Learn how to overcome in the power of Christ, By Charles Pretlow 10/26/2019
Over the last two months I pondered on the next Midnight Cry blog topic. Finally settling on two prominent issues; the recent admission by the Navy that UFO encounters do exist, and how the last days evil and the power of darkness will be allowed by God to run rampant.
The recent Navy news event got me thinking about the warning I gave back in 1992 about Satan’s end-time strategy of programing the masses to accept the physical manifestations of demons as friendly ET (extraterrestrial beings) coming to help solve our problems here on earth. (I believe this will be one major way Satan will deceive the world into worshipping the beast of Revelation—by the physical manifestation of demonic beings that have beastly features who aid and abet the global rule of the antichrist.)
Indeed, fallen angels will manifest physically and appear as grotesques beasts, because they have been tormented in hell, but will soon be released temporarily on the coming day of judgment. The physical manifestation of fallen angels will come at the time Satan and his angels will be permanently cast down from heaven on to earth.
Already, most in the western cultures, especially in America are awe struck by the demonic images portrayed as extraterrestrial caricatures (images) in movies and on TV. The Apostle John prophesied in Revelation that even after the plagues sent by God, the peoples of the world will not repent of worshipping demons. (See Revelation 9:20 and Revelation 13:11-18.)
Deceived Christians allow for the Possibility of Extraterrestrials
Far too many Christians allow for the possibility of extraterrestrial beings. This is because little is taught on Satan’s last days strategies designed to suck Christians into the antichrist’s deceptions. In my 1992 article entitled, “Extraterrestrial Beings, a deception of Satan,” I point out Billy Graham’s arrant response to the question that extraterrestrial beings might exist:
From my studies in the Scriptures I can find nothing that would change our essential faith in the Gospel if we did discover life on other planets. Our Bible is clearly designed for this particular planet with its particular problem of man’s sin. When we observe this fact, we are on safe ground. It is not a part of the Bible’s message to inform us of what God has done elsewhere. Its message is concerned with earth dwellers, their origin, the reason for their existence, the cause of their misery and the plan of redemption for a fallen race. I am sure that if there are dwellers on other planets, they are either not involved in the sin problem, or else God has made satisfactory provision for them. He is entirely able to support the entire creation and is able govern in righteousness. (My Answer, by Billy Graham, 1967 edition.)
Unfortunately, many in leadership take this same kind of milquetoast (timid and feeble) stand as Billy Graham did concerning extraterrestrial beings who might be discovered or appear on earth as visitors. The passage that should be familiar to the every Christian about fallen angels appearing physically as friendly extraterrestrial creatures is: “And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6). Also, Genesis 6:1–4 describes how the sons of God (angels) physically roamed Earth and took for themselves the daughters of men as wives of all which they chose.
Satan will soon be cast down along with his fallen angels and some cases become physically manifest, to wreak havoc upon the earth and make war against the saints as they aid in the antichrist’s global takeover. “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
And we know this from Scripture about the coming of the antichrist: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
Last Days Evil and the Power of Darkness are Now Upon Us—Ever Growing!
As the signs of the end of this age appear, one upon another, there is still tremendous resistance by most Christians in accepting the reality that the end of this age is upon us. The signs that Christ said to watch for are piling up and most believers refuse to accept that the world and America are well into the end-of-this-age darkness.
In seeking the Lord on this most important issue for this installment of the midnight cry blog, I was given direction by the Lord one recent evening. Frequently, the Holy Spirit points me in a direction to ponder and search Scripture by giving me a dream. “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
I have learned to discern dreams that are directly from the Lord, dreams that are allowed by the Lord, and those dreams injected by one’s own inner heart issues. Some dreams come as counterfeit by the evil one, which God allows to test us and prevent us from relying on dreams. Many Christians (especially Charismatic believers) become carnally introspective and spiritually sensuous in their interpretation of dreams. These believers neglect the hard work of in-depth study of God’s written word, seek his will, embrace the Lord’s discipline and learn to properly discern His voice and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
The setting for this recent dream was in a large meeting room. There were many people, but I did not recognize any individual. I began preaching and warning that Christians will not have power to endure the coming darkness, where evil people and evil situations will prevail against God’s people on a large scale.
