Matthew Deibler was born with a purpose. But it’s not always a straight line to get there and to fulfill that purpose. He was lost for a time but as he began to heal and find his way, he discovered a passion to serve, and he now shares his testimony with the world.
He embodied a new life, full of purpose and meaning. His new book, The Devil and the Children of God at the End of the World, is his story and a powerful testimony. It’s a message of love, patience, and grace from the Father who leaves no child behind.
Drew Appelbaum: Hey listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and I’m excited to be here today with Matthew Deibler, author of The Devil and the Children of God at the End of the World. Matthew, thank you for joining, welcome to The Author Hour podcast.
Matthew Deibler: Thank you for having me Drew, it’s exciting to be here and be at this moment really, it’s been a long time in the works.
Drew Appelbaum: Let’s kick this off. Can you give us a rundown on your background?
Matthew Deibler: Yeah. I grew up in South Eastern Pennsylvania, I went to school at the University of North Carolina. What’s really led me to this point of writing this work is I have dealt with some mental health issues.
So, anxiety, panic disorder, and I also went into a season of agoraphobia. My anxiety was really triggered in my late teenage years and I became aware of it by my early 20s. I had this monster on my back and so, throughout those experiences, I went through seasons of adversity which ultimately led me to this spiritual rebirth. Then that kicked off this movement to begin sharing my story very openly and start sharing God’s victory.
That’s when I began blogging and really developed this passion for writing, and seven years later, the book is materializing. That’s a little bit on my background and hopefully, that gives the listeners an idea as to the motivation behind the story.
Drew Appelbaum: You got into writing, you got into blogging, and was that why now was the time to write the book, or was there other inspiration or other “aha moments” out there?
Matthew Deibler: I believe that the time to write the book actually, I had that nudge back in about 2013. I started blogging at about the midway point of 2011, and then about a year later, I had developed enough blogging content that I thought, I’ve got a story here that is worth a book. So, I started down the path of publishing at that point. I did a complete 32-page manuscript proposal and had a publisher aligned and then I just got completely overwhelmed.
In my nine to five work, I was busy. I had just met the woman who became my wife, and so we were dating, and we were busy exploring the world. I had come out of a season of agoraphobia, so I was just enjoying life as well.
The book project, it just felt like an insurmountable hill for me to climb at that point. So, I decided to put it on hold. Knowing that eventually, I’d like to get back to it. I didn’t know when that would be and of course, life went on. I had children, things got busier and busier, so it really seemed as though this was probably going to be a reach. When was I going to carve out the time in my life now to devote to writing a full manuscript?
In 2020, I lost my full-time work due to COVID-19, as many people did, and I had the opportunity to take some time to myself and really seek out spiritual clarity and direction for my life moving forward.
I had already started to be more active in my content around mental health, but I felt at that moment that I was having that nudge again. I had created some space through, what I call the social media fast. I had stepped away from social media altogether and turned off the TV, turned off the news, and just focused on my spiritual growth, and it was in that moment that God came back into my life in a very powerful way.
Out of that experience, I encountered a very dark presence as well, and it was that encounter that led me back to the book. It was, “Okay, now is the time, we can’t put this off any longer.” I feel like I needed a calling to resurface in order for me to tackle a project of this magnitude and in 2020 that happened. That’s what led me to write.
A New Perspective
Drew Appelbaum: Now, oftentimes, authors have the idea of the book in their head or they have an outline of the book but then, throughout the writing process, things change and sometimes there are major learnings and big breakthroughs. Did you have any of these big learnings or breakthroughs?
Matthew Deibler: Totally, yeah. What’s interesting was, when I did the manuscript proposal back in 2013, I had obviously the complete outline, all the chapter headings done and I was ready to go, I had the framework all established and I had a lot of the content too because I had blogged a lot about most of those topics.
When I looked at the book again in 2020, I thought, it’s going to sound a lot different than it did in 2013 because my life experiences changed over a seven-year period, you know? I’ve got a totally different perspective to share, but I really didn’t know exactly what that outline of the book might be.
When through this kind of spiritual encounter that I had and I had felt moved to write again, I was coming directly out of it and I didn’t want to allow a lot of time to pass, I wanted it to be fresh in my mind and in my heart as I started writing.
I just opened up a blank Word document and I had absolutely no outline and I started writing. I felt like I had to get the story out first. I started telling the story as it was playing out in my mind, and then I began to adapt it over time and started finding clarity and how I would outline the chapters and what the main focus would be. All of that started to come together as I was writing.
