I thought it would come in a different form-the temptation that is. I thought it would be so obvious and I thought I would be prepared for it after what I have learned so far in God's Word about the subject of the darker side of the spiritual world.

The "temptation" did not come in the form of "talking with Phil" as I suspected it would, but in the form of "speaking about the ministry we believe God is calling us to." That threw me and I was not as prepared as I thought I would be. It has opened my eyes to just how vulnerable we can be if we are not in the Word every day and seeking God's Truth at all times.

How many of us, as Christians, feel prepared for the final days? Have we given serious thought to the Antichrist and how deceptive he will be? I have to some extent, but clearly not enough. I have wondered from time to time how obvious he will be when he appears on earth as described in the Bible. In 1 John 2:18 it says, "Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared."

I think we have no idea just how deceptive he can be and the disguises that he will wear. If we are not completely focused on Jesus Christ, we will be vulnerable and we will be caught off guard! If we think that he will be as obvious as the character portrayed in the "Left Behind Series," we are sadly mistaken. He will never be that obvious and whatever it is we are looking for, he will come in an entirely different shape, form and message than what we are expecting. We, as Christians, need to be prepared!

As I have continued on with my discussion here about mediums, psychics, and contact with the spiritual realm that surrounds us, I have been able to share what I have written in the message entitled, "Distractions" with the woman I met. I had no idea how she would receive it, or if we would ever speak again after she read it, but that was not my chief concern--my chief concern was my obedience to God in this matter. So I shared it!

From the beginning, I have wondered if I would be tempted should she tell me she had some message from Phil. What would I do with that temptation, and I thought surely that would be the "form" in which the great deceiver would use to draw me away from God's counsel and wisdom. I was prepared, prayed up and ready to stand my ground should the enemy attack in such a way. God has instructed believers not to do that, and I was ready not to do that.

What I wasn't fully prepared for was the smooth; slick and much less intimating "form" that the enemy took. What I have learned through it all is how easily we can be distracted with the disguises Satan will use to get our attention away from God's Truth.

Instead of my new friend being upset at what I had written in "Distractions" about our discussion by the pool, it was much the opposite. She encouraged me in my writing and she was very complimentary as we entered into another discussion of the ways in which it could be used for good.

Now you may be saying, where is the problem here, I just don't see it? Well, neither did I! In fact, when I walked away from our discussion I had a strange mixture of excitement for what God has in store for our lives and yet confusion because why would a person with no faith in the Son of God as their Savior be getting a similar message from their "voices" as I was getting from the Holy Spirit? Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing after all, if they were so similar, could there really be any harm in listening to it? Something was going on here, but I could not see it clearly just yet. The only thing that was in my mind besides excitement and confusion as I walked on home after our visit were the two verses that I used in "Distractions."

Which were:

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who
claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test
them to see if the spirit they have comes from God.
For there are many false prophets in the world.
This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of
God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ
became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God.
If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not
from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist.
You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and
he is already here.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already
won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit
who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's
viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God;
that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not
belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know
if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
1 John 4:1-6 (NLT)


Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)

That verse goes on to say, "So it is no wonder his servants can also do it by pretending to be godly ministers." (2 Cor. 11:15 NLT)

Wow! I had just been ambushed and it happened so quickly, so easily, so almost innocently. What I mean to say is, this is a wonderful woman, she is not out to deceive me, attack me, or mislead me. She honestly liked what I wrote, and she honestly heard "voices" giving her direction as to what I should do with it. She was simply passing that message along to me as an "encouragement."

The question that immediately popped into my head though, was, "What voices do you hear?" She used that term and it set me on guard. I listen for the voice of God when I am seeking direction in my life. What voice or voices are directing her? I was curious to know.

She explained to me that they were something like angels, and probably male, but she was not sure. It was sort of a hearing and perhaps an intuition on her part. She went on to explain that she tries to follow it as much as possible, it seems to be what guides her and directs her through her days in a way that seems best to her.

