Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not the best editor.
We need to walk in a way in these last days of this system in a way that will protect ourselves.
By applying God’s word in our lives and letting it guide all we do we get a certain confidence. It gives a a freeness of speech because we do our best to remain blameless and not be a part of the world. Guilt can hinder our thinking and our freeness of speech. By trusting God’s word to guide all we do it protects us. We set an example for others by being trust worthy and faithful. We have been warned the gate is narrow and few would make it. We are living in the last days so hostility and deceit will be rampant. We need to be aware when to take our leave to protect ourselves. I am going to discuss some things that can help protect us and prevent us from getting put into harmful situations that could result in physical or spiritual harm.
God will protect us within reason as we teach others about his word but we have to remember the bible warns “the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one”. We know the wicked one is Satan. The bible also warns us Satan and his people can appear as an angel of light. Satan and his people know God’s word well. We know this from learning Satan tried to tempt Jesus and quoted from God’s word. So the bible warns us we must be cautious. (Matthew 10:16) 16 “Look! I am sending you out as sheep among wolves; so prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves.
Things are are rapidly winding down. It is getting more and more difficult to tell who are God’s ambassadors and who are the angels of light that we have been warned to be cautious of. Very soon The world will turn on true worship. No only that the world usually only has their own interest at heart and not God’s will so often times there is hidden motives behind the things they do. I am not saying we should go through life not trusting anyone, but we do need to pay attention to their fruits. We need to also pay attention to how they are towards the sins that may be viewed as the least. For example do they use improper speech? Do they keep the company of those who do not love God’s word? Are they over confident about their faith. The bible has warned about being overconfident on our faith and spiritual strength. When we get over confident were are more prone to having a spiritual fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13) 12 So let the one who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has come upon you except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
The bible warns us to be aware of our short comings and avoid situations that could cause us to give in to our short comings and sin. We all fall short but when someone becomes aware of a short coming do they work to overcome it or do they keep putting themselves in a situation where they could fall short. If they do not progress spiritually or they put themselves in a situations where it could cause them to fall short we should be cautious. For example if we are a man or a woman do we avoid situations where we could fall short sexually? As for me I have to know beyond a doubt the person loves God before I will even think of being alone with them. If they repeatedly show the signs I mentioned I am very cautious and will not leave myself be alone with a person who does those things. Angels of light can seem very kind and loving. It is why we need to be aware if their actions back their words. Before I learned this valuable lesson I was hurt and deceived many times. We are told when helping someone who is overcoming short coming to be careful and watch out for ourselves so we do not get drawn in. (Galatians 6:1) 6 Brothers, even if a man takes a false step before he is aware of it, you who have spiritual qualifications try to readjust such a man in a spirit of mildness. But keep an eye on yourself, for fear you too may be tempted. We may know someone well but we also have to keep in mind with things rapidly winding down if we see negative changes in a person and they are falling spiritually we are not to tolerate that behavior and not continue to associate with them. We also need to be cautious when we speak and be aware of where we are. If we speak about God’s word around those who’s conscience is hurt by it, it could open the door for them to attack us. Also people are easily offended now days so we need to avoid speaking of certain things as much as possible to prevent conflict and anger. This will protect us from harm.
Very soon the world will turn on true worship. Being aware who we can fully trust and who we cannot will be more important now then ever before. Because very soon it may make the difference whether we live or die, Whether we are arrested or not. Being aware now will protect us spiritually, and even protect us from the harm that comes from not being aware. Snakes are a very cautious animal and will avoid man unless they are trapped and feel they cannot escape. Lets not put ourselves in a situation where we could be trapped , escaping is not always easy and could bring harm on ourselves and even others. Doves are known for being gentle so with all situations good or bad we need to be gentle and kind and let love guide all we do. Be aware of those who produce works of the flesh and do not grow spiritually to overcome them. As we work to produce the frights of the spirit we should be aware of others fruits and what it tells us about them. (Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.). (Galatians 5:22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.)
We need to be careful who we accept gifts from with this being the last days. Often times people will offer services or a gift for free. But their human imperfection may drive them to expect things in return. Often times this may be a relationship or even sex. They may expect us to return the favor or gift by doing things for them. A gift or favor should be given for free with nothing expected in return. It would be wise to be aware of a persons short comings which could be driving their reasons for giving a gift. If we give a gift or favor we should expect nothing in return. God gave the greatest gift when he gave his only begotten son as a ransom sacrifice for our sins. That gift was given freely to us. If God has given such a gift freely should we not also offers others gifts when they are in need? As I stated earlier be aware that someone may have other motives for giving a gift, service or favor so we are not lured into a trap or obligation that we will have a difficult time getting out of. If we are uncertain of their motives for giving a gift if possible it may be best to clarify to them you could not return the favor or gift. Make sure they do not feel you are obligated to them. Make certain their gift is from love for others driving them and not some alternative motive. I have been deceived by some of the seemly nicest people who came bearing gifts so it would be wise to be cautious. Many times people came bearing gifts to try and lure me away from God.
Something else to be aware of is do they put spiritual matters and family first or do they put pursuit of worldly things first. The bible tells us we are to take care of our families spiritual needs and they should be first in our life if we have the things we need to live. If a person has more then enough to live comfortably but they still put pursuit of money over spiritual things. If they do not put their trust in God first then you can be sure in hard times they will not be strong in faith, and it is already a sign they are not letting God’s word lead them. It is not wrong to have money or wealth but the bible tells us it is the love of money that is wrong. If a person puts their love of money over their love for God you can be sure they are not letting God’s word guide them and we should be cautious with such ones. They may not have the endurance, the deep love and compassion for others when things get hard. Who we choose to be by our sides really matters now more then ever because things are rapidly winding down. Many will lose all they have but they will keep their lives. All this will be gone soon so what will those who put their trust in money have? Those who put their faith in God may have hard times but he will get them through it.
(Philippians 2:13-16) . . .. 14 Keep doing all things free from murmuring and arguments, 15 so that you may come to be blameless and innocent, children of God without a blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you are shining as illuminators in the world, 16 keeping a tight grip on the word of life. Then I may have reason for rejoicing in Christ’s day, knowing that I did not run in vain or work hard in vain.
(1 Peter 2:12) 12 Maintain your conduct fine among the nations, so that when they accuse you of being wrongdoers, they may be eyewitnesses of your fine works and, as a result, glorify God in the day of his inspection.
(Matthew 5:18, 19) . . .. 19 Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these least commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in relation to the Kingdom of the heavens. But whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in relation to the Kingdom of the heavens.
(2 Corinthians 11:12-20) 12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to eliminate the pretext of those who are wanting a basis for being found equal to us in the things about which they boast. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps disguising himself as an angel of light. 15 It is therefore nothing extraordinary if his ministers also keep disguising themselves as ministers of righteousness. But their end will be according to their works. 16 I say again: Let no one think I am unreasonable. But even if you do, then accept me as an unreasonable person, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I now say is, not as following the Lord’s example, but as an unreasonable person would, with boastful self-confidence. 18 Since many are boasting according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 Since you are so “reasonable,” you gladly put up with the unreasonable ones. 20 In fact, you put up with whoever enslaves you, whoever devours your possessions, whoever grabs what you have, whoever exalts himself over you, and whoever strikes you in the face.
(Mark 10:20-22) 20 The man said to him: “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth on.” 21 Jesus looked at him and felt love for him and said, “One thing is missing about you: Go, sell what things you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come be my follower.” 22 But he grew sad at the answer and went away grieved, for he had many possessions.
(1 Timothy 6:9, 10) 9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge men into destruction and ruin. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.
(Matthew 6:24) 24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches.