The Disguised “Friend”

Psa 55:20-21 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant. (21) His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

One of the characteristics of the wicked which I have seen repeatedly over the years is the seemingly instantaneous transition from our best friend to our worst enemy. In fact a transformation has not occurred. Such a person has always been an enemy – disguised as a friend.

When a wicked person determines that we can be “of use” to them…they use us. And the typical way this goes is that they approach us as a genuine friend. And they sure seem like it! They want to be around us. They invite us to do things with them. They compliment us and encourage us. They profess their loyalty to us and they even stand with us against enemies.

But then…

…the transformation. This can happen years into such a relationship, or it may happen on the honeymoon as many of you know whose abuser was a spouse. Literally and almost unbelievably they become our enemy. Overnight! One day they are our loyal friend and the next morning…it’s over. How can this be?

Well, let me tell you. The fact is the friendship was always a disguise. It was motivated by a desire to use you for some evil purpose. They use you as a vehicle to ride to some desired destination on – fame, popularity, wealth, feeding their desire to control (yes, they controlled you in ways you may not have even seen). Paul mentions this wicked business in Galatians:

Gal 4:17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.

In some moment of time, these kind realized that you were of no use to them any longer. Perhaps Christ’s light in you was shining too brightly and threatening to expose them. Perhaps your growth in Christ was taking you in the path He calls you to and they wanted no part of going along with you. But their decision was made, and they cast you off. Cold. Heartless. Without conscience. As if your “friendship” never existed, as if all the history of your life with them was erased. And really, it was erased by them. If you doubt that, just run into them a year later or so and you can tell that they treat you like a total stranger, as if they had never known you.

This is the devil’s work. These are the methods of his servants. It turns out, they never loved you at all. And knowing this is wisdom.

A Common Evidence that Most People Don’t Care

2Ti 4:14-15 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (15) Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.

This is a very illuminating scripture for a number of reasons and I have written about it more than once. In this case I want to focus on its application to a very common scenario created by acquaintances (I won’t call them friends) of abuse victims. Here is how it works.

Some event is coming. Maybe a wedding, or a funeral, or a graduation or family thing. And what happens? People who know what the abuse victim has suffered, and who know WHO the abuser is, invite the abuser to the event anyway. I have had this happen to me many times. A wedding. A funeral. A so-called family reunion. And I do not go. Then I am criticized for not being there. Why didn’t I attend? Because I knew that evil, wicked people who hate me and who have caused all kinds of suffering were invited to come and they would have absolutely no qualms or shame about attending. I drew some personal boundaries some years ago and resolved that I will never be put in such a situation again.

Now, why are these evil people invited? Well, I can tell you. Because the people who invite them simply do not care. They do not care about the wicked abuse that has happened. They do not care about the victim. They just don’t care. They want to maintain friendly relations with the abuser because they do not want to take a stand and pay the price that the victim has had to pay.

And there is something else they don’t care about. They do not care that the Lord Himself commands us to have nothing to do with such evil people. We are to expose their evil and separate from them. If they are the pretend Christians then we are to put them out of the church (something that is rarely done by local churches today).

So here it is, allies of the evil one. The Lord Jesus says plainly that if we who claim to follow Him do not love His people and if we do not hear and obey His Word, then we are not His sheep. He doesn’t know us. He will not have us. If anyone invites an abusive, evil person who has done harm to others…if you invite them to your birthday gala, or to a wedding, or whatever the event might be – you simply do not care about the victims of such people.

And Christ does not care about you.

Let’s Talk about “Peace”

Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christ is titled the Prince of Peace. We look forward to the fullness of His kingdom in large part because there will be unending, complete and final peace. Every single aspect of war and conflict, sin and hatred, racism and injustice will be gone forever. Peace is a beautiful thing that in reality none of us have ever known in its full glory.

And when it comes to this evil business of abuse that we deal with, we are confronted by various “experts” who claim to hold the key to giving us peace. There are numbers of ministries that focus on this issue of peace. Some are worse than others, but most all of them raise my suspicions. Over and over again victims who go to them for help end up being put on trial. They are told that “well, God wants peace restored in your life so here is what YOU need to do.” That sort of thing. The problem is that so often what the victim “needs” to do is to make peace with her abuser!

Now, think this through. How does the Prince of Peace establish peace? Even now, but on that Day also when He comes again? How does Christ fill the creation once again with peace? I can tell you:

2Th 1:5-9 This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

There will be no negotiations with the enemy. Only full and complete destruction. The wicked will be cast into the Lake of Fire and we will never ever see or hear from them again.

And I want to tell you that THIS aspect of peace, that is to say, this business of HOW Christ is going to fill the creation with peace, is swept under the carpet by most supposed “abuse ministries,” churches, and pastors today. In other words, the “peace” they promise via their various programs and formulas is a false peace. As our friend Lynn has recently said in her post on Hezekiah’s prayer, there is no place for imprecatory prayer in these people’s system. As a result, we see that the Christ they serve is not the Lord Jesus of the Bible. He is a watered down version who loves everyone the same and what Paul says in 2 Thessalonians is, well, not worthy of this Jesus they serve.

So beware. Most “peace” that is promised by this myriad of “Christian” ministries is a false peace. Abuse victims are not going to have peace until they are able to be free of their abuser and that means that in this present life, absolute peace is not going to be achieved. The amazing thing about the New heavens and New Earth that we who are in Christ are headed for is this:

Rev 21:4-8 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (5) And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (6) And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (7) The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (8) But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

See it? The former things will have passed away. That means a whole lot more than we realize. It means that those triggering memories, all that PTSD, all of it – will be gone! Every tear. Every aspect of death. Gone. And why? Not only because of our new resurrection selfs, but because the wicked will have received their portion in that burning, eternal lake. We will never see them again. Will we think of them again? I don’t think so. And that is real peace.