PICTURES OF THE DEVIL
OPEN: Hey, good morning and welcome to STAG, I'm Jack. I'd like to talk about two things today. Who is the real Jeremiah and one way that the devil tries to influence us. But first….
UW: The following hour……(Sequoia Wellness….)
DISC: The views you hear will be mine….
Look, before I start let me repeat something. I talk to Believers on this show. If you're not a Believer, this talk about the devil will be foolishness to you. You have to remember that I'm NOT talking to you. You're welcome, but don't think I'm trying to have you take on what I say.
OK. Jeremiah. Will the real Jeremiah please stand up!
The lost tribes teaching is vast. One small segment can take two or three hours to present. A couple decades ago I presented a 26 hour series on the lost tribes. A lot of the material is pretty straightforward.
The basic method of study is to find a prophecy given to the House of Israel. That in itself is a task because there isn't just one name for those people. There are some eight different names that the ten tribes of the northern kingdom used. One very important name was only used once in the Bible, but is a key to finding what those people were called by the Persians. Knowing that information allows us to place those people in history. The result is that they are no longer "lost." We know who they are, where they went, what they did.
In Amos 7:16 it says, Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.
And even in this verse we run into a possible point of confusion. Notice that there seem to be two different objects of the verse. First it says "against Israel." Then it says, "against the house of Isaac." But they are the same people.
The people of the northern kingdom called themselves the House of Isaac enough that the Medo-Persians called them the Sakka, and sometimes the Iskuza. These names come right out of Isaac. And look where they go. Saka sunae is another way they said it, and when that got into English it became the sons of Saka, or as we know it, the Saxons.
Back to the study method. We find a prophecy that pertains to those people of the Northern ten-tribe kingdom. Then we hit the history books to find out which peo0ple of history fulfilled that prophecy. Simple. A lot of research, but simple.
That's not the case with the part of the Lost Tribes that has to do with Jeremiah. When Babylon conquered the kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah took the king of Judah's daughters. He took one of them to Ireland where she was married to the Milesian High King of Ireland. A lot of the evidence for this is buried deep and some of it has to be circumstantial. But backing away from that event and looking at the overall picture, we find that it fits very neatly into the whole scenario. Not so with the Biblical part of Jeremiah's story.
Every now and then I get an email telling me that I'm wrong about Jeremiah being the grandfather of the King of Judah, Zedekiah. It was Zedekiah's daughters over whom Jeremiah was made guardian. The problem is that on the surface one can't prove that Jeremiah was Zedekiah's grandfather.
Three times it says Jeremiah of Libnah in connection with kings of Judah. Passages in 2 Kings and Jeremiah firmly establish this Jeremiah of Libnah to be interacting with four different kings, ending with Zedekiah. It is also established that this Jeremiah was put in charge of the king's daughters. That's not disputed. The family relationship between Jeremiah and Zedekiah is in question. But this family relationship is why Jeremiah became the guardian of the daughters.
Well, here's the proof that just a little bit of research turns up. Please excuse the difference in the audio. This part was recorded at a different time.
I just love the way this works out. In fact, the Lost Tribes is one of my favorite studies. It accomplishes two very important things. One, it establishes the truth of the Bible. Second, because we find that the Bible is true, we now know that God is real and keeps His word. Some of the Lost Tribes prophecies run 2500 years before being fulfilled.
When you know who the Lost Tribes are in today's world, you see that two of the prophecies to Abraham have been fulfilled. God promised him that multiple nations and kings would come out of his descendents, and the people would be like the stars in number. When you count up the traditional Christian nations of Northwest Europe, the British Isles, the British Commonwealth and the United States, you get over a billion people. God gave Abraham that promise around 2000 BC.
Here's a little exercise that I suggest to people. Read through the prophets and every time you find a name that is used for the House of Israel, put a light pencil line through it and above it write B/US. Then check for its fulfillment by just using your school history knowledge and see which nation or group of people in today's world fit the prophecy. Boy, is that fun!
