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Cycles of Testing

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Many times it appears that there are cycles of trials or testing that occur at certain intervals that could be tracked by calendar. There are also bondages and addictions within a family that are passed down until broken by the power of Christ. Let’s look at the temptation of Jesus. Luke 4:13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” When Satan, the fallen angel departed it says that he departed for a season – referring to a more convenient time in the future. First we must understand that Satan is the tempter, the Holy Spirit can permit temptation and the Holy Spirit can also restrain temptation.

Scripture tells us that God cannot be tempted and that He also doesn’t temp man. All temptation comes from or originates from Satan. Matthew 4:3 says, “when the tempter came to him…” The Holy Spirit allows temptation. Matthew 4:1 said, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” The Spirit led Jesus into the situation where it could be allowed. So the Holy Spirit doesn’t bring temptation but can allow you to be tempted, just as Satan couldn’t attack Job without the permission of God. But something that is important is that the Holy Spirit can also stop temptation. We may not have to go through everything we are going through. And if God does allow the temptation, He has a reason and He has a promise for us, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthains 10:13).

Men are more sight oriented than women and so they are more prone to be tempted by what they see or look at and so they are easily led into temptation by looking at movies, pictures or anything that is sexual in nature. When David looked upon Bathsheba bathing, he was brought into temptation. You can bring a temptation upon yourself by what you see, hear or speak. Why bring yourself under temptation when the Spirit can help you out of temptation. Matthew6:13a in which the Lord was teaching how we are to pray, says, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” In other words, restrain the tempter, hold back his ability to temp us. Why put yourself into the place of having to fight a battle that you haven’t been assigned? Job’s testing was orchestrated and assigned by God for His own purposes and glory and to reveal Himself in a greater way to Job and make Him a living testimony. So if God is not assigning it, permitting or allowing it for a purpose, why put yourself into temptation by doing things that give place to your flesh and appeals to its weaknesses.

For instance, God has established times and seasons prophetically. Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:” Acts 1:7 It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” Times is the duration until the time of the end and seasons are intervals where God moves and fulfills a prophecy in the time line of time. Seasons are things that happen in various times in our lives as we walk the time line of our life until we meet Jesus by death or rapture.

When we can understand the natural it helps us understand the spiritual for God gave us the natural as a shadow of the spiritual that we can understand spiritual things. Satan departed from Jesus for a season. We all know that we have 4 seasons in a year. The human life revolves around similar seasons. Spring represents youth, Summer represents maturity, fall is the latter years of life and retiring, and winter is the time when we are approaching the end and death in which many are partially handicapped and abilities decrease and we become partially or completely dependant upon others once again to care for us.

Spiritually when you are born again you are a babe in Christ, then comes childhood, then maturity as an adult, then as an elder or older mature experienced adult. Life moves in seasons. All women have a monthly cycle of 4 weeks, one in which the body cleanses itself and one in which she is fertile and capable of reproduction. The Bible speaks of “times of refreshingActs 3. Scripture speaks of ‘restoration’ as a season where God begins to restore.

So we are going to deal with seasons of Satan. How he attempts to come against us in certain seasons, which can be a day, a week, a month, or a year. These are times in our time of life. There are times and days and months that are more important and mentioned more in scripture. In the Bible numbers all have a meaning and purpose. For an example: Three is the number of unity. You have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and these three are one. You have faith, hope and love. You have body, soul and spirit. You have the outer court, inner court and holy of holies. Three represents three things unified as one. Five represents grace. David had 5 smooth stones from the brook. In the New Testament you have the 5-fold ministry, gifts of God’s grace for the perfecting of the church. Six always represents the number of man. The number 6 was connected to the beast that Nebuchadnezzar  saw, 666 is the number of the beast. We see that six is always connected to man or mankind. Seven is the number of completion and consider the number of perfection. It is found nearly 300 times in scripture. You have 7 pastors, 7 angels, etc. The number 8 is connected to new beginnings. Eight souls were saved in Noah’s ark. Forty is always connected to testing, difficulty or trouble. It rained 40 days and nights, Goliath taunted Israel for 40 days, Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days, and Israel wondered in the wilderness and was tested for 40 days. So days, months and years are important and some are positive and some are times of trial or temptation.

