and Spiritual Warfare
©January 30, 2011 by Asher Intrater
Obedience is not a dirty word. We are saved by faith, and true faith brings us into obedience.
If faith is not connected to obedience, it can become a mystic fantasy which leads to condemnation. Our salvation is based on a confession that Yeshua is Lord (Romans 10:9). If Yeshua is Lord, that means we are to do what He says (Luke 6:46). It is possible to think one is saved by calling Yeshua "Lord" but actually not be saved, because of lack of obedience (Matthew 7:21, 23). The deception of false salvation without obedience is so widespread, that many people, even confessing Christians, will fall into that trap (Matthew 7:22).
There is a spiritual battle surrounding the issue of obedience. There are many philosophies and theologies which would deceive us into thinking that we do not have to obey God. There are whole systems of thought which excuse disobedience, starting with the first lie of the devil (Genesis 3:4). The way of thinking which tells us not to obey is so established in human minds that it is compared to a fortress.
II Corinthians 10:4-5 – for the weapons of our warfare are not flesh and blood, but mighty through God for the pulling down of fortresses. We tear down arguments and every high thing which rises up against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah.
There is a connection between spiritual warfare and obedience. Many speak of spiritual warfare but miss the connection to obedience. The battle of spiritual warfare is won at the moment of obedience. The attack upon our thoughts is to keep us from obeying. How do we win this battle?
The battle is not only over the thinking; it is over the thinking that leads to obedience. All the thinking will not do any good until it crosses the line into obedience. The step of faith is a step of obedience. The obedience of faith brings the manifold blessing of God. (By faith Abraham obeyed – Hebrew 11:8.) The moment of obedience in faith is the moment of victory in faith.
Upheaval in the Middle East
This week has seen unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East.
The common denominator of all these upheavals is the attempt of Islamic Jihad forces to take control of Middle Eastern nations in their overall plan for world dominion. The vision of Islamic Jihad also includes the destruction of the Christian religion and the nation of Israel. The spiritual forces are being aligned for the events of the end-times tribulation and the attack on Israel that comes at the time of the Second Coming (Zechariah 14:1-9).
Deception of Democracy
I believe that a representative republic based on a constitution with democratic elections is the best form of government available at the present time. (Although I'd prefer a godly king with a covenant with God.) However, the issue is not primarily the form of government but the content of the values within the government.
A few years ago I wrote an article explaining that democracy alone in the Middle East would not solve the problems. A communist regime, an Islamic regime, a Nazi regime could all conceivably be elected. What makes a society good is not the form of its government, but the Judeo-Christian values with in the society.
The democratic illusion is based on a retreat from the moral values of the Bible and on a belief that what the majority of people want is always the best. Actually God does honor the will of the people and usually allows them to have the kind of government they want, even if it is contrary to His will (I Samuel 8:7).
According to scriptures, not only is the majority not always right, it is usually wrong. From this week's Torah portion: Exodus 23:2 – You shall not follow a crowd to do evil. We are not commanded to do what the majority says, but to do what is right.
The majority is usually doing evil. All the people of Sodom were "sodomites" (homosexuals). In Jeremiah's day, almost no one received his message. In Elijah's day, there were only 7,000 who did not serve Baal. In the Exodus from Egypt in Moses' day, there were only 2 righteous men (Joshua and Caleb) in a group of 2 million. Faith requires the moral courage to stand up against evil even when it is against the majority.
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