articlesqa May 05, 2020 weapons of warfare
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of

So far we have dis­cussed the be­hav­ioral dy­nam­ics and spir­i­tu­al propul­sion that char­ac­ter­ize the com­plex­i­ty of sin­ful­ness. sa­tan at the door of Adam tempt­ed him to eat the fruit but the same dev­il at Cain’s door tempt­ed him to kill his broth­er. Lamech, Cain’s great great grand­son, was even worse. Sin­ful­ness, which would grow on its own, bears more and dif­fer­ent evil fruit as wicked spir­i­tu­al pow­ers em­pow­er us to sin. Un­der the in­flu­ence of the dev­il, our wicked hearts be­come di­a­bol­i­cal. False ide­olo­gies and proph­e­sies pro­claimed by our hearts are emer­gent prop­er­ties of com­plex­ly com­plex sin­ful­ness.

With this un­der­stand­ing, it should be clear that the bat­tle against false prophets and their ide­olo­gies can­not be won by sim­ply show­ing the in­her­ent stu­pid­i­ty and evil of false ide­olo­gies. One does not de­stroy a tree by strip­ping it of leaves nor can you win a dog­fight by launch­ing mis­siles ... at chaff. Sim­i­lar­ly, you can­not de­mol­ish a false ide­ol­o­gy by smash­ing its bricks of false es­cha­tol­ogy and false eval­u­a­tion. Since ide­olo­gies are emer­gent prop­er­ties of a com­plex sys­tem, ide­olo­gies are nec­es­sar­i­ly an­tifrag­ile to such sta­t­ic at­tacks. This means that as you de­mol­ish some false prophe­cies, the rest grow stronger and even that which you think you de­stroyed comes back more in­sid­i­ous and more re­sis­tant to flesh­ly ar­ma­ments pre­vi­ous­ly de­ployed Matthew 12:43. All this oc­curs even be­fore you try to ac­count for the dev­il’s in­flu­ence on the hu­man heart to be­lieve and pro­duce these false ide­olo­gies. This eter­nal par­a­digm is re­spon­si­ble for the re-emer­gence of false ide­olo­gies like so­cial marx­ism and sex­u­al “lib­er­a­tion” de­spite the right­eous pu­ri­tan ef­fort to weave the fear of God into the fab­ric of West­ern laws, in­sti­tu­tions and cul­ture.

Just as Is­rael failed to re­main right­eous through the laws of Moses Ro­mans 8:3-4, our most re­cent so­ci­etal degra­da­tion demon­strates that we may only be tem­porar­i­ly trained through in­cen­tives and con­straints to avoid cer­tain ac­tions and thoughts. Now a farmer might find it ac­cept­able that every so of­ten he will have to pull up some weeds. How­ev­er, a whack-a-mole strat­e­gy that at­tacks false prophe­cies through apolo­get­ics, law and cul­ture has far greater con­se­quences than the re-emer­gence of the false ide­ol­o­gy. When we only strive to cur­tail our neigh­bor’s bad be­hav­ior (e.g. through laws, cul­ture, taboo) or re­buff their evil thoughts (church, mu­sic), we be­come phar­isees con­vert­ing men into born-again sons of hell Matthew 23:15 twice as evil as us. Je­sus Christ and His apos­tles fre­quent­ly preached against any re­liance on hu­man ef­fort to cur­tail sin­ful­ness 1 Tim 4:3; Col 2:23. Plac­ing our trust in laws and taboo to help us re­sist or re­strain sin is the false ide­ol­o­gy that birthed all Sab­batar­i­an cults. You can­not, by the pow­er the dev­il, cast out demons. In­stead, our great­est weapon is root­ed in hum­ble sub­mis­sion to God’s Word. We must pray that God Frees us from the pow­er of sa­tan while Cir­cum­cis­ing our hearts from stone to flesh Colos­sians 1:3, Deuteron­o­my 30:6, Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26, Je­re­mi­ah 31:33, He­brews 8:10.

The Work of God

2 Corinthi­ans 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not wag­ing war ac­cord­ing to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our war­fare are not of the flesh but have di­vine pow­er to de­stroy strong­holds. 5 We de­stroy ar­gu­ments and every lofty opin­ion raised against the knowl­edge of God, and take every thought cap­tive to obey Christ

Here The Holy Spir­it again Re­minds us that we can­not win against false ide­olo­gies by the pow­er of flesh. No amount of be­hav­ioral ther­a­py or in­doc­tri­na­tion can sup­press or de­stroy the ar­gu­ments and opin­ions of a sin­ful heart (Psalms 36:1-4). It is only by di­vine pow­er that the wicked de­part from evil and, like Neb­uchad­nez­zar Daniel 4:34-35, pro­claim (Psalms 36:5-10). Only by di­vine pow­er are false ide­olo­gies shred­ded and their prophets si­lenced.