Does the Bible reveal cycles in a week’s time, certain days of the month and certain months of the year? If so, which ones are frequently mentioned in the Bible? Some days aren’t even mentioned in the Bible, but the most common ones in cycles of days, months and years is this. The first day and the third day and the seventh day of a week are mentioned the most. The first day is the beginning of the week and the seventh is the day of rest or the end of the week. In months, the first month and the seventh month are mentioned the most in scripture. The first month in the Jewish calendar is when PESACH or Passover occurs, the first month and 14th day, which is between March and April on our calendar. The reason it changes is because the Jews use a lunar calendar and every so many years they have to adjust it by adding another month. The seventh month falls in the time of September, October. The reason these months are mentioned so much has to do with the 7 feasts of Israel. Of the 7 feasts, three fall in the first month and three in the seventh month and center around the rain and harvest times.

Is there also a pattern in years? The first year is mentioned many times, also the third and the seventh. They will be connected to the ruling of a king or a time of captivity or the 7th year attached to Jubilee when the land rested which had a cycle of 7 periods of 7 years then came the 50th year or year of Jubilee. So we see the pattern of 1st, 3rd, and 7th day of the week, month and year is what is mentioned the most frequently in scripture - the first day Sunday, the third day Tuesday and the seventh the Sabbath. Christ was raised the first day of the week and most Jewish weddings are done on the third day or Tuesday. The 1st, 3rd, and 7th months are in the spring and fall. The religious calendar began in the spring at Passover and the secular calendar begins at the Feast of Trumpets and is the 1st day of the 7th month in fall. Seven is the number of completion because on the 7th day God rested from His work or creation and every seventh day was the day of rest. The first day is always the beginning.

It seems the attacks of Satan are centered at the beginning of something or toward the conclusion of something and occasionally in the middle of something. We will see that pattern in scripture. Also God instructed special sacrifices to occur daily, weekly, and yearly. It sets a spiritual pattern.

Exodus 29:38Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.” There was a daily sacrifice of a lamb offered in the morning and in the evening. The Romans divided a day into 4 watches. In the Gospels it speaks of these, as Jesus walking on the sea to the disciples in the 4th watch, which is 3-6am. The Jews divided time on the basis of the creation in Genesis chapter one. It says the evening and the morning were the first day. God started in the evening and not morning so the Jews divide the day from 6pm to 6am and then 6am to 6pm. The daily offering was made in the morning when the day was beginning and in the evening when the day was ending. In the morning you go to work and in the evening you return to rest at night. The spiritual application is that the enemy wants to disrupt your day, the first thing in the morning and your evening at night to ruin your rest.

Numbers 28:9And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:” There was a weekly sacrifice on the Sabbath or Saturday, the 7th day or end of the week. Blood was offered when they were ending the week and about to begin a new week.

Number 28:11 speaks of monthly sacrifices. “And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD;…” The New Moon was considered to be the beginning of the month. We begin on the first of our month, but the Jews are on a lunar calendar and then were tied to the moon cycles. At the new moon it is darkest and at the full moon it is brightest. When they saw the moon start to curl and it was totally dark they offered the offering for the new moon. The new moon was the end of a month and beginning of a new month. So God told them to put blood on the alter when they began their day, when they ended their day, when they ended their week and began a new week and put blood on the alter when they ended a month and began a new month. There had to be a spiritual reason for this pattern.

God knows that the enemy attempts to damage us at the beginning of something we birth that is new. At the beginning of a business, the beginning of a ministry, at the beginning of a marriage, at any new beginning the enemy comes against it. So God told them at the beginning of new things, the day, the week, and the month they were to offer blood. We must speak the blood of Jesus over what we do and confess the word. We need to have a fresh application of the blood and sanctification as we begin our day, or week and our month. When the Hebrew people were about to leave Egypt, Satan attacked the children to stop Moses from being used of God. Pharaoh ordered all the male children to be killed. When Jesus was born, Herod ordered the children killed to stop Jesus who was to be the king of the Jews.

