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    Do you still want to do what YOU think is right?

    There is a war going on today, right in our own backyard. In fact, it is taking place right in our living rooms and at our dining tables, in our family gatherings, at work, in schools and at church. I am not talking about a kind of war of violence as one country rises up against another. This is a different kind of conflict. Jesus identified to His disciples that one of the signs of His return would be the “rumors of wars”. Instead of the word “wars”, one could use a similar term “conflicts”. To get an even more “biblical” perspective, the book of James mentions about wars but not in the context of nation rising up against nation but rather of the kind of conflicts that rise up within each and every one of US! He speaks of a war or conflict that is being waged in our souls. It is the battle of flesh against the spirit. The ways of our fleshly desires conflicting against God’s desires. Paul also speaks about this as well and readily identifies this battle as being waged between the flesh and the spirit.

    Could Jesus had been speaking of this when He mentioned that there would be rumors of wars? In our western minds, we tend to put those words in a context of more of a national or global perspective but since the battle for the heart and soul of mankind is one that can only be found within the confines of individuals and as such, He came to give His life to win the entirety of mankind through one soul and heart at a time. Jesus is, after all, a PERSONAL Savior. Nations are called to repentance but the only way this can happen is if each person WITHIN that nation turns their heart to the Savior. A political conversion can never happen. Jesus did not come to save the world through political means. If this was His purpose, our history books would have been written completely different. None of the plagues that hit Europe would have occurred. Nazi Germany, Communism and Fascism would never have existed. God had promised that once the kingdom of our Savior was established, it would never end.

    No! Nations cannot be “born again” but only individuals can be. When we read the messages to the seven churches in the book of Revelations, He is speaking to the Body of Christ located in those cities. As such, His words are given to each individual in those churches and His message was to expose the sin and persuade them to change, each person who are part of each church.

    Considering this thought then, could Jesus be speaking of those “rumors of wars” as something on a more personal scale as well as on a national scale, the kingdom of one person as well as kingdom groups? Each nation is typically composed of people groups who have come together in virtual agreement upon certain ideologies, whether imposed upon them through various forms of tyranny or through their own choices as is done in America. A nation who chooses God as their “king” is a nation who reverentially fears God, believes in and trusts Him. Conversely, a nation who rejects God as their God, rejects His rule over their hearts and as such, subjects themselves to another’s rule, typically someone who voices agreement with their rejection of God. In this country, the United States of America, there is a war being waged for the minds and  hearts of the people to turn them away from their trust in God and to become a law unto themselves.

    This “war” is an age-old conflict that found its start in the Garden of Eden when the Serpent, that dragon of old who rebelled against his Creator, sought to twist the truth and deceive Eve that God was holding something of great value from her and her husband. She believed his deception and rejected the instruction and warning of her Creator and by doing so, suffered the consequences for her rebellion as well as the rest of her offspring. God promised that He would provide a Savior to redeem mankind back to Himself and this promised was fulfilled when Jesus, the son of David, came into the world and lived a life without sin and sacrificed Himself so that mankind could be redeemed. Anyone recognizing His sacrifice and believing in Him would be “born again”, meaning, that life of the Spirit would be restored as at the beginning and fellowship with their Creator would be re-established.

    Today, as prophesied in various places throughout the scriptures, we are seeing the fulfillment of something else. Perilous times are here! The “evidence” of this can be seen in the following verses of scripture.
    (2 Timothy 3:1-7 AMP) And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God’s] will. BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self- centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self- conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak- natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.
    There is an ideology that is being promoted through every avenue of communication that is in existence. This ideology seeks to reach into the depths of our fleshly desires and point out to us all that we have all been “short-changed” by one entity after another. It is, in essence, an instrument of discord being sown for the express purpose to gain power and influence and this, to allow certain groups to gain power and influence to rule over the whole. This is “instrument of discord” is no different from what that serpent of old sowed into the heart and mind of Eve so long ago in the Garden of Eden. At that time, she was deceived into thinking that God was keeping something of value from her and if she “bit” into this lie, then she would be better off than she already was. Today, we can see through this obvious lie because we can readily see that she was not being short-changed at all but was made in the very “image” of God. The DECEIVER sought to gain ruling control over mankind through his deception and it worked. Strangely, today, this same kind of deception is being utilized and for the same purpose, to give power and control of the masses into the hands of the few.

