The Christian Warfare

What is a guard?  Someone who protects.  In the hymn ‘Gracious Father Guard Thy Children’, we sing that God will protect us in this dark and trying hour.  If the hour is dark and trying, you need someone to guard.  The jubilee commences 7 to 8 weeks before Jesus comes.  The voice from heaven says it is done is the beginning of the seventh plague.  The precious Jubilee.  Jacob troubles finishes at the commencement of the seventh plague.  Faces light up and the synagogue of Satan worship at their feet.  When the world is in chaos, the saints will be at rest and Jacobs’s trouble will be over. Freedom from sin, freedom from pain.  What is it that causes sin and pain?   The wiles of Satan. Freedom from the wiles of Satan.  How intensely is he working today?

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Not just angry or mad, but wrath and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.  War, all out conflict and turmoil.  In vision Ellen White was taken to the lair of the devil and there she sat listening to his planning.

As the people of God approach the perils of the last days, Satan holds earnest consultation with his angels as to the most successful plan of overthrowing their faith. He sees that the popular churches are already lulled to sleep by his deceptive power. By pleasing sophistry and lying wonders he can continue to hold them under his control. Therefore he directs his angels to lay their snares especially for those who are looking for the second advent of Christ and endeavoring to keep all the commandments of God.  {TM 472.1}

Says the great deceiver: “We must watch those who are calling the attention of the people to the Sabbath of Jehovah; they will lead many to see the claims of the law of God; and the same light which reveals the true Sabbath reveals also the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and shows that the last work for man’s salvation is now going forward. Hold the minds of the people in darkness till that work is ended, and we shall secure the world and the church also.  {TM 472.2}

This is the battle.  We often forget what the battle is about.  It’s about the faith, the faith of Jesus.  Satan wants to remove from us the faith.

“I will influence popular ministers to turn the attention of their hearers from the commandments of God. {TM 472.4}

“But before proceeding to these extreme measures, we must exert all our wisdom and subtlety to deceive and ensnare those who honor the true Sabbath. We can separate many from Christ by worldliness, lust, and pride. They may think themselves safe because they believe the truth, but indulgence of appetite or the lower passions, which will confuse judgment and destroy discrimination, will cause their fall”.  {TM 473.2}

“Go, make the possessors of lands and money drunk with the cares of this life. Present the world before them in its most attractive light, that they may lay up their treasure here and fix their affections upon earthly things. We must do our utmost to prevent those who labor in God’s cause from obtaining means to use against us. Keep the money in our own ranks. The more means they obtain, the more they will injure our kingdom by taking from us our subjects. Make them care more for money than for the upbuilding of Christ’s kingdom and the spread of the truths we hate, and we need not fear their influence; for we know that every selfish, covetous person will fall under our power, and will finally be separated from God’s people.  {TM 473.3}

If you read the book Holy War by John Bunyan, there is the devil in the city, the citadel of mans mind.  There is the description of resisting a small group of people whose influence held in check his influence.  He had counsel and he said we will get them once and for all. We will go outside the city and set our camp out there.  We will set up stalls, merchandise, everything their heart desires.  I will flood them with everything their heart will desire.  It worked with Laodecia, it will work with them.  Are we Laodecian?  Cares of this life, he will flood you with possessions and then often with possessions often comes problems, cares and perplexities.

“I will have upon the ground, as my agents, men holding false doctrines mingled with just enough truth to deceive souls. I will also have unbelieving ones present who will express doubts in regard to the Lord’s messages of warning to His church. Should the people read and believe these admonitions, we could have little hope of overcoming them. But if we can divert their attention from these warnings, they will remain ignorant of our power and cunning, and we shall secure them in our ranks at last. God will not permit His words to be slighted with impunity. If we can keep souls deceived for a time, God’s mercy will be withdrawn, and He will give them up to our full control.  {TM 475.1}

“We must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticize, to judge, and to accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. {TM 475.2}

Satan’s crowning strategy.  Jesus will come when he sees his image in his people.  He will distract and cause division and lead them to criticise.

For these sins, God banished us from His presence; and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate.”  {TM 475.2}

He went to make war, how does he make war?  He hides behind the scenes.  Distraction and division.

When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. .  {SC 71.2}

He will never let up, we are not soldiers on leave, we are in a war.  These are Satan’s devices to destroy you.  Are we awake, alert?  When we have problems in the church, who is the problem?  Stan is the problem.  When there is a problem in a friendship or marriage, who is the problem?  Satan is. He is distracting us and he comes right up and works with a chemistry of your body and nervous system and arouses thoughts and feelings that you think are youse.  When the devil was in heaven, he perfected that way back the because he pointed at all these angels who were speaking against God and he said look what they’re saying.  He had actually implanted those thoughts inside their heads and they thought it was them.  Satan is a cunning foe.  There are thoughts and feelings suggested and aroused by Satan that annoy the best of men.  If it were possible, he would deceive the very elect.  How?  We often forget where the battle ground is, it’s right in here.  This are what Satan will distract us with. They will be stumbling blocks in our pathway trying to get there.  Paul writes we are not ignorant of his devices but sometimes I wonder who he is talking to.  Is he talking to me?  Am I included in the we?  Often I walk right into the trap, he lays his snares, a little provocation and I react.  When we react, we can focus on our failure. T here is a lot of darkness in our lives that we can look at. Satan has got a whole plateful. Where did Paul write Philippians from? When he was a prisoner in Rome.  He was a prisoner.  Allot of darkness.  What manner of reports were being told and spread about him.  Allot of things that he could have focused on.  Here he is a prisoner.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

When Satan is stirring up your feelings, how do you rejoice?