So, numbers are important and all numbers in the Bible have a meaning. The 1st, 3rd and 7th days and particularly the 1st and 7th months, and the 1st, 3rd, and 7th years are mentioned the most. Notice that 1 and 7 are mentioned in all three. One is the number of beginning and the first one was God. Scripture says, “In the beginning, God.” Seven is the number of completion. Three times a year all men over 20 years of age had to go up to the temple to make an offering. During Passover it was a lamb, during Pentecost it was the wheat harvest and During the Feast of Tabernacles it was 7 different types of fruit. They had to appear before the Lord three times a year, Passover during the first month, Pentecost, which came in the 3rd month and Tabernacles, which was in the 7th month.  There are daily attacks of the enemy, weekly attacks of the enemy and monthly attacks of the enemy. During the day during a 24 hour period there will be a time or a moment that might only last a second but could last for a period of time in which the enemy will bring a negative thought or agitation into your spirit, sometimes caused by people. Then there is a weekly attack. Most people have one day a week in which they just have a bad day and wish they hadn’t gotten out of bed. Then there is that one day a month in which everything that can go wrong does, sickness attacks your body, mental oppression attacks, and some strong negative thing that comes against you.

Many times certain people are wakened around 3am. Many times attacks from the enemy occur at about that time and also visitations from the Lord occur at the time. A rabbi said that it is a belief among them that God visits the earth at 3am in the morning and two things happen. One, God limits the influence of the powers of darkness and there is the peak of silence of demonic activity. By that time everything has settled down and most have gone home even from the bars, etc. Since most people are in bed and evil spirits work through people, Satan is limited as to what he can do at that time. Secondly this rabbi said that God restrains the forces of the enemy between 3-6am because naturally 3-6am is the darkest time before the dawn. When Jacob wrestled with the angel all night, he was told to let him go for the day was breaking. There is something about the sun coming up that caused the angel of the Lord to say that he couldn’t stay there and continue to wrestle with Jacob. When Jesus was praying on a high mountain it was in the 4th watch, and he came walking on the sea during the 4th watch. The 4th watch is 3-6am. More people will either recover from a fever or it will get worse at 3am, than other times and more people die at 3-6am than any other time.

Many Rabbi’s believe that God visits between 3-6 am, before the sun comes up and whoever is up seeking God at that time receives something extra from Him, inspiration, revelation, strength. And we see that pattern in scripture of rising early before the sun comes up to pray, as Jesus did. There appears to be times that God would visit in scripture that are from 3-6am. So in a daily cycle, 3-6 am is an important time. In one day out of a week, the Sabbath is most important. If you will spend time with the Lord and your family on the Lord’s Day you will be blessed. It is proven that if you will rest one day a week it helps your body, your heart, relieves stress from the week and more. So God has given us a day of rest out of the week.

Then in a monthly cycle there is a mystery connected to the moon. God didn’t let the Jews go on a solar calendar because all the nations around Israel were worshipping idols and they worshipped the sun. A lunar calendar is about 354 days a year. Every month we have a full moon. You hear all the stories of the werewolf at full moon or the vampire. A full moon is very important. Police say they dread the full moon because every month on the full moon crime goes up and shootings go up, domestic violence, fighting and in asylums where people are locked up they are more restless and harder to control. When the moon is full there is also a stronger gravitational pull than any other time of the month. We have God given cycles of days, months and years.

Britannica says this of the Jewish calendar: “Religious and civil dating system based on both lunar and solar cycles. In the calendar used today, a day is counted from sunset to sunset, a week comprises 7 days, a month has 29 or 30 days, and a year has 12 lunar months plus approximately 11 days (or 353, 354, or 355 days). In order to bring the calendar in line with the annual solar cycle, a 13th month of 30 days is added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 19th years of a 19-year cycle. Therefore, a leap year may have from 383 to 385 days. The Jewish Era in use today was popularly accepted around the 9th cent. AD and is based on Biblical calculations placing the creation in 3761 BC”. In a Jewish calendar there is one day that is the most negative day of the year that they hate and another day that is extremely blessed. The negative day on the Hebrew calendar is the 9th of Av, which usually falls the end of July to the first of August. They teach that the 10 spies that went into to spy out the land came back and doubted God on that day. They teach that 15000 Hebrew people died in the wilderness because of the unbelief on the 9th of Av.

