BEETLES IN THE CHURCH
BY: TROY NICHOLS
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
1 Cor 15:46
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Principle: What you see in the natural precedes what you will later see in the spirit realm.
Article from Lexington Soil and Water Conservation District News:
- Lexington, Saluda, Greenwood, and Edgewood counties are predicted to experience a severe Southern Pine Beetle outbreak (attack) this year.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
- They are more sensible, and anxious about their particular business. They show more skill, study more plans, and think out more ways to provide for themselves, than the children of light do to promote the interests of the Kingdom of God.
- A good example is Y-2K. Simply being, while many children of light were panicking and storing up water and food supplies, the children of this generation were about their business making sure what they were hearing was going to happen, would not happen!
With that said, let us refer back to the article, “Lexington, Saluda, Greenwood, and Edgewood counties are predicted to experience a severe Southern Pine Beetle outbreak (attack) this year.
- To predict something simply means to make something known in advance on the basis of special knowledge. While the children of this generation are preparing us of an attack on our pine trees, many children of light are not being prepared and equipped for the spiritual attacks on themselves, being trees of righteousness.
The Southern Pine Beetle is the most destructive insect of pines in the Southeastern United States.
- This particular beetle seems to prefer loblolly pines, but other pines are not immune. Even so it is with the devil and his host, he prefers believers, but unbelievers are not immune from him.
- The mass attack process of the southern pine beetle is initiated by adult unmated females, which bore into the tree and release pheromones (a chemical secreted by an insect, that influences behavior and development) that in combination with volatiles (easy to arouse –explosive – tending to erupt into violence) from the damaged tree ATTRACT large numbers of beetles. These beetles usually bring together more than enough beetles to kill the pine, and excess beetles spread to nearby trees.
- Soon after adult beetles have overcome a tree, they stop producing attractant. I think it interesting to point out that it is an adult causing the problem and not a child. In fact, it was an unmated adult female. Instead of reproducing, it destroyed. Even so today, when our soul acts independent of the Lord, we will bring death to others and not life.
- The female speaks in principle of the soul (fleshly desires) in the scriptures. Beware therefore of those (spiritual beetles) walking in the soulish realm for they will influence both your behavior and spiritual development and you will find yourself suddenly exploding on those around you instead of manifesting the nature of Christ.
- Principle: Bad behavior, immaturity and anger in an individual will attract many devils.
- If a sufficient number of beetles respond they overwhelm (to affect deeply in mind and emotions) the defenses (the resin system) of the host tree, and then attack is switched to neighboring trees.
- One English rendering of host is one who receives guests or entertains guests in an official capacity. The host in this sense speaks in principle of a leader. The enemy therefore sets out to attack the leader first and then the followers will be easier to overcome.
- Active fronts (position of leadership) of trees under attack often form in larger infestations (enough to be harmful or threatening), and if untreated (not dealt with) they can expand to cover (influence) thousands of acres. The principle being, if those walking in the soulish realm are not dealt with, they will affect thousands in the body of Christ as well as those in the world. For, a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal 5:9). Leaven causes the dough to rise. Have you ever wondered why a problem suddenly arose in your life, homes, workplace or church? Perhaps there was some hidden leaven secretly at work that you were not aware of.
- An ample supply of resin flow from the pine can prevent successful attack. In effect, the beetles drown in the resin as they bore into the inner bark or must abandon the tree. Ps 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
- The number of attacking beetles, the characteristics of the tree, and the weather (state of the atmosphere or surrounding) affect a tree’s ability to produce enough resin to resist attack. But if a large number of beetles attack a tree, the beetles can successfully overcome the tree’s ability to pitch them out.
- The principle here being, your character and surrounding in your circumstance will play a great role in you overcoming. For example, if you come under attack and you lose your cool, and those around you lose their cool, you are all apt to be overcome by the beetles.
- Besides having pitch tubes (similar to popcorn), successfully infested trees will have dry boring dust, similar to fine sawdust, in bark crevices (crack, division, separation) and around the base of the tree. The bark is the covering of the tree. Dust is a type of the flesh in the scriptures and the devil feeds on dust as can be seen in Gen 3:14. The signs that a believer has been attacked by a beetle (spiritually speaking) is division and separation and this because dust is around the base (feet, walk, foundation) of their tree. Simply being, they are walking after the flesh.
- Sometimes, however, infested trees can have boring dust, but not pitch tubes. These trees, called blind attacks, are common during drought years when severely stressed trees produce little resin. You may not readily recognize that this person is under attack just by looking at them. However, a believer that is going through a drought will produce little life and thus will be easily overcome.
- Outbreaks or attacks of the southern pine beetle occur at regular intervals of 7-10 years in some locations. I am reminded here of 1 Chr 12:32 which reads, “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.” There are leaders in the land today that are not ignorant of satans devices (2 Cor. 2:11). They recognize his patterns and are ready and equipped for what comes their way and have thus equipped their followers.
- The southern pine beetle usually attacks first at 20-30 above the ground and works its way down. One writer said that there were no knots in the bottom part of the pine. This lets us see in principle two things. One the enemy starts to attack the high places (leadership). Second, he wants to attack us in those areas that we have overcome (no knots) lest someone else be converted at what they see in our lives.
- The southern pine beetle also introduces blue-stain fungi into the tree, which lives in vascular tissue of the tree and thereby interrupts the flow of water to the crown of the tree. The crown speaks in principle of leadership (being in a high place). Know therefore that the beetle wants to attack the leader thereby interrupting the flow of water to the followers.
- Once a tree is infected with the beetle, the tree cannot survive. Typically, infestations of beetles kill groups of trees. The devil is not only after individuals, he is after whole assemblies.
- Trees under stress (pressure, tension, burdens) and thus are weak are usually the primary targets of the southern pine beetle. Deut 25:17-18 gives us a beautiful picture of a spiritual beetle, “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.”
- However, when the beetle population is high, they will even move on to healthy trees and attempt to destroy them. Peter was a healthy tree of righteousness. He received a revelation of Christ. He walked on the water. But, Luke 22:31 says, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan (beetle) hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” Simply being, the devil wanted to destroy Peter.
- The beetle in process of time girdles the tree and thus eventually brings death to it. Beware of those in whom you enter into relationship with for they just may be beetles sent by the enemy to encircle and entrap you, thus rendering you an ineffective vessel in the Kingdom of God.
- Exit hoses appear and mark where beetles have left the tree. They are round holes about the size of a pencil lead. Many there are in the church that have been hurt and taken advantage of, and then left full of holes.
- One English rendering of hole is an isolated place. Many there are in the church at large that is isolated (set apart from others). They have been pierced so many times that they refuse to come out of their hole in fear of being hurt again. I have a word for those of you in such a place. Ps 68:6 says, “God setteth the solitary (lonely) in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”
- After maturing in the bark, new adult beetles bore their way out and fly off to attack another pine. A tree is termed “inactive” when no southern pine beetle of any stage can be found in it. After the devil destroys your life, ministry, relationship, etc, he will leave you to yourself in a heap of ashes. However, I have a word even for those that may find themselves in a heap of ashes. Isa 61:1-3 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
- Foresters say that good forest management (supervision, control, guidance) is a key to resisting a southern beetle attack.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- If we humble ourselves and allow the Lord to manage and control our lives, he will drive away the beetles from our trees.
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BEETLES IN THE CHURCH [Troy Nichols] 1