The Bible is inexhaustible with all its wealth of deep and meaningful truths. Our gracious Lord desires a relationship with us. He has made us for his pleasure. Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
His Love for us is far beyond our comprehension. Psalms 18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. It is all too important to have a meaningful and wonderful relationship with our precious Saviour. The relationship between God and man was mended and available from the cross of Calvary. In other words, He bridged the gap.
Having said that, we are also told that Christians are to love one another, to hold each other up in prayer, edify and nurture. (John 13:34, Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.)
The trouble starts when the Christian neighbour is like ‘Attila the Hun’ with an ‘attitude’ to match.
This article will try to point out the enemies who plot the downfall of the Christian, the Bible characters who are our examples, and the way back to God by recognising ourselves for what we are, fleshy sinners saved by the grace of God.
Wounded in the house of my friends.
Paul tells us that there is nothing unclean of itself (Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.) Being a Christian is not some kind of prison sentence, we are at liberty to do everything to serve our fellow Christians but not for the occasion of the flesh ( Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.) The problem with the way of sinful man is that MAN looks out for number ONE, himself! Man's best friend is not his dog but his own rotten selfish flesh. Some men are worse than women with all this pampering of the flesh with cosmetics and health clubs and cannot comprehend that they are only 'worm meat'. The works of the flesh then pamper the soul and spirit and tells it that everything looks good and feels wonderful and the spirit sighs the relief of contentment even though it is a false fulfilment ( that is why the Charismatic church does such good trade). These fleshy friends will betray you, and if you rely on any of these works (friends) to take you to heaven then it will be unto "death" ( Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.)
The spiritual application for the Christian soldier in Zechariah 13:6 …. Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. - is the friends that he associates within his own house, that is his body (1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?) Are your friends the coolest and wittiest and most popular of the "in crowd" or are they the most godly? In a deeper sense, these friends that you hold dear to your heart, are they pride, greed, deceitfulness, envy, lust, variance, emulations, or are they humbleness, concern, love, joy, goodness, temperance? yes I'm talking about what works of the flesh are your friends? Zechariah 13:6 …. Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Whom do you count as your friends? Are they those that associate with the works of the flesh, the heretics, the wrathful, those that cause strife, etc. Beware these friends will cause you injury and hurt. Association with the like will rub off on you. The Bible declares, 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
In Scotland there is a saying “ if ye flee wi’ the craws, ye’ll get shot doon wi’ them”. ( If you fly with the crows, you will get shot down with them)
These fleshy ‘friends’ (works) also lurk in the believers nature, screaming to get out. A poke and prod from the Devil and out they come, and more likely than not to injure the believers themselves.
Dear Christian, are the wounds that you carry made by the sufferings of Christ? or are they from the sufferings of self indulgence in the flesh?
Now be honest with yourself, which of the friends have you resisted and which have you given way to? ( Gal 5:22-23 or Gal 5:19-21)?
The light that is shed abroad in our hearts must magnify our Lord and NOT ‘self’. As John the Baptist said ( John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.)
The Christians attitude should be that of David ( Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.)
Christians know when they grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We are warned in scripture about the “old man” in us and what we have to do to overcome him. (Rom 6:6-19) (Eph 4:22-30) (Col 3:8-17) The Christian soldier must put on the full armour of God (Eph 6:11) daily because we are in a spiritual battle field, the war zone will be until the Lord Jesus comes back for us. (Eph 6:11-12). The Christian must be strong (2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.)
Our ensample is that of Paul, and he said we are to be like soldiers, then being a soldier for Christ can be likened to any other soldier in the world. A soldier is to be trained for combat in the deadliest war zones of the world where he is most likely to get hurt and wounded. He must be fully prepared for the battle, also he must have assurance that he is in the will of God, and if his walk is not right, that assurance is shot through and the Devil has a chink in the armour to attack.
The soldier has three enemies which plot the downfall of the Christian and they are the flesh, the world, and the Devil. These three can cause physical, mental and emotional injuries to the saint that affects the Body, Soul, and Spirit.
