As warriors of Jesus, we are called to a higher calling. We need to narrow our focus on the things that so easily beset us. Let’s become fruit inspectors for a minute. Many times in our searching for a “deeper understanding” of the “Ways of God” we turn to unusual doctrines presented by “eclectric people” who claim to have discovered the latest secret, hidden, message, by using the “newest deciphering method”, given only to them. They declare that they have uncovered some deep and mystical mystery, hidden to the common man! All who are within earshot hop on the nearest airplane and flock to the meetings. A friend of mine once told me to beware of the leaven of the ‘modern Pharisees’. He said an amazing thing: He said it will:  FASCINATE… STIMULATE and then…SUFFOCATE! When I pondered these things, I looked at my past experience with these sorts of things and sure enough, it rang a bell with me.

I used to be a ‘seeker of spirituality’ in many different and unusual areas before I came to know my precious Saviour. I belonged to Scientology, followed Tibetan Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation, Yin-Yang, Eckert, and many other strange and exotic doctrines that promised ‘enlightenment’. These things were so ‘Out There’. I would like to tell you that at the beginning, these ‘new discoveries’ excited me and I really believed that they promised peace and fulfillment. It seemed to be waiting just around the corner. The only problem was: there was no peace or fulfillment found; only empty promises. It took quite a while to reach the point when the dryness finally became apparent. What a waste of time and effort. The truth was not to be found within these delusions. Finally some 12 years after I had given up on these “avenues of emptiness”, I finally allowed Jesus access to my heart! After colliding ‘head-on’ with God, I finally had found the One and Only “Truth”. I surrendered, and continue to surrender daily. I had at last, linked up with the “Peace” I had been searching for all of my life!

In Jude, verse 12, we read: “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”

I would like to concentrate for the moment on the “clouds without water” mentioned here. Think about living in a parched land where you are experiencing a drought, unlike anything that you have ever seen before. People are dying from lack of water. What a desperate situation. Suddenly one morning you see these clouds in the distance and they seem to be coming strongly in your direction. So as they are carried by the winds towards you, your anticipation of relief is great and all the people come outside and start to cheer the coming relief. As they approach closer and closer, all of the people are already feeling the cool refreshing anticipation of the new rain just around the corner. Then as you look in unbelief, these clouds suddenly vanish from your sight and not a drop of water falls. You are stunned! What happened? Everyone is in agreement: the clouds were there and then they just disappeared before everyone’s eyes. These are “clouds without water”. They Fascinated, Stimulated, and then Suffocated. They were illusions, just like the illusion of an oasis that appears in the desert but is only a manifestation of ‘human imagination’. We need to be very careful of these “mirages”. They are “clouds without water”!

Let’s turn to hunger for a minute. You are hungry and you see this huge fruit tree, but as you approach it, you cannot find any fruit on it. You search the ground and sure enough, there is no evidence that there has ever been any fruit on it. It is autumn, harvest time and this tree is barren! We see this in the verse above in Jude. Again, we can apply this teaching to illustrate many things that we encounter, that fail to supply sustenance promised in the truth of the Word of God.

“Clouds without water” and “Autumn trees without fruit” both have the same result: EMPTY PROMISES! The Gospel is intended to create and sustain change in a person’s life. If there is no change, no refreshing, and no fruit, how well is it working? We are called to be world-changers, one disciple at a time! If there is no change, the mission has failed! We need to go back to the drawing board and recoup! Something is amiss! The change has failed to take-effect! Mayday! Mayday!

Many times we have become caught up in these “Fascinating Ministries” in the Current Christian Church System, only to be suffocated in the end. Next, we move on in our lives to find another “fresh rain and fruit type church”, only to become disappointed and discouraged yet AGAIN! Where is the good fruit that we have been promised?

