The important teaching for the church today is spiritual warfare, not something new, but because the time within times now calls for discernment. Prophets have warned, Gods Word the Bible proclaims, clearly the signs of the times are nigh. So many Christian, even among the mature, in error were taught that innocents can be as ignorance, not so as Christ warned even among the chosen we need be as wise as the serpent. Certainly it is not only about the world Christ gave special warning, but concerned false prophet, teacher, and antichrists's found within the church.
In the not distant future, the acts of man and the acts of nature will culminate, and from this a greatly increased spiritual war shall begin. In this rebellious generation God will send a great delusion, but before this the angels of darkness and his faithful shall prepare the way. In this generation wickedness will greatly increase, and only those among the chosen who have prepared will survive the onslaught of nature and evil, as in Matt 24:9-13 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved..." If you have not found a body of the true church whose appointed leaders will prepare and mature you, then leave immediately and find such a body.
I wish to expand our understanding of the commands Christ has given us, the commands to be fulfilled within each of our own lifetimes. We are commanded not only to be His witnesses in this world, to disciple the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are called to fight a spiritual war within ourselves between flesh and spirit, a spiritual war against Rulers, Authorities, and Powers on this 'dark earth' being the church or synagogue of Satan, in a war within our world for those still lost slaves to the sins of the flesh.
It is necessary we learn not to fall victim in ignorance concerning our war and enemy we fight, the war we fight is spiritual for our soul, this spiritual war will be fought upon this earth faithful to either Satan or our Lord Christ Jesus. Within this war is good and evil, those serving Satan will certainly want to appear as saints, the false prophet and teacher are such we were warned to be aware. The verse often misunderstood or taught in error is Eph 6:11-13 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Here we are told our war involves rulers (of flesh and blood) of this dark world, and involves authorities in the heavenly realm's (Satan and Christ). This should open eye's concerning the wolf in sheep's clothing, for much of the evil done in Satan's name is done by his servants.
Our spiritual war is restricted not only to ourselves, nor are the works God has predestined only as witness with words. If the works of new spiritual man were only to be found in heaven, our service upon this earth would indeed be limited. Christ began teaching the twelve of this work in Luke 9:1-2 "When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." Christ has now formed this church on earth, giving us power and authority, instructing us that we will do all He has done and more. I believe the apostles of today will be appointed and found in the churches of today, for in the body of the church exist all parts needed to do the works He has commanded. So I wish to expand our understanding beyond even the mature Christian, to that of the body of believers which is the Church, and in which exists all parts needed to complete Gods work here on earth.
Jesus taught often by example how His disciples were to serve the needs on earth, as in Matt 17:14-16 "When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. Lord, have mercy on my son, he said. He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him." Jesus did the same in Mark 7:24-26 "In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter." Even within the synagogue was a man as described in Luke 4:33 "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit." But of course there are even more important needs than these that will need our service. Christ healed the sick, the lame, the blind, and He fed the multitude. Christ taught of the Kingdom coming, the Kingdom that is now here within His saints. In all of these we are to be more than an inactive witness.
Our witness is often seen as limited, but we as the church are to be more than hearer's of the Word, we are to be doer's of the Word. The evidence will be our obedience, as described in Matt 25:37-40, "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Nor should you misunderstand where our spiritual war is fought, this war is fought both upon the visible world, and within the invisible or spiritual world, as told in Col 1:16 "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities..."
Christ warns us not to remain babes in the Lord, forever requiring spiritual milk, for we would then never mature or enter the body of gifts for the works provided and predestined by our Lord. The Bible commands that we become mature in the Lord, knowing the full power and authority of our ministry. We are forewarned that the harvest is great, and the workers are few. We are told to become as wise as the serpent, but as innocent as doves. Notice that this last verse is not telling us again to have the Lords wisdom, as was often instructed in many other places in the Bible, no here we are being warned to be wise as the serpent. This is not teaching we be as evil as Satan or his dark angels, but that we must know the enemy who will be against us in spiritual war.
We are forewarned and encouraged in Luke 10:18-20 "He replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." We should be all the more obedient to the needs that will come as in 1 Tim 4:1-3 "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron,"
also in Rev 18:2-3 "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
Find a church that will mature you, do not remain a babe, for some teach perpetual salvation and do little else. Here is the command with the promise that Christ gives us, 1 Cor 12:27-31 "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts."
Remember the warning, that even the elect will be led astray, if it is possible. So do not stop until you have found the church Christ described above. Do not become yoked to the powers of this world, for you can only serve one master. Instead this is how the Lord instructs we prepare for war, Eph 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
Remember also the prayer our Lord gave us in Matt 6:9-13 "This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Do not be led astray by teachings of strange Pharisee, saying the Kingdom of God is now upon this world, no, it is within His saints.
To the elect Christ said, Eph 5:8-14 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
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