Search
Book Reviews
The Day of the Lord
Prophecy
Copyright Law
Contributions
What Does It Mean To Be Saved
Topical

The Highest Calling of the Church - Faith Part 8
Dr. Allen M. Barber
March 16, 2008

The Law of Inevitable Warfare

What many believers do not understand, particularly those in the mainline denominations that stress religious works over faith, that once a lost sinner is born-again by the Spirit of God and becomes part of the body of Christ, the true Church, a spiritual battle begins that does not end until the believer goes home to be with the Lord or the Lord returns. Likewise many in the Charismatic Movement that are caught-up in the heretical prosperity movement think the Christian life is supposed to one of comfort and continual bliss. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The New Testament letters and the book of Acts gives us proof - positive that the early Church was severely persecuted by the world. Paul said that the godly will suffer persecution.

Around the globe many believers are being persecuted - put in prison, tortured, starved, and even put to death. In the United States we are beginning to see the first stages of persecution (the mild form), but more severe persecution is coming when the New World Order adepts take over and they will. It is going to cost something to be a genuine Christian in the United States for the laws of this nation are moving away from Christianity and favoring the secularists.

Christians suffer because we are a threat to Satan. Why did Jesus pray that Peter's faith not fail in Luke 22:32?

Luke 22:31-34 ESV

31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." 33 Peter said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death." 34 Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me."

The Lord knew the key issue was Peter's faith, that is, Satan would try to destroy Peter by attacking his faith. Countless believers attend church services every week who look real good on the outside - prosperous, attractive, successful by the world's standards, etc. but who are defeated who it comes to doing spiritual warfare with the enemy. About all the persecution believers in America suffer is indifference from unbelievers and even that is mild by the fact most believers blend and do not stand out on the key issues of faith. We are seeing this in the presidential campaign as one of the candidates wears the name Christian on his lips, but attacks the veracity of Holy Writ when he should be giving strong testimony against abortion and homosexuality.

Make no mistake about it, Satan will challenge front-line Christians who dare take a stand for the truth and force them to choose either for the truth or the lie. He is counting on believers choosing the easy path of least resistance (the path the flesh always takes) and side with him against the Lord. Each time a believer sides with the devil and the world it is an insult to the Lord and to the Spirit of grace. They may get by with it now, but they will have to give an account for their actions at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

In Matthew 13:58, the Lord said He could do no mighty works because of man's lack of faith:

Matthew 13:53-58 ESV

53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household." 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

I know this passage is true because I have lived it. When the Lord began to manifest the prophet's gift and office in my life, the first people to attack me were those of my own kin. They thought I was being super-spiritual and pious. The Lord took me from the comfortable life of the denominations where I had pastored for ten years (I am not saying I was not persecuted then for I was when I stood for bold truth, but I had very little revelation knowledge) and placed me in a spiritual wilderness for ten years (1991-2001) so He could undo all the wrong doctrine I had ingested as a denominational elder or pastor. Frankly, I had a lot of theological junk that was hurting not only me but the churches I was pastoring. Why do you think Gold placed Moses on the backside of the desert for forty years?  It was so he could purge Moses of all the mystery religions he had learned in Pharaoh's House as well as prepare him to deliver the children of Israel and to receive God's law.

Now understand what I am about to say; Satan wants all of God's ministers to be religious, even very religious, so he sends them to godless seminaries that do not teach the truths of Scripture and they come out of those institutions all dressed up in religious robes with titles in front of their name but having "zero" revelation (there is nothing wrong in pursuing a theological education if the spiritual environment is concerned with teaching the truths of Sola Scriptura; in fact, most of the weird teachings inundating the Church today come via untrained ministers who have no understanding of the original languages and no concept of systematic theology; the Bible is not written in chronological order and many of the doctrines have to be studied systematically to be clearly understood). I grew up in Baptist churches whose ministers were untrained in theology (don't get me wrong, for theology to impact believers with the truth, it must be by Holy Spirit revelation and it is rare for the seminaries to teach such) and looking back, their messages were very shallow evangelistic sermons delivered with strong convictions and emotions, but left me empty and ignorant of how to live by faith. 