I knew a guy once who used to like to say, "Do you ever think about the things you think about?" Initially, it's an amusing question, but do you ever think about the things you think about? I do. One day, while I was thinking about the things I think about, I noticed a possible answer for picking up and singling out those little communications that get me into trouble.
I noticed that there was a definite difference between two types of thoughts that come to me. One, I call concepts. It's just an idea that comes into my head. I've heard this kind of
thing called inspiration, too. The other, is pictures. Concepts
or pictures. The concept thought isn't really a picture of
something happening, of an action. It isn't a little "movie" in
my head. It's a flashed concept, around a set of circumstances,
that doesn't have a picture. It's an understanding, an insight.
For instance, if you start to descend a staircase, and see a
roller-skate half way down, the minute that new set of
circumstances presents itself to your consciousness, you
experience the concept of harm. Now, it may or may not be
accompanied by a picture of how that harm takes place. You get
the concept of harm first, and maybe it would be followed by a
picture of you with your legs up in the air about to land on the
stairs. But the first thing that happens, before the picture, is
the concept of danger or harm. That's one type of thought that
seems to "show up". It's not something that's willful.
Let's not be confused by the thought concepts that can come
out of willful visualization. You may willfully picture yourself
in one of the processes of building a house. Let's say hammering
is involved, and you see yourself with a certain board in a
particular place. Out of that visualization, the concept of a
missing element in your carpentry might present itself. You
forgot to put on one little board before you could put on this
big one. Now you have to do that, because this big one has to
balance on that little one and tie the two together. As you
picture yourself placing one board, you notice that something is
wrong with the picture. The small board is absent. But the
concept thoughts that we want to deal with are the ones that seem
to be spontaneous.
Now we've got a flashed concept followed, probably, by a
picture of the consequences. But we must remember that the
concept came first. You can't nail this board on here. And
inherent in the flashing of the concept is the question, "What do
I have to do to do it right? What do I have to correct here?"
Then that un-thought, unsaid question is answered immediately. The concept flashes, carrying with it the question which begs the picture of how to fix what's wrong, in order that we might reach our goal successfully. It's just simple problem solving.
Now, we can call these concept thoughts prophesies because,
in a sense, they tell the future. In the case of the stairs and
roller-skate, the flashed concept of harm is telling what will happen if some change doesn't occur to include the new information of the skate. Likewise in the carpentry example, the concept says, "This isn't going to work the way you had it planned." It's a prophesy of less than one hundred percent completion of your project.
Now the really interesting part is the other kind of thought.
There's concepts, and there's pictures.
There are two kinds of picture thoughts. One kind is the
willful visualization already mentioned, the other is
"spontaneous" pictures. Willful pictures come from a known
place. We make them up ourselves. Willful visualization is a
valuable tool for goal attainment, and is becoming more popular
Both willful and spontaneous pictures are provocative
thought. They picture us in action. We see, in our mind's eye,
a picture of us doing something. Both these picture thoughts
come in two kinds: subjective and objective. Subjective
pictures are those that are seen as though from your own eyes, as
if you are looking from inside your head the way you normally see
things. Objective pictures are those when we see ourselves as
though we were a different person standing somewhere nearby,
seeing ourselves in some action.
Just as the concept is followed by a picture of the
consequences, the picture thoughts are accompanied by some type
of rationale. It's this rationale that gives our following action
acceptability. In our own minds, at least. Perhaps an athlete might use the rationale of increasing his jumping ability in visualizing jumping over the high bar.
I know that's all very easy to understand. It all lays out
nicely, in order. It's almost boring. But here come the
"spontaneous" pictures. Those are the ones we're really after.
I want you to think back to all those times when you were
just hanging out, and all of a sudden, "spontaneously", comes this picture of you doing something. Perhaps getting a cold drink out of the refrigerator. This kind of picture can again be subjective or objective. My feeling is that these pictures take on the objective view more than the subjective, but there's plenty of the subjective to go around.
I think the main criterion is the distance traveled. The
distance from where you are to the site of the action. So,
taking a drink out of the fridge will be objective if the fridge
is in the other room. Or probably subjective if it's sitting
next to your chair.
