Aloha Friday Message – November 15, 2013 – War Rages On!

1346AFC111513 – The War rages on!

Read it online here, please.

1 John 4:2-4Don’t trust every spirit, dear friends of mine, but test them to discover whether they come from God or not. For the world is full of false prophets. You can test them in this simple way: every spirit that acknowledges the fact that Jesus Christ actually became man come from God, but the spirit which denies this fact does not come from God. The latter comes from the anti-Christ, which you were warned would come and which is already in the world.

You, my children, who belong to God, have already defeated this spirit, because the one who lives in you is far stronger than the anti-Christ in the world.

Jude 20-23 But you, dear friends of mine, build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith and by praying through the Holy Spirit keep yourselves within the love of God. Wait patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which will bring you to the life eternal. For some of these men you can feel pity and you can treat them differently. Others you must try to save by fear, snatching them as it were out of the fire while hating the very garments their deeds have befouled.

Test-the-SpiritsBeloved, these are difficult times, perilous times, perplexing times. We know we are at war in multiple places and multiple levels. We see warfare waged on six of the seven continents. In some of these locations, evil clearly has the upper hand while in others the battles go better for one side or the other without any conclusive ending. And then there is the war behind these wars, the war of the Spirits. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Think of it, Beloved. Paul wrote those words roughly 1900 or so years ago! Who is in that battle now, and who has the upper hand? Let’s look at these three texts and see if we can find some answers.

MBN members may recall the message in July (see the link in the title) describing the War we are in. I capitalize that word War to call attention to the fact that this War is different from what we usually think of as war. This is a spiritual battle which continues to grow and no earthling anywhere is unaffected by this monstrous conflict between good and evil. Lucifer is grinning ear-to-ear, wringing his hands in gleeful anticipation, and taking full advantage of much of humanity’s denial of his existence. The Father of Lies, who himself is an angel of light (Lucifer), appears all round the world stirring up strife, anguish, terror, and war (small w). What are we to do about this Spiritual War? And how can we help stave off the spirits which ceaselessly assault us in every place? Does that sound like an exaggeration, like something from one of those demonically-based horror flicks? That is because we are being conditioned to accept Evil as truth. Let me ask you a couple of questions.

Do you believe in God? If you do, then you must also believe in Satan, because God is not a liar, so he would not warn us against him if he was not real. Do you believe in Angels? Then you must believe in demons, because Satan took with him many of the Holy Angels who joined him in his rebellion against God. Do you believe the souls of our Faithful and Obedient departed are with God? Then you must believe that the souls of the faithless and rebellious departed are with Satan. Think of all the people you know – not just the ones you hang out with – all the people in the news, all the people in the nations where war is happening right now, and all the people whose “spiritual ideologies” exclude any aspect of the reality of the Holy Trinity. Now think of all the people who claim to know God, to serve Christ, but whose words and actions contradict everything they claim. Next, think of all the people whose words match their lives, who can say with absolute certainty “Jesus Christ is Lord.” Run a quick tally in your head. Which of these three groups is the smallest? Which of these three groups are most likely to become allies when the battles intensify? Finally, if you know in your heart how to distinguish one group from the other, then you know how to “test the spirits.” In the end, we will all have to answer these questions, so it is best to answer them today and every day as we test the spirits we encounter. Paul refers to one of those spirits as the Spirit of the antichrist.

When we hear that word, we think of opposition – anti meaning against; but the Greek word/prefix ἀντί not only means “opposite of” but also “in place of.” The spirit of the antichrist is not only among us, it is often within us whenever we place anything or anyone above The Holy Trinity. Think of the vices that control portions of our lives – little idols we serve – like booze, nicotine, sex, violence, ego, hatred, indifference, envy, selfishness, greed, lust, gluttony … got the picture? When Christ is replaced by these things, these spirits, we welcome the antichrist into our lives. Now this is not the fabulous charismatic world leader who will “solve” all the world’s problems, perform wondrous acts of great power, and set himself up as a god. No, this is the “evil that men do [which] lives after them.” It is our failure. But it is not our defeat! As we see, you who belong to God have already defeated this spirit, because the one who lives in you is far stronger than the anti-Christ in the world. That is, if indeed He lives within you.

The War is fought on multiple fronts. There is war in our flesh and against our flesh. There is war in our families and against the very foundation of families, holy matrimony. There is war in our minds as we quell the warning signals in our heart, our minds and our spirits and – in the name of tolerance and “good will” – we accept what we know is wrong, and reject what we know is right. Antichrist! Remember: It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing. (Rev. Charles F. Aked) And why do good men so often do nothing? We must ask ourselves, not others, for it is us, and only us, who can be held accountable for the good that we do as well as the good we do not do. “He who is in you” has conquered the World and all its evil; when we oppose or replace Him, we tip the scale of victory away toward the ever-advancing tide of evil that swells across the planet.

Test the spirits!But you, dear friends of mine, build yourselves up on the foundation of your most holy faith and by praying through the Holy Spirit keep yourselves within the love of God.” Forewarned is forearmed, and we are forewarned daily. Why do we fail to heed that warning? I said previously, “In the end, we will all have to answer these questions, so it is best to answer them today and every day as we test the spirits we encounter.” Here is a passage from Ephesians 6 (J. B. Phillips New Testament) that describes our responsibility, accountability, and God’s dependability:

Ephesians 6:13

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) ®

Be forewarned and forearmed in your spiritual conflict

10-18 In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women.

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
J. B. Phillips, “The New Testament in Modern English”, 1962 edition by HarperCollins
Ephesians 6:13 in all English translations
Share-A-Prayer

Please continue to pray for and send help to the millions affected by that Super-Typhoon in the Philippines. Be aware that additional tropical depressions are forming, and more storms are possible.

There are people nearby, as well, who need your help, your prayers, your aid. In your community, reach out to feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, attend to the sick, rescue the perishing, care for the dying, do something for someone outside yourself and do it in the name of and for the glory of Jesus.

Pray in the Spirit to the Spirit for the Spirit. Reread that until it makes sense, and then make it happen!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

A moment of clarity from last week:

realzeal

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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