Now, this brings up a question in my mind. Why would someone follow "voices" when they are not sure exactly what they are or where they come from? How can there be a trust there? How can they be assured they will not be misled, or even destroyed by them? Why would someone not seek out a God who just might possibly be the "Guide" they are looking for, if they are willing to follow something so vague anyway?

I suggested to my friend that perhaps the voice was God's? She consented that perhaps it was, but she didn't know. It was not an audible voice, but how many of hear God in an audible way? Moses did in the burning bush...John did as he baptized Jesus and God spoke from heaven, "You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you." (Luke 3:22 NLT) But not many of us have had the experience of hearing God this way. Most of us who hear God's voice hear it internally, being filled with the Holy Spirit and His leading.

So there we sat, once again, having a discussion, coming from two different sides of the fence-me the born again believer in Jesus Christ, and she the person who doesn't completely deny God's existence but is instead more open to some sort of a spiritual world that she connects to in a very different way.

As a person like this seeks direction and meditates on what they are being told, I wonder how this appears to them? I know that when I meditate on my Father in Heaven, I am clearly invited into His Throne Room. I know that when Jesus died on the cross, the temple Curtain was torn from top to bottom as a sign that all believers in Jesus' death on the cross have an open invitation to talk personally with the Father. Jesus, at the Father's right hand, intercedes for us because He has been here, He has walked upon this earth and been tempted in every way, yet resisted that temptation and went to the Cross completely innocent of sin to take on the sins of the world so we could be forgiven. I understand my relationship with Jesus Christ and my Father and also the filling of the Holy Spirit when I accepted that relationship as my own--when I gave my heart over to their loving care.

I understand all of this, and it is made clear to me each day as I open my Bible that these promises are true. I have seen them come true in my own life as I turn to God each day for help and healing and for a deepening relationship with Him until we meet face to face.

I don't understand those trying to connect with a spiritual world when they remain spiritually dead without Jesus Christ in their lives. How can that be possible? What can these people possibly be "listening" to and "following" if it is not the One and Only God of the Bible? Then I found an answer to that in Jude, verse 19, "They live by natural instinct because they do not have God's Spirit living in them." Which brings up another verse in Romans 1:19, "For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts"...(21) "Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused."

Confused!! How easily we can get there!! After our conversation, I walked away a bit confused because I had been tempted to believe something that "sounded so good." It sounded so right on, so much like what God would be telling me, how could it possibly be a deception? Do you know why it was? Because it did not come from God!! Bottom line! As believers, if what we hear is not from God, it is to be ignored at all costs!! I don't care how close it comes to what we think the truth is, it is not the Truth!!

Now I understand as never before why some get so distracted with messages from beyond here, from words we may hear through so called prophets and fortune-tellers and psychics!! I never understood why some would fall for those deceptions but I do now...because it happens so quickly and it sounds so good to our curious ears and our broken hearts!! We are ripe for the picking and the Enemy knows that! He knows when to strike and where!! And we can fall off the narrow path so quickly we don't even know we are slipping until it is over!!

God asks us not to go there though, not to consult mediums or make any contact with the dead, but we try it anyway, what harm can it cause us? And then we hear just what we were looking for, it sounds so good! It brings us comfort--we are quickly sucked in and deceived.

What is at work here?
the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work
in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
Ephesians 2:2 (NLT)

You see, when we refuse to obey God and try to listen to the other "voices," we are setting ourselves up for disaster! We are turning away from all that we know instinctively about God and using other means to satisfy our desires.

All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires
of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we
were under God's anger just like everyone else.
Ephesians 2:3 (NLT)

Here I was, a God-fearing, Born-Again Christian who is in daily contact with my Father and still I was deceived for a moment in time. Why? Because it "sounded so good to my ears." It doesn't mean that what she was telling me was wrong, in fact, it was very close to the very thing God has been telling me about the ministry He is calling us to, but what was wrong with it was my focus. I was attempting to get "information" from a source that was not coming from the Lord Jesus Christ!! That would be direct disobedience!