Yet what is this di­vine pow­er that Paul speaks of? Is the apos­tle rec­om­mend­ing the false preach­er’s er­satz charis­mati­cism or the mor­mon’s gnos­tic heresy? Of course not! From Ezekiel 37:1, Luke 1:35, Ro­mans 8:11; 1 Corinthi­ans 2:4, 4:20; 1 Thess 1:5; 2 Tim 1:7 we see that The Holy Spir­it, Who Is God, Is The Pow­er of God. With our lim­it­ed un­der­stand­ing, we can cat­e­go­rize the ex­pres­sion of His Pow­er as ori­ent­ed in­ward­ly or ex­ter­nal­ly. Ex­ter­nal ex­pres­sions of His Pow­er are marked by the many mir­a­cles, heal­ings, prophe­cies and works of love He Per­forms through be­liev­ers across the ages. Less overt, to us, is His Rule over the na­tions Psalms 66:7, 22:28, Daniel 11:1 down to the hearts of kings Proverbs 21:1 and our every breath. As par­tial­ly de­lin­eat­ed in the pre­vi­ous chap­ter, He Sov­er­eign­ly Co­or­di­nates world events to ac­com­plish His Holy Pur­pose. In ad­di­tion to us­ing the dev­il to pun­ish those who do evil, He Sends an­gels to up­hold kings Daniel 11:1, sup­port the church Daniel 10:13, 21 and ex­e­cute His Judg­ment Gen­e­sis 19:1, 24-26; 1 Chron­i­cles 21:14-16; Acts 12:23.

His in­ward Work, the im­pos­si­ble trans­for­ma­tion of the re­bel­lious sin­ner into a zeal­ous lover of God, is more read­i­ly ev­i­dent in the many saints He Em­pow­ers to be­lieve in Je­sus ChristJohn 1:12. From Abel to John the bap­tist un­til now (He­brews 11), those of faith be­lieve in Je­sus by The Pow­er of His Holy Spir­it. As Je­sus Elab­o­rates in John 16:8, at the preach­ing of The Gospel Ro­mans 10:17, the Holy Spir­it Con­victs the sin­ner of her sin, Con­vinces her of The Right­eous­ness of Je­sus Christ and the judg­ment of the dev­il. He who be­lieves that he is sin­ful, that Christ Is Holy, and the dev­il con­demned by God, has al­ready ac­quired holy val­u­a­tion and holy es­cha­tol­ogy. As we have said, there is noth­ing more vis­i­bly in­im­i­cal to false ide­olo­gies and false prophets than holy val­u­a­tion and holy es­cha­tol­ogy.

You Shall Love The Lord

The Work of The Holy Spir­it Is Holy and Ut­ter­ly Dif­fer­ent from the ef­forts of the mis­guid­ed apol­o­gist or mis­guid­ed pas­tor.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his ap­pear­ance or on the height of his stature, be­cause I have re­ject­ed him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the out­ward ap­pear­ance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

The mis­guid­ed apol­o­gist is like a doc­tor who looks at the ap­pear­ance of a dis­ease and, from bib­li­cal ar­gu­ments and laws, elo­quent­ly pre­scribes an­tip­neu­mat­ics which at­tack the false ide­olo­gies caus­ing spir­i­tu­al dis­ease. But as we have said, just as an­tibi­otics se­lect for bac­te­r­i­al re­sis­tance, an­tip­neu­mat­ics, even when dev­as­tat­ing­ly elo­quent, will even­tu­al­ly make the false prophet re­sis­tant.1 The Holy Spir­it, on the oth­er hand, Trans­forms your spir­it and gives you a spir­i­tu­al im­mune sys­tem, so that you be­gin to pro­duce thoughts that change and adapt to de­stroy false ide­olo­gies wher­ev­er they rear their ugly heads1 Corinthi­ans 2:4.

The Holy Spir­it Does Not Con­vict by Ar­gu­ing with the sin­ner. He does not trust philo­soph­i­cal trea­tis­es to con­vince peo­ple into faith. As Ec­cle­si­astes shows, even when The Gospel wears the form of phi­los­o­phy Acts 7:22-31, The Heart and Con­clu­sion of The Gospel Is God Com­mand­ing us to fear Him Ec­cle­si­astes 12:13-14. Just as He Com­mand­ed Lazarus to come forth from the grave John 11:43, God Com­mands dead sin­ners to be­lieve in Je­sus Christ, re­pent and be bap­tized. The Holy Spir­it Wins “ar­gu­ments” by Re­gen­er­at­ing the sin­ner’s dead spir­it. Then, of course, the God fear­ing heart de­mol­ish­es false ide­olo­gies by pro­duc­ing holy es­cha­tol­ogyJoshua 2:9 and holy val­u­a­tionJoshua 2:11-13. And as these re­gen­er­ate hearts med­i­tate on obe­di­ence by fear­ing God, holy ide­olo­gies, in­sti­tu­tions and na­tions will emerge.

