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Overcoming to the End

Resisting the Spirit of Error

   We are all in need of endurance in overcoming and all of us have to constantly examine our lives to see if we are doing all that is right and true according to Yahweh's Word. This, of course, is a perfect example of what the Days of Unleavened Bread mean for us and the lessons we learn by taking a time-out to remove the leavened attributes and influences from our lives.
   We are in one of the greatest battles of all time, the outcome of which will decide whether or not we will end up being part of the kingdom of priests ruling in Yahweh's Kingdom alongside of Yahshua.
   If we overcome to the end, with Yahweh's Spirit within and Yahshua leading us, we will be changed fully into Spirit beings privileged with the right to sit on the King's throne with Him. But we must learn to resist the evil in this world.

Starting at the Beginning
   Typically, we want to start looking in Scriptures where we first find the beginning of a subject matter. But, in this case, we'll go to the end because it actually does tell us what has happened at the beginning.
   Revelation 12:7-8 NASB (used throughout) shares with us an event which has already happened at that time,
   And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.
   Going down to verses 9 and 12, we read the bad news,
   And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him... Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.
   Satan has a short time to live and a short time to devour those he can by influencing them to turn against Yahweh, just like he did with a third of the angels. Satan was cast down with his followers, and he is now gathering more followers.

Following Satan?
   When ancient Israel kept turning away from Yah- weh, were they also at the same time turning toward Satan? Whether or not they knew it, that's ultimately what they were doing. Even today, we are either obedient children or disobedient children.
By this the children of Yahweh and the children of the Devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of Yahweh, nor the one who does not love his brother, 1 John 3:10.
   Even at the end of the 1,000 year reign, which is still to come, Satan is going to seek to gather those to him who will oppose Yahweh and His Saints. Ultimately, his goal is Israel, in the land of Israel.
   We know that other nations will be in the Kingdom besides Israel, such nations as the descendants of Magog (Rev. 20:8), Moab (Jer. 48:47), Egypt (Zech. 14:18), Ammon and Elam (Jer. 49:6, 39).
   Israel is considered Yahweh's firstborn and with that designation they receive a double portion according to Scripture. Evidently, Satan is going to be telling the other nations that they are getting a raw deal from Yahweh and not to accept it. Probably something similar was presented to the angels that followed Satan. Here we have an amazing parallel with the same struggle.

Spiritual Wickedness
   For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12.
   We fight against spiritual wickedness and those influences of Satan and his demons. But, does wickedness in high places really mean the heavenly realm? The answer is a resounding, "Yes."
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:1-2.
   Satan is ruler in the air (spiritual realm) of the world. We should ask, “Do we want to be obedient children or disobedient?”
   We can then ask, "How do we resist Satan, and how do we fight a spiritual influence?" First and foremost, we must trust in Yahweh and in His Son and then we are to do our part.

Putting on the Whole Armor
   We’re to put on the whole armor which Yahweh gives to those of us who are immersed in Yahshua's Name and have received the Spirit of Yahweh through the laying on of hands by the Elders in the faith and to fight the good fight.
   Both 1 Thess. 5:8 and Eph. 6:11-18 cover the ideas of weaponry a soldier will have at his disposal, no doubt inspired while Paul was in prison and seeing the Roman guard posted with all of these implements about him. He thought in spiritual ways, as we are also to do, learning from the physical things we do and see.
   On the head would be the helmet, the hope of salvation. It covers and protects the mind. The forefront of our mind is to be focused on the future goal of being in the kingdom and our eyes are to be on the Messiah, Who is leading us. Take our eyes off, and we will sink like Peter did when he stepped out on faith and walked on the water.
   There is the breastplate of faith and love (1 Thess. 5:8) and righteousness (Eph. 6:11). It covers and protects both the front and back of the heart.
   The things of righteousness, faith and love involve more than just good feelings. James tells us
“Faith without works is dead,” James 2:17. John tells us, “This is the love of Yahweh, that we keep His commandments,” 1 John 5:3. We're told by Paul, “The law is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good,” Romans 7:12.
   All these things are linked together, like the physical breastplate is linked together with metal plates. Archeological discoveries have noted the breastplates were built in this manner.
   One of the most important aspects of the armor is the sword, which is the Word of Yahweh.
For the Word of Yahweh is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, Hebrews 4:12.
   The sword is a defensive as well as an offensive weapon. Learning how to use it can save your life and aid in saving the lives of others.
   The shield is also a very effective tool in one's arsenal. It is expressed as faith. It is something that will extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. This tool, like the sword, is not only for defense, but also for offensive usage. Shields can actually be locked together as a united front and protection against an assault. This is where, when believers come together in truth and unity, it is a strong front to any assaults.
   The belt, which is represented as truth, keeps things where they should be. It is foundational and it is where you find the sword for battle.
   The feet, covered (we can relate this to putting on shoes today), brings peace and good news.
How lovely are the feet of him who brings good news, Isaiah 52:7.
   We present ourselves in peace and gentleness, bringing good news, but we stand firm and stand (withstand) in the days of battle in these same shoes.

