All men are weak in the flesh in some direction or other. When we condemn anyone, we had better watch out or God will make us walk in those shoes to teach us humility. I had a weaknessI judged the adulterer unrighteously. I couldnt understand how anyone could be so stupid and lacking in self-discipline, that they could get trapped by Satan in that one. God decided to show me. He was going to let me get right to the edge of the cliff to see just how easy it is to fall over without Him. And, that these actions are sometimes unwillingly stepped into when the trap is sprung. Jesus said:
I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble; and My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before Me, and have faith in Me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.1
Satan hits us when and where we are weak. He was pretty sure I was vulnerable. Michael was gone and we were hurting, and whats more, Satan knew God was allowing it. We needed to grow. It was our opportunity to stretch. My lesson came in about our fifth year of marriagea dangerous time for a marriage, they say. We were living in a one room apartment on the second floor next to a couple named Lee and Lucille.
It started by Satan appearing to me one evening in a dream or vision, I dont recall which, but heres a twisthe was handsome. (Karl Marx commented on the frequent visits he had with the Devilhe thought Satan was a rather "nice" sort of fellow and couldnt see what all the fuss was about. Thats what Satan wants us to think. Hes a master at disguise and deception.2 Mr. Marx should have spoken with Martin Luther, whom Satan regularly visited and tormented as Mr. Luther translated the New Testament alone in that creepy castle. It is said Mr. Luther threw an inkhorn at Satan once in frustration.)
The Mr. handsome Satan first tried persuasion speaking very softly, coaxing me kindly, Come, follow me. I knew who he was and was not afraid. Get thee behind me, Satan, for I will serve only my Master, I answered, and he vanished. Some time passed and he came a second time threatening, If you dont serve me, I will throw you in that fire. Suddenly a huge bonfire was roaring beside me. I considered that . . . feared fire. Then I pushed him in the face rebuking him. I said, No matter what you do Im going to serve my Master, at which he departed in anger.
After rebuffing Satan in the vision, I figured I was in for it, so I prayed to know how he would try to get me off the track. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I had a powerful dream.
Three Demons Tempting
I was face to face with Satan. He spoke no words, but looking him straight in the eyes I discerned the intent of his heart. The Spirit of God said, He has sought to make war with you.
Gene and I were then standing in about a six-to-eight-foot square protected area similar to a boxing ring without any ropes. As long as we remained inside this area, we were safe; stepping over the line, we were in danger.
A troop of evil spirits filed in, surrounding the area. If there was any question about whether or not there is gender in heaven, this settled it for me, because their boss was a female. We were to battle these spirits one at a time. I was told that each spirit had a specific job to do and was highly skilled at it. The first evil spirit stepped into the area and put his hands forward toward me. I felt a pulling attraction very much like love. I knew this to be the spirit of ADULTERY. I fought against it in the name of Jesus Christ and openly rebuked it. It persisted. I resisted again and again, rebuking in the name of Christ. I never yielded. In frustration, he looked at his leader. She said, You will have to leave because she is resisting in Jesuss name. I praised God. In the name of Jesus only, I was given strength not to yield.
A second evil spirit came into the ring; this one had the power of FEARpower to make me fear what people thought, said, and did to mepower to make me afraid to bear my testimony because of pressures that my loved ones put upon me by calling me crazy, a religious fanaticfear of more persecution from some unrighteous priesthood who felt that I might be a threat to them.
In the dream fear of evil spirits tormenting me was also present. Yes, fear was put upon me that IF I was valiant in testimony, Satan would destroy me, but as this evil spirit of fear worked, God spoke to me and told me to simply ignore it. And I did. The spirit of fear failed, and a third one took his place.
This third evil force was one to play on a gentle persons SYMPATHY. Instead of coming inside the ring, the demon lay down outside it, held his leg and groaned. Gene stepped off our protected area to go help him. I could see the deception and yelled at Gene to come back, that I needed him. It was only a trick. Genes gentle loving nature caused him to be naive so he couldnt discern the trap. He came back beside me and the dream ended.
The Interpretation As I Understand It
1) Everyone has the power to win the battle IF he calls on Christ for help.
2) IF we do not yield, eventually that trial will pass and we will not have a desire to give in, because that evil spirit must cease working on us. (James 1:12-16)
3) We have safety (greater spiritual strength) IF we stay in the boundary of obedience to Christs laws.
4) Demons literally encamp around us to tempt us. The hymn God Is My Strong Salvation has a line that reads: Tho hosts encamp around me, firm to the fight I stand What terror can confound me with God at my right hand? This is literal. These evil spirits do encamp or surround us trying to get us to sin and lose our place in the kingdom. Wherefore he (Satan) maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasses them round about. 3 But only one at a time can come against us, for Jesus promised we would not be tempted beyond that which we can bear.4
5) I saw Satan would take up the battle himself. It was war!5
It's War Against Those Who
Have the TESTIMONY That
Gene and I, and our children, have this testimony. Everyone who has the testimony of Jesus Christ carries the spirit of prophecy.6 That makes believers prophetic, and enemies of Satan. Gene saw Jesus.
Years before there was a King Dome in Seattle, or the Astrodome in Texas, Gene dreamed he was standing at the top of an enclosed sports stadium like one of these mentioned. He was near the elevator. The door opened and Jesus got off. They embraced. Then the two stood viewing the packed stadium of frolicking people drinking pop and throwing popcorn. They were unaware Jesus was standing in their midst. Gene had the impression that Jesus was very concerned for them. Then without a word, Jesus walked back to the elevator and stepped in it. The door closed and it began going up. Suddenly Gene remembered a question he wanted to ask Him. Running up the stairs to the roof, he saw Jesus had already ascended. It was too late. He awoke.
The greatest desire of our hearts is and always has been to help build Christs Zion, Gods kingdom on earth. That makes us prime targets for Satan as was plainly shown in the dream of the Three Demons Tempting, but the prize of eternal life and reigning 7 with Christ during the Millennial Reign is worth it.
The warning had been given to us. We had to face three demons. The first one coming would be adultery and Satan didnt waste any time, for soon after the dream his emissary came sliding through our front door.
Study of the Scriptures has lead me to understand that if you are much of a threat to Satans work, he will try to stop you. You will become aware that there most assuredly is a devil, and that hes not your friend.
1. (BM) Ether 5:28
2. Jesus created Satan - Christ, being the Only Begotten (only Being produced) of the Father, created all others. Satan had to be one of them. (Col. 1:14-19) Read Satans Beginning
3. (D&C 76:3L)
4. Satan cant tempt beyond that which we can bear - 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. (I Cor. 10:13)
5. For when the dragon (Satan) saw that he was cast to the earth (Satan was cast out of heaven at the time of Jesus ministry on earthLuke 10:18-19), he persecuted the woman (church) which brought forth the man child (gospel and kingdom). Therefore, the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, (church members--Christians) which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev. 12:13,17)
6. (Rev. 19:10, and 22:6-9)
7. Reign with Christ a thousand years - Saints who overcome will reign (rule) with Jesus for 1,000 years. They will be assigned cities on the earth to govern. (Rev. 20:4, 2:26-27, Luke 19:17, Matt. 25:21)