By Rul­ing the na­tions and Re­gen­er­at­ing hearts from stone to flesh, The Holy Spir­it, The Pow­er of God, De­stroys strong­holds, ar­gu­ments and lofty opin­ions. The true apol­o­gist and pas­tor there­fore un­der­stands that the de­struc­tion of false ide­olo­gies is God’s Work through our un­wor­thy work. We say and do all things in The Light of His Holy Spir­it Preach­ing The Gospel and Re­gen­er­at­ing the spir­its of men. We en­cour­age and teach men and women to re­pent of their sins be­cause we know the gates of hell can­not pre­vail against the heart to whom The Spir­it Re­veals Je­sus Christ Matthew 16:17-19, John 16:13-15.

Weapon of War­fare: The First Prophe­cy

Since every be­liev­er’s heart pro­duces holy es­cha­tol­ogy, every be­liev­er is a holy prophet Joel 2:28. When a sin­ner be­comes a be­liev­er, his first true prophe­cy is his bap­tism. In bap­tism, the new be­liev­er joy­ful­ly pro­claims that he was a sin­ner and there­by stern­ly con­demns the sin­ful world that re­jects The Grace of God. He pro­claims Je­sus Is Lord and there­by de­pos­es him­self and the dev­il from the throne of his heart. He con­fess­es faith in The Holy Word of Je­sus Christ and, like Enoch Jude 14-15, tes­ti­fies that The Lord Will Re­turn to Re­ceive His own and Con­demn un­be­liev­ers to hell for all eter­ni­ty. Re­fus­ing to be bap­tized is a sin akin to re­fus­ing to proph­esy ac­cord­ing to God’s Com­mand­ment.2 The be­liev­er can bare­ly per­ceive and like­ly can­not ar­tic­u­late that through bap­tism, in obe­di­ence to Je­sus Christ, he re­peats the words of the true prophets that sur­round him He­brews 12:1. He may nev­er ful­ly un­der­stand that through his bap­tism he is en­gag­ing in spir­i­tu­al war­fare.

And like the be­liev­er, the world rarely per­ceives that these holy prophe­cies are hid­den in the para­ble of bap­tism. Yet the prin­ci­pal­i­ties and pow­ers rul­ing the world see very clear­ly that Christ is again Mak­ing a mock­ery of their pow­er Colos­sians 2:15. There­fore, the world sens­es or feels that the be­liev­er is pro­claim­ing its de­struc­tion and im­me­di­ate­ly kills many be­liev­ers. When not mur­dered, they are dis­owned by their fam­i­lies, lose their jobs or are im­pris­oned by the state He­brews 10:32-35. The new be­liev­er need no longer be per­plexed at the world’s ha­tred. He is a prophet of God walk­ing in the par­a­bol­ic tra­di­tion of all the prophets who came be­fore him Matthew 23:34-35. The world who hates his Mas­ter, hates him too John 15:18-25.

Weapon of War­fare: The Holy Life

Con­tin­u­ous with his bap­tism, the be­liev­er con­tin­ues to proph­esy by liv­ing a holy life and preach­ing The Holy Gospel. Here let us re­call the wars fought by Is­rael af­ter cross­ing the Jor­dan into Canaan. Al­though Promised to Is­rael by God, the land of Canaan was full of evil na­tions whom Is­rael Was Com­mand­ed to ut­ter­ly de­stroy. Just like Is­rael in the Promised land, the new be­liev­er is of­ten sur­prised and frus­trat­ed to find many false ide­olo­gies and strong­holds of sin still oc­cu­py­ing her re­gen­er­at­ed heart. Fur­ther­more, be­cause she fol­lows Je­sus Christ, the un­wor­thy world, un­able to find worth in Christ Matthew 10:38, will at­tack her with threats and per­se­cute her with vi­o­lence and ex­ile He­brews 11:35-38. As a re­sult, the new Chris­t­ian, like an­cient Is­rael, is in dou­ble dan­ger. She is as­sailed from with­in by evil strong­holds long en­trenched in her heart and at­tacked from with­out by an evil world that hates her Mas­terJohn 15:20-21.

In line with our pre­vi­ous un­der­stand­ing, the evil with­in the heart and the world is com­plex­ly com­plex through our sin and the delu­sion of the dev­il. But praise be to God. Obe­di­ence is also com­plex­ly com­plex. The prin­ci­ple of com­plex growth through re­cur­sive rep­e­ti­tion ap­plies to obe­di­ence. Just as trans­gres­sion speaks deep in the heart of the wicked, obe­di­ence speaks deep in the heart of the right­eous. How­ev­er, while sin­ful­ness is em­pow­ered by demons, the be­liev­er’s obe­di­ence Is Em­pow­ered by The Holy Spir­it. As the be­liev­er med­i­tates on God’s Word and re­flects on his obe­di­ence, he be­comes more and more holy. From his ho­li­ness emerges God­ly thoughts and God­ly ide­olo­gies which he shares with both neigh­bors and en­e­mies.

Through suf­fer­ing, the be­liev­er learns obe­di­ence and comes to know that The Spir­it Uses his holy life To Pro­claim Christ and the mys­tery of god­li­