Putting on Messiah
   What exactly is all the armor that we’ve been going over? What is it likened to? Paul must have considered the Messiah in all these things, as he himself says,
Put on the Master Yahshua Messiah, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts, Romans 13:14.
   He also stated plainly,
Be strong in the Master and in the power of His Might! (Ephesians 6:10).
   Do we have the full armor of Yahweh on, and are we doing something with it? Can we imagine putting on all the armor and doing nothing with it? No battlefield war is won by just standing there, no matter how good the equipment is.
   To win, we must put on and fight with “all” of the Armor. Putting on part of the armor or just a piece or two will not work. It would mean being vulnerable to the spirit of error which Satan is and promotes. Make no mistake about it, Satan can and does search out our weaknesses.

Two Spiritual Influences
   There are essentially two spiritual influences in the world.
   Now when Yahshua came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim.” And Yahshua said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven," Matthew 16:13-17.
   Continuing on shortly after in verse 21:
   From that time Yahshua began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Elohim forbid it, Master! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on Yahweh’s interests, but man’s," Mat- thew 16:21-23.
   Man's interests can be influenced by circumstances, by flesh, and by one's own heart. However, in this instance, it's interesting that Yahshua told Peter,
“Get behind Me, Satan!" He said this just after He had related how Yahweh had revealed by heavenly influence (specifically by Yahweh's Spirit) to understand that Yahshua was the Son of Yahweh. Two spiritual influences, at work. Peter was influenced by both, it appears.

End Time Prophecy
   A question we can ask is, "What is a major indicator of the spirit of error?" What is Satan compelling and influencing many people to believe today?
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from Elohim, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of Yahweh: every spirit that confesses that Yahshua Messiah has come in the flesh is from Yahweh; and every spirit that does not confess Yahshua is not from Yahweh; this is the spirit of the anti-messiah of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world, 1 John 4:1–3.
   This anti-Messiah spirit is going to be playing a direct role in end time prophecy concerning the mark of the Beast and other things surrounding it, including the false prophet.
   Are we going to be fooled by such an outrageous masquerade or substitute Savior? We should hope and pray not.
   So, what are some of the things we need to do to resist the spirit of error? First of all, with Yahweh's Spirit, we can identify the spirit(s) of error.
   We are to fight against and resist spiritual evil, ridding ourselves or de-leavening ourselves, from everything contrary to Yahweh's ways, which His Word provides. We avoid evil movies — movies or entertainment with adultery, revenge, alternate lifestyles — sinful music, evil magazines, etc. It all has to go and be avoided. Paul, under the influence of Yahweh's Spirit, tells us why:
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of Yahweh — I say this to your shame, 1 Corinthians 15:33-34.

