Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Deception of Deception - Fool Me Once, Shame On You - Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me!

You would think that after falling for computer viruses and scams, I would be on the alert when the next one would come. But, I fell for the scam.

It looked different. I didn't recognize it as a scam. It looked perfectly valid. Nevertheless, I was scammed.

It started when I was researching for some graphics on the Internet. I got this new toy called 'Cricut' and I was going to make some Christmas pictures with it. That is, until I got scammed.

While I was looking for this graphic, a message box came up saying that my computer was infected with a virus. It said I had to call such and such a number to fix it. I tried to close the browser, but a voice yelled at me and told me my computer had a virus. I figured that it was a valid warning at that point. So, I called the number.

Now, I could have called Apple, but I didn't. It seemed like so much of a hassle whenever I called before and I was afraid the virus was ruining my computer so I called the given number. A man named 'Alex' answered and seemed very kind. He explained to me that my computer did indeed have a virus, and that he would fix it.

Three hours later, my computer was 'fixed'. I was asked to buy a license for $499.99. It would give me a year of free technical service. He also installed an antivirus program on my computer.

"Alex' called me the next day making sure everything was working with my computer. He spoke very good English, but with an Indian dialect.

I asked some computer saavy people on my Mac emailing list about the antivirus program. And they gave me the bad news. "You were scammed" many of them told me. I posted a message about it on Facebook. They told me the same thing. I called Apple. They also confirmed that I had been scammed.

After all that, I contacted the credit card company. They told me if I wanted to dispute it, I should contact the scam company first. So, I did.

The scam company's name is 'Brainbro'. I talked again with Alex, and then with someone who had the same dialect, but said his name was 'Brian'. I told them of all the people who said that I was scammed by them. Of course, they did not agree. Alex said that he was disappointed that a reputable company like Apple would say such a thing. I told him that my computer really was not infected with a virus. He agreed with what I said. He explained that when I got the message that my computer was infected with a virus, it really meant that malware was found on my computer. He removed the malware that he found, according to him. They would refund $349.99 of the money I paid for the license.

Just before Christmas, before 8 am, I get a phone call. It was from someone who had the same dialect as Alex. He said his name was Albert. He mentioned something about a license and that within the past two weeks malware was found on my computer. I told him that my computer was working just fine. 'Albert' then hung up. The caller I.D. said 'Private Caller' so I don't know who it was from, but it sure sounded like it was from 'Brainbro'.

You might be wonder what all this has to do with anything spiritual. First, I want to warn all my friends about this scam. When I searched the Internet using keywords, others had been scammed by this company the same way I was. It is scary when you see an authentic message pop up on your computer saying that you have a virus. It can look very authentic, but it may be totally false. It would be easy for anyone to fall for.

But also, this, I believe is how the devil works with us. He doesn't come at us with things that would be obvious to us. He tries to get us to fall for his tricks with plausible arguments. His claims look authentic. We all have fallen at times, into his traps.

How can we not fall for the devil's tricks? The main way is to know the word of God. God's word is activated by His Holy Spirit. We also need to be filled with God's Holy Spirit. That way, we can become discerning.

Jesus said,

" If a son shall ask bread of any of you who is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them who ask him?"

We need to be discerning. We need to separate the truth from the lies. The devil's lies look like truth to us. We need to have our guards up at all times because we do not know when the next trick will come.

Hating And Being Hated By One Another - The Annoying Jeopardy Contestant

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another." Titus 3:3 ESV

I was intrigued by a Jeopardy contestant a couple of weeks ago by a woman who had an interesting dialect. In fact, her dialect sounded much like the dialect of my grandson! We enjoyed watching her as she answered the many questions on a Jeopardy program and actually won.

What was interesting was that this woman made an impact upon many who were watching Jeopardy those nights when she was on the program. She made such an impact that she ended up on Youtube as was dubbed as the most annoying Jeopardy contestant! I had to go to the videos that were made by others with her on the program.

What I saw in the comments was interesting and very sad. The words that were posted in some of those comments were unbelievable. "...id stab that bitch", "women are ****", "I would've told her to stfu", and a few choice others which I would not repeat. I found other comments under another Youtube video of her. A few did come to her defense.

My point is that we live in a world of darkness. We are so far away from the brilliance of the Gospel. What we see here in these comments is the fruit of lives which are apart from God. All of us would be living lives where we would be full of hate, at least toward someone or something, if it were not for His mercy to us. We would be hating others as well as being hated by others. That is just the nature of living in a world of darkness, without God. This will continue throughout eternity for those who have not responded to God's mercy by turning away from sin and turning to God in repentance and faith (trust) in Jesus Christ as the payment for our sins.

A while back, I learned that only 2% of the church actually engage in evangelism. I don't know why that is, but, if we have been radically changed by the power of the Gospel, it would seem like the desire to share the Gospel with others would be natural. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work of evangelism. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin, and He also reveals Christ to people's hearts. He gives us the boldness to communicate Gospel truths and wisdom as we talk with people about the things of God.

Maybe we have just lost our awe of God? Maybe we have never seen God as awesome? We can have all our theological ducks in a row perfectly arranged, and still miss it.

Here is a quote from a young man who preached at our church last week. Maybe this is a clue as to why we are not impressed with God?

""Your willingness to be a disciple of Jesus is in direct proportion to your awe of Jesus". Seth Grier.

Anyway, as we intentionally bring the light of the Gospel to those who are lost, the light will cause the darkness to go away, and people will be able to clearly see God. Many will respond to the Gospel. Many will no longer live their lives hating and being hated by one another.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Good Admonitions For The Church Today

Here are some strong admonitions Paul had for the church at Thessalonica. At the end of this chapter, Paul tells the Thessalonians to read this letter to all the holy brotherhood.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-26 
Now we exhort you, brothers, warn them who are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

See that no one renders evil for evil unto anyone; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
 Rejoice evermore.

 Pray without ceasing.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

 Quench not the Spirit.

 Despise not prophesyings.

 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.

 Brethren, pray for us.

 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.