“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”, Rom 12:21 

Once one resists, fights, upholds or praises something, we are taking it into consideration. And evil has that power to attract attention to it because it is evil. Having the power to attract attention, it has the power to divert attention from something important too. The aim of evil is not to turn people evil alone, but usually to stop people from doing what God left them to do in their lives. They merely stop being good or doing as they know how because evil called upon their attention. It is able to cause people to cease to do when God left them with something in their hands, giving them warning before He left them with an important task. This is why we read in the parable Jesus told us about the work He left us to do, that “Blessed is that servant when his Lord comes, finds him doing”, Luke 12:43.

Evil has a pattern of disturbing good work in those who are not evil or in such who are evil but pretending to be converted into something else. It is able to work against something just like some did during the times the wall of Jerusalem was being built. We read that “the people had a mind to work” Neh.4:6. All their enemies wished after was to “cause the work to cease”, Neh.4:11. And one time after the other the people were harassed to cease to work and distracted from duty either through fear or rumours; and we find again and again that “all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work”, Neh.4:15.  Their enemies tried many things, even weakening their hands and Nehemiah tried all, on the other hand, to cause all to go to work and to go on to the end, Neh.6:3,6.

Evil does not seek to make disciples when it finds it can’t get hold of them – it only tries all it can to cause distraction with which to cause the work of God to cease or at least become hindered to go on the way they have been entrusted to do. When evil can't make disciples, it can hinder us to make disciples after God still - at least that. And evil easily calls attention upon itself because it is evil. It causes some Christians to sidestep to criticize it when they have been burned by evil's fire or its arrows which have fire to set a fire of its own, all that when Christians have a better work to do with which God entrusted them, putting it into their hands to carry out faithfully without taking consideration or minding what evil can or may do. When evil has achieved its goals, we have reached ours. We only need to trust God and not mind evil right through. There is nothing we can do against evil, besides whatever we can do or be for God alone. do never try to be against evil unless you are for god alone. That way God will prevail along with godliness. Evil cannot touch you if God is indeed with you. Never try to shun evil away from you, but rather submit yourself to or towards God. Evil causes bitterness within to erupt and to entertain Christians with, replacing their minds to another fight or getting them spell-bound to a mood; it bluffs, it blurs, it talks just to call attention away from some important issues of their lives. Evil can even praise good men to cause people to cease from the work God has given them to do. The aim is to cause work to cease, whatever the means it uses or is able to use. The devil can and may use Bible reading if he knows God's will for your actual moment is something else, or cause you to preach or do something else if God wants you to read the Bible. People who cease to work have been overcome by evil, even if they have not become that evil themselves. Servants of the Most High are made slothful, unaware and distracted because evil is as it is and is able to do as it does. If they, however, carry on doing and being faithful, their work will show and emerge to speak for them in the end. As much as we can say about evil, there is something else we need to be doing for God and for God’s sake every time evil is charging. That way we overcome evil by goodness.

Sin and evil, inner sins or just other sins, are like bees: if you mess against it you mess with it. If you play with it, you mess with it too. If you are presumptuous for or against it, you mess with it; if you bribe it, tease it, accept it, you mess with it. If you reject sin without having a mind to be in God alone, sin will overpower you because you are dealing with or against it. Whatever you do to sin, it has only one way to deal back with you and that is to sting you - and there are some people deadly allergic to a sting of a bee. The Bible says, “Resist not evil…” for some reason. “You have condemned and murdered the just; he does not resist you”, Jam.5:6. We preserve our lives and do not loose them by letting evil alone. Let God alone take care of evil. He knows how to take revenge. Let evil talk alone since it is always lonely and dark and it does never take notice of the difference when you are quiet. Darkness is what loneliness is all about. There is no loneliness without darkness being around, or without evil having been given attention to. Loneliness is the absence of God - not of people, not of things nor of us missing our goals.

We also find in Scripture that there are people who know how to withstand evil. Evil is to be exposed to the Light of God and to be left there and not to find a nest or an arena in our minds. We have a better work to do and may either become fit to preach and to arouse people to have Jesus in them, or we may create a holy community for all to see, building up a city so high and with such kind of light none can hide it anywhere. But let us all know that there is a part of a great work each one has to carry out or help carry out besides considering evil and its ways. "But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine to know the depths of Satan, as they speak, I will put on you no other burden", Rev.2:24. Whatever God has given or allowed us to do, we should be faithful unto it to the end. And we cannot be faithful unto God’s work when we are not faithful towards those things we have at hand right away, to do them. Faithfulness is what we are to learn from God and not great things. The main point is being or becoming faithful. After you are, there is preparatory work, there is advanced work, there is teaching, there is funding work, there are many things God distributes to faithful people so they all can carry it out without hindering others’ works for them. They need to learn as well not to enquire Jesus as Peter did with words like, “Lord, and what of this one?” John 21:21. "And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring evil on all flesh, says Jehovah. But I will give your life to you as a prize, in all places where you go", Jer.45:5.