Say you're sitting watching TV, and you get this picture, the
little movie of you taking a cold drink out of the refrigerator.
This is not, a concept thought, "I need a drink, I'm thirsty, or
drink a Coke," but the actual visual picture. If you're in the
front room watching TV, you'll probably see yourself standing at
the refrigerator taking out a Coke. If the fridge is right next
to your chair, you may see, from your own eyes perspective, your
arm opening the door, reaching in and taking the Coke out. You
won't see your whole body. But I sense no hard and fast rule for
either type of picture, objective or subjective.
Well, all that process is easily understood. We have
concepts and consequences, and we have these "spontaneous"
pictures. Both types of thoughts seem to appear, no pun
intended. They seem to be presented to our consciousness for a
With no apparent cause, I may see a picture of my hand
holding a chocolate bar, and say, "Hmm, I think I'll have a
The main difference isn't in the type of thought, concept or
picture, but in the results of each kind. What happens when we
follow through with an action based on concepts and consequences?
First in the process is Right behavior. So called Right
behavior because, after the concept flashes, and consequences are
made known, then I know what to fix; in order to attain my goal.
In order to get to the bottom of the stairs with one hundred
percent probability that I won't fall on the roller-skate, I pick
up the skate. I don't try to knock it out of the way with my
foot, perhaps losing my balance and falling anyway. And then
say, "I knew I was going to do that." Hasn't that happened to us
all? Right behavior, fixing whatever's missing, in order to make
what I'm trying to do happen successfully.
Following Right behavior, is successful goal attainment. I
make it to the bottom of the stairs without breaking my neck.
That's followed by, satisfaction. The same right behavior and
satisfaction is true for the willful visualization mentioned
I feel that satisfaction is a word that is unfortunately
taken for granted. Satisfaction means you don't have to try any
more. You feel good about what happened. There's no empty
space, you're filled up. You're OK. Satisfaction.
Not so with the "spontaneous" thought pictures. Because what
I've noticed, and the point of this whole discussion, is that
these "spontaneous" visualizations always seem to be in the
category of things that I don't judge, by my own standards, to be
one hundred percent OK. It's not OK for me to have six cold
drinks while I'm watching TV. If I've had two already, and the
movie isn't even half over, I might get this picture of me at the
refrigerator getting another one and know that I shouldn't have
any more. Maybe I've already set a limit of two per night.
Perhaps I've had a lot of trouble drinking Coke. It could just
as easily be a picture of me at the cupboard getting another
chocolate bar. Or me sitting in the chair having another
cigarette. Taking another drink, driving faster than I should.
Eating a second helping I know I don't need.
These "spontaneous" pictures always seem to be on the side of
the fence that provokes some action that isn't one hundred
percent OK with me. Maybe you'll remember that we said that
these pictures are always accompanied by a rationale. The high
jumper wants to raise his jumping height.
My rationale for getting another Coke doesn't seem to be a
rational at all. It's more of what we like to call
rationalization. Trying to justify, somehow or other, that
unwanted action. "Oh, well it's a hot night." Or, "I was extra
nervous today, so I can have another cigarette." Or, "I really
need to wind down tonight, so I can have a couple extra drinks."
"I'm in a hurry, I have to drive twenty miles an hour over the
Rationalization. There's always some little reason that
comes to mind. First there's this "spontaneous" movie in my
head, and then right away it says, "It's OK because...." "It's
all right if you do this." A good excuse. Then what happens
next is part of the action process. But the process involves
inherently, misbehavior. Wrong behavior, if you will, on my
part, as opposed to Right behavior in concepts and consequences.
I'm not fixing what's wrong.
What was my goal? To cool off? Two Cokes didn't do, will
three? The extra three beers just made me feel bloated, not
relaxed. And incomplete goals don't satisfy. How can I possibly
feel satisfaction when I haven't addressed the real problem. The
real problem wasn't my hunger for more candy or Coke.