For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain
secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.
Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the
Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and
destroy by the splendor of his coming. This evil man will come to do
the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.
He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on
their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth
that would save them.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-10

We have to understand something here; Satan will not come as a devil in a red suit with two horns on his head. He will be disguised as an angel of light-he will tell us exactly what we want to hear, what we are needing to hear, and he will gently and quietly and smoothly lead us away from the Truth of God. There will be signs and miracles and power that we will think is God, and that it is good, but it is not!

This is not to condemn this woman or anyone who has answered me and shared with me about their own experiences with the spiritual world, but I have to be honest with all of you here, Satan is obviously hard at work in the lives of non-believers and believers alike! He's not playing around. He going straight for our emotions and what we most want to hear to lure us into his trap. He has already given so many signs and wonders to the Christians of this world that some of us are losing our focus on the Truth! We're tempted by what the enemy has to offer because it seems to comforts us. I understand that, I'm with you, I love to be comforted too, but I WILL NOT be comforted in a way that distracts me from the Lord Almighty! No matter what it seems to offer! The only True and lasting comfort comes from the Lord.

When our hearts are hurting, when we are lost in confusion, when we are needing direction, God asks us to come to Him. He wants us to ask Him for help and for clarification. We are to go nowhere else!! We are being warned for our own good!

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure
that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving,
turning you away from the living God. You must warn
each other every day, as long as it is called "today," so
that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened
against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God
just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in
all that belongs to Christ. But never forget the warning:
"Today you must listen to his voice.
Don't harden your hearts against him as
Israel did when they rebelled."
Hebrews 3:12-15 (NLT)

God is not surprised that we are tempted, He knows it will happen because the spirit of darkness is alive and well on planet earth-but God warns us not to "go there" because He wants to give us all that belongs to Christ, and that is everything my dear friends!! Everything!! Will we settle for less now because it "sounds so good?" I sure don't want to! I want to be with my son again just as much as anyone else, but above even that, I want to remain faithful to the end, trusting God. Listening to His Voice!! He has so much more to offer!

People who worship things other than the One True God in heaven are not evil in themselves, they are misguided. They believe, for the most part, that they are offering others help when they say they can put you in contact with your loved-ones who are deceased, or that they are offering help when they have heard a message from the "voices" they are listening to. I have no ill-contempt for those who do this, only a longing in my heart to help them to know the Truth. They have been caught in Satan's trap, and for the most part they are not aware of it.

The Lord says:

"I will get rid of every trace of idol worship throughout
the land, so that even the names of idols will be forgotten.
I will remove from the land all false prophets
and unclean spirits that inspire them.
Zechariah 13:2

When I write, my inspiration comes from the Lord. Some of the things I write about are not fun, but I feel God is calling me to do it, being His vessel for some that are lost or confused. I am not excluded from this group, and in fact most times God takes me through being lost and confused before He allows me to write about any of it! That's not always so easy!

I thought for the most part, I would be aware of the Antichrist when he appeared. There would be no fooling me!! I am in the Word daily, I have a close relationship with my Savior, I'm ready for the trumpet to sound on that final day! Just say the word God, I'm there with you!!

What I found out yesterday is that only with God's wisdom and grace will I be saved from deception. Only with my complete trust and obedience in Him will I not get lost along the way. When fine-sounding arguments are presented to me, no matter if they are in close agreement with what God has told me or not, I am required to keep my focus on God alone. The reason why? Because then I know 100 percent for sure that I will not be misled. If I trust God with my whole heart, I am secure in Him. That's what I'm looking for in this life!! It is a hope in what is sure and true!!