    This deception of today seeks to point out the “obvious” injustices and inequities being meted out to the poor and disadvantaged. This deception makes great overtures of promises to relieve the trodden down but seeks only to use their influences to, once again, gain control over the lives of all those who “vote” them into power. These deceivers and liars have no real concern over the plight of the poor and disadvantaged and if anyone cares to search out their history, it will be readily apparent that all their rhetoric is nothing but empty promises. Yet, these same entities use the same methods as that Serpent did in the garden, promising them something he cannot give them but instead, seeks to cause them to become dissatisfied and ungrateful for what they DO have.

    It is THIS ungratefulness and discontentment we are seeing overflowing as violence in our streets. The devil came to STEAL, KILL and DESTROY and we are seeing his influence and methodologies everyday in our homes through every form of media as well as in our schools, marketplaces, communities, government and even in our churches. Wherever DISCORD is sown, we see the evidence of it as it produces everything else except PEACE. The following verses says it best.
    (James 3:14-16 NKJV) But if you have bitter envy and self- seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self- seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
    What we DO need cannot be found in the empty rhetoric that divides by sowing discord between men. We need this:
    (James 3:17-18 NKJV) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
    This wisdom from above has been made readily available to all who convert to the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus declared that no man can come to the Father except through Himself. We are shown that there is no other name by which mankind can be redeemed and that name is Jesus Christ. Not the names of government programs and political promises or even other ideologies and religions. Only through Jesus Christ will mankind ESCAPE the temptations of falling for that lie of the EVIL ONE through his various deceptions that all play upon the fears and evil desires of the flesh. Denial of SELF can only be found through faith in Christ. All other religions offer something OTHER than the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    The onslaught against the truth of God’s Word is in constant display on TV programs, movies, music, news media, and every form of communication in existence today and tomorrow. We are being BOMBARDED with the rhetoric of lies that seek to persuade against finding the truth as revealed through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Even in the church, this bombardment continues but in a different fashion. Self-reliance instead of God reliance is a constant refrain. We are not being encouraged to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things. After all, God is just “too busy” for the “little” stuff. We have to take “responsibility” because THAT is what being a good Christian is all about! Once again, the serpent seeks to persuade us that total dependency upon God is not the way but we are to take what God “said”, notice the ‘past tense’, and use “our” initiative to make things happen. Oh, don’t forget to add, “all to God’s glory” to make it all okay! Just because we put the correct “label” on something, does not make it “good”. We pray for what WE want and are taught that this is okay as long as we say “in Jesus’ name”.

    This does not hold true when we read what the Holy Spirit inspired James to write. He says that wars/conflicts arise when we pray to consume it upon our own desires. We pray and miss the mark! We are not called to seek OUR will but to seek GOD’s will. Just as Jesus said of Himself. “I did not come to do My own will but the will of Him who sent me.” “I only do what I see My Father do.” If we say we believe in Jesus, then we ought to walk in the same manner as He did. Not seeking to do what WE want but what our heavenly Father wants. PERIOD. If God puts a plow in your hand, this is not so that you can choose for yourself “where” you will plow but you will need to ask of Him, where and when. An obedient heart is what He seeks and not someone who is self-willed. God gets glory when we DIE to self and LIVE for Him. To live for Him is to allow Him to be our eyes, ears, understanding, peace, joy, life. He is there to be our EVERYTHING and in yielding to Him all things in our lives, then we find that peace that passes understanding and then we will experience that portion of heaven on earth where God is all and in all.

    Before we can do what is right, we must first learn what being right is all about. We must do that which Jesus invites us to do:
    (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV) Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
    Let us then learn as much as possible and discover that “rest” He promised. Heaven is our destination. It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to give us a taste of heaven while here on earth. He wouldn’t promise something that He isn’t capable of providing. Will you trust Him, everyday and every moment? Don’t be like some who are always filled with doubt and unbelief. These ridicule the “notion” of having to submit all things to God and His Spirit. They will mock what they do not know. Do not be one of those nor listen to their contrary ways. Until one has submitted to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all their ways, they cannot know that incredible peace and rest He brings to those who do trust Him explicitly. They say they trust but in their speech, they show they do not know and mock that which they understand not. Yes, this can come from your brethren in Christ. Understand this, not all who “say” they love the Lord and are born again, have been fully transformed. Simon the sorcerer was one such person. He came to faith but his heart had not yet been transformed and as a result, he still obeyed the desire of his flesh above the desire of the Spirit of God. When we place our trust within ourselves, we show that we do not truly “know” the Spirit of the Lord. In this, we actively oppose Him and cannot understand that we are opposing Him.