When the Babylonians came into Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and took the Jews captive, it was the 9th of Av that the temple was burning. When the Romans came into Jerusalem and destroyed the temple in 70AD it was on the 9th of Av. In 1290 the Jews were expelled from England on the 9th of Av. In 1492 the decree was made for all Jews to leave Spain and the peak day was the 9th of Av. The next day Columbus set sail to come to America. In 1670 there was a great Jewish persecution on the 9th of Av. World War I began in 1914 on the 9th of Av on the Jewish calendar. And the list goes on and on and so it is very negative to the Jewish people.

The day that is considered extremely blessed is Yom Kippur or the 6th celebration of Israel that occurs on the 10th day of the 7th month. There were Ten Commandments, men have ten fingers, we give a tenth back to God and so we see the number 10. On Yom Kippur the high priest would offer a goat on the altar for the Lord and lay his hands on a scapegoat and send it into the wilderness with the sins of the people and the sins of the people were atoned for. The Jewish rabbi’s teach that there is one day in a year that Satan can’t touch you and that is on Yom Kippur. The name adversary in the Hebrew Bible is ‘the Satan’. The Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value. Adversary or ‘the Satan’ given a numerical value adds up to 364. Yet there are 365 days in a year and so rabbis teach that there is one day in the solar year that Satan can’t touch you and that is the Day of Atonement. It was an all day event of sacrifice, atonement and celebration before the Lord and Satan couldn’t do anything to stop them or stop God from forgiving their sin and blessing them. That day when you make up your mind to turn from sin and turn your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ there is nothing Satan can do to stop it. There is no demons or Satan in a person that can stop your Day of Atonement when you repent of your sins and come to Christ for salvation.

Lets consider 12 months as it relates to us. There seem to be certain times of the year that you go through certain things. It could be a spirit of oppression. Many people face this on a yearly basis and it has been passed down in the family. One evangelist said that he noticed that every year, the first 15 days of the month of May he felt like quitting the ministry and had no desire for the things of God.

Wicca is an organization of witches. They have 8 sabbats (Sabbath with one letter removed) called the wheel of the year. These are called witches high holy days just like Israel had high holy days. The first is the longest day of the year, which falls around June 2nd. Second is the shortest day of the year on December 21st. These are important days in witchcraft and are 6 months apart they called the summer and winter solstice. Two other days are April 30th, the day that Hitler committed suicide with the belief that his spirit would come back and repossess someone else one day and he could thereby come back and fulfill his assignment. He believed in reincarnation. October 31st which is Halloween, which is the feast for the dead and is the strongest day on the witchcraft calendar of the year. Notice that April 30th and October 31st are about 6 months apart. Remember that 6 is the number of man.

This is a quote from a Wicca book. “On October 31th, the feast of the dead, the dead are invited to come out of the underworld and participate on this day. The veil between our world and the underworld is thinnest on October 31st.” There is a truth in that. There is very heavy satanic oppression at that time of year because the veil of the satanic world is the thinnest then.

One minister who had a baby the previous year that was about 9 months old was attacked on October 31st. His wife had a dream or vision that a demon had its finger down their baby’s throat. They jumped up to find that the baby had threw-up and it appeared as if someone had dipped their thumb in blood and smeared in on his right and left temples. It was a demonic manifestation. Later it was discover that a dog had been killed down the road and its blood drained.

During this time, on October 31st, there is an increase in incantations by the wicked and increase in their praying and doing rituals against churches. The three days when churches are prayed against the most by the witches are August 1st, October 31st and April 30th. On August 1st the witches and Satanists seek out Christian kids to try to get them involved in or initiated into occultic games or other occultic things. Remember the preacher that was attacked with oppression every year beginning on May 1st, the day after April 30th and it would last for weeks.

