Wolves Among The Sheep
In his farewell to the elders of the church in Ephesus, Paul warned them that after he left, men who were “savage wolves” would come into their midst who would alter the truth. They would do this in an attempt to gain disciples for themselves;
“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”
The word of God’s grace is that which “can build you up” and give us our inheritance in Christ. The Greek for “build you up” is oikodomeo (oy-kod-om-eh'-o). It’s defined as “to build a house, erect a building.” Metaphorically speaking it means, “to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness.”
The Greek for the simple word “can” or, “is able” in other versions of the Bible, is even more significant. It is dunamai (doo'-nam-ahee) which is described as “to be able or possible, to have power.” In this passage of Scripture we understand that it is through the grace of God that we receive access to the power of God that is able to build us up in Christ thereby qualifying us to receive the eternal inheritance in Him. It will either be submission to the word of God’s grace which can/is able to empower us, or submission to the devil through disobedience to the Lord allowing him to overpower us.
John writes that Christ’s life is “the Light of men,” and that “the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5), which means to “overpower” or “overtake.” The Greek word for “comprehend” is katalambano [kat-al-am-ban'-o] which is defined as “to take eagerly (i.e. seize, possess), to lay hold of so as to make one's own, to obtain, of evils overtaking one.” Samson is our example of someone who, through continued disobedience, caused the light of God within him to be overtaken, or overpowered by darkness (see the Bible study The Light Becoming Darkness). It would result in the loss of God’s power over the enemy which is the present state of the church in America.
As we will see, though, at his death he regained through repentance the strength of God that he would use to bring down the enemy one last time. He is in fact even mentioned in Hebrews, chapter eleven, which is the great hall of faith (Hebrews 11:32). I see a message within this for the church in America that I will speak of later.
Sons Of Light
One day, Jesus said to the crowd that had gathered around Him;
“For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have [2192- “to have, to own, possess”; see Rev. 3:11 on p.10] the Light, so that darkness will not overtake [same Hebrew in John 1:5] you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have  the Light, believe [4100- “to believe, to trust, to place confidence in, to commit to”] in the Light, so that you may become [1096- “to become, to begin to be, to come into being”] sons of Light.”
The Greek for “overtake” is katalambano [kat-al-am-ban'-o], the same word used in John 1:5. This is another reference to the way of becoming the sons and daughters of God (i.e. sonship). In order to become “sons of Light” we need to “believe in the Light” while we are in possession of Him, or in Him as many Scriptures say. If we walk in the light of Christ while we possess His light, He will always overpower the darkness within us so that we may become a son or daughter of God. John referred to this in John 1:12 when he said that those who have “received Him” have been given the “right to become children of God.”
In this passage, John’s subject is those who received Christ, those who were literally born of God. By definition, they have laid hold of Christ, making Him their own. They are the only ones that have been given “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). This is interesting because it would be assumed that they are instantly, at the choice of receiving Christ, to be His child. Per John, there is more in regards to bringing this right to completion in Him.
The definition for “right” is, “privilege, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the power of rule or government.” Freedom in Christ, therefore, is the “authority, power (of choice), privilege, liberty of doing as one pleases” that is only granted to those who turn in repentance to Jesus, receiving Him as their Lord and Savior. The unbelievers do not have this freedom to choose. They are slaves to sin and the devil (2 Tim. 2:26), imprisoned under his power and authority. It was Samson’s poor choices that eventually led to his imprisonment by the enemy. It is the same for us today.
In his first letter to the church of the Thessalonians, Paul exhorts them regarding the day of the Lord’s wrath on earth, saying;
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake [katalambano] you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:4-6/NASU)
This was Samson’s issue. He slept in the enemy’s lap with no fear of God and the consequences of walking in continued sin. Due to an arrogant presumption on the goodness of God (i.e. “eternal security”), he lived with a false sense of security, eventually losing his anointing because he did not remain “alert and sober.” This is the current state of the church in America which is why we must be shaken by the Lord so as to be awakened to our true state of spiritual powerlessness.