    Are these deceived? Yes, indeed they are. Will they be “saved”? Yes but only if they recognize their sin and turn away from that sin and come into full obedience to the Spirit of the Lord. God gives us a clear definition about those who are considered His sons.
    (Romans 8:13-14 NKJV) For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
    You can only be a son of God if you allow the Holy Spirit to be your complete guide. God never gives us a directive without the complete plans to carry out that directive. We see this in Exodus and in the building of the temple during Solomon’s time. God is meticulous in His details. He never will give us a job to do without making every provision for that job along with His specific guidance throughout. He never leaves it up to man to “figure it out”. He’s already stated that it is not “in” man to direct his own way. If this is true, why then would He point a man in a particular direction and leave it up to that man to figure it all out on his own? Many leaders are being taught in various schools of instruction that it is up to them as leaders to “build” the kingdom of God and then they are taught the parameters of what this will look like. Those teaching this have never seen it themselves for at no point has the church reached a level of maturity where it, the church, edifies itself in love. The church has been in great need of the fivefold ministry but has rejected it at every turn throughout church history. All that has been done, has been done very rarely through men and women wholly dependent on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    Today, seldom do we hear the message of total dependency on the Holy Spirit. This message has been preached but not put into practice. This, along with the command to make disciples, has been completely ignored by the mainstream churches. It is because of this that so many within the church are so easily deceived and influenced to seek their own way above God’s ways. So many have been led astray because the full truth continues to fail to be disclosed through word and example. The church of today needs something more than what we’ve been given a steady diet of. We need an intervention of the Holy Spirit and only then, through the power of the Holy Spirit’s anointing and outpouring in our lives will our eyes be open to that which we have not seen.

    The only weapon then, that we have now, is to seek the Lord in prayer with all earnestness, in weeping and brokenness. We must cast behind us all self-reliance and self-seeking. We have to recognize that we are incapable to make our own judgments and determinations based upon our own criteria. As long as we think we can “figure things out” and decide for ourselves what we consider good or bad, we are choosing to reject the guidance of God and have told Him, “We’ve got this!”. The knowledge of the good and evil is that tree we are still eating of and we need to eat of the tree of life instead. This is to turn away from choosing what WE consider good and evil and go to the Lord and seek Him and let Him say to us “yay or nay”. He will never lie to us and deceive us in any way. We CAN trust Him!

    The lesson of the deep waters reveals to us something very important.
    (Ezekiel 47:3-5 NKJV) And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.
    God wants to take us out to deep waters gradually. He knows our nature and our insecurities. He knows that because of fear, we still have a sense of needing to know we are still in control…with our feet still being able to ‘touch’ the ground. Incrementally He draws out deeper and deeper until we learn that we can put our full trust in Him and that we learn He will never leave us nor forsake us. We all have experienced the failure of those who were supposed to love us and protect us to accomplish their task. He knows that for many, it will be an uphill climb to build that kind of trust where we have the confidence that even in the deep waters that are over our heads, we can still trust Him. He wants to PROVE Himself to us and over time, we WILL come to be able to trust Him fully. THIS is what it means to walk by the Spirit. To trust Him fully for EVERY aspect of our lives. When this happens, we can go out into the deep fully confident in the faithfulness of God. No more will it just be words written in a book but it will have become life to us through our experiences with God.

    Once we’ve come to that place where we can fully trust Him to lead and guide us into ALL truth, fear will no longer have a place in our lives and the security we will have in Him will have become that standard that stands against the wiles and deceptions and influences of the evil one. THEN, we will know “how” to walk and “do” what is right because we will have learned to no longer trust in our own knowledge, understanding and wisdom but will have learned to “lean” fully upon the One who is Perfect in all things!

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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