Submit to Yahweh
   Evil things lead to evil thoughts and evil actions. Evil is defined as things contrary to Yahweh's laws. There has been so much emphasis that Yahweh's laws have been done away with, that relativism, the idea that we can decide what is right versus wrong, is pervasive throughout society and in church buildings throughout the world.
   Yet, we are instructed to have Yahweh's Word as a Sword to carry with us wherever we go. It ties directly to the belt, which is truth.
   We are to put on the full armor of Yahweh and be true witnesses, standing before Yahweh, in the Messiah.
Submit therefore to Yahweh. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to Yahweh and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded, James 4:7–8.
   In other words, get rid of the relativism, which is a satanic influence found in the world, and submit fully to Yahweh. Stop sinning!
   We see that avoiding sin (resisting the evil one) and submitting to Yahweh as a message throughout Scripture. The consequences of breaking Yahweh's law is death, spiritual death.
   Relativism is something that can say sin is just something like "unbelieving" or "not having faith." Saying anything but "law," but the Apostle John, just like James, knew what they were talking about.
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, 1 John 3:4–7.
   If Messiah dwells in us, then we will indwell Yahweh's Spirit and will not be able to tolerate conscious sins. The mind and character of Yahweh and Yahshua implanted within us changes us more fully to Their way. We, like Them, become intolerant of sin.
   Paul earlier was directing his letters to some who were evidently like the Laodicean Assembly, in which Yahshua says they were very immature in the faith, barely able to handle the milk of the word, let alone the meat. Paul went so far as to say some of them were ignorant of Yahweh.
   But, like Paul, John also writes about the seriousness of sin and what it means when someone is willfully committing it:
The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of Yahweh appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil, 1 John 3:8.
   The works of the Devil, quite frankly, are to teach that we cannot do the works of obedience. The fact, however, is we can obey (submit) with Yahweh's Spirit and it was prophesied to help us do just that.
   This is why John goes on to say that those who are born of Yahweh, or who now have Yahweh's Spirit, no longer live contrary to Him and His ways. This is a process of submitting first (Acts 5:32) in order to receive this powerful influence permanently embedded within us. It is a type of initial birth, if you will.
No one who is born of Elohim practices sin, because His Seed abides in Him; and He cannot sin, because He is born of Elohim. By this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of Yahweh, nor the one who does not love his brother, 1 John 3:9-10.

Love vs True Love
   One can be loving and caring, expressing a type of love on the surface, but if the one expressing the loving and caring attributes knowingly practices sinful behavior and actions contrary to what is right, as defined by Scripture, and stays defiantly in an unrepentant state, then he/she is no brother or sister at all in Messiah.
   Alternatively, if we keep the eternal laws, statutes, and judgments of Yahweh correctly, but don't express the fruit of the Spirit by having love and true concern for the brethren, then we also become listed with those not of the body of Messiah.
   The good news is, with the forgiveness of sin — and the forgiveness of the death penalty that comes with sinning — we can be joyful and look forward to overcoming and being accepted into eternal life.
   In a very real sense, we’ve already won the race (i.e., salvation is secure), if we persevere and increase in the fruits of the Spirit and stay faithful to Yahweh by keeping His Word (John 4:24; 2 Peter 1:5-7; Revelation 14:12). This is true love.
You are from Elohim, little children, and have overcome them [false teachers, which includes every false religion one can think of, i.e., spirits of error]; because greater is He Who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from Elohim; he who knows Elohim listens to us; he who is not from Elohim does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, 1 John 4:4-6.
   Can anyone understand Yahweh? This is true only if one is called (John 6:44; Acts 2:39) or accepted by Him (Matt. 7:7). And, how many is He calling? Yahshua says, "Many are called." He also says, of those many, "few are chosen." (Matt. 22:14). It appears the few are few indeed.

Small Numbers
   Return, O faithless sons, declares Yahweh; for I am a Master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding, Jeremiah 3:14–15.
   Is this speaking to us now or to those who will be brought into the coming Kingdom? Could it be both, as a type of dual prophecy from not only what we see now, in context of the Word, but also knowing that Yahweh usually takes small numbers to accomplish big things?
   As with Adam and Eve, didn't He start out with just two? But, then, as with Noah's Ark, how many people on it were used to replenish the earth? Also, the 12 Tribes of Israel, all stemming from one son of one man's grandson. There are also the 12 disciples, and only 144,000 total are listed as firstfruits in Revelation.
   What about the shepherds? Are they the Elect in the Kingdom? Or are they, right now, teaching as they overcome the world and the spirit of error? Both, maybe? It's interesting to really take a close look at this section of Scripture, and its prophetic reality of what is said to come about:
"It shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,” declares Yahweh, “they will no longer say, The Ark of The Covenant of Yahweh.” And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again, Jeremiah 3:16.
   Translators believe that the pronouns "you" and "they" are speaking of the same people, Israel. But they are no longer speaking of The Ark of The Covenant. Why?
   It says this takes place when they are multiplied and increased in the land. The land of Israel or the world? Is this now or later? It has to be later when we examine the next verse:
At that time they will call Jerusalem “The Throne of Yahweh,” and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the Name of Yahweh; nor will they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart, Jeremiah 3:17.
   This certainly appears to be speaking of the coming Kingdom, but it doesn't really take away from the original statement, of which Yahweh said,
"I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion." This can relate to what Yahweh is doing now with the Elect, as Zion is defined as spiritual Jerusalem by the author of Hebrews in chapter 12:22.
   In addition, the body of Messiah is said to be the spiritual Temple being built right now with each member as a separate stone, and with Yahshua as the Corner Stone.
   Though we are small in number, we're learning and are given help, just as the disciples (which literally means "taught ones") received spiritual assistance.