Every city in the world has a spirit over it and the atmosphere over every city is different. If you have a discerning spirit you can discern and tell that difference. Some are very filthy and unclean, others a spirit of greed, or an occultic spirit, others clean. Other days that are strong occultic days are June 2nd, December 21st, and February 2nd. There are three pairs that are almost exactly 6 months apart – June 2nd and December 21st, April 30th and October 31st, and February 2nd and August 1st. These are their 6 most important occultic days. Why is this so? What about your life cycles? Are you attacked every 6 months or at one of these times?

A lion mates twice a year, 6 months apart. On the day that it mates, the male may mate with the female 70 to 100 times. The mating is very intense and about 6 months apart. Remember Peter said Satan goes about as a roaring lion? Could it be that here is a principle from the natural into the spiritual and Satan who is that roaring lion attacks according to such a pattern? It doesn’t mean that you will personally be attacked on one of the 6 satanic days. Your days may be different or around some other event, but seasonal in nature. So every day there will be a moment or a time that Satan tries to discourage or get you out of focus or bring a bad thought into your mind, a thought lust, a negative thought about someone, a thought of discouragement. Then in a week there is many times a few hours that you encounter a heaver attack. Then there is usually a day or series of days in a month that you encounter attack. Then again over a year there will be a time that you are attacked heavier than on the day, week or monthly cycle. For the most part there is reason and evidence to believe that these things run in cycles. Remember Nebuchadnezzar whom Daniel spoke to about his pride? Exactly 12 months later he gave into that temptation and was made like a beast as Daniel had prophesied. He remained in that state for 12 months and then his right mind was returned to him.

Thought the Holy Spirit can restrain, He can also allow a temptation because there we learn to overcome and are to grow in the Lord. It is for a purpose that God might reward us for our faithfulness. Major attacks come in a pattern, but many times you are warned in advance that the trouble is coming.

Part 2

Now we know that Satan has high holy days just like the Jewish faith in the Old Testament and that he generally moves in cycles of testing although sometimes a person may have a spirit of infirmity in which they suffer continually. Why are attacks for the most part seasonal? Now I am not talking about those that are demon possessed in which the evil spirit resides in and control the person and works through them. We are talking about spirits that come to tempt and oppress the people of God. Satan is the tempter and whether the spirit coming against you is a foul spirit, unclean spirit, seducing spirit, lying spirit, spirit of jealousy or whatever are from Satan. But I am somewhat of the opinion that Satan doesn’t have enough evil spirits to attack everyone on planet earth at the same time.

Let us say that Satan assigns a spiritual attack against you by a spirit. That spirit comes against you and you stand against it and get victory just like Jesus did. It doesn’t mean that it is permanent but when you follow James 4:11 and submit yourself unto God and resist the devil, he will eventually flee, regardless of how long the period of testing might be. But then he will come again and try another time in maybe 6 or 12 months. Revelation 12 tells us that Satan was cast out of heaven and took 1/3rd, a certain number of fallen angels with him working in his kingdom. Yet for every devil you might face or that are in this world, there are two angels that did not fall and follow Satan. Even if you battle oppression for months or years, it probably was not every day, but just once a month or once a week. But when it hit and came against you, it hit hard and made you feel like giving up and quitting until you learned how to get victory over it. Why? Because Satan only has so many spirits to do his bidding and work.

Of course where you have more sin and wickedness, idolatry and idol worship, satanic or occult worship you have a greater increase of satanic activity. That is because all evil spirits like Satan want to be worshipped as well as to indwell a being if they can. So that limits the number of spirits that are free roaming to come against you and I. The apostle Paul was shaking up entire cities and doing great things for God so Satan came against him personally. He even spoke of how Satan hindered him. In 2 Corinthians 12:7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Paul says something very unusual. That messenger of Satan that came against Paul was a fallen angel that came to buffet, literally to box and knock him down. You ever feel like that? You are going along fine and all of a sudden an attack comes and you are knocked down and you wonder what happened. Why do you think the scripture in Proverbs 24:16 says; “a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again”?