Background Report of Man
The LORD wants a relationship with mankind and in particular the ones who come to Him of their own freewill. Man separates himself from God and forsakes the relationship because of his guilty conscience over his 'friends.' Throughout history man has shown a total disregard for God and His ways. Man wants to replace God with a self evolved ideal, where there are no absolutes, in other words no direct right and wrong, and only opinion and circumstance will prevail.Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Modern man tends to think of himself as advanced but in reality it is just the same old things rehashed, the same sins that God saw mankind doing in Genesis are the same sins mankind are doing in the year of our Lord 2007. Man thinks of himself as the measure of all things wonderful in the universe. In fact man has always thought he was the measure in which God should look up to, and like always God has had to bring him down a peg or two. ( Gen 11:4-9)
Likewise before the Lord’s first coming the people were lost in their own self belief. (Luke 18:11) They hadn’t heard anything new for 400 years. (Malachi – John the Baptist) God’s chosen people were at the Devils disposal, vulnerable as they were; they would follow any new fad that was thought up. (Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.) Stephen also rebuked the Sanhedrin of their pride because they rejected the Greatest Prophet just as their fathers rejected the prophets before him. ( Acts 7:51)
Our Lord looked over Jerusalem and wept. (Luke 19:41) The Lord Jesus despaired with his people and their attitudes toward God. They were His people but their hearts were far from Him. Their attitudes STANK! They were being choked by the minute letter of the law (Matt 23:4- 39) and no longer loved the Author of the Law. The excuses of man were so abundant and frequent that when the Saviour came they were so blinded and riddled with self pity that they couldn’t get out of their own way to do what was right. (Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.) Remember this is the same multitude that witnessed all the miracles of God, and these people followed the lead of a few Christ rejecters, even after all that they had seen and heard, they rejected Him too. The Jewish forefathers did the same thing in the wilderness, other than waiting for Moses coming back down the mount, they persuaded Aaron to make a golden calf to worship. Do you think they knew that they were doing wrong? What do you do when the world pokes your flesh? Are you a Moses or an Aaron?
Unfortunately, the people of today are exactly the same as Aaron ( that is, going with the flow for an easy life). They may have wealth (Re 3:17) but their inside is as torn up as the Pharisitical Jews were. (Matthew 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.) The Pharisees were remote in their mannerism, they were aloof, the elite. The common people were only there to be ruled over by the masters. ( the Pharisees only just tolerated the Romans as leaders because of the army, but deep down they still retained an air of supremacy, they could push the governor Pilate buttons when they wanted.) John 18:28-33 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?) The conversation between Pilate the Roman governor the highest authority in Judea at that time and the conquered Jewish Pharisees is quite an eye opener. Pilate does all the running about very early in the morning and goes outside to the inquest that he didn't want in the first place. Pilate asks a legitimate question, then the Jews gave a dismissive answer. ( Ad libbing here) *The Pharisees answer -Listen pal, we've already condemned him at the big court case this morning when you were still in your bed, and he is a criminal, just you rubber stamp the lethal injection so we can all go home, and if things go belly up, its down to you Pilate, because we are not rough necks like you, we are the elite. ( Luke 18:11) Besides it's against the law, so run along and do as your told.*
Pilate was scared of upsetting the Pharisees, because he had it in his power to release innocent Jesus, but he never.
The Pharisees didn't have a problem about giving authority to Saul to do killing of Christians. So the only thing that wasn't lawful for the Pharisees to do was put an innocent man to death, especially one that is the Son of God. These elite Jews didn't want anyone to upset the apple cart, they were still in control of Jerusalem and the Romans sorted out the undesirables, a perfect scenario for them. The Pharisees wanted a clear conscience, so, like lawyers they looked for loop holes in the law to get away with things ( for example they wanted Pilate to do the dirty deed of killing the Lord Jesus and they would take a step back). The Pharisees were the leaders who read the law and made the common people abide by the law, they stayed in the grey areas, but for the common people it was either black or white. ( Read the conversations regarding the Sabbath between Jesus and the Pharisees - it's God's love against the letter of the law, it's also about what's righteous against what's legal) The Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in the Sabbath debate with the word of God, He spoke with Authority, the Pharisees were succumbed by the higher Authority, which is the word.
