninsured loss was just the salt in the wound, because
we lost our old friend Roger Johansen to this heinous deed. As
you might imagine, we've been in something of a state of shock over
this horrifying event.

Unfortunately,
because print shops have many chemicals and large quantities of paper
on hand, the fire burned devastatingly hot. This has been headline
news in our area for some time, and a major combined law enforcement
effort is now underway as numerous law enforcement authorities are
earnestly looking for the culprit.

 

The
Scourge Of Sorcery

The
book of Revelation tells us that well into the prophesied
tribulation period, the people of the world will continue clinging to
their sinful ways, and in a profound rebellion, refuse to repent of
their wickedness:

"And
the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet
repented not of the works of their hands...Neither repented they of
their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of
their fornication, nor of their thefts." - Revelation 9:20, 21

Most
contemporary Christians are aware that the Greek word underlying the
word sorceries, is pharmaceia - as in the word pharmaceutical.
In short, one of the four significantly mentioned sins in the last
generation is directly related to drug abuse.

Our
friend Roger struggled with drug problems for much of his adult
life, and we thought he had gained the victory - but now he's
become another statistic. Even though there were previous episodes
when he made great progress, and appeared to be clean for lengthy
periods of time, he had apparently slipped back into his old patterns.
Although he had ongoing bouts with drug abuse, he was fully functional
in that he was a remarkably capable printer, in addition to the fact
that he was a very intelligent, and colorful individual.

Early
on, the police investigation indicated that Roger's murder was very
likely related in some way to the drug sub-culture. We've learned
there were drug related people who claimed he owed them money, but we
really don't know what happened at this time.

What
we do know is another person has gone to meet his maker prematurely,
and the fact that he was murdered is a hideous reminder of how
man's sinful condition is prophesied to escalate to the very end. We
are truly saddened by the loss.

God
Is Punishing You

The
fact that Roger's murder does not appear to be an act of
anti-Christian aggression, tends to mask how the principalities and
powers
of wickedness wish to harm all associated with the Gospel.
However, it is self evident the LORD allowed this terrible thing to
occur.

I
remember some years ago, when we had a couple of very trying episodes,
a Christian man told me God was punishing me because I had
spoken out against the rapture. I was greatly disturbed
to hear this, because the Scriptures make it clear a person who
confuses a work of the LORD, with a work of the Devil, is perilously
short on Spiritual discernment.

In
the past, I've been harshly criticized by more than one person who
knew Roger had drug problems, and as word of this incident emerges,
there will likely be others who will condemn us for our association
with such an "unsavory" character. However, we've noted that
criticism of this nature universally originates with people who
already hate our ministry, and only seek to use my decision to
continue with Roger as a printer as a means of damaging us. The fact
is, the LORD made it very clear to me that Roger was the person
He had provided, in order for us to grow the ministry on the print
side.

I
also had the sense that Roger was scheduled to hear the Word of the
Lord through Christian Media. Roger had come to recognize the
existence of God, but as far as we know, he did not commit his life to
Jesus Christ. We can only pray that in his last moments,
realizing he was leaving this world, he reached out to Jesus.

The
very idea that grave harm that strikes near us is an indicator that
God is somehow displeased with us, is thoroughly repugnant -
however, we must never assume God is not trying to tell us
something. Many people have great difficulty believing that God would
allow disaster to strike us in order to teach us some lesson, but
there are significant numbers of people who have come to the cross because
of a crisis in their lives.

The
fact is, most believers attribute misfortune in their own lives to
the Devil, but are usually quick to assume trouble in someone
else's life
, is a signal that God is punishing them. How
shortsighted we can be!

This
type of anguished self-examination occurs in the book of Job,
where we see the fabled man of misfortune has "friends" who
hastily accuse him of some unspecified infraction. Things go so poorly
for Job that even his foolish wife urges him to just reject God, and
go ahead and die - perhaps the worst advice in
history. In the end, Job is justified, and his former
associates meet a rather bad end. Thus, we would all do well to be
very careful in assigning some havoc as the consequence of something
we may know nothing about.

The
recent church shootings in Colorado, in which four young
Christians were killed, including two teenage sisters just arriving
for worship services, should give any sane person pause to wonder just
why the LORD allowed such a thing to occur. We note, for
instance, the deranged killer in that case had been a professing
believer who was kicked out of a Christian missionary organization,
and had posted the following on a website shortly before his murderous
rampage:

"You
Christians brought this on yourselves...I'm coming for
everyone soon, and I will be armed to the teeth. I feel no remorse, no
sense of shame, I don't care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All
I want to do is to kill and injure as many of you as I can, especially
Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the
world."

These
words express the raw rage and hatred that emanates out of the
bottomless pit, and that ancient hostility is completely focused on
all who profess the LORD Jesus Christ as their Saviour. We
would do well to remember just how much Satan hates
everyone who is scheduled to inherit a place of honour in the kingdom
he has forfeited.

We
grieve with the families who lost children and beloved relatives.
Indeed, as I thought to mention that horrible tragedy in the present
writing, I noticed the media did not cover the fact those
particular church shootings occurred at the very same church
that was run by the Reverend Ted Haggard, the nationally known
pastor who was exposed for his lengthy homosexual activities last
year.

In
that humiliating fall from grace, Haggard, who was also the president
of America's highly esteemed National Association of Evangelicals,
was exposed for his drug abuse and the hiring of a homosexual man for
sexual acts. Incredibly, some time after the pastor was ousted from
the mega-church, that disgusting professional sodomite, who is an
avowed non-believer, attended services at Haggard's former church
(the very same church where the teenagers were just murdered), and was
warmly welcomed. One cannot help but wonder what sort of
twisted sense of Christian "love" was being displayed towards such
an obvious disciple of the Devil.

Spiritual
Shields

While
there are instances in Scripture where a leader's failure sets in
motion judgments that hurt those under his care, we should be
exceedingly cautious about concluding a direct cause and effect.
However, in II Samuel 24, we learn that David's order to "number"
the people resulted in the deaths of 70,000 Israelites - a
harsh judgment indeed.

We
do see that the text tells us when David sacrificed to the LORD
"that the plague may be stayed from the people" (II Samuel 24:21),
the text actually tells us "the Lord was intreated for the
land
" (II Samuel 24:25). Thus, a collective sin of the
nation does seem to be in view. However, we have no indication those
who were destroyed by the angel of the LORD had committed any
infraction, for

"...David
spake unto the Lord when he saw the angel that smote the people, and
said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep,
what have they done? Let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me,
and against my father's house." -
II Samuel 24:17


Here
is a fascinating foreshadowing of the intercession for others
performed by Jesus Christ, who offers Himself as a sacrifice
for the sins of the people and the nation. Truly, the ways of the LORD
are higher than our ways, and as we seek to understand things that are
veiled we must trust Him in all things.

When
it comes to misfortune striking those who surround us, I have seen a
principle my wonderful wife Susan has dubbed Spiritual
Shielding
. Although I can't fully explain it, over a period
of years it seems as though every time some serious problem emerged at
the ministry I was in town running errands, or had left the premises
when it occurred.

Susan
even made it into something of a joke, as she suggested that whenever
I would leave the ministry offices (and our home), I took my "shield"
with me. Indeed, some years ago, when we had the enormous forest fire
that almost consumed everything here, I was in the opposite end of the
country on a speaking tour. Other episodes of a similar nature have
suggested there is some sort of Spiritual phenomena occurring.

Please
understand that this has nothing to do with attributes I possess, or
any perceived goodness on my part, as God is the sovereign LORD
who gives every gift. It's more along the lines of "I will bless
them that bless thee" (Genesis 12:3), a verse that is widely
misinterpreted, since it applies to the Christians,
because we are the children of the promise, and are thus
counted for the seed of Abraham (see Romans 9:8 for details).

We
do notice in the Scriptures the concept of a covering is found
in many places. In Isaiah, through the prophet, the LORD warns
those who are not covered, or protected, by His Spirit:

"Woe
to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not
of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit...."
- Isaiah 30:1


The
New Testament subtly uses the figure of marriage, which we all know
relates to Christ and His bride, when it says we are to walk in honour,

"...being
heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not
hindered." - I Peter 3:7

Thus,
what we do (or fail to do) does have a "cause and effect"
principle involved. In this regard, it's clear that although the
grace of Christ covers a multitude of sins, willful disobedience can
bring about a very severe recompense - and it will come upon us
wherever our Spiritual Shield is weakest.

Last,
but hardly least, the Scriptures tell us the Restrainer
has indeed been holding back the evil, but even that protection has an
end. Most believers pay little attention to the subject of the Restrainer,
because the liars in the Rapture Cult have convinced them the
restraint is removed at the supposed "rapture" - and they figure
they'll all be gone. The truth is, when all restraint against the
wicked powers have been completely removed, all believers will be
fully sealed in whatever condition they were in when the
shift occurred.

We
are already at a point where Remnant believers are in the Spiritual
wilderness, and the harlot church is clearly on the back of the beast.
All true believers who have "come out of her" are now in great
peril at her hands. As Remnant Christians, it's going to
become more difficult as we see others around us fall - because they
have not availed themselves of the LORD's Spiritual Shielding
due to their refusal to hear, and obey, His Word.

"And
when they shall fall they shall be helped with a little help...." -
Daniel 11:34


But
the LORD Jesus Christ is faithful and true, and as the book of Hebrews
promises, He is the author and the "finisher" of our faith, so
that we may complete the race He's given us to run.

"Then
shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their
Father. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." -
Matthew 11:43, Revelation 21:4


We look forward to that day.

- James Lloyd

Copyright © 2007, 2008 Christian Media Network

See Also

The Gravity Well

The Spirit Of Antichrist

Serpents And Scorpions

Multitudes In The Valley Of Decision

Article Source: 
CMC
Article Number: 
96