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Think on these things.  Not life’s cares and perplexities, not your own faults or of others.  The battle is in here.  On one side there are the suggestions and insinuations of Satan and on the other are these things.  What is good report?

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

What is of good report?  Heaven.  Why do we bother thinking about the dross of this work and the things that pertain to it?

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.

11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

11:16 But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

He has prepared for them a city.  It is 600km x 600km and high.  It is made for you of pure gold for you.  If you are the only whoever fell, that city would have been made for you.

Are we strangers and pilgrims?  How can we say we are and be mindful of life’s cares and perplexities? If they had been mindful of that country, they may have had opportunity to claim. Abraham’s seed sees that which is unseen.  They are not mindful of the things of this earth.  When we become involved time wise, emotionally, however we can become involved in the things of this world, we testify we are not strangers and pilgrims.  Now they desire a better a country that is a heavenly.  That heavenly country is described in revelation.  You read in Hebrews that they were stoned, sawn asunder, destitute, afflicted, tormented.  They endured because they saw a heavenly.  They were mindful not of the blade of the sword that was cutting through their flesh and their bone.  Not mindful of the flame that was melting their skin.  I love the words of Jerome.  When they tied him to the pair and went behind him to light it, he said light it before my face, if I was afraid, I wouldn’t be here.  What are we mindful of?  The martyrs did not feel the pain, they saw heaven.  Why do we have to wait for such circumstances for our faith to reach out?  It needs to happen now.

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

21:12 And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

That which is of good report, think upon these things.  Why do we suffer?  Because we want to go to heaven.  Why should we give up?  We have spent so much already.  Let us go the rest of the way.  Let us set our faces like a flint and press toward the mark.  No sighing, no crying, no death, no more pain, he will make all things new.  Heaven.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

2:6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

How truly do we believe these words?  Where does our faith place us?  There is one place of good report and it is heaven.  In Jesus Christ we are already there.  This is how it is that he martyrs were not mindful of the things of this earth, they believed in Jesus Christ.  They believed that he had raised them up and they are already there.  Every experience on this planet was viewed from a bird eye vantage point.

We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. {EW 16.2}

It wasn’t foreign to them.  They lived there in their minds.

Here we saw the tree of life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree, and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure, transparent gold. At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again, and saw that they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we stood, and the fruit was glorious; it looked like gold mixed with silver.  {EW 17.1}

We all went under the tree and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when Brethren Fitch and Stockman, [SEE APPENDIX.] who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out, “Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough!” and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring.  {EW 17.2}

When you get to heaven, you are not going to talk about your trials and darkness as there is not even any remembrance left.  Heaven will be cheap enough.

Then an angel bore me gently down to this dark world. Sometimes I think I can stay here no longer; all things of earth look so dreary. I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land. Oh, that I had wings like a dove, and then would I fly away and be at rest!   {EW 19.1}

Jesus had wings like a dove.  Like a little dove that glides through the sky, Jesus did that.  In sinful human nature on planet earth he did that.  The battle is in the mind.  God is giving us pure psychology with which to battle the evil one.

Christ never murmured, never uttered discontent, displeasure, or resentment. He was never disheartened, discouraged, ruffled, or fretted. He was patient, calm, and self-possessed under the most exciting and trying circumstances. {TDG 263.3}

What is excitement?  A chemical.  Even though the devil tried to arouse thoughts and feelings, they annoyed him he was patient and calm.

All His works were performed with a quiet dignity and ease, whatever commotion was around Him. Applause did not elate Him. He feared not the threats of His enemies. He moved amid the world of excitement, of violence and crime, as the sun moves above the clouds. Human passions and commotions and trials were beneath Him. He sailed like the sun above them all. Yet He was not indifferent to the woes of men. His heart was ever touched with the sufferings and necessities of His brethren, as though He Himself was the one afflicted. He had a calm inward joy, a peace which was serene. His will was ever swallowed up in the will of His Father. Not My will but Thine be done, was heard from His pale and quivering lips.–Letter 51a, Sept. 11, 1874, to Edson and Emma White.  {TDG 263.3}

Oh that I had wings like a dove and then would I fly away and be at rest.  Are you in Christ Jesus?  Then you sit in heavenly places.  Like the sun above the clouds.  If you believe it.  If we will be mindful of these things.  Isn’t this something to think about?  Think of these things.  My life at the moment is completely upside down.  Sow to the flesh, reap corruption and I have to bear it.  But I have a hope.  Christ in me the hope of glory. If I didn’t have these hopes, these understandings which I’m communicating now, I couldn’t endure.  When we make mistakes, we don’t really think of the consequences.  We all get molly coddled up with self and shut our eyes to the intelligence in the situations and the wicked are ensnared in the works of their own hands.

“Learn of Me,” says Jesus; “for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.” We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God.  {DA 330.3}

They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace.  {DA 330.3}

Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3. Our lives may seem a tangle; but as we commit ourselves to the wise Master Worker, He will bring out the pattern of life and character that will be to His own glory. {DA 331.2}

As through Jesus we enter into rest, heaven begins here. {DA 331.3}

We can, we do sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  Heaven begins here.

We respond to His invitation, Come, learn of Me, and in thus coming we begin the life eternal. {DA 331.3}

That when Satan stirs up our flesh, we will think on these things.

Amen.

Posted on November 11, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It has been a recent struggle of mine to maintain my peace and hope as a Christian. Knowing how much I fail to reach Christ’s standards, and how much the world is working to pull each and everyone of us away from God and His truths.

    The EW quotes at the end of the sermon will now lead me to more thoughtful prayer and I will dwell on Christ more and more. We must trust Him fully. And that includes His promise to provide a way out of every temptation 😉

    Thank you xox

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