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are filled with the Spirit of truth. Jesus said, "...he will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting his own ideas; he will be telling you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by revealing to you whatever he receives from me." (John 16:13-14 NLT)

Could we ask for any more than that? Jesus went on to say, "The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request because you use my name." (John 16:23 NLT)

We don't have to seek anyone out in this world to tell us what we need to know! Jesus said we can go directly to our Father and ask him. What a privilege that is, and how few utilize it because we are so stubborn!

"You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf
to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit?"
Acts 7:51 (NLT)

We should always test out what we are being told. We should always be watching for tricks from the enemy to see if we are being deceived and cling tightly to the truth of God above all else. Even reading this message, my words should not be taken lightly. They must be held up against the Word of God before they can be trusted! Even when Paul and Silas were preaching in the synagogue in Thessalonica, although those in attendance listened intently, they would search "the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth." (Acts 17:11 NLT)

Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our
minds about what we believe because someone has told us
something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us
and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the
truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ,
who is the head of his body, the church.
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT)

I have been e-mailing back and forth with another friend and joking about how there are many things we don't understand. Most of those things have to do with electronics, specifically how a TV works and more importantly, how the remote control works!! It just totally confuses us. Jim jokes with me that the reason I don't watch TV during the day when he is gone is because I don't know how to turn it on!! It's partly a joke, but partly true also!! I told him if he should ever die I would get rid of everything and buy a simple on/off TV and boombox as my stereo system. The simpler the better, because I just don't understand all these gadgets, and to tell you the truth I don't really have the desire to read the directions and figure them out.

I can live that way with the electronics in my life, but I can't live that way with what I believe in. If I am not fully grounded in my beliefs and desiring to learn more about my God each day I live, I will be easily deceived. I will not remain faithful and I will be "forever changing" my mind about what I believe because "someone has told" me something different. When storms comes, I will be blown away by them and it will take me much too long to gain a sure-footing again. Faith is a gift given to us by God when we spend time with Him. I can live without knowing how a TV functions, I cannot live without knowing how God functions in my life. That would childish!!

...you must continue to believe this truth and stand in
it firmly. Don't drift away from the assurance you received
when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:23 (NLT)
Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment
from him so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the
truth you were taught. Colossians 2:7 (NLT)

We all want to hear good news! We are tempted to go where we must to get it, and we are tempted to believe it when it agrees with what we are longing for, but that does not mean that it is THE Good News of Jesus Christ! Are you willing to settle for less?

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching.
They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will
tell them whatever they want to hear. They will reject the truth and
follow strange myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4

What good will that do us if we lose out in the end when our lives are over? As the Bible says, what good is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? Jesus said in Acts, "I am going to send you to the Gentiles, to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me." (Acts 26:17-18 NLT)

What makes us think that we can escape if we
are indifferent to this great salvation that was
announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed
on to us by those who heard him speak, and God
verified the message by signs and wonders and various
miracles and by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever
he chose to do so.
Hebrews 2:3-4 (NLT)

I can be indifferent to how a car engine works, how the remote control for the TV works and even how to prepare a fully balanced meal each evening, but I now understand better than ever that I cannot be indifferent with my salvation. Staying true to God's Word is much too important and much too vital to that salvation. I can be easily deceived if I go chasing after the things this world has to offer, or if I'm longing for messages that comes from someone other than God.

It will put me in danger!!

Mortal, Eternal Danger!!

I must beware!!

Once again, I have learned a great lesson taught to me by way of one who is not a believer in Jesus Christ. How is that possible? By taking my questions, my confusion and my stunned reaction to what sounded so true and right to the very Throne of God and spending time with Him there--He continues to teach me. I'm sure this won't be the last lesson learned, but it is a good one! I know I can be deceived if I do not hold EVERYTHING up to the Light of God and let His Truth shine through it for clarification!!

I am telling you this so that no one will be able to deceive you
with persuasive arguments. For though I am far away from you,
my heart is with you. And I am very happy because you are living
as you should and because of your strong faith in Christ.
Colossians 2:4-5 (NLT)

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you once again and for your many responses to these messages! I love hearing from you!

Living and learning each day,