“The enemy is attempting to destroy relationships during these closing times. That is because I am building strong, powerful, holy alliances to accomplish My work. This could be a confusing time for most of you, if you do not seek Me with all your heart. At present, most of you are familiar with the throw-away relationships that have permeated My church and hindered My work. You are used to those who walk away from you when you have failed, or when you do not live up to the prevailing standard of a particular body of believers. You have become accustomed to gossip, back stabbing, and false judgments against your character, if you choose to follow Me with all of your heart.
"The confusion may come in when I am giving you the opportunity to separate yourself from long-time friendships, because they are not able to be trusted. I will do this by exposing their true character to you. You will see who they really are, and how much they can be trusted.
"In the coming times, you will need to know whom you can trust. You will need advocate friendships, those who will consider your interests before their own. That is the character of Jesus. It should be your standard, one to another. Your life will depend on it. In most cases, friendships that you have established over the years will turn on you to save themselves. They will drop years of investment on your part to save their fickle reputations, or so they do not have to face their sin when I am convicting them. Do not overlook their actions or dismiss their inability to be the kind of friend that you will need soon.
"Yes, you must love them, forgive them when they offend you, and seek reconciliation when they do harm to you; but do not be foolish enough to think that they can be trusted the next time their trust is needed. Only after they have submitted to My hand of healing should they regain your trust. To do so before they are healed could plague you with distractions, confusion, and time-consuming rhetoric. Be wise in My counsel. Be careful in your friendships. If your heart is honest toward My Word, I will separate you from those who do not have the same heart; and find holy alliances for you that will replace them.”
Acts 15:36-40 AMP
36) And after some time Paul said to Barnabas, Come, let us go back and again visit and help and minister to the brethren in every town where we made known the message of the Lord, and see how they are getting along.
37) Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark [his near relative].
38) But Paul did not think it best to have along with them the one who had quit and deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone on with them to the work.
39) And there followed a sharp disagreement between them, so that they separated from each other, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.
40) But Paul selected Silas and set out, being commended by the brethren to the grace (the favor and mercy) of the Lord.
Rev. 3:19 AMP
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].
This issue of relationships seems to keep coming up as the Lord grows us up, and as the times require integrity one to another. So many of us are so short-sighted about this issue that the Lord has to break us from our comfort area and teach us His standards, so that we will be able to accomplish His work.
God is building an army of believers who have been trained to walk in the integrity of Jesus before a world that needs to see His character in action. He is aligning those of like mind and like heart to implement His plans.
We need to face these facts. There are some people within the body of Christ who cannot be trusted. They simply do not have the ability to be a true friend. It may be brokenness, immaturity, or simple rebellion from the teachings of the Word. The fact remains, they do not have the ability to remain focused and faithful when they are needed. To rely on them would be foolish.
Over the years, Merry and I have waded through and observed a quagmire of fickle friendships, broken promises, false interpretations, and downright lies among so-called Christians. We have spent countless hours in prayer waiting for the Lord to bring forth His truth from the immature, controlling spirits that have side-tracked the work of the Lord, attempting to implement their own agendas.
We have seen good, honest hearts hamstrung by false friendships. We have observed hundreds of hours wasted because of the need to detangle webs of self-consuming relationships and warring Christians who once were friends. Often things have appeared so foolish, we thought it impossible to be happening among those who claim to love Jesus. The time has exhausted us. The Lord has shown us that this is His church at present. It is wasting His time and their energy warring one with another, confused and distracted, unable to address the needs of bringing others to Jesus.
I am convinced that our Father has had enough. I believe that He is about to set aside those who choose their own agenda over His and bring like-minded allies forward. From the hidden prayer closets, refiner’s fires, and the quiet retreats will come honest hearts ready to serve as Jesus served. He will bring advocate friends together who have been repelled by the bad representation of their Savior and have no time and no desire to be hamstrung by dishonest associations. He will join together those who have learned absolute obedience to Him and are godly friends one to another. All others who continue to play their selfish games will be nullified concerning the work of the Lord.
Wanting an honest heart,