What happens when we feel unsatisfied? We tend toward
repetition of the cycle. If I'm not satisfied, there's still
this void inside waiting to be filled. So maybe ten or twenty
percent of the satisfaction I could have gotten out of the
situation is still missing. I'm only satisfied eighty percent,
or maybe forty. In the try to satisfy that missing part, the
tendency is to have a little more. Get a little higher, then
I'll feel right. "Well, just two more beers and I'll be OK."
"Just one more young woman to prove that I can do it, and I'll be
OK." "One more brand new car."
So, where are we? The only thing that seems to result in
dissatisfaction is the type of little movie that "spontaneously"
comes into my head, and shows me pictures of me doing something.
These would seem to be the only thoughts that provoke me to less
than Righteous behavior. I think you can see where all this is
If all this is true, just the continuing awareness of these
provocative little movies can help me rid my life of a lot of
stress. I'll recognize that any time a picture "pops" into my
head, and shows me doing something that is less than one hundred
percent righteous, I'll know to avoid that thought absolutely.
Now here's the hard part. I've been looking for a long time
for a handle on how the devil gets us to do things. C.S. Lewis
has a very interesting idea that he incorporates in "The
Screwtape Letters" about how that happens. His belief is that
Satan and his minions are able to communicate to us humans by
planting suggestive thoughts in our heads. The question that's
always bothered me is: how far can the devil go, and how to
recognize when it might be him behind the motivation for my
actions. Well, if these "spontaneous" visualizations always end
up or involve my subverting to some degree my own standards of
how things should be, it seems logical that the devil may be
involved. What better way to keep people on edge than to plant
little pictures in their heads.
He could assess my particular situation, keeping in mind the
context and history of my life, and plant the most appropriate
and most plausible picture in my head of what I can do in any
given circumstance. He knows I like Coke. I've already said out
loud to several people that I want to cut down my Coke intake.
He knows all that. He probably knows the total number of Cokes I
drank in the last three years.
Now I hear your objection about it being ridiculous that the
devil is going to try and make me have another Coke. But let's put that aside by saying that the Coke is only an example that we can easily understand. I'm not saying that the devil won't make me take another Coke, he might have a reason. Who knows? How about if it was that other kind of coke?
When I follow up the actions that are motivated by those
concept thoughts, I mostly find success and satisfaction. If I
gain an understanding of how to build something, and then go
about the actual building, making sure I do those certain things
I visualized after the concept, that said watch out for this
pitfall or put this board on first and it will fit, I'm pleased
with the result.
But this "spontaneous" little guy that pops into my head
always leads me down the garden path. And if there's a God,
there's a devil. And if there's a devil, he's got to have some
way of working on me. He doesn't leave little notes under my
pillow. I don't hear little voices in my head, usually.
There's a small loophole in that statement, because I also
feel that I get "spontaneous" prodding thoughts. Not pictures,
but sentences. It's like a spoken concept that motivates me to
improper action. Again, by my own standards. It'll say things
like, "Oooo, why don't you have another cigarette?" Call it a
verbalization, instead of a visualization. But verbal or visual,
those thoughts always lead in the wrong direction.
Well, the easy part is over. Just separating out concepts
and consequences and "spontaneous" visualization helps me keep my
thoughts straight and isolate those motivating thoughts that try
to move me in the wrong direction. I know I'm aware that those
pictures are spontaneous and not willful. I realize that I
didn't make them up. I didn't intend, like the high jumper, to
visualize the action. I also know that it is a picture and not a
concept thought. The concepts never come as a picture. They
come as understandings and insights, not pictures.
So they're very easily separated and recognized. But the
pitfall with "spontaneous" pictures is that they come constantly.
We have them all day long. They're so familiar, that we often
don't see them as harmful. They're just, kind of there. Some
times I let them go, lots of times I don't. There are a million
little suggestive pictures that come to mind every day that
"help" us pander to our convenience, our desire, our pleasure,
our financial security. Spontaneous little pictures that lead us
down the garden path. Because every time we don't fix what needs
fixing, or fix what's missing in our actions, then we come up
with an unsatisfying result. What that all boils down to is
selfishness. Every time one of those "spontaneous" pictures
comes to my mind, it promotes my acting in selfishness. When I
act toward my self, I can't act to that same degree toward anyone
or anything else, especially God. To the degree I act toward
myself, that's the degree I act away from God. Knowingly.