It was really pretty beautiful the way that it worked, and all of it came together in about three and a half weeks’ time now, going back through and doing edits, I did shift some things around. I removed about a third of the book and told more of the early story of my life in that section because I feel like it really tied everything together that I was experiencing in 2020.
There were a lot of breakthrough moments that occurred and, I believe it offered a lot of healing and clarity in my life that I needed too. Because I had just come out of a period of great deception.
A lot of the writing was actually revealing to me what I was going through. Because at the time, it was very cloudy and I was just trying to navigate my way through the darkness, but the writing itself just turned on a light into a lot of areas that were previously not exposed. That is where a lot of my healing occurred.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, in your mind, who are you writing this book for? Do you have to be very religious to take something away from this book or can someone who isn’t too religious in their daily life still have takeaways?
Matthew Deibler: Yeah, I think this book is actually for everyone. I think it’s going to hit home with Christians who are seeking a deeper spiritual relationship with their Creator, who want to understand the influence of the enemy, God’s adversary.
I think it also can be very useful for other individuals who are just seeking to maybe get to know God. It doesn’t mean that you’re a church-goer or that you’ve been raised in the faith, that’s not a necessary qualification for somebody to read this book and see a benefit to it.
My mission is to allow everyone to understand just how much they are loved and cared for by their Father in heaven and so I believe that all of us are uniquely and richly created in His perfect intention. My hope is that this book touches both believers and perhaps non-believers and draws people nearer to Jesus Christ.
That’s really my mission. I think it’s important that everyone understands that they have a place in His kingdom and that He can do just amazing miraculous work in your life if you empower Him and give Him the opportunity to do that.
Drew Appelbaum: Let’s dive into the book itself and start from square one, which is the title of the book. What’s the meaning of the title?
Matthew Deibler: The meaning of the title, The Devil and the Children of God at the End of the World. I believe that we are potentially in the end times. Now, what I mean by the end times would be that if you’ve followed scripture at all or if you’ve looked in the book of revelation, we’re talking about the time period that is nearing Christ’s return.
How close we are to that moment, I don’t know. I think there are signs that indicate that we are nearing it but whether that means today, a week from now, a year from now, or a hundred years from now, or a thousand years from now, I don’t know.
God’s watch is a little bit different than ours. The day and the hours of course, unknown. I do believe that we are nearing that point and what I would say is, I believe that the spiritual realm understands the sense of urgency associated with the times that we’re in right now as well.
I would say, the devil is a real threat, in the sense that this is the time period of false prophets and this is a time period of great deception. We can see it playing out in our world today. We can see it playing out in politics and all over the place, right? There are a lot of negative, evil influences and many people are being misled. I think this book and the title is meant to be a little bit of a wakeup call, kind of a clapping of the hands to say, “Hey, this is a time when you need to pay attention and be aware of the potential threats and influences that surround you because the end is coming near, and you want to align yourself with God before it’s too late.”
I don’t mean that to be something scary, but in the sense that you don’t want to be misled at this point in time. You want to be strong in your faith because the deception is going to grow darker and darker as time continues to pass. So, in order to retain hope and clarity and peace in the midst of some very difficult and dark times, you can neutralize that by remaining in the light of God and the assurance of the promises that he offers us.
The children of God, what I mean by that is we’re all children of God, like I said, this book applies to everyone. We were all created in his perfect image. I believe that before the end period arrives, that He would like to secure our place in heaven, each and every one of us.
He wants to call us all home, He doesn’t want to leave any child of his behind. I mean, who would? He’s the father that has offered perfect love and as a father, I think of the love that I have for my children. Imagine that magnified a million times and it still probably couldn’t compare to the love that God has for all of His creations.
I want the book to be a little bit of a wake-up call in the sense that it’s time to come home to your Father, it’s time to align with Him, and prepare because the end may be nearer than we truly think. Be aware of the false prophets, be aware of the threats of evil, be aware of that influence so that you can navigate your way through these dark times and truly ground yourself in the light.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation that you had found God and found your way again, but that means at some point, you had lost it. What would you say to folks who are or were believers but are really having a hard time maintaining that faith?
Is it the same message you just said or is there a different message to them?
Matthew Deibler: I think we all go through different seasons and the Christian journey is one that has these valleys in it. There are times where we can feel a little bit distant from God, and there are times that we grow very near to him, and we can feel his presence every day in our lives.
I would say that He hasn’t left you. If you felt his presence before, His love is so patient and enduring, and I think that that’s really a message that I would want to share with everyone. I did stray, and the Holy Spirit came into my life in 2011 and I began living in a different manner. I felt its presence and I allowed my steps for a short period of time to be guided by it, but I wasn’t really very mature in my faith.
