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  • Rand Swift


Spiritual Warfare: Seven Deep Examinations Of The Heart

Test #2 Smyrna - The Test of Truth

If we are to be successful Spiritual Warriors, eliminating by means of the powers God has given us through our union with Jesus Christ, there is an element of life congruent with heaven itself and its Creator, God, and that element congruent with God is absolute truth.

This is the second deep examination of the heart Jesus confronts the 'ekklesia' with as The Book of Revelation, the book that so magnificently pulls back the curtain on what is taking place in the spirit realm and its effects on earth, opens and this because the ultimate battle between light and darkness, or we could say between truth and lies, looms before the sons and daughters of God.

In the Son of God teachings, Jesus points out that the head of darkness (known to us as satan) was a liar from the beginning and the father of all lies. We later learn in The Book of Revelation that everything that "loves and makes a lie" (Revelation 22:15) will have no place within the economy of God.

In spiritual warfare, we will not be able to defeat a lie we have fallen in love with, for when it is threatened with the prospect of extinction, we will hide it somewhere, hoping to keep it alive.

Truth is a foundational element of the nature of God and therefore of infinite power as well.

Smyrna - The Test of Truth

The people of Smyrna are a people right in the middle of deep examinations. They are right now experiencing the onslaught of trouble and pressures.

Poverty is pressing in on them. False believers are telling them to quit, give up and cash it in, undermining their faith in the words God has given them.

They are being laid to the core as everything they thought God had promised them is now under complete assault.

The devil is oppressing them severely, restricting and fighting every move they try to make, questioning constantly, assaulting with doubts, making it hard to breathe into their spirits the atmosphere of heaven.

But there is hope, and there is purpose, and we are assured the onslaught does indeed have an end to it.

The number ten is brought up, a number associated with affliction (see Leviticus 23:7), and affliction has to do with humbling, and humbling has to do with coming into a status of reliance upon the voice of the Lord, hearing it, and not turning again to the wisdom of man and the wisdom of this world like a dog turning again to eat what he just got rid of (vomit) or a freshly washed pig heading right back out to wallow in the mire.

The trial of ten days Jesus is speaking of does not necessarily depict a literal period of time as much as it does a season and period of affliction intent toward humbling us under the mighty hand of God and under exclusivity to Him and the loving grace of the truth He empowers us with.

Though sometimes it seems like you are navigating through a dark valley, His voice will bring you to its promised destination.

One does not know the truth is true until it has been tested and proven to be so, and sometimes repeatedly tested and proven. Like all things, truth is theory until proven. Faith comes and continues to come by hearing.

A perfect illustration of the ten day trial deposing of the wisdom of this world is in Daniel;

And the king (of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar) appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat and of the wine which he drank, nourishing them for three years so at the end of that time they (the wise) might come and might stand before and serve the king. Now, among these there was Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah to whom the prince of those who were set apart gave names, Daniel being Belteshazzar, Hananiah was Shadrach, Mishael was Meshach and Azariah was Abednego.

But Daniel purposed in his heart not to degrade and pollute himself with the portion of the king's meat, or with the wine that he would drink. Because of this he requested of the prince of those who were set apart that he might not degrade and pollute himself.

And the prince of those who were set apart said, 'I am afraid of my ruling head, the king, who has determined what you can eat and what you can drink. For why should he see your faces different in appearance than the others of the circle? If I do that, my own head will be in danger before the king.'

Then Daniel said to Melzar, whom the prince of those who were set apart put in place to oversee Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 'Prove, examine and assay like one who determines the purity of gold, your servants for ten days. Let them give us vegetables, herbs and seeds to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined by you and compared to those who eat the portion of the king's meat, and then according to what you see deal with your servants.'

And he consented to them in this matter and proved, examined and assayed them like one who determines the purity of gold for ten days. And at the completion of ten days their countenances appeared more prosperous and firmer in flesh than all of the others who fed on the portion of the king's meat. Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat and wine and that they should drink (according to the king of Babylon) and gave them vegetables, herbs and seeds to eat.

As for these four, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams...And the king communed with them and among them all there were none found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, therefore, they are the ones who stood before the king.

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king sought out, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were within his entire realm (Daniel 1).

What the enemy means for evil and our debilitation, God means for good.

One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a thing called “long suffering”, which means undaunted pursuit of a divine objective.

Yes, I assure you there will be obstacles and as we mentioned already, the enemy will offer you his version of food and wine and a shortcut solution. Yes, you can be just like all the others the spirit of Babylon wants to form into its image. After all, they had a three year degree program, and then you became a graduate.

An education of some pursuit is highly valued if that is the joy of God over your life and useful to your life in fulfilling your eternal destiny. We can use it but not be under it (1st Corinthians 7:31), but we must accept also that God has His way and His way is not according to the way nor by the wisdom of this world.

The meat of Babylon is inadequate for you.

You may eat the world's wisdom or choose to feed on a higher food. If you feed on the higher food chances are you will excel under the onslaught of affliction, becoming ten times more formidable that those who don't. The choice of what to feed on is ultimately yours.

The reward for choosing truth is the crown of life which is taken from the idea of the victor in a contest receiving the laurel crown as reward to wear.

This is a crown of mastery like a certificate declaring you have graduated and now own this element.

In other words, in the arena of spiritual warfare, whenever and wherever that spirit appears again, those who have attained to the status of triumph will maintain the triumph they have won having learned to master it in Christ.

Your training is about mastery.

Just like your Lord and Mentor Jesus, hold to the words of the Father you have received in spite of any and all contrary onslaught. The word of God is the power of creation, bury your heart in it and no matter what present creation looks like, trust and keep on trusting in the love of God over you and the power of His words to you because His word is at work and His wisdom will make a ten-fold increase.

We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the power that exceeds all measurable capacity may be rooted in God and not in ourselves. We are troubled on every single side, yet we're really not distressed, we're puzzled but we're not in a state of despair, persecuted but never feel we are forsaken, cast down but we are never destroyed.

Always, we bear about in our natural physical body the dying (sentence of death) of our Lord Jesus, in order that the life of Jesus might likewise be openly manifest in our natural physical body. For we who are alive are continually being exposed to death for Jesus sake, so that the life also that is of Jesus can then also be fully exposed and completely unsealed in our mortal flesh. (1st Corinthians 4:7-11).

Here is a final word about Sardis. As you read the words of Jesus you will find there is no rebuke for anyone in the middle of the test.

The thing that is most important to the Lord is that you pass it and he will be there in the toughest of times with available grace to help you through. This is an important point.

And it came to pass after ten days the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 42:7).

Forget the wisdom of man. It cannot help you in the place where we are going.

Only the wisdom of God will be able to assist you.

Tap into it and let your heart be completely toward the LORD and His answers because the trial is a transition point as to which wisdom your heart will trust, so be faithful and you will see the death of the one while receiving a triumphant crown of life by trust in the other.

Next Topic: Test #3 Pergamos – The Test of Motive

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