The Lord Jesus says about them Matthew 23:13-33 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Before Saul's conversion, his Pharisitical attitude was highlighted by our Lord when He made the statement “it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks). As a Pharisee, Saul had a good conscience ( Acts 23:1) before the Lord as he thought he was doing the will of the Lord, by killing and imprisoning the people of God with the authority of a letter given to him by his fellow Pharisees.
But the Lord said that he was kicking against the pricks ( meaning to resist incontestable facts or authority; protest uselessly: In appealing the case again, you will just be kicking against the pricks. ) or the Higher Authority which in this instance was the Lord Jesus Christ. Saul had a choice, either accept the higher Authority or else stop having a good conscience. Saul chose the Higher Authority and was converted and became Paul.
Whereas Paul’s example now is to be under the Authority of the word of God being led by the Holy Ghost, to run the race with liberty, to be an hardened soldier for the Lord Jesus, and to be a follower of Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.) (Rom 7:6)
Is your walk like that of Saul or as of Paul?
When a Christian finds himself kicking against the pricks, there is always a way back to God through repentance of that wrongdoing. For healing, these ‘walking wounded’ have the answer in the Great Physician (Matt 9:12-13) . There are many Christians carrying battle scars for the sake of the Lord Jesus, but there are many more that carry deep scars which are not war wounds at all, but wounds that are brought on by their own doing. These scars are proudly displayed and shown to their children and their grand children, their wounds so-called are ‘self inflicted’ and are the works of the flesh.
The flesh is much more than just skin as some would have you believe. The final Authority in all matters says that the flesh has a will (John 1:13), that it is weak (Matt 26:41) and infirm (Rom 6:19) , that it even lusteth against the Spirit ( Gal 5:17) , the flesh is connected to sin ( Rom 7:5,25; Rom 8:3) . We are warned not to walk after the flesh ( Rom 8:1) , nor make provision for it ( Rom13:14) . It is obvious from Scripture that the flesh is something more than just skin, if anyone tries to tell you different, mark them as false teachers. ( Rom 16:17) . It is summed up in the following passage. Galatians 5:14-17 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The Christian carries his old nature through to his last breath even though he is saved. Worldly Christians get themselves entangled with the cares and snares of this world, when instead of looking on things above. Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (2 Tim 2:4)
Paul admonished the Galatian church to walk in the Spirit and lists the benefits (Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.) Paul also warned the Galatians not to walk after the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.) As it says, it is a war for the Christian to fight (Gal 5:17) but the Christian has to fight to win if he wants the victory over sin (Gal 5:16) .
The Devil uses many techniques to get at the saint, for example, read the different ways that he attacked Eve, Job, and Peter. He will work with the world (Col 4:14, 2Ti 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world,….) and work with the flesh to bring the soldier down (1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you,….. 1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.)
The target zones vary from person to person and what ‘actually’ affects them may also vary. For example, on a simple note the devil may use your flesh to attack you physically, but there again he could use the world to attack your body which affects you mentally. The three enemies can be very subtle, and are so intertwined that it can be very difficult to pinpoint the crossover between physical, mental and emotional harm of the saint.
Individuals will get affected at different levels and as mentioned previously, the crossover points are different for each individual. The devil will USE the Christian’s flesh and the world in making a Christian an emotional and physical and mental wreck. Which would make him of NO USE to Christ. For example, a woman is more likely to be attacked ‘spiritually’ by her emotions than physically, because in general a woman can suffer more pain than a man (e.g. child birth ). If men had to undergo childbirth they would have found some other way to go through it!