There is also an alike inner fight in the souls of man, just as there is this fight going on outside which causes people “to cease from work”. The same battle is found inside many a man and woman on this earth, especially in such who want to become faithful to the end and are caused or tempted to “cease from work”. They easily give attention to evil, taking notice of its accusations, feeling bad about its filth, minding what it says or the ways it speaks, even inside them. They should learn not to get involved in its web or net as it has been launched to catch attention, or to cause to take regard of evil when it speaks in a high tone inside them. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, Jehovah will not hear”, Ps.66:18. And, needless to say, "I will not hear Jehovah" either. We have a better work to do. Blessed is that man who is found doing as he is inspired to do by the Holy Spirit inside him. This is what the Word means when it says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from you a wicked mouth, and devious lips put far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right hand nor to the left; remove your foot from evil”, Prov.4:23-27. If we do not get startled by evil and its false or accurate alarms, whether it accuses falsely or says things correctly, we are removing our feet from the arena of evil by not entering into arguments with it. I know that’s what the Bible means by “remove your feet from evil”. We have nothing to do there, we have a work to do elsewhere and to be busy with, a Lord to be convicted by, a Holy City to build up to the end. And that Holy City will mostly be composed of people; and those will be people like us who have been found faithful to the end in whatever God has granted them to do before He left them with it. In the end it matters more that we are still found faithful, than that our work has reached a conclusion. It is better to be found doing than to finish work. It is dear to God that we are found doing, that we have enough oil to toil to the end. And the main point is that if people regard rather the works of God inside them, soon that work will show and will emerge to engulf the whole of their being into God and God’s ways for them and that for always.  

Blessed is that man who does not fear the face evil has or the one it attempts to show forth while he is working for God, and his work is done whether evil yells at him or keeps silent to call attention by being different. The fact is that the devil can use a genuine miracle to distract people with truthful happenings too. That’s why I call upon people who are converted under my work that, if they opened the red sea by God today, they should start a new tomorrow where no red sea is even thought of - much less spoken about - so that they are still able to do anything, either small or great, without having their minds looking back simply because God has done something great the day before. There isn’t a good kind of “looking back”, I believe. And to settle our hopes upon work done and past is as foolish as not trusting Jesus for what He is alone. People get easily off their track and the devil knows that. Work done is not work to be done, even when one follows the other and is built upon the other. A brick well laid today does not need to call our attention tomorrow again, because it will make tomorrow’s brick fit remarkably well upon it.

When someone is able and fit for the Kingdom of God, not looking back or aside for any reason whatsoever, if our hearts have become quiet and unhindered even during earthquakes, noises or silences, we might then become aware that one does not need to get involved with or against evil and consequently needs never fear it again nor turn our face in case it knocks at our doors. It is so important to believe we are indeed dead unto sin when we really are. Dead means really dead. Fear God and not sin because you are not dead unto God. And that’s the main feature of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: dead unto sin and alive unto God. And the Bible is not lying about any of it. Whatever was impossible unto men till then, becomes remarkably easy and possible to carry out with that natural new look from that new nature which works and lives by itself as if it has always been there. Sin has no hold upon such who are able to remain in Christ. “If then you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to its ordinances: touch not, taste not, handle not”, Col.2:20-21. People living in Christ need not to be told to "touch not" when something is indeed sin to touch. They are not like the world who needs a law to cause them to walk as they should. We cannot speak as “though living in the world” anymore. If we do, we are inside the wrong arena still.

“He is the security of our times”. “For In returning and rest you shall be saved (from sin); and in quietness and hope shall be your strength. And you were not willing. And He will be the security of your times, and strength of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of Jehovah is his treasure. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the service of righteousness shall be quietness and hope forever”, Is.30:15; 32:17; Is.33:6.

Is it a big problem we are facing? Is it a remarkable loss we are threatened with? Yes, it is. But, with Christ, if and when we are indeed in Him (and we do not merely believe that it is the case), we should find the rest that remains there for the people of God, Heb.4:9. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me”, Ps.23:4. We are assured and not self-assured; we are still and not presumptuous. We don’t fear because Christ is with and through us, and not because we forgot evil is bad or that it is a shadow of death. We know it is bad, and it doesn’t matter how great evil is or seems to be because we experience that greater is He that is in us. We cannot but believe. Let it only become real in you and through you. Evil does not need to distract you, much less cause you to fear it or fear because of it. Amen.

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José Mateus