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Lesson 4: The Battle of the Evening
Published Date: November 02, 2018
Darkness had descended and the leaders of the troops gathered in the commander’s tent. “Tell your men to prepare themselves. We will attack tomorrow morning at first light.”
Those words must have replayed themselves many thousands of times in world history, in most every language and country of the world. While defending a position is best done in the full light of day, an attack is best carried out with as little light as is absolutely necessary. An attack at first light gives the troops just enough light to see where they are going, while minimizing their enemies’ ability to see them. In modern times, with the advent of all kinds of electronic technology it has become possible to carry out large-scale attacks at night. Darkness is the best time to launch surprise attacks designed to engage the enemy earlier than they expect, and catch them unprepared.
First Light (Photo: Bob O’Dell)
One of the realizations than has dawned on me (pun intended) since undertaking my study of Jewish roots, is that our great adversary, the devil, has taken advantage of Christianity’s separation from our Jewish roots to launch a sneak attack on us at night.
One of the truths that we have lost in our separation from the Jews is the Biblical boundaries of time. We define a “day” from midnight to midnight, a calendar day, whereas God and the devil know that the true boundaries of a day are from sunset to sunset.
And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Genesis 1:5b (NASB)
Why it Matters
While God desires to bring His glory and presence into this world, our adversary is always on the lookout for opportunities to bring defilement. Defilement can take many forms. The Bible describes the defilement of people through demonic presence. While this is widely described in the New Testament, it is not uniquely described there. King Saul, for instance, was troubled by an evil spirit that would leave him when David played the lyre. (1 Samuel 16:14-16). The Bible also supports the idea of the defilement of land by the sins that are committed upon it. Moses warned Israel of this.
So let not the land spew you out for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you. Leviticus 18:28. (TIB)
But in the same way that people and land can be defiled, so can TIME. We see this principle laid out clearly in the laws of uncleanliness. A person could become defiled for various reasons for a period of days, or as little as a single day. And those are Biblical days, which means that a period of uncleanliness ends, and therefore cleanliness begins, at sundown. On the positive side of this idea is the idea of sanctifying time. God commands His people to sanctify the Shabbat day, as He Himself sanctified the seventh day of creation.
Is sanctified time important as compared to land and people? Yes! God in the Bible is shown as sanctifying time (Shabbat) before He sanctified anything else, even land and people!
I believe that the adversary has gotten quite good at defiling TIME in our Christian nations today because he knows that we as Christians don’t really get it! Time is our greatest weakest of the three because we walked away from God’s boundaries regarding time when we walked away from the Jewish people. Today, we are asking for God’s blessings and protections on “days” that don’t fit God’s definition. We are not recognizing the transition from one day to the next at sundown. We are not praying in full alignment.
Please don’t conclude that I’m suggesting that God won’t hear our prayers if we thank God by saying: “Today, Wednesday, is the day the Lord has made.” But what I’m beginning to wonder personally is that perhaps our prayers might be even more effective and powerful if they are aligned to God’s definition of a day. It’s not a secret key that opens up for us special revelation (I don’t believe that kind of thinking is from God), but rather it is humility to align ourselves with God’s definition of a day!
The Battle for Halloween Evening!
As I pen this column it is right now daytime on October 31.
If you were to ask Americans: “When is Halloween?” They will answer: “October 31st”. But, in actuality, Halloween is celebrated after dark on October 31st, making it the “eve” of November 1st, which is All Saints Day. Many readers are aware that the word Halloween is actually a shortening of “All Hallows Eve”, the hallowed eve of All Saints Day on November 1st.
Do you see what we as Christians have allowed to happen?
By defining a Christian Holiday as November 1st, we have given full access to the powers of darkness to defile that very same day, by celebrating all manner and forms of evil spirits on the night before! They are fighting The Battle of the Evening!
We left the door wide open because we have not properly defined “what is a day”! All Saints Day is being defiled by Halloween, because we left the door wide open between sundown and midnight of October 31st! I wonder if the defilement of All Saints Day, occurring the night before, partly explains why it is so minimally celebrated in modern times.
We see the same Battle of the Evening principle playing out in the Springtime where the Christian practice of 40 days of Lent, which is designed to be a period of cleansing and contemplation beginning on Ash Wednesday, is preceded by Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras, literally Fat Tuesday, is a revelry designed to precede Ash Wednesday, whose crescendo is on Tuesday evening, when essentially “anything goes”. In God’s definition of a day, Fat Tuesday celebrations defile Ash Wednesday!
If our adversary can trick people into institutionalizing the committing of sins on the night before an important godly day, he can degrade and defile that entire day. This is a battle strategy of the enemy being practiced under cover of night, but attacking the boundaries of the day that we might desire to sanctify.
Indeed, those who have been caught up in Satanism, when freed from that bondage and brought into the freedom and love of God, have readily shared the extent to which the night of Halloween is the ultimate evening, the very best hours of the year for Satanists to wage spiritual battle on his behalf.
It is for reasons like this that I believe God is leading the church back to its Jewish roots. I don’t presume to know the best strategies to push back against the sins committed during Halloween, whether to see this celebration destroyed, or to find a way to redeem it within God’s love, but I do believe that solving a problem often begins with properly defining it.
Here I am, during the daytime of October 31st, out in the broad daylight of the noonday sun, suggesting that part of that proper definition of our Halloween problem, is to see it as a defilement of All Saints Day, and not a day of its own.
As clouds move in, I just checked the weather forecast here in Austin.
As I write this, the forecast calls for rain from sundown to 10PM tonight, then cloudy overnight, with skies becoming bright and sunny as of sunrise tomorrow morning. Maybe this Austin forecast is a message from God for us all, that as we continually align ourselves more and more towards His purposes, that He is more than happy to bring more and more of His resources to bear into the problems we face.
Indeed, our God truly cares about time, land, and people. He wants to guide us in the bright noon-day sun, just as much as He wants to guide us in the deep darkness of night.
(Just not necessarily in that order!)