I was easily misled by the temptations of my flesh and my desire to establish my own will for my life. Even though God was pretty clearly outlining the steps for me, I had my own plans and I desired to override his or get him on track with my vision.
In doing so, I led myself down a dark path and that’s when evil in its purest form came into my life. I did have the Spirit with me at that period of time and I knew that it was telling me to turn away, but I disregarded it and I went in my own direction and my own strength, believing that I knew best.
I put God on the back burner, and I suffered the consequences for that in the sense that things didn’t turn out as I was anticipating. I clearly didn’t have the answers and it didn’t go well. After that, I learned a hard lesson and I feel like God will sometimes take us through a season where He, in a sense, disciplines us and I don’t mean that in the way that it’s hurtful. I just mean He allows us to mature. He works in a way that He sharpens and molds us into the believer and the type of person that He intends us to be.
I wanted back into that space where I was really seeing and feeling the Holy Spirit in my life. It took some time. I would say, if you’re in that valley, don’t give up hope and don’t believe that God has left you because what I realized several years later was that he was with me that entire time.
A lot of it was about me maturing and growing into my faith. It was the experiences that I was going through in that season in my life, they were actually getting me ready for this mission that I feel I am called to serve now. Getting me ready to write this book, for example, and share my faith very openly and be someone of positive influence for His kingdom through social media and otherwise.
Without that time in the wilderness where I felt a little bit distant from God, I probably wouldn’t have matured into the man that I am today, and I wouldn’t be as well equipped to speak on behalf of Him and the children that He so deeply cares for if I hadn’t gone through that period of my life.
He hasn’t left, all you need to do is stay the course and try your best to commit your ways to His will, and eventually, He will have a profound voice in your life again.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, you mentioned earlier about the end times and that it’s pretty easy just to look around in the world today to see that there’s a lot going on. You also talk about in the book that you have seen some of it in your dreams. Can you talk about that time that you talk about in the book–specifically about the dream and maybe other dreams that have happened since then or ones that you didn’t mention in the book?
Matthew Deibler: It was actually a vision. The first time that this occurred, it was on 9/11, of all days, and I was in Bethesda, Maryland, so not far outside of Washington DC. I had actually just driven up there that day for a business meeting the following day. I was in bed at the hotel and actually, on the drive up, I was experiencing some anxiety, and it was the kind of anxiety where I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from. You know, it was sort of strange and out of place because I was in a pretty good spot at that point in time in my life. I wasn’t having anxiety on a frequent basis like I had many years prior, so I was questioning what was happening.
Before I went to sleep that night, I was asking God to reveal to me what this meant. Where was this coming from, what was the nature of it, why was I feeling this way? I was deep in prayer before I went to sleep that night and then at 11:45, I woke up, and I sat up in bed and I looked across the room. At the foot of the bed, on the wall near the foot of the bed, there was a wardrobe type of mirror and in that mirror, I witnessed a white horse coming essentially out of the mirror and towards me on the bed.
I froze up like I was in awe of what I was seeing. Then shortly after the white horse disappeared and this face, who I recognized immediately as Jesus Christ, started floating behind it and towards me, and I was so moved by it. Again, I was sitting completely still and what I felt is that the face of Jesus Christ began to approach me and I felt this sense of calm and peace just wash over my body.
That anxiety that I had experienced before, earlier in that day that I’ve been praying about, was just completely gone. It was this level of certainty that I hadn’t felt in quite some time. That happened and then immediately after the vision ended, I reached to the nightstand, and grabbed my phone and I started taking notes about what I had experienced. I was so curious, was there a relationship between Jesus Christ and the white horse?
I didn’t know because at that point in time, I really hadn’t studied the book of Revelation and then I did a quick search on Google. I found the connection about Jesus returning on the white horse, the alpha, and the omega, and I talked about this a little bit in my book. When I saw that, I was just absolutely floored and I thought, “Is this my wake-up call?” You know, is He trying to notify me in some way, shape, or form to prepare because the end is drawing near or to say, “Hey, things might get a little messy here, but I’ll be your comfort in all of that. Don’t have that anxiety, you don’t need to. I’ll wash it away.”
You know, that was 9/11/2016. Obviously, since that time things have gotten a little strange not only in our country but in other parts of the world as well. So, I’m not sure if He was just laying the groundwork for this next phase of my mission that was about to begin, but it was definitely a wild moment.
Since that time, I will say that that is really the primary vision that I’ve had. I don’t believe that I’ve had any other pure visions. I’ve had dreams and I’ve received prophetic words before, one of which I also talk about in my book. While I was on my honeymoon with my wife, I was really kind of in a place where we’re in this beautiful setting and sitting on the beach, and so I was seeking clarity through prayer. I was asking God to talk to me, and he gave me the word water, which I won’t give it away.