In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul tells of 22 things that he encountered and endured in the battle from being stoned to beaten with rods. When Paul would go into a new major city, then Satan raised up religious Jews for the most part to come against him and stop the preaching of the gospel. In Damascus he had to escape by being let down over the wall in a basket. In Perga and Antioch they ran him out of the city. In Iconium they ran him out of the city. In Lystra he did great miracles and then they rose up against him and stoned him, leaving him for dead. Then in Philippi he cast out a devil and ended up getting beaten and cast into jail. In Thessalonica Paul had to escape the city. In Corinth as he was teaching great confusion was stirred up among the people. In Ephesus he cast a devil out of a person and a riot was started that took in the whole city. In Jerusalem the Jews arrested him. That is besides all the other things like being shipwrecked and bitten by a snake. In every case God was with him and delivered him. He was supernaturally healed from the snakebite and the stoning at Lystra. So God told him in 2 Corinthians 12:9; “My grace is sufficient for thee”. That was after he had sought the Lord three times for permanent deliverance from this buffeting of the satanic angel.

Why was Paul attacked in every city where he went? He said it was because of an abundance of revelation so that he would not become proud. In Acts 9:15-16 the Lord told him not only of his calling but that he must suffer great things for the name of Christ. Therefore we can say that it was the will of God for Paul to encounter the difficulty and trouble that he encountered because he had to suffer for Christ’s sake. We know that James was beheaded, but we also know that other apostles didn’t suffer half of what Paul suffered. You see a difference between a testing that is the will of God to teach you something and other kinds of tests. God led Israel through the wilderness to humble them and prove what was in them so they would know what was in them. So one purpose of the Lord allowing a testing is to make us aware of what we are made of, that we can see clearly what we are, so we like Jacob can cry out for the Lord to change us. The Devil told God that Job would curse him to his face if he could be free to attack him. God proved the devil a liar by allowing Job to go through the testing. The purpose of the testing was multifaceted. It was to accomplish several things including a way for God to reveal Himself to Job in a greater way, make Job a testimony for all time and reward him and bring glory to God in the end.

So Paul encountered severe cycles of testing. In between though God did give Paul seasons of relief in which he had great revival in some of the cities. If it weren’t for the seasons of relief it would become too hard to bear. A person can choose to suffer or be tested but they can also pray for their deliverance. Jesus taught them to pray, ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’ or from the evil one. Paul is a good example of one choosing a testing and not accepting a way out or deliverance from it. He was warned not to go up to Jerusalem by prophecy that they would bind him. His answer to that was Acts 21:13. “What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” He chose to suffer rather than to not go there. In Hebrews chapter 11 we are given a list of people who by faith overcame but then he says this: “others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” The highest suffering and greatest resurrection will be for the martyr who was died for the sake of the gospel, receiving the martyr’s crown. Eleven of the 12 apostles, 11 died as Martyrs, John being the only exception, who died of natural causes as an old man in his 90’s because God had kept him to write the book of Revelation.

In these cycles of testing there are times when we can choose to stick it out and fight and there are times when we may ask God to deliver us. What you hear and feel in prayer will at times tell you how you should pray concerning a specific trial or test you are going through. There will be things that God himself selects you to go through as he chose Job and Paul to suffer for His glory. He will allow you to be tested, to prove and humble you. Now nobody can say that the Lord wants them to sin so they can know what it’s like to be a sinner. That is foolish.