We need to be vigilant (1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:) and if we are not focused the devil will run amok. The devil is NOT like a raging bull in a china shop, no! He is like that of a sly fox, a slithering serpent, and wily coyote. He nudges and tilts the balance one way or tuther. It is up to us whither we go down the slippery slope or re-address the balance. With some people, the devil only has to hit the right button and WHOOOSH!!!! The Christian is on the Swiss Alps in the downhill championship. He totally forgets to come out and rest awhile. (Mark 6:21) and get back on the right track and away from the self destruct button the devil pushed. You can imagine the devil with his encyclopaedia of Christian’s names and a reference of what buttons to push to send that particular Christian over the edge. CAUTION! Satan wants the Christian to curse God like he tried to do with Job. Satan’s desire is to smugly accuse you before God and say “told you so, ha ha”. (Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.)
As mentioned earlier these things are so intertwined that it would be too difficult to separate. The Christian would need to use his own discernment to find where the enemy has struck them with the spear. You can read about the problems that Job's friends got into when they tried to counsel him and what a pigs ear they made of it. ( Book of Job )
The Lord Jesus Christ, who is our greatest ensample had to suffer in the Body because he was tempted like we are by the Devil ( Luke 4:2-13) . The Devil used the tactics of attacking the Lord's flesh when he was desolate in the mountains. His flesh as man was weak and he hungered and thirsted. But when the chips were down the Lord set his face like flint and never succumbed to sin. The Lord Jesus endured hardness like a Captain who is in charge of the Armies of God. Even when the Devil and the world collaborated to put the Lord God Almighty to death. ( that's right JW's ! The Almighty died Rev 1:18) The Lord Jesus never took his focus of the task set down before the foundation of the world. ( 1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,) So with faith and trust in the example of our Lord Jesus, the Christian can overcome the fleshy lusts of the body.
The inflicted wounds on a soldier from the enemies of God are counted as sufferings that Jesus, Paul, and Stephen and many others had to endure. These martyrs put their bodies through great affliction for the sake of Jesus Christ. These sufferings are really the only afflictions the enemy can do to the soldier. Although we are to endure the affliction set upon us in our Christian walk, they are only for a season. (Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;) However, these afflictions are NOT what I speak of here, but rather, I speak of the inflicted wounds brought on by self.
These afflictions, the carnal lusts of the flesh, are the ones that CAN be AVOIDED because the Christian is instructed to RESIST the devil. James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The walking soldier of Christ who is affected by ‘self’ wounds, causes his own physical damage to the body. There are those who backslide into the world because the wiles of the devil has tempted them with the world . He may take up drinking, drugs, or other worldly ways which affect the body, which in turn destroys his testimony as the world judges them on the outward appearance. The Christian has to put NO faith in the flesh, Job 4:17-19 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
The Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer
in the Soul ( see
Tears of the Saviour )
Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is
exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
At the cross, GOD had to drive out the Son of Man from HIS presence
because the Lord Jesus had to partake of that spiritual cup that been
present since the fall of man back in the Garden of Eden.
The wounded soldier’s soul can be affected only by taking his focus OFF the Lord Jesus and the FINISHED work of Calvary. The Christian's soul has been circumcised at the time of trust and belief in the shed blood of Christ and the Christians soul can never sin again ( see The Image of God verses The Image of Man).
Man's rejection of the scriptures and man's worldly ways affect his soul as he loses his security in the Lord. This backsliden Christian questions and doubts his salvation because of his sinful life which then heightens his lack of faith. Satan is a master at using this tactic because the devil knows that although he cannot get to the believer's soul directly, he can get at the Christian by the use of 'mind games'. He can put obstacles in the way of the soldier to play on the Christian's intelligence or character. It is foolishness to try and compete with Satan at ‘mind games', he WILL win! He has ‘experience’ (that old serpent, called the Devil,) and has been doing it for 6,000 years and will continue to do it till the Lord comes back!