I talk about that a little bit in my book too. It took me several years to reveal exactly what he was trying to tell me with that, but in recent months, since kind of my spiritual transformation began, which I would say started to occur about the midway point of 2020, and I’ve had a number of what I believe to be prophetic dreams. One of those was actually my confirmation that this book needed to be written, and that occurred in a short period of time after I had removed myself from the deception of evil.
I stood firm in my faith, I was lying in bed one night, and I couldn’t tell you why, but I had gone to sleep many hours earlier and I woke up about two or 2:30 in the morning. I was having this moment of faith and clarity and I started unpacking a lot of the experiences that I had, and it led me to this point where I thought, “Okay, you know what? I need to tell this story. I have to get this out, it’s important people hear this.”
There was a sense of urgency that kind of came over me in that moment and then I went back to sleep and I had set my alarm for about 5:30 because I was getting up before the sun and going for a run in the morning. When I woke up, that dream wasn’t front of mind but as I started running about an hour or so later, I felt the Holy Spirit wash over me. I got these chills all over my body that ran kind of from my head to my feet and this dream came front of mind.
I felt moved to unpack it and so as I continued to run, I unpacked the details of this dream, and it revealed to me a number of things, which, this story is told in the book as well, so I won’t go into the details, but it really helped me to understand that I was called to fight what I believe to be spiritual warfare and to move other believers and non-believers alike closer to God. I understood that I didn’t have the tickets to give to help individuals’ secure access to God’s kingdom, but I could lead them closer in relationship to Him and ultimately, He could grant that access.
I felt moved to write the book largely as a result of the inspiration that came from that dream and so when I returned home later that day, about 9:30 or so that morning, I sat down with an empty Word document and just started typing. I would go on to say, that since that time, I’ve had a number of other dreams.
Some of them have been very profound in the sense that one of them revealed to me a wedge that potentially existed spiritually in my family. That was a dream that I was having while lying next to my wife in bed. When I began to share the details of that dream with her, she was startled because she said, “Oh my gosh, I just woke up and I was having this similar dream.”
What was remarkable was, is that we were experiencing a similar dream, people in the dream, the setting, they were very similar. The things that were occurring in the dream were somewhat similar, but we were seeing it from two completely different perspectives.
Hers was very much from the natural frame of mind and mine was more spiritual. I was seeing all of the things that were essentially happening behind the scenes that were not visible to her and so I was filling in the blanks for her and saying, “Well, this wasn’t just about this occurrence. It was actually deeper than that. It had more meaning than that and look at all this other stuff that I saw.”
So, we took those two dreams and we compared them and shared them, and weaved them together. We could see where this spiritual void perhaps existed in our family, and it allowed us to really draw nearer to one another. I’ll be honest, the rebirth in my faith has extended outside of me at this point, and it’s been magical to see that unfold because my wife now, being on a similar journey, she’s showing things to me that I don’t necessarily see. She sees them first in many cases, and it’s great to be in community with one another in the faith.
It really strengthens your position against those dark forces of evil that exists around us.
A Redemption Story
Drew Appelbaum: You know, I think many people wish they could communicate with God like you have, seeing a vision, hearing a word in the wind. Why do you think you were chosen and what suggestions would you have, or would you give to folks who are looking to have those similar experiences?
Matthew Deibler: I can’t fully explain why I was chosen. What I can say is, I was on a pretty dark path back in 2011 when I had my wake up call and God intervened in such a way that I could not deny Him. Because what occurred was so outside of what we perceived to be possible in our human mind, I knew it was Him. He probably had this all planned out long before I even existed, right?
I think he created me to be someone who could fearlessly go and share very openly this redemption story. I didn’t know I could do that honestly, that wasn’t really who I was. I really hid my mental health story from everyone for many years until I had this rebirth and faith and I felt God’s nudge to tell me, “Hey, go share this story. Seek forgiveness and share your story,” and when I did, I felt so much power and strength from it, because I knew I wasn’t doing it on my own. I knew He was in it and I took great comfort in that, and so maybe, you know, He decided that He would continue to speak to me because I obediently followed that command. He did for a period of time, and then like I told you earlier, I was led astray, and things went pretty quiet for a while.
I yearned to hear God’s voice again, and like many others who haven’t perhaps heard it yet, I was really begging to hear and communicate with him once more, and it just didn’t come. That was that season in the wilderness where I was being molded into the person that He intended me to be.