How many believers, including pastors would realize this is all part of spiritual warfare - keeping the saints all dressed up in religion, but weak in genuine biblical faith? I dare say very few! The reason Jesus could not do the mighty works of God in His hometown was a lack of faith among his friends and family. They only saw Him as the child of Mary and the carpenters son. They did not recognize His deity as the Son of God. Reading through the gospels and having studied many commentaries on the gospels, one thing is clear, the Pharisees and Scribes had perpetrated a lie among the Jews that Jesus was the bastard son of Mary and Joseph, that is, He was born out of wedlock. This story was told and retold throughout the land of Judea.  In fact, Jesus grew up with that legacy. By the time He entered into His short three and one-half years ministry, His own kindred and town folk thought He was the natural son of Joseph and Mary. Because of their lack of faith in Him, He could not work the mighty works of God in Nazareth, His home town. Capernaum would later become the headquarters for His ministry.

As long as I was a Baptist pastor and teaching Baptist doctrine, no one had a problem with that, but when the Lord re-commissioned me in 1992 as He did Jeremiah (See Jeremiah 15:19-21) to the office of prophet and I began to operate in that realm, my own kin and many of my so-called friends abandoned me. It used to bother me that so many of my former friends ended our friendship. Prophets see things as black and white, seldom gray, for that is the way of the Lord. People want everything to be gray, that is, they prefer to compromise truth, but the moment one does that, it ceases to be the truth. Truth is truth and a lie is a lie. I have gotten into much trouble with the Church and some of my kinfolk for speaking the plain truth. Read the Old Testament prophets and note the many instances when the  people told the prophets to stop prophesying negative things and to go and preach somewhere else. One example is as follows:

Isaiah 30:10-11 NLT

10 They tell the prophets, "Shut up! We don't want any more of your reports." They say, "Don't tell us the truth. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies. 11 Forget all this gloom. We have heard more than enough about your 'Holy One of Israel.' We are tired of listening to what he has to say."

Nothing has changed, for the majority of the Church does not want to hear the posttribulational message that the Church will endure the days of tribulation, that is, the pretrib rapture is a hoax and not the truth. By teaching doctrines of demons to the Church - that it is going to escape all the bad stuff via the pretrib rapture, Satan has weakened the faith of the saints to wait patiently for the Lord, even if that means persecution and martyrdom. When the  Church wakes-up and realizes the tribulation has come upon the world and we are still here, many church goers are going to drop out like flies and join the Satanic New World Order, for that will appear easier than suffering as a Christian.

Satan's battle for the soul of man is to destroy him in hell and his attack upon the Church is to weaken our faith. Ephesians 6:10-20 is about putting on the full armor of God in order to do spiritual battle with the enemy, and notice in Verse 16 Satan's fiery darts are directed at our faith. If Satan can succeed in destroying the faith of the saints, he has won a major victory and the Church has suffered great loss. When the Lord said in Matthew 16:18 that the "gates of hell" would not destroy His Church, that does not imply that Christians or the Church cannot be defeated and weakened, rather the implication is that Satan will not succeed in gaining total victory over the Church. There will always be the overcomers in the body of Christ who resist Satan and who stand against the tide of hypocritical lies.

May I say in closing, when the Lord told His hometown folk that He could do no mighty works among them, that does not mean the Lord cannot work where there is unbelief. Manley Beasley says, "It means the Lord chooses to limit His work according to our faith." God is sovereign and can do whatever He pleases, but He has given His people faith to believe Him, and therefore He chooses to work by faith (Hebrew 11:6). God never let's the Church off the hook in being responsible to exercise and live by faith 24/7. Satan knows this (Satan is an intelligent spiritual being that operates in the supernatural realm and in that sense can easily manipulate man) and will do everything within his power to cause the saints to doubt. Because of this, the Church must always be on the alert to recognize the certain battle we endure as believers everyday against the wiles of the devil lest we lose our faith:

Luke 18:7-8 ESV

7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Are you engaged in spiritual warfare and is your faith strong in defeating the wiles of the devil or has he weakened your faith through doubt and unbelief?

Ephesians 6:10-11 NKJV

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

May God bless you all.

(Note: some excerpts in this article were taken from Faith Workbook, No. 2, the Law of Inevitable Warfare by Manley Beasley who is now in heaven with the Lord).