Bound And Afflicted Christians
To continue to the third of these four words is to be in a VERY dark place. The simple, four letter English word is “bind.” The Hebrew word is 'acar (aw-sar'). The definition for it is, “to yoke or hitch, to tie, to bind, to harness, to be imprisoned.” (See the note for Acts 16:22-26 in the Bible studies Shaking, 2020 The Dawning Of The Light, and Binding And Loosing regarding what occurred when Paul and Silas were in prison.) How many in the church have been taken captive by the enemy through continued sin and disobedience to the will of God and are not even aware of it? The answer is the majority of the church in America which is why the darkness is currently prevailing (“overpowering/overcoming/overtaking”) in our land.
The last phase, and the ultimate goal of the devil in the church, is “to afflict” us, keeping us chained in a useless state of spiritual paralysis, without sight and hopeless under his oppressive occupation. Our final Hebrew word of this evil strategy is `anah (aw-naw'). The definition for it is, “to be occupied, to be busied with, to oppress, to humble, to be afflicted, to be bowed down, to be depressed, to be downcast, to weaken oneself.” It is through this simple scheme that the enemy of our souls has effectively weakened and “occupied” the church, imprisoning multitudes of God’s people throughout the ages behind demonic barriers. This satanic occupation among the hearts of God’s people is the reason that so many of our number have now fallen away from Christ with an apostate heart.
When a person breaks the law they forfeit their rights and are locked up. Where justice prevails in a society, lawlessness is confronted. The law breaker then faces a loss of their freedom. When a man or woman chooses to come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (become a Christian), under His government rule, and then continues to walk in rebellion against God’s will, it is inevitable that they will become bound and afflicted. They have forfeited the grace of God shown toward them, like Samson, and are then lawfully given over to the power of the jailer, the devil.
The good news, though, is that the devil does NOT have the last word on earth. In the dawning of a new day, the Lord has begun to shake the prison house of the enemy, with the intent to set His captives free for one last time before His return (see the Bible study 2020 The Dawning Of The Light).
In His rebuke of Israel for their spiritual harlotry, the Lord declared through the prophet; “I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (Hosea 5:9/NASU) The Lord disciplines His wayward children with the intent that we would return to Him with a repentant heart. Without repentance, many in the church in America, like Samson, will feel a depth of suffering the likes of which we have never experienced.
The psalmist declared;
“The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners and release those condemned to death.”
There is a groaning among the church that has begun and will only increase as the pressure of the Lord increases in our nation. Some will not repent but will curse God and die. As we’ll see in type through Samson, others will remember God and repent causing Him to remember and restore them.
Asleep In The Lap Of The Enemy
After foolishly sharing the secret of his strength with those whose desire was to destroy him, he went out as usual, not knowing his strength had departed from him as he lay sleeping in the lap of his enemy, and was finally bound under their power. This is THE picture of the current state of the church in America. Like the Israelites in their wilderness journey, we are;
“…a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God… They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law; They forgot His deeds and His miracles that He had shown them… for their heart was not steadfast toward Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.” (See the Bible study Cultivate Faithfulness.)
(Psalm 78:8, 10, 37/NASU)
We, the church in America, are now in our last opportunity to repent before the judgment of God falls in earnest (I was given a revelation regarding this last call from God to His people which I wrote in a book called 911; God’s Last Offer To The Church). We have only experienced a small portion of the wrath of God that will come upon us for our chastisement. Church, to not repent in this final moment, presuming that God will protect you even though you walk in rebellion to His leading in your life, is to be unprotected in a time of sheer terror on our soil with all the other unbelievers. Repent while the door of God’s mercy remains open.
We are a nation of covenant breakers who will soon experience the fear of the Lord. Like Samson, a time is coming when our nation will go out against those who hate us, relying solely on our military might, totally unaware that the One who gave us our strength is no longer there. I recently heard within me the following warning; “If you do not fear Me, I will bring on you what you do fear.”
Under The Power Of The Enemy
The Bible says that, after being overpowered by the Philistines, they immediately gouged out his eyes and bound him with bronze chains, making him a grinder in the prison (Judges 16:21). Spiritual blindness within the majority of the church in America is proof that we have been taken captive for quite a while already, grinding under the oppression within the prison of the enemy.
It was during this time that something began to change. Samson’s hair began to grow again. That from which he drew his strength from the Lord began to be restored. He had been walking in arrogant presumption for so long that he lost all discernment and, eventually, the source of his strength. This is what has happened to the church in America. We have gone on with business as usual for so long, in our own strength, our own power, our own branding, etc., that we have become as foolish and shameless as Samson.
You have to believe that during his imprisonment, Samson, without his physical eyesight, began to see things more clearly than ever before. In his physical state of darkness, the light of God began to grow within him. There was a return to his spiritual senses. (See the Bible study 2020 The Dawning Of The Light.)
In his letter to Timothy, Paul said;
“The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
(2 Timothy 2:24-26/NASU)
Many within the church in America have fallen asleep and been taken captive by the devil and, unknowingly, are doing his will. This is why the darkness is now prevailing in our nation. It is simply due to an absence of light in and through God’s people.
After being humble by his enemies, and remembering who the source of his strength was, Samson would be granted one last moment from the Lord to avenge the loss of his eyes at the hand of his enemies.
The result of Samson’s fall was rejoicing by the Philistines who praised their god Dagon, offering a great sacrifice to him. This is what always occurs among the heathen when God’s people disobey Him and make room for Satan to overpower them. Satan is temporarily glorified rather than God.
In their frenzied celebration, the lords of the Philistines called for Samson to come and “amuse” and “entertain” them. As they mockingly laughed at him, Samson asked the boy who was holding his hand to place his hands on the pillars which the Philistines house rested. Here lies a daunting picture of the weakening power of sin. The man who had once been so powerfully used by God against those who ruled over His people could now be led by even a little boy.
The Bible records for us what happened next;
“Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them. Then Samson called to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.’ Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. And Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.”
God remembered Samson because Samson remembered God. To remember God is to acknowledge Him as not just your Savior, but also your Lord. For Samson it was to humbly admit that He alone was the source of his great strength. He was the “head covering” that enabled Samson to do great exploits. It was to be for God’s glory, not Samson’s.
Part of the definition for the Hebrew word interpreted as “remember” in this passage is “to mark (so as to be recognized).” In our recognition of Jesus as our Lord through our actions and deeds I believe we will receive a “mark” that will distinguish us as His children that will be spared in the day of His wrath (Malachi 3:16-18, Ezekiel 9:4-6).
In this psalm of Asaph he tells of God’s guidance of the children of Israel in the wilderness, and their rebellion against Him. He says that “They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary [the Egyptians].” To “remember” is “to call to mind, to mention, to keep in remembrance.” In the usual verses we use during communion, from 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, we are commanded by the Lord to “do this in remembrance of Me.” It is a reminder for us to “remember” the Lord and what He did for us at Calvary so as not to break covenant with Him through rebellion against His leading in the wilderness journey of life as the children of Israel did through forgetfulness of heart.
Per the Lord’s indictment against them, “When He killed them, then they sought Him [I’m sure they did!], and returned and searched diligently for God; and they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer. But they deceived Him with their mouth and lied to Him with their tongue. For their heart was not steadfast toward Him, nor were they faithful in His covenant.” (Psalm 78:34-37/NASU)
It was this same forgetful heart within Samson that caused him to lose the strength of God that he possessed, be taken captive by his adversaries who immediately gouged out his eyes, and then made him a grinder in their prison (see my entry for 8-10-20 in My Journal Of Healing).
Further on in Psalm 78, Asaph declares that when Israel rebelled against the Lord that He “gave up His strength to captivity and His glory into the hand of the adversary.” (Psalm 78:61/NASU) This is what occurred to Samson. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, he too had his strength given over to the enemy because of rebellion... (Continued in part 3.)