If the believer’s mind is won over by Satan, the soul of the believer will be in turmoil, not knowing whither he has done right or wrong in any of his words, deeds, actions, or thoughts! Satan will have him following new doctrines and joining cults. The cults specialise in the control of the mind, that's why they are so Satanic in their inner state but so religious in their outward appearance. ( for example - The Mormons)
So with faith and trust in the example of our Lord Jesus , the Christian can overcome the mental anguish of the soul by repentance and confession, returning to God.
The Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer
in the Spirit. Luke 19:41 And
when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
The tears of the Son of Man were over the city
that rejected their Messiah. The Lord Spirit wept for the doomed city..
Luke 19:42 Saying, If thou
hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong
unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
The Saviour's Spirit expressed emotion with tears of
sorrow, heartache and pain. The Old Testament prophets had the Oracles of
God and likewise felt and expressed these same emotions.
The Lord's Spirit never yearned of self pity but rather the effects that the Devil and the world had upon his people and how far away they were from God.
We are in a spiritual warfare and our weapons are NOT carnal 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Attacks will come that are not physical, but spiritual. The cares of this world will bog the believer down. The devil uses the world to cause the believer to be concerned about everything and anything bar lost souls. He uses the environment, integration of the races, lovey dovey caring sharing religionists to bring emotional black mail on the believer. The world today is rife with ‘emotional’ religionists which follow after a different spirit.
So with faith and trust in the example of our Lord Jesus, the believers spirit can be uplifted with joy when the proper care for God's people and lost souls are foremost in the heart of the Christians.
In this article are some headings of general examples to ponder on. However, these examples are only guides as the devil is just as capable of striking the flesh as well as the spirit; clearly it is the souls of men that he hates and wants down in hell for him to be king over them. (Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.) Even though Satan can no longer get the Christian down to hell ( Eternally Secure Eph 4:30), Satan can destroy the Christian’s testimony (1 Corinthians 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:) Satan is fighting to make you of NO USE to God. Your testimony is at stake with him! Don’t blow it! (2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.)
The first things a good soldier needs to know are his orders. (2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:) and his weapon. ( Heb 4:12)
A soldier is only as good as his training and we get that from the KJB. The King James Bible is the nuclear deterrent. The NIV (or any other version for that matter) is the rock thrower from the other side. This nuclear deterrent will be used to the full when the Lord Jesus comes back to fight Satan and his armies.
In warfare, the KJB should be used as our main weapon. It is a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.)
The devil hates the KJB because of its authority and when used the cuts run deep.
A Christian can make the fatal mistake when veering away from the King James Bible. His spiritual walk with the Lord is evidently affected while vain philosophy takes the place of the authority of the Bible. Straight away this Christian’s defence is weak and is vulnerable to attacks from the world. The world laughs or ridicules him for having a bible that he doesn’t even believe. Thereby, the flesh is affected as well, and allows ‘compromise’ for the body to indulge in the lusts thereof (Rom 6:12: 13:14) and from the devil who accuses the saint daily Revelation 12:10 …: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
If the Christian doesn’t trust in the KJB, he starts with a disadvantage right away. As ‘where the word of a king is, there is power:’ Ecclesiastes 8:4
Having no authority, he has already succumbed to the devil “hath God said”. Like Eve, he is disarmed and now at the use of the enemy (the devil) having no orders from his True Captain. (2 Chronicles 13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain) The Christian is vulnerable to the devil, confused and confounded. His self reliant independent spirit is easily manipulated by the devil. Clouded judgement takes reign as he descends on a downward slope toward a self inflicted bitter end, not realising his own folly in the process. He has become a mercenary for the devil with no authority and no guide but his own.
At a whim he could be fighting for the Lord one minute, then against Him the next. Perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements and filled with bewilderment, his adherence and trust in comics, novels, or books of vain philosophy won’t be an excuse for his lack of instruction when standing before God at the Judgement Seat. These Bible correctors unite together in an ecumenical nightmare and declare safety in numbers while they try to discredit true Bible Believers. Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. The problem with these bible correcting counsellors is that they promote their own authority and do not counsel with the Authority of the KING JAMES 1611.