Spiritual Help
   And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of Yahweh and to perform healing, Luke 9:1-2.
   They were given help and were given the instruction to proclaim the Kingdom of Yahweh and to heal. We'll see more healings increase before Yahshua's return, as the latter rains prophesied in Joel chapter 2 take hold in fertile ground.
   Besides the small number of 12, Yahshua also chose 70 and paired them off to send out. It’s interesting that He didn't keep them all together as a group proclaiming the Good News and working together from one central location. Some would like to see this today, but it evidently is not Yahweh's will. The central location will be when Yahshua returns. The location will be Israel and Jerusalem.
   In the first century, Yahshua directed those there to go out to the cities of Israel and beyond where they (the Israelites) will be found (Matthew. 10:6; 15:24).
Now after this the Master appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come, Luke 10:1.
   Knowing all this, how does it help us now to “Resist the Spirit of Error”? It can help us to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, knowing that Yahweh is working things out the way He wants things to work out, and He has a certain way He wants the work to be done.
   All of this can also help us to think a little more about what we are doing right now. Is our life truly dedicated to Yahweh through Yahshua, His Son? Are we converted? Are we resisting the worldly things that we know are corrupt? Are we falling in love with the worldly things, or are we falling in love with the Messiah in our lives?
   Are we in prayer, and fasting occasionally, or are we somehow resisting the Spirit of Yahweh in a particular area of our life? Are we fighting the good fight like Paul did and at the end was able to say,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Master, the Righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing, 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
   If we’re in a forward and upward motion gaining higher ground, then we know we can continue to draw closer to Yahweh and move further away from the spirit of error that has the majority of the world eating out of its hand.
   Peter admonishes us by saying,
   Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the Elohim (Yahweh) of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Messiah (Yahshua), will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you, 1 Peter 5:8-10.
   It's important that no matter what we go through, that we keep our focus on Yahweh and His righteousness. Let's also keep our focus on the coming Kingdom and the Messiah Who will reign from Israel with Israel.

In Conclusion
   When everything has been said and done, may we be found to have done all we could, with Yahweh's help, to overcome and be the people that He has wanted from the beginning: An obedient and humble people, willing to obey Him from the heart:
Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever! (Deuteronomy 5:29).
   Our incentives are many as revealed in the last book of Yahweh's Word to the body of Messiah Yahshua:
   • Revelation 2:7, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Assemblies. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of Elohim.
   • Revelation 2:11, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Assemblies. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.
   • Revelation 2:17, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Assemblies. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.
   • Revelation 2:26–28, He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.
   • Revelation 3:5–6, He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Assemblies.
   • Revelation 3:12, He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My Elohim, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the Name of My El, and the name of the city of My El, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My El, and My new Name.
   • Revelation 3:21–22, He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Assemblies.
   As taught from One Who knew how to overcome to the end, and indeed uses His own experiences that He went through, according to Yahweh's will, to teach us, says,
Therefore, take up the full armor of Yahweh, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm, Ephesians 6:13.
   The Bible Knowledge Commentary points out that the word “stand” means “to withstand or stand against.” In other words, it also means to resist, which is just another way of saying "overcome," the very thing we are to do to the end. May it be so.

-Elder David Brett

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