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Do You Confront Evil Or Do You Tolerate It?

Before you are blessed, you have to be tested. Sacrifice always precedes blessing. You can see the process in the life of Abraham (Gen 15-18; 20-23). Those eight chapters are an overview of a long span of time in Abraham’s life in which God tested him. Abraham passed the test. He proved faithful. He was willing to do whatever God said.

In contrast, many of those whom God wants to bless today have not passed the test. They haven’t yet come to the point of being willing to do anything God says. God cannot bless them, except in minor ways.

God’s express will was revealed by Jesus. His nature of wanting to bless is plainly disclosed:

If you then, being evil [something many are quick to forget], know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matt 7:11.)

But the reason many don’t receive from God is revealed to be a result of what is in the human heart:

This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19).

“Do you mean Christians?”


The problem is one of an ‘uncircumcised’ heart. The selfishness, self-centredness, or self-will inside a person colours their motives. So, while they may take Jesus on their lips, and profess to live by His precepts, they do not actually see their motives in the light of day.

Jesus cut right through the veneer. Look what He said to Nicodemus:

Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify of what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness (Jn 3:11).

Do you think you are any different from that ‘man of God’ back then? If you do, you kid yourself. John the Baptist declared:

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies and no one receives His testimony (Jn 3:31,32).

That is, not until you are completely changed by His Spirit within. When you are willing to do anything He says, then you can receive His testimony, properly understand it, and obey Him implicitly.

What the apostle John said of the people of God of his time also applies to God’s people today:

He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him (Jn 1:11).

Jesus has come to you who are reading this. You are among ‘His own’. You may think you have received Him, and you have up to a point, but is there a point at which you tell Him to stop knocking on your door? (Rev 3:20.) “Go away, Jesus, I don’t want to hear that. Why do you bother me?”

I recall a time when I was told by God to go to a series of church meetings. It was a cult that would not let people in whom they couldn’t control. He sent us there to knock on their door. They excluded us, and didn’t realise that they were excluding Jesus also.

They wouldn’t let us in through the front door, so we tried at the back. The ‘guards’ were letting church people in through the back door – until we arrived. Then it was firmly slammed shut. Even the church folks couldn’t get in, then. As we stood outside, a woman turned on me, blaming me for her exclusion: “Why don’t you just leave us alone?”

If only she knew why! She wasn’t interested in truth, merely what she wanted, which she was able to get from that ‘church’.

Most believers are like her. Are you? Or are you like Abraham, willing to hear God’s voice and do what He says?

You Must Confront Evil!

The woman I mentioned above didn’t want to know about the evils in that church that she was tolerating. Through her inaction, and by her opposition of one sent to expose evil, she sided with Satan and welcomed his demons. She didn’t realise that she was actually worshipping demons, not Jesus!

A vital part of our testing in this preparation for the Kingdom of God is confrontation. Demons are everywhere – in the world around, in the workplace, in TV programmes, in churches, in preaching, teaching, and even in some people’s ‘prophesying’. And of course they are in your personal life, too, where you let them stay. That is why you must confront evil. You have to confront the devil, and oppose the subtlety of Satan in his devious manipulation of your mind.

It’s not pleasant. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. Those are three reasons many don’t bother.

But such an approach is based on selfishness, not godly trust.

This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19).

...he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18).

This is talking about many Christians. Of course most of them would object: “Oh yes I have! I have accepted Jesus as the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world. He is my personal Saviour.”

Then why don’t you trust Him? Why don’t you believe Him, when it comes to confronting evil?

The answer: Because your belief is merely mental assent. It’s not a deep-down belief in your heart, a belief so strong that you are willing to lay down your life for Him. That’s the belief He’s talking about. It’s a belief that comes from Him – a faith in Him, that is a part of Him, which He imparts to you as you lay down what you want, and do what He wants.

When such challenges occur close to home, you can easily dismiss the prompt of the Spirit and shut Jesus outside your door, without seeing what you have done. But when you do that, you have shut out your Saviour, and welcomed a substitute spirit inside. And he will torment you until you repent of your self-will.