This type of Christian despises bible believers and all that they stand for because his problem lies with is ‘Authority’ ! Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. Proverbs 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof
The Lord will deal with these people in His own time. Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:
Sounding the trumpet
A Christian soldier can often find himself at war with his own troops because he has not been vigilant about the enemies of God.(1 Pet 5:8) This is when the soldier gets wrapped up in the self image of his own mind and becomes a loose cannon, firing at will ( a pity that it is not the will of God ) Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. This soldier loves to be the centre of attention, the main event. He will not take any criticism from anyone, he thinks he is God's spokesman down here on plant earth. This Christian lives on planet Mars Bar. They love to hear themselves speak and sound their own trumpet even though we are told (Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.)
Fighting with other Christians is all too common in these last days. Our enemies laugh and scorn at Christ’s soldiers as they act like babies rather than veterans. The walking wounded Christian’s testimony is shot! It is blown to pieces due to their conversation (behaviour).
Any disagreements between soldiers should be done back at the barracks, under the scrutiny of the commanding officer who has the rule book to judge. (see How Much Worth).
It is all very well when others praise a person, as it is written Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. However, there are some Christians that desire glory, praise and adoration from others and when it’s not forthcoming they resort to some very worldly ways to shoot themselves into the limelight. In other words, they like to blow their own trumpet and listen to the sound of it! Whither it is falsifying records of attendance on the missionary field or attacking well known Christian pastors to try and get some notoriety for themselves, it all boils down to pride!
Romans 12:3 … to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; …
On the internet today where many Christians can hide quite easily, there are those who become long range snipers and hide in anonymity. It is pathetic that some even go to the extent of falsifying their own name by hiding behind an ‘alias’ to support themselves with any praise worthy comments. Talk about a ‘split personality’! Delusions of grandeur indeed!
Please take heed (Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.) ...be sure your sin will find you out. Nu 32:23
These wounded soldiers are never satisfied, they are always out looking for some new thing to fulfil their own self ego. (Isaiah 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.)
It is quite sad really that there are Christians out there that would succumb to that sort of self illuminating attention. There is no chance of any wounds healing as their pride refuses them to admit wrong nor allows them to be wrong! ( in their own mind that is) Hence, because of their own self inflicted injury their own flesh wars against the soul. (James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?)
Alas! Even when a Christian has been soundly admonished, his pride is so entrenched that he tends to seek out publicity from all quarters which includes the Christian and secular worlds to prop up his pride and stance.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: …
A soldier should be covert, silent and a stealthy killer, which takes the enemy by surprise, the enemy will be too late to defend himself from the trained soldier.
Likewise when a Christian soldier proclaims the Gospel of grace, whither audibly or in writ; the message should be without overwhelming influence of the speaker or writer.
The Christian that uses his character to overwhelm the message is a ‘self proclaiming’ babe in Christ. He seeks self glory from others.
All for the love of ‘vainglory,’ the self seeking Christian has his own set of priorities, in which for him, self gratification is first, leaving the proclaiming message secondary.
This sort of wounded character is that of Diotrephes (3rd John 1:9 ¶ I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.) as he rejects other Christians; NOT because of doctrine or unrighteousness, but that of jealousy and envy of someone else getting attention. This kind of wounded soldier suffers from pride and selfishness, they can have the character traits of “hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings” as he wants to be the top dog at all times, other Christians have to be wary of such a sort as Diotrephes because the slightest offence is met with irrational behaviour. This types of Christian has a real big chip on his shoulder and suffice to say harbours a self reliant, independent spirit. Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; …
Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention…
Proverbs 11:12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: …
However, the soldier hurts badly and the wounds run deep when things don’t work out as he intended. The thumb sucking moods of pouting, sulking, back biting takes the place of grace and humility and the ‘old man’ returns for revenge by character assassinations of other Christians. Thereafter, when the dust settles, a melancholy mode of self pity begins and out pours the ‘poor old me’ syndrome. He seeks self attention once again only to boost his own ego, but as a dog chases its tail, likewise a vicious circle paves the pattern of the proud in heart.
Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife:
The hurt pride takes rank of the wounded solider. Contention sets in only to cause more self inflicted pain on the solider. Pride destroys the Christian's testimony as he battles with himself and engulfed in his own rage, he lashes out!
1 Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
A good soldier knows his rank and orders. He trusts his captain and follows his command. If his rank is to be that of a foot then he shouldn’t try to be a leg or any other body member. For instance, for the love of vainglory, many a saint of a specified gift, tries to take on board the duties of a pastor, teacher or preacher or some other office, when he should stick to what he has been exercised in.
A good soldier is aware that he is an important member of God’s family. He knows that sore feet can affect your whole body. But it is good to put your feet up and rest a while, and the caring of your feet is all too important to maintain a healthy body.
However, it is equally good to kick some backsides now and then. Being a good soldier for Jesus Christ is doing what is expected of you and not trying to kid yourself that you are something when you’re not! (1 Corinthians 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.)
As my sons would say of their character building in school “be glad the way God made you”.
When one member is hurt the whole body hurts, (1 Corinthians 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.) We as Christians should take that verse on board, that when the repentant Christian returns to the Lord he is back in fellowship. The member merges into the body again and functions as he should.
Although the backslidden Christian can never really leave the Body of Christ, the fellowship with other members of the Body can. It’s as if when fellowship is broken a plaster cast is put on that member and the rest of the body cannot see him, but can feel the pain of the break. Until the time he repents, the body of Christ might give him a scratch to let him know that they still care, and pray for the healing to be done by the Great Physician.
Another walking wounded soldier is that of a Christian going AWOL. This back-slider may even witness from time to time, but the Lord is far from him. (Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.)
The trio of enemies have all took their toll. He may not even think that the Lord cares for him anymore. But that is not true.
In the deepest despair, Jesus is ALWAYS there. The lusts of the world have taken over (Gal 5:19) . Drunkenness and revelling are today’s sins. This Christian has done what an AWOL soldier does; and that is mingle with his surrounding so that he doesn’t get caught. The AWOL Christian soldier falls back to the worldly ways and takes up the flesh. However he knows only too well that the way back to the Lord is through the word, prayer, and fellowship with other Christians. His wounds will not heal overnight but a little TLC( tender, love and care), time will heal him when he lays his burdens at the foot of the cross and rests in the Lord. Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
The wayward wounded Christian is most vulnerable to the attacks of the Devil, because once the Christian starts leading by the flesh instead of the Spirit, he’s done for; that's why a backslidden Christian falls as far. We cannot fight the devil on our own, because we are no match to his wiles. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and will try to dismiss the Christian's walk and call him a failure; the wounded Christian can even doubt his own salvation, but when listening to the wrong spirit. He has been misinformed by his own flesh and the devils whispers.
He forgets that the Christian HAS victory over the world because HE has already overcame . (1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.) The Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Hence oft times Christians listen to the devil (wrong captain) and before they know it they are clinging to the flesh, and asking the world for help and support. He does not care to be vigilant anymore nor use his weapon in battle; he has surrendered and became a POW ( prisoner of war). As long as the Devil can keep him locked up in himself, the Lord Jesus is far from his mind; the only thing for him is self pity and everyone else gets the blame for whatever except himself, the guilty party!
Regardless what age a Christian is or how long they’ve been saved does not constitute them to being a mature Christian. A soldier just out of training typifies a saved Christian that hasn’t matured in the Lord. A gung-ho (extremely enthusiastic often in a naive way) soldier is not disciplined in the Lord but rather can be impetuous and hard to instruct.