We are now in the days when we need to be careful of “False Angels of Light”. The Bible warns us about this in 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, DIGUISING themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even SATAN DISGUISES HIMSELF AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also DISGUISE themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

The word that keeps coming up here is the word “Disguise”. It occurs 3 times in the New American Standard Bible in this quote. If it occurs this many times, there must be a good reason, wouldn’t you agree? This word meaning disguise occurs only 4 times in all of Scripture. These verses are the most concentrated place that I could find in Scripture containing the word “disguise, disguises, or disguised” There must be a good reason! Here is the original Greek word used in these verses:

From G3326 and a derivative of G4976; to transfigure or disguise; figuratively to apply (by accommodation):—transfer,transform (self).

From the alternate of G2192; a figure (as a mode or circumstance), that is, (by implication)external condition:—fashion.

WOW, we are getting somewhere now with this latest word search. The word “schema” has the meaning of “outward or external condition—fashion” This is very revealing! In the word “metaschematizo” we see the meaning of transfigure, disguise and transform”.

Let’s look up the definition of the word “Disguise”. Here it is:
“to change the appearance or guise of, so as to conceal identity, or mislead. 2. to conceal or cover up  the real state or character of, misrepresent; to disguise one’s intentions. 3. something that disguises; a thing that serves or is intended for concealment   or identity, character, or quality, a deceptive covering,  condition manner, etc. 4 the  make-up,  mask, or  costume of an entertainer.”

WOW! This is very good! We know from 2 Corinthians that satan comes as an angel of light. When we dig deeper, we see so much more. We see his appearance is changed as he is able to counterfeit everything very convincingly. He is the master of disguise! His masks are the very best, and able to deceive even “The Elect”. That is you and me brothers and sisters. We may try to brush this off and say, “Yeah I know that the Bible warns us about such things. I have a watchful eye and there is no way that I could be snagged by any of that!” Oh yeah? The Bible says, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. “Behold, I have told you in advance. “So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or,’Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

What is the elect? The Random House College Dictionary says, “9. Theol. Chosen by God, esp. for eternal life. 10. a person or the persons chosen or worthy to be chosen.” That sounds like the very precious saints of God held in the palm of His hand reserved for eternity with Him. That is you and I. So…the warning right now is that we could be deceived! Do you believe it? I do! We could each be the first in line for the pitfall, fully convinced that we are in the very center of God’s will, the very moment before the blackness sets in. Watch out little ones! Be vigilant! Stay alert! The angels of light are roaming about seeking whom they may devour! You could be next!

Keep your discerners tuned up and aligned with the winds of heaven today as you scan the Christian horizon. Beware of those who talk the talk, seem to walk the walk, know all the right phrases, say the appropriate “Amens” in all the right places, but something in your belly says, “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”

I know that some people would say that this is a negative letter, and I understand this. There are many in the world right now blowing the “Trumpet of Warning”, even though many will not hear! God gave the Jews a “Spirit of Stupor” as mentioned in Romans 11. If we are grafted in to the same tree, is it possible that he will do the same to the Christians who refuse to hear? Why take the chance of being swept away needlessly? There was a time in the Body of Christ that we could just sit back and relax, and there was less deception waiting in the wings to pull us into oblivion. There also was a time when our airports could have a fairly lax security system as there were so few incidences of terrorism at our airports. We seem to take the “Reaction rather than Proaction” stance. First in the natural, then in the supernatural, folks. Just as there are many schemes being formed by many who would like to destroy everything that stands for freedom in the world; there are counter attacks now on everything that stands for Jesus and Godliness. Buyer Beware!!!!!!!!!!

Stay intimate with Him! Keep the lines of communication open with ‘your God’, watch out for ‘hidden reefs’, test the spirits, check the fruit, don’t be swayed by every ‘sign and wonder’, remember that we do not fight against flesh and blood, and this battle must be won in the spirit not the flesh. Stay fresh and free in Christ! Humble your hearts daily before an awesome God, who’s love and peace passes all human understanding! Scan the horizon! Stay alert! Keep in touch!

Rob and Jody

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