When that picture comes to mind, it doesn't accomplish the
final action. It's just the motivating factor, it promotes the
action. I must willfully choose to do the action, in spite of
what I see needs fixing.
I know the devil can't get inside my head and hear what I'm
thinking. I believe he can put sentences and pictures in there.
Just slip little things in there. I believe that he has the
ability to manipulate the energy fields that form our existence
to the point that he can throw a little thought in my head.
If I can pin down the kind of weapon the devil uses, I can
build the proper defense. If I believe that these "spontaneous"
pictures and prodding thoughts are the devil's tool to get me to
act in a selfish manner, then I've got the devil on the run, at
least at the outset. The hard part, of course, is actually
overcoming those thoughts. Working is what it takes.
Understanding the concept isn't enough. I've just written
six pages about how the whole thing works, but that doesn't mean
that those little thoughts are going to stop; especially when I
set out to do something for God. Then see how many excusing
thoughts try to keep me from my commitment. Pictures of me doing
things that will postpone, subvert, or divert my actions away
from my goal for God. Thoughts of fear. Pictures of possible
fearful results. I won't have enough money. I won't be thought
of as a nice person, won't be popular.
There's a handle on the devil. And it's also a way to
faithe. The way to overcome these spontaneous visualizations is
to ask God for His help. Depending on what your situation calls
for, claim His promise of protection, provision, or strength to
overcome that fear of not being liked, having enough, etc.
Watch out for those little pop-up pictures. When they come,
let God take care of them. He's stronger than the devil and all
of us put together.
Now, since I wrote that 20-some years ago, I've refined it a bit. First, I evaluate the suggested action of the picture. This has become necessary because of God. I didn't include this part in the original idea, but God works exactly the same way the Devil does. So first I have to determine where the picture came from. That's not hard. It only takes a second. I just follow the suggested action to its fulfillment, where it ends. When you are honest with yourself, you know that you understand the difference between selfishness and Good. Even for little things like having another chocolate bar, you know if you think that it will be harmful, and it's just you trying to work out some dissatisfaction.
A more recent refinement is the 3D pictures or movies. Those are the one that I mention above that show you from a third person's perspective.
Maybe you've never thought about it, but we almost never visualize in 3D. We usually visualize from a person perspective, subjective, as we look through our eyes. I know we can "force" that kind of picture. But remember, we're talking about pictures that aren't willful; they just pop up out of the blue. Many times they interrupt what's going on. I don't know of any time when I've seen myself from a 3D perspective. I mean, I can only guess at what I look like.
Here's the point. The devil can show me two kinds of pictures. He can show me a picture as it would appear when I was looking through my eyes or he can show me that third person angle. But the knowledge that I don't use 3D pictures gives me a better way to detect the devils influence.
You might want to try this on for size. Maybe it will help you overcome those little temptations. The first, and most difficult part, is stopping when some spontaneous picture or movie pops into your head. Don't let it go. Analyze it. Where will it take you?
And once you get on to this, you can expand the idea to include those little "spontaneous" thoughts/sentences that show up without your help. Remember what Sun Tsu said, "Know your enemy."
WRAP: 1-I was really glad when I figured this out. It really gave me a sense of peace. Think about it. What is there to be afraid of? Knowledge drives out fear. Is God ever afraid? Why? Because He knows Everything.
2-If you were going to war and knew the most detailed plans of your enemy, would you be afraid?
3-If you want to talk about these or any other subjects, STAG is a comfortable place to do that. We're at 88 Briceland Rd. in Redway. The number there is 707 923 ALLY (2559). I got a call last month from a man wanting to talk, but I couldn't figure out the number he left on my machine. I tried several different combinations, but struck out. Don't forget the STAG radio archive or the YouTube videos.
5-Knowing God and knowing your Enemy trumps anything that comes against us. The devil is real, but so is God. And God has promised us protection against the Darkness. He just gave you some of that protection.
This is Jack, Bye.
I love mail.