The apostle John was the youngest disciple but he possessed more maturity than that of Peter. For example, when running to the tomb of the Lord; John got there first but stopped at the entrance and looked in and calculated what had happened and believed the story of Mary. (John 20:4-5,8) The eager Peter flew right past and went straight into the midst and was dumbfounded (John 20:6) .
On another occasion, John would sit close to the Lord and listened (John 13:23-25 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?) Also, when the disciples fled at the garden of Gethsemane, John still tried to follow the Lord Jesus. (Mark 14:50-52 And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.) and (John 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.)
Peter was proud and boastful; much like a new soldier ready to show off what he can do. Peter let his mouth run away from him (Matthew 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.)
(Matthew 26:35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.)
However, when trouble came Peter took the pet and left to go fishing. (John 21:3) By his announcement Peter wanted his friends to follow and go his way too, safety in numbers, eh? (Note: when Christians take the wrong turning, they try to persuade others to do likewise, that is why there are 7so many false cults and doctrines out there in the world)
The Pharisees also knew the scriptures, but were so puffed up with knowledge that even a blind beggar had more spirituality than they. ( John 9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.)
When things don’t go your way, do you lash out like worldly folks do?
Do you use methods like lying and deceiving to try and establish your own way? Nu 32:23…be sure your sin will find you out.
Job 5:12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
Do you resist truth? Or maybe you have been listening to the devil (the wrong captain) that long that you cannot tell the difference between what is truth and what is not.
When telling others of your problems or cares, do YOU paint a one way picture? Or do you tell both sides? Are you a Peter or a John?
Peter repented of his wrongdoing and hurt, he patched up his wounds with the love of Christ, and he became strong and grew in spirituality.
When Peter was rebuked by the apostle Paul, (Proverbs 27:5,6) he didn’t throw a tantrum as he would have done before his growth in the Lord, he as a now mature Christian graciously learned from Paul’s rebuke.
Peter knew that his flesh was weak. Paul was in the right to rebuke him, Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; … Peter took it as a soldier for Christ should and got on with what was set before him. Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
When in the battle for a while a soldier can be wearied, battle-fatigued and carry disinformation. They would be described as being 'shell shocked'. The shell shocked Christian looses his focus and forgets the time when to attack and when to defend. In a fire fight a soldier must have full concentration on where the enemy is and where his allies are; and if necessary, where to retreat to for a safe haven. Likewise the Christian must not find himself tossed about at every whim from the deceiver by firing pot shot at the saints.
A mature Christian will recognise this and not give the devil a foot hold and will also rebuke the babe in Christ and give the raw recruit of two admonitions. Thereafter, the mature Christian will leave it for the Lord to deal with, because he knows only too well Galatians 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
The hot headed babe in Christ tends to throw out the dummy and blame everyone bar himself. This is not to say that a baby Christian can never be right and the elder wrong, but the babe is not mature enough to reason with or to deal scripturally and allow the Lord to deal with the issue. The hot headed babe will resort to worldly tactics to try and prove his soldiery and forgets that while here on this earth, God’s family is on enemy territory. Heresies CAN be picked up and false doctrines portrayed all in the name of Christ.
The world is full of false Christ’s, so BEWARE of the danger of propagating any more!
In this day and age, when the church body is so scattered and widespread, with access to the whole world is but a finger tip away( the internet), many a saint has succumbed to the doctrine of devils. With the many false teachers out there in the world the Christian soldier must be in submission to the higher authority.
It is wise to have some head (1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.) or leadership from a godly counsel to prevent the risk of being carried away with every false doctrine.
However, suffice to say that the walking wounded usually do not have such a head of leadership, they are self-motivated rebellious snipers refusing authority. Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: …
¶ Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Pr 27:17To edify the saints of God, we must realise that with this sinful body, without being checked we will wander FAR from God. If we do not examine ourselves daily, God the Father will bring us under HIS chastisement.
"When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest."
John 10:9 - I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.