To the hidden Bride of Jesus Christ, who are being prepared for the glory that awaits, who are you listening to today? We are almost at the end of our series on the Bride in the Wilderness, and we have looked at how the Lord’s wilderness experience and temptations are invaluable for the Bride, because she will be prepared and beautified in the same way as her Groom. Tomorrow I will conclude by looking at the third temptation of Jesus, but there is one more lesson for us here at the heights of spiritual ascendancy. If you remember, the devil took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem, and there tested Him, saying “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Matt 4:5,6
Allow me to take this further, and I apologise in advance for offending anyone, but my passion is for the Bride to be a chaste virgin, consecrated only unto Christ Jesus, and that she will be aware just how subtle the devil is in his seduction to cause her to fall. He will attempt to cause the Bride to exchange true spiritual ascension for religious and political heights instead. For in truth, real spiritual ascension isn’t about human promotion, recognition, power or prominence, but about abiding in Christ, for in Him we are seated in Heavenly places. Satan can’t take us to true spiritual ascension, he can’t lift us up, but he can take us to a religious or political ascension. The trick is to get the Bride to exchange one for the other, and the way he does that is through deception. I’ll share my key point in a moment, but first just a reminder of a principle I shared last time, that: Truth out of context is no longer truth. Satan’s strategy is focussed on causing the Bride to go beyond what is written.
Okay that said, here is the Bridal lesson for today: There is today much speculation and revelation combined. In an age of increased knowledge and understanding, increased visions, prophecies and revelations therein lies a great danger, and the Bride must be aware. For as the Lord himself taught us “many false prophets will arise and mislead many” Matt 24:11 and Peter writes also saying “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” 2 Pet 2:1 In our previous word for the day, we were looking at the direct interaction, conversation and temptation between the devil and the Bride, and that might seem far more obvious. But what about when the person we’re listening to, doesn’t look like the devil? In fact, they might seem very respectable, for there can be those who because of their apparent spiritual height are trusted by many, and therefore whatever they say is taken as true. But there are two points here:
- The first point is that whatever revelation, new teaching or prophecy is voiced, must never contradict what is written, and must always be substantiated through the written Word of God. This is critical. Here’s another principle: It is the Word which empowers the revelation. Because it is the Word which has the authority of God within it. Any revelation, teaching or prophecy which cannot be substantiated through the Word is one which is not empowered through the Word, and therefore one must ask, how is this new teaching being empowered?
- Then secondly, we must know the Word of God for ourselves. The Lord will never lead us falsely, or contrary to His Word. His Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Ps 119:105. In this age of revelation, it is ever more important that we know the Word of God. I hope I have communicated this well, for this is the nature of the battle that we are in now and the one that we face tomorrow. I hope I have continually given scripture after scripture to underline the things that I have shared. And as a disclaimer, don’t listen to anything I share unless it is substantiated through the Word of God. I will be held accountable before the Lord, this I know, and everyday I ask for His grace and mercy to sustain me.
In our core passage in Matthew 4, Satan misquoted Ps 91. He didn’t quote all of it but took out a select passage and thereby changed the context and therefore the meaning of the verses. Truth out of context is no longer truth. Jesus demonstrated correctly how to respond to such an assault, he interpreted scripture with scripture, and responded saying, “on the other hand” (again) it is written. Let that be the hallmark of the Bride. That she knows the One who is the Word, and through Him she has and knows the written Word of God.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:5-8