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The Raven and the Dove
    Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her into the ark to himself. Genesis 8:7-9
 
    Noah and his family had just come through one of the most catastrophic events ever to come upon the earth. Every man, woman and child died in the flood of God's judgment on a rebellious world.
 
    Floating on what seemed and endless sea of death, Noah sent out a raven to find out if there was dry land. Knowing the raven to be a predatory bird, Noah understood that it would not return as long as there were dead bodies to feed on. Noah then sent a dove to see if there was a place for her to land knowing that she would not alight on a corpse. He was right and she returned finding no resting place.
 
    Jesus warned of another flood in the last days, one of great deception and delusion that could even deceive His very elect. He warned His disciples that many would come saying that He was indeed the anointed one and will in fact deceive many. False prophets in sheep's clothing performing signs and wonders in the name of Jesus, but inwardly, ravenous wolves, destroying lives with their trickery and deceit. 
 
    "An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests ( Leadership ) rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?" Jeremiah 5:30,31
 
    Birds of the air represent the powers of darkness in the bible and they are drawn to fleshly motives driven by pride and greed. Selfish ambition attracts them as well as people who have been wounded by others leaving a blood trail for them to follow. False prophecy and false signs and wonders are their calling card left upon a people devoid of spiritual discernment.
 
    The raven that Noah sent out to gorge itself on rotting decaying flesh left floating in the sea, is a gruesome reminder of God's judgment fallen on an unrepentant people did not return. The dove on the other hand, a symbol of the Holy Spirit was sent to find fertile ground that was ripe for a harvest. Noah knew the dove wouldn't land on anything dead or fleshly, only on dry virgin territory. She returned to him with an olive branch, a sign of God's blessing.
 
    Today if someone gets healed in a meeting everyone says it was God, but was it? Do you actually think God will show up when men are ruled by pride and selfish ambition? In the midst of a man made sideshow the dove will not land, but the powers of darkness will, and with devastating results. Don't be deceived by false healing and false signs and wonders! The devil has the power or should I say the illusion of healing and he will do anything to gain an advantage and then later discredit the true work of God.
 
    My wife grew up in South Texas where there is a dangerous mixture of religion and witchcraft. As a young child she suffered from various diseases and was taken to healers to be prayed for or should I say preyed upon. Each one would impart their gift of healing and each time she would be healed only to later suffer a worse fate and finally ending up in five different mental institutions. I have said all of this to warn you that not everything that looks like God is God, and you better check out the person that is imparting something to you!
 
    Western Christianity is shallow at best and the Charismatics and Prophetic people have all but thrown out the word of God and relied on their feelings and emotions to lead them, a very dangerous mix. There are not many in leadership that have been trained or equipped in spiritual warfare thus opening themselves up to deception and false teaching. Angelic visitations, calling up the dead, gold dust and some of the flakiest stuff imaginable is being practiced by those who are respected as leaders and pillars of the church.
 
    I've been in ministry for over twenty five years and have seen my share of miracles, healing and even the dead being raised and I can tell you from experience that I have to stay on the alert because of the ongoing flood of deception from the enemy. I have to constantly refer back to the word of God and keep an attitude of vigilance to protect myself from the schemes of the devil.
 
    The apostles, Peter and Paul constantly warned the churches to be on guard, to be on the alert to be rooted and grounded in the word so that when deception came they would recognize it. Messengers of Satan and angels of light are going to increase as we approach the end of time and darkness is going to cover the earth and according to Isaiah deep darkness the people. If all of these things are coming upon us, should we not take them to heart and at least check some of this stuff out before we leap into something that could destroy our spiritual life?
 
    One way to judge signs and wonders is to discern what kind of bird is present, the raven or the dove. Ravens and other such predatory birds have a specific pecking order, always jockeying for position, pushing and shoving to gain and advantage. If you have ever observed a dove or a flock of doves on a wire they will give up their position willingly for another and they don't fight with one another. Doves are very sensitive to their surroundings just as the Holy Spirit is sensitive to the atmosphere around Him.
 
    Don't be fooled by the devil, he has been deceiving people for thousands of years, most of the mighty men in the bible were deceived by him and many were destroyed for their lack of knowledge. If you are not rooted and grounded in the word of God you had better check out what you are getting yourself into in some of these so-called revival meetings. It is a very dangerous thing to put yourself under the control of another and trust that he is imparting something good into your soul. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8
    Finally, brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Raising Up Godly Leaders for the Church

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