Let me give you an example. A man was invited by his elderly mother, all expenses paid, to accompany her to the other side of the world where she was going to visit her family. Fred (not his real name) is a believer with vastly differing beliefs from his mother, who is Catholic. He wants her to be saved, but he finds it hard to break through her ‘shell’ of religious prejudice.

He doesn’t see his mother very often because they live hundreds of miles apart, but the trip will give him an unparalleled opportunity to share with her and – if Jesus is living in him – bring Jesus into her life. He will be with his mother, every day, for a whole month.

A day or so before he left, I was working in the garden, minding my own business (that’s often a time when God speaks!). I was just stuffing autumn leaves into a compost bin, when suddenly my thoughts were taken off what I was doing and onto Fred and his mother. Then another thought came into my mind, disparate from the first one. It was of a US prophet (Henry Gruver) and what God told him about the Russian invasion of America. We had two of his taped messages. They contain riveting information.

In the second or two that these thoughts all descended on my mind, the unspoken prompt from the Spirit was that Fred should give his mother these two tapes to listen to. He had heard them and concurred with the prophetic message they contained.

I realised that God may have been pointing out an avenue which would open meaningful dialogue between his mother and him about the immediate future and Jesus’ soon coming – something that Catholics have little idea about.

When I saw Fred later, I told him what God had put in my mind. Fred’s (standing for fearful, rebellious, egocentric, demented, stubborn) reaction was instant. He dismissed the suggestion as preposterous and entirely inappropriate. It trod on his toes. His approach is one of consistently putting himself first. And he knew that such a proposition would not go down well with his mother, who doesn’t want to know. He would only cause upset or friction, at a time when he wanted to go away on a nice, leisurely holiday and enjoy himself. The last thing he wanted was to destroy the peace and superficial harmony he enjoyed with his mother.

But God doesn’t think like we think. He doesn’t care about the selfish things we care about. He has greater matters on His heart – matters to do with the salvation of ‘souls’. His heart is constantly beating in love for the lost, wanting to lead them to accept Jesus. That was not Fred’s heartbeat. Remember:

This is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

He couldn’t see the evil in his own heart. So he rejected the ‘word’. He didn’t consider that it was any- thing more than something I had thought up. He didn’t hear Jesus knocking on his door. Why? Because he didn’t care about his mother as much as he cared about himself. And he cared even less about God.

But try telling him that! He would reject your words as fast as he rejected mine. Sin blinds a person, and his life is full of sins that he cannot see for that reason. His ego blocks him seeing self-centredness for the ugly thing it is, as well as pride and whatever else is there of lust, greed, envy, resentment, self-will, self- determination, pleasure-seeking, intolerance of others, fear, unbelief, stubbornness, rebellion, etc., that is in his life.

He thinks he is a Christian. He IS, in name, but not in deed. He thinks he is converted. He IS, in concept, but not in deed. And what matters to God? What is in your head, or what is in your heart? There are many believers who will enter the Kingdom of heaven because of their heavenly hearts, despite having wrong ‘heavenly’ concepts (doctrines) in their heads. Conversely, many with ‘right doctrines’ will be shut outside because of the selfishness, hatred and intolerance that is still in their hearts.

Because self was No 1, Fred refused to confront evil and ‘preach righteousness’. He drew back.

Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him (Heb 10:38). [So] do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased (13:16).

Sacrifice is painful. It’s inconvenient. It’s not something we like. But it’s something that is needful.

If you don’t confront evil, it will swallow you up!

As he left, Helena felt a heavy head, like she gets in intercession for others. She felt the demons that he would now be subjected to throughout his trip. A few days later, a thought came into my mind about him, that he was down or depressed. And he would be! What he had done, without thinking, was to shut Jesus out and leave Him behind, while he went off and submitted himself to all his mother’s demons. Instead of confronting them, he welcomed them by default.

There is only one way to escape the snare of the devil – by resistance and confrontation. Don’t let him take you captive to do his will! (2 Tim 2:26.)

Malcolm B Heap

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