Romans 6:11 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:Exodus 20:20And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” Don’t try to make excuses for your flesh and your sin by blaming God. James 1:13-15 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

Here is another contradiction. Some will say that God wants them sick to teach them something, but then they go to the doctor and take pain and other medicine to relieve the symptoms. Well if you believe that God has allowed your sickness for a purpose then why are you fighting it in your flesh by going to the doctor and taking medicine instead of seeking God and waiting on Him to heal you? Do you not believe Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” and 1Peter 2:24? “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

So what is it you don’t believe? Yes, though sickness God can teach you faith, patience and to trust Him and seek Him and it can also be because God is chastising you for something. But know that God provided for your healing, both physically and spiritually on the cross. So God himself doesn’t put sickness upon you, though he may allow it as He did with Job. The point is; there are seasons of temptations. The three areas in which you will be tested will be the same three areas in which Eve was tested and all men are tested, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) and it will most likely be in cycles, whether weekly, monthly or semi-annually. There are times or seasons when the Lord allows the enemy to attack as with Jesus in the wilderness or Job. A situation will arise in which you are forced to make a choice. If you choose rightly you will come out stronger and the enemy will be defeated as a result of your stand and faithfulness because of the grace of God you received to overcome the situation because of your obedience.

To go along with these tests of our faith and temptations, we are given many promises of God. Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.Since we are given a certain authority by God, there are times when the enemy comes against us we can simply rebuke him and he will flee as we submit to God and resist the devil by using God’s Word. What I’m trying to say is there is a balance in all this. Yes, God will allow us to be tested. He will allow us to go through some things because it is the overcomer that inherits all things. And there is something that you have to overcome to attain that and get the reward. So there are those times when we can simply rebuke the devil and he will leave and then there are those major tests of the enemy in which it isn’t so easy or so quick to get victory. Luke 22:31-32And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” We see here that Jesus warned Peter that he was going to be tested in a big way but that He had prayed for him that his faith would not fail in the test.

When you look at your own personal life and look at your family history, see if you cannot come up with some type of cycle of testing. In some families you find a pattern of alcohol abuse, in another you will find nervousness and nervous breakdown and it is different things in different families. Sometimes these are called generational curses and usually a true generational curse is because of some violation of God’s Word that allowed it to come into the family. But generally you will see that there are seasons of attack that run in cycles. If you can put down a record of attacks and tests you most likely will come up with a pattern and this can then allow you to begin to fight before the attack begins and help you ward it off. 2 Corinthians 2:11Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” This is what this is about, to understand how Satan moves and works and how his devices are used against us and how we can counter the attacks of the enemy, not when it happens, but before it takes place. Whether or not you are a great threat to the devil and the spiritual world, they know who you are and they know if you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and have your name in the Lamb’s book of life. They know who belongs to Satan’s kingdom and who belongs to God’s kingdom. Those in the spiritual realm, angel or fallen angel, know whom you belong to. There are even divorces that happen in certain years, months or even days that seem to repeat themselves in the cycles of a family. Addictions even happen at certain times of the year and genetic sicknesses because Satan moves in cycles. So the question is, when is it that Satan attacks you the most?

Let us look at Moses, David and Jesus to get a better understanding of this. In Moses life, he lived to be 120 years of age, with three cycles each 40 years long. Talk about testing? At the end of the first 40 years he killed an Egyptian that was beating a Hebrew and had to flee to the wilderness. He spent the second 40 years as a shepherd in the wilderness and then was called to go back to Egypt to deliver God’s people. In the last 40 years he was in the wilderness with God’s people and then was buried on Mount Nebo, falling short of the Promised Land because of the same anger that got him in trouble to begin with. In his life, 40 was definitely a number of testing, and there were three cycles that show a pattern in his life.

David’s life seemed to run in periods or cycles of about 20 years. He first comes on the scene as a teenager as he fights Goliath. He becomes the king of Israel at age 30. Right before David was pronounced king in 1Samuel he came to Ziglag where an invading army came and took all they had and took their wives captive. Remember, sometimes a great trial will come just before something is to begin, at the beginning of something in your life. It was a great trial for David because the men who followed him everywhere now thought of stoning and killing him. So just before becoming king came one of his greatest attacks or tests. In the middle of his being king at about 50 years of age, in his midlife in 2Samuel 11, he has an affair with Bathsheba. This began a terrible set of events in which three of his sons died prematurely which was a tragedy and dark mark in his life because he made the wrong choice. Then about 20 years later at about age 70 according to 2Samuel, he numbers Israel and thereby brings judgment upon Israel. It tells us that Satan rose up against David to provoke him to number Israel. It could have been because David and his men destroyed the race of giants off the face of the earth, which were considered the seed of Satan. So David had 3 severe tests in his life. He was tested at the beginning, just before he was made king, in the middle of his time as king, at a period of time when he had been a successful king, and then again at the end of his life. They happened at the beginning of something, middle of something, and end of something. Like the numbers of days, months and years we talked about – the 1st, 3rd and 7th being the most common in scripture.

