Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
When considering the enemy’s attacks against us, we usually think of temptations and trials brought on by the devil himself or his demon horde. But just as God uses people to do His work, Satan does too. And often it is people that we must be on guard for. There are several types of enemies I would like to warn you about specifically.
This first group of enemies I call temple spies. Who are they? Temple spies are those individuals who show up in your life simply to gather information to be used against you during a future attack on your life. These individuals attempt to quietly and quickly blend into the crowd or into your environment so that no one will notice them. When you finally do notice them, they may have been in your presence for some time already.
These people will be clever enough to secretly observe your strengths, but it is your weaknesses they’re most interested in. They’ll not only search for your weaknesses; they’ll also attempt to discover any flaws and hypocrisy in those who are close to you, in order to gain a stronger connection that can then be used to destroy you.
Temple spies usually appear to be harmless, and they usually seem to need your assistance in some way. This tactic is used to gain your confidence and trust, in the hope that you will eventually let your guard down and give them access to your emotions. Be on guard against temple spies.
The next group I call the lookouts. The definition of a lookout is “one engaged in keeping watch.” These are the persons whose sole responsibility is to cover, or protect, the assassin when they’re in the process of implementing their plan of destruction.
Lookouts are individuals who forward secret messages concerning your spiritual location. They will forward information concerning whether or not you’re in a season of spiritual strength or if you’re currently experiencing a season of struggles, with the accompanying possibility of doubt and weariness. Just when you find yourself in a state of spiritual decline, these individuals will notice and will notify the assassins. The moment they feel that you’ve encountered some doubt, they will tell the assassin that it’s safe to take a shot at your spirit.
I’ve had many lookouts sent to me over the years. They were people who seemed to be very patient and possessing of a sense of discernment. But they were just waiting to catch me at my weakest moment. Be on guard for the lookouts posted around you.
Understanding the Difference Between Mere Haters and Spiritual Assassins
Too often we mistake people who don’t like us for some reason for assassins, but usually this in not the case. We must learn the difference between mere haters and assassins.
Attacks of hatred and jealousy are strongholds that people whom God has equipped with great abilities will always face—if, that is, they embrace God’s gifts for their lives and allow Him to use them for the reason they were created. Hatred is a word used to describe “immense feelings of dislike toward someone or something.” Such feelings of hate can arise unexpectedly. If a person has experienced maltreatment in the past, it is a proven fact that they are more likely to maltreat others and to dislike or hate people before they get to know them. This is shown clearly in the pattern of those who have been abused, ignored, neglected or maltreated by their parents. Their tendency is to become abusive or angry themselves. These are not necessarily the assassins you need to guard yourself against.
Assassins don’t have to know you, your purpose or your vision in order to agree to destroy you. They’re driven by the reward to destroy you, not their hatred of you. They aren’t jealous of you. Many of us are so focused on the people who dislike us that we have failed to discern the presence of a paid assassin in our midst.
Haters will always reveal their hatred toward you. It will be evident each time you’re in their presence or even when your name is mentioned. They make sure that the unpleasantness of their thoughts toward you are made known to others. They can spend hours talking about their dislike of you. But, again, that doesn’t make them assassins.
Assassins will often seem to be very supportive of you outwardly, even though their ultimate goal is to destroy you. They may even seem to be faithful to you or your cause, while, behind the scenes, they have a purpose for it all. They’ll even suggest ideas that would seem to help you and make you successful. In all of this, they’re trying to get close to you, close enough for the kill.
Haters don’t need to be rewarded at all for their hatred toward you, but assassins only function when they’re well compensated for their actions. This is how the enemy has trapped many in the Body of Christ—by offering them false hopes, cheap rewards, position without purpose and vision without dreams. Assassins are on an assignment so that they can get whatever was promised to them, and they will only be rewarded if they are successful in their plan of attack.
Haters will simply use the spirit of manipulation or jealousy to frustrate you and keep you from succeeding or reaching the dream of your destiny. Assassins, on the other hand, are not focused at all on your goals or dreams. Their entire focus is your ultimate destruction. Their heart is filled with a desire to see you totally destroyed. Be advised!
What Assassins Are Like
Assassins will kiss you on the cheek and eat at your table. They’ll do whatever it takes to get close you, but they’re simply waiting on the appropriate time to make their move, to carry out the evil intention in their heart, to implement the plan of attack on your life. Such was Judas, paid assassin of our Lord Jesus.
Like other assassins, he was not identified until the last moment. For years he had hidden among the other disciples and was considered one of them. An assassin’s success depends on his or her ability to remain undetected. Therefore, you must be very prayerful when anyone persists in attaching themselves to you. You must learn to accept people to be close to you, based only on their spiritual connection, not their people connection.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers:
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. 1 Thessalonians 5:12
Prepare to defend yourself against attack, for your day is coming. The Spirit of Assassination has been loosed.
Why You’re the Chosen Target
There are many Christians alive today who have been asking themselves the question, “Why? I know I’m saved, and I know I’m anointed. So why am I under attack like this?” If you stay saved and committed to God long enough, you’ll go through a season of being attacked, precisely because of the anointing. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
As we have noted, if you have the potential to be used by God, although you may or may not be obeying the Lord at the moment, just because you possess that potential of greatness, the enemy will try to destroy you. You’re a candidate for his hit list when he cannot cause you to compromise the plan and purpose that God has for your life.
Salvation doesn’t exempt you from such attacks. Actually, salvation is an invitation for greater attacks. Your commitment to God makes you an automatic target for the enemy. Every believer who possesses the potential to please the Lord becomes a target for adversity from the enemy, but some more than others.
What Is a Target?
The definition of target is “a mark to shoot at, something or someone fired at or marked for attack; an object of ridicule or criticism.” Jesus said this:
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11
During Job’s long trial, he felt that he had become a target, set up for destruction by the enemy. He said:
When I speak up, I feel no better; if I say nothing, that doesn’t help either. I feel worn down. God, you have wasted me totally—me and my family! You’ve shriveled me like a dried prune, showing the world that you’re against me. My gaunt face stares back at me from the mirror, a mute witness to your treatment of me. Your anger tears at me, your teeth rip me to shreds, your eyes burn holes in me—God, my enemy! People take one look at me and gasp. Contemptuous, they slap me around and gang up against me. And God just stands there and lets them do it, lets wicked people do what they want with me. I was contentedly minding my business when God beat me up. He grabbed me by the neck and threw me around. He set me up as his target, then rounded up archers to shoot at me. Merciless, they shot me full of arrows; bitter bile poured from my gut to the ground. He burst in on me, onslaught after onslaught, charging me like a mad bull.
Job 16:6-14, Message
Wow! And you thought you had problems! Job was a target, and so are you.
It didn’t end with the Old Testament. In the New Testament, in the writing to the Hebrews, we read:
Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.
Hebrews 10:32-39, Message
If it was true then, it is even more true today. In the closing period of Church history, The Spirit of Assassination has been loosed upon God’s people. Prepare to defend yourself against it and to defend others who desperately need your help.