As the dream continued, I referred to Scripture where Jesus confronted the chief priests, officers of the temple, and the elders who came to arrest him: “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:52-53).
I continued preaching in the dream, emphasizing that God will allow the powers of darkness to win as he did at Gethsemane when Christ was arrested—I warned that the same kind of dark hour is coming where evil will have its way and the powers darkness will be allowed to prevail upon God’s people in these last days. (We are seeing this becoming prevalent now, where evil is called good and good is called evil.)
At this point in the dream everyone in the audience got up and walked out, refusing to hear anymore. Then the dream ended. I realized from this dream that the Lord was letting me know how most will react when hearing this warning concerning the coming evil and the unrestrained powers of darkness.
Those in leadership must contend for the whole counsel of God and not to lose heart when most listeners stop up their ears and walk out. Most in leadership preach easy words and accumulate for themselves followers that give applause and throw money. Like Peter, most Christians want to believe they can prayerfully and politically fight the powers of darkness and succeed in making America a Christian nation again.
Like the Disciples, Few Want to Hear and Take Heed
The disciples paid little attention to Christ’s warnings concerning his suffering and death. However, Peter did respond by saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you” (Matthew 16:22). Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23).
Why would Jesus confront Satan for what Peter said? Because Peter was inspired by Satan and channeled for Satan to oppose God’s will. This was due to Peter’s own selfish determination to not let Jesus die. Peter was most likely worried about losing his gained notoriety, spiritual power, and income from ministry. Further, I believe all the disciples had the notion in the back their minds that Jesus would free Israel from Roman rule and that they would be used by God to set up the Kingdom God on earth (despite Christ’s continued explanations and warnings).
This was not God’s will; that the disciples and followers of Christ take control of Israel and overthrow the Roman rule. Even though Christ explained that the Kingdom of Heaven was not of this world, the disciples still did not comprehend what Christ meant concerning the coming Kingdom of God as a place dwell within spiritually.
Jesus was teaching and training the disciples not to attempt to establish God’s kingdom on earth in the power of their own strength by physically fighting the powers of darkness. The disciples did not comprehend that the current Roman rule was a physical side effect of the real powers of darkness holding God’s people (Israel) captive. The hold that Satan had over God’s people then and still does now, is partly due the fallen sin nature of mankind and the sinful abuse by false leaders. Jesus berated and exposed the Temple leaders of his day as hypocrites and whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones. (Christ is about to expose many false leaders who are used by Satan to deceive God’s people today!)
It was God’s Temple leaders that plotted and partially succeeded in destroying Christ and his followers. And God in his might and wisdom allowed the powers of darkness to partially win, partly to instill into the disciples that in death, God’s power rules!
After Christ’s resurrection, the disciples from that point on no longer feared men and the possibility of a martyred death—for they now knew that the Kingdom of God is not of this world.
As an important lesson, the disciples, especially Peter needed to be shown how futile their efforts would be in standing in one’s own strength, trying to prevail against the dark power of evil. Once again, at the last-minute Jesus warns the disciples of God’s plan: “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee” (Matthew 26:31-33).
The disciples were silent and listened, except for Peter as he brazenly declared, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away” (Matthew 26:33).
We know that Peter, during Christ’s arrest, drew his sword and cut off the ear of one of the arresting Temple guards. Perhaps Peter believed that by faith, with one sword and with the power of God through Christ, he could defeat the powers of darkness. Many Christians today have the same mindset as Peter’s. They fall asleep when called to pray and intercede, but storm into the fight against darkness in the power of their own strength when they perceive evil is disturbing or assaulting their prosperity.
Just as the original disciples misunderstood Christ’s explanation of the spiritual coming of the Kingdom of God, few Christians today understand how troubling times will become overwhelming, leading right up to the physical coming of the Kingdom God.