Jesus was tempted of the devil 40 days and nights just when he is to begin his ministry, right after his anointing. Satan tempted him with the words, “If thou be the Son of God...” In the middle of His ministry the people doubted His deity and the Pharisees were trying to get the people to doubt that Jesus was who He said He was. At the end of His ministry when He was hanging on the cross, Satan used men to say, “If thou be the son of God...” So again, we see that pattern of at the beginning, before He started his ministry, in the middle and at the end of his ministry attacks came against His being the Son of God. So here again is that pattern of at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of something, in this case the ministry of Jesus.

I had a great attack at the beginning when I was called to preach the Gospel. Then again another major attack came at what will probably become the middle of my ministry. One thing that Satan has used is misunderstanding. In Luke 6:26 Jesus said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!” I have never had that problem, but continual attack upon my ministry and calling by calling our church a cult and putting down my ministry, message and methods. But that has not been the greater attacks and tests I have mentioned but a smaller and more regular cyclical testing that has come repeatedly, many times.

So as God has special days, the devil and occult world has special days where there is more satanic activity and there will be times in your life in which you will face greater testing.

There are cycles of sickness like allergies that come against people, that is determined by weather or season of the year that come against people, but real attacks of the enemy. I remember a time when I was attacked with weakness and spirit of sleep even though I had plenty of sleep. It happened weekly, like clockwork, every Sunday morning. This went on for months. I have had other cyclical testing like this in my life. One minister had a certain attack yearly in exactly the same week and was the same physical attack, a sickness that came every year until he realized what was going on and fought it one year and it ended and never happened again.  Others have had disaster in the family on a ten-year cycle. It can be any number of years. One young boy was abused at 4 years, then again in 6-year intervals at 10 and 16. One Pastor I heard had an attack on his ministry every August. This is for the purpose that you might know this and see if there is a cycle happening in your life so that you can come against it and fight it.

But know that you cannot defeat the enemy by thinking thoughts and trying to rebuke the devil silently in your mind. You have to speak the Word so that it can be a two-edged sword. What is the enemy using or going to use to try to take you down and your family. What has he already used in your life or family? If you know then you are one up and can be prepared and more easily defeat the enemy. When the enemy is exposed he has nowhere to hide. When you are under attack of he enemy, tell someone, get someone to help and pray with you and for you. As long as the enemy has a place to hide in you, because you don’t share and tell others, he is allowed to work in a cloak of darkness. But if you expose him, he can’t hide in silence. So whatever you problem is, if you can find someone to help and expose the enemy, then that is the beginning of your deliverance.

When Jesus mentions a name twice it is important and it is to get their attention. When he said Simon, Simon it was to let him know that something significant was about to happen in his life. Something significant did happen in the Garden when Peter cut off the ear of the servant of the High Priest. Peter could have been arrested and put in prison for that or even killed because he was associated with the High Priest and the Roman Government, but Jesus healed the man, thereby doing away with the evidence and the crime. Jesus prayed for Peter, exposed the attack, healed the man and told Peter that he would deny him three times before the sun would rise.

No matter what your problem - if it is a marital problem, an addiction, deal with the problem, get to the root. If you’re having marital problems it won’t help to complain against your spouse. If you need help and counseling and prayer, get it and deal with the cause and root of the problem. Apply the blood by the confession of your mouth in faith, so that you can be cleansed of sin and unrighteousness. When you are cleansed form sin and unrighteousness, righteousness becomes a barrier to Satan doing certain things. But when the seasons of testing come, understand that you can map out the major attacks over a period of time and expose how he is working. You say, well what if after you figure out his pattern and come against him, the devil changes his pattern. Use the Word against him the same way to defeat him.

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