Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
In the circle of the most influential religious council in the world, they believed Jesus was the Messiah. They could no longer ignore the signs, could no longer relegate this man to a prophet. But the Bible says that because of the Pharisees, they would not confess Him, because they feared they would be excommunicated from the synagogues. Then the Bible reveals the spirit of the last days… “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”
The Prophet Isaiah dealt with this same spiritual condition in Isaiah chapter 5..
Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.
Notice the prophet does not say these people are deceived! Rather he explains they have called evil good, although they know evil is not good they have chosen to make it good. They have exchanged the light for darkness, and have substituted sweet for bitter. Those religious men in John 12, although enlightened with a revelation of the deity of Christ, chose to exchange truth for acceptance through fear and intimidation. I am persuaded through scripture, the spirit of the last days is not the spirit of deception, it is the spirit of intimidation!
According to Webster’s intimidation is designed to make you timid and to fill you with fear. It will either force you into actions, or deter you from actions by inducing fear. Fear will handicap your faith, and cause you to settle for things you never thought you’d never thought you’d settle for. Fear will literally rob you of your future by handcuffing you to your past. One writer went as far as to say, “There is no greater Hell than the prison of fear.” Fear is not something we should take lightly, in fact John the beloved said “Fear hath torment”!
In the aftermath of 9-11, in the wakes of the greatest act of terrorism this country has ever see, President George W. Bush identified the purpose of these attacks. This cowardice act was more than a religious disagreement, it was deeper than a hatred for America, this attack was designed to instill fear. In fact The President labeled the War on Terror as The War between Fear and Freedom. Those enemies knew they were weaker than us, they knew they didn’t stand a chance in a fair fight; but if they could bring fear and intimidation to our homes then they would have the upper hand. And The Leader of the free world understood the only thing powerful enough to take away our freedom was fear!
In our world, fear is the catalyst for failure. Everywhere we look we see people being victimized by this mental disorder. Young men driven by the influence of their peers, exchange the peace of Godliness for the torment of sexual sins and perversion. Young woman driven by fear of rejection give themselves to the perverted young men to be used and abused. What they don’t understand is neither side walks away unharmed, both sides are severely wounded! And after these wounds have been inflicted, the spirit of homosexuality comes along offering relief from those wounds. Jesus warned the church, as it was in the days of lot so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Lord. Homosexuality was not the root of the sins of Sodom, intimidation was! That spirit was so strong, that when angels came to try and persuade Lot to leave, the men of that city nearly broke the door down to get them. This is how the spirit of the last days will operate. Listen, homosexuality is not the root of sin in this country, intimidation is! Most homosexuals are the way they are because of wounds inflicted through fear and intimidation. This is how the spirit of homosexuality works; it tries to convince you to abandon the pure relationship in exchange for one that will spare you of the pain! Notice in scripture when Lot offers his daughters to the ravaging men of the city, these poor girls are married but Lot says they’ve never known a man (Genesis 19:8). This is the primary purpose of the spirit of the last days, to convince you that the pure relationship will only hurt you and cause you more pain. And so this spirit through intimidating means is turning people away from truth! Now we live in a wounded world, that calls evil good and good evil!
So where does the church turn for relief? Where can we find the answers to overcome this spirit, and offer hope to a world in need? The answer is found in the writings of John….
To be continued in Part 3 The Victorious Church…