I knew what it was like to have it and lose it and that really was a very empty time in my life as I was seeking but not hearing in the fashion that I had initially. I think a lot of times what we need to do is empower the Holy Spirit. When we do, when we truly believe on that level, that the Holy Spirit will speak to us, the Holy Spirit will guide us, that God’s will is a very real thing that it does exist and when we feel the nudge, we act on it.
You know, we go boldly in that direction. Whether or not it makes sense to our natural mind, it doesn’t matter, you know? We just step forward in faith. When we start living in that fashion, I think He gives us more, and I won’t say that it’s like a reward. I think it’s more that that personal relationship is growing because your trust is more firmly established and so you’re seeking Him and trusting that He will speak.
You know, I think a lot of people have a wall established because it’s really hard for most to wrap their minds around, “Okay, yeah the Holy Spirit is a real thing and it’s actually going to direct my steps. I’m actually going to feel its nudge. I’m going to feel its presence. I am going to be led in a certain direction. I might hear a voice, I might have a vision or a dream.”
I think a lot of people, and this would have been me as well, before it started occurring would say, “That sounds crazy.” But the reality is, it’s available to us. I think when you empower it and you believe wholeheartedly that it exists, and you give your trust to it, then it starts to communicate more loudly. Then what was once just a very faint whisper becomes a much more profound voice in your life.
I think part of that too is, in order to hear that whisper, because that’s how it starts initially, you’ve got to turn off a lot of the other noise. Turn off the noise that infiltrates your mind and steers you away from God. You’ve got to put yourself in a position where you can truly seek that clarity and be still. When you do that, you give him the space to set up his residence in your heart and take action in your life.
If you’re feeling like you want it, and I think everybody should because it’s, oh my gosh, it’s so deeply transformational and beautiful, then intentionally create space for it and believe that if you invite Him into your life that He will take action.
Drew Appelbaum: Well Matthew, I just want to commend you for writing this book, which I think is going to help so many people with their faith and we just touched on it a little bit but it’s really strong. You have to be a strong person to go in and tell your story, so congratulations. Now, this is a hot seat question but if readers could take away only one thing from the book, what would you want it to be?
Matthew Deibler: The victory is secure and you’re loved. I guess that’s two things, but the love covers it all. There are dark and evil influences around us. There is potentially an end time that is nearing. There is deception, there are false prophets. There are, quite honestly, there are religions that are meant to lead you away from the perfect relationship that you are intended to have with your Creator. There are a lot of ways that you can be misled, but God’s perfect love conquers all of this.
In the end, you don’t have to be fearful because His victory is secured. You are chosen, you were given life by Him with perfect intention, and He loves you beyond your ability to comprehend. It’s a love that we cannot begin to fathom in our own minds, and so He wants you to have security and peace in the midst of these dark times. He wants you to draw near to Him and I think we all have the opportunity to do that. There’s no better time than now to seek Him because it’s a time when individually we need it, as a nation we need it, as a world we need it but you can rest in the peace of His victory because it’s there and His love is going to overcome anything dark and evil in this world. That’s guaranteed, the victory is already secured.
Drew Appelbaum: This has been a pleasure and I am really excited for people to check out this book. Everyone, the book is called, The Devil and the Children of God at the End of the World, and you can find it on Amazon. Matthew, besides checking out the book, where can people connect with you?
Matthew Deibler: Sure, you can connect with me through social media. I would say the first place to go if you want to learn a little bit more about my mission would be lamponthestand.com. I am also the founder of the Lamp on the Stand Motivational Ministry, which is another movement that came out of 2020. I established that shortly after I wrote the book as a place for me to house my content and spread my message.
If you look at lamponthestand.com, you’ll find a number of different articles that I’ve written.
You’ll find access to some different videos that I’ve done and there’s an opportunity for you there to connect with me through email. I am very visible on Facebook and on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, you can reach me through my personal page, Matthew Deibler, and then beyond that, we do have a business page established now for the Lamp on the Stand Motivational Ministry. That one, not a lot of content there yet, that is fairly new, but on Facebook, there is a Lamp on the Stand Motivational Ministry business page as well. We’ve got a number of followers and we share not only the content that I do but I also do nightly scripture.
So, if you are looking to just start dabbling and start seeking God through the Word, it is a good place to, every night, you can check in and I’ll be posting that scripture and it’s a great way for you to start consuming the truth and if that leads you deeper into the relationship with Him then that’s great.
Drew Appelbaum: Awesome. Thank you so much, Matthew and I appreciate you coming on the show, and best of luck with your new book.
Matthew Deibler: Thank you so much, I appreciate the opportunity.