Most importantly, the disciples misunderstood that God was depleting them of their own natural powers and physical abilities in standing against darkness. God has not changed, and Christians will soon suffer the Lord’s discipline of dying to one’s own spiritual strength and self-reliance.
Many will be like Peter, pulling a Sword, Losing and then Denying Christ
Of course, Jesus confronted Peter: “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Unfortunately, most Christians are fighting the powers of darkness with what they believe is the sword of the spirit, not realizing they are operating in their own natural strength and wisdom, as they rely on their own spiritual strength and physical resources to oppose darkness.
There is coming a process where God will allow evil and powers of darkness to win momentarily. This will cause many false Christians following Christ and fighting to restore America to fall away and as for the sincere, yet carnal believer, they will be thwarted in their own efforts in standing against the coming flood of darkness.
Throughout Scripture, God has vetted his army of weak and self-reliant warriors and purged his true servant of their natural powers in doing warfare.
Moses slayed the Egyptian guard, then had to flee into the wilderness for forty years in preparation to be clothed in the power of God to stand against the Pharaoh’s earthly authority. Further, because of his wilderness training to rely on God, Moses was able to stand against the spiritual powers of the Pharaoh’s magicians. (Those magicians, with their dark powers stood toe to toe against the power of God for the first three plagues.)
We must understand that the original disciples were disciplined by being shown how futile it is to war against evil and darkness in their natural powers. There are many examples in scripture proving this passage: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
My favorite passage on this work of dying to self-reliance on our own physical and spiritual powers is with the Apostle Paul’s explanation. It will help us understand what the last day Christian can expect in God’s training program to stand against the god of this world and his minions (human and demonic) and overcome.
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many” (2 Corinthians 1:8-11).
Evil will have its hour and the powers of darkness will become overwhelming, and it will feel like God has abandoned his people and many will despair of life itself as they suffer hardships and burdens beyond their strength. But in the end, this will only make the true disciple depend on God who raises the dead!
Today, most Christians are taught to pray, fight, and become involved politically to restore America, but soon they will be in absolute shock as the powers of darkness continue to win battle after battle. Even in fighting on a personal level in life and ministry, there is coming a wave of dark power that will squash the unprepared and self-reliant saint.
Just as the disciples thought that Christ would set up the kingdom of God by physically overthrowing Roman rule—so too, most Christians think God will strengthen the church to restore America and usher in the physical coming of the kingdom of God.
The Coming Army of God will be Clothed with Power from on High
Jesus was clear about the last days great falling away: “And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10-12).
Though this seems pure gloom and doom, it is God’s will that his army be trained to endure and become clothed with His power to bring in the final harvest. Christ’s true Church must give up the love of this age, lust for the abundant life in this world and die to relying on their own physical and spiritual strength. This must be accomplished within the true body of Christ so that His church can stand and work during the Great Tribulation’s final harvest and be raptured to safety at Christ’s coming.
A final note on Christians using their own spiritual strength in the name of Christ: “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:22-23).
These false Christians had spiritual power to prophesy and to cast out demons. Christ did not deny that they had spiritual power. However, though these false believers used Christ’s name, Christ did not work those spiritual feats they bragged of having performed. So, by what power do false Christians do these supernatural things? The wicked and the deceived Christian have supernatural powers within their own spirit and it is one of Satan’s goals to unlock these powers—like the magicians in the Pharaoh’s court, or like Simon the magician as described in the book of Acts.
Another point made by the Apostle Paul, citing what the Lord said about being weak, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
The time has come for the genuine Christian to follow Paul’s example. Give God permission to work his grace upon you and into you. Embrace Christ’s discipline to become weak in your own strength that you may be clothed with power from on high.
For additional encouragement and teaching on these issues, view our recent messages on standing against the powers of darkness and becoming clothed in power from on high:
Copyright © 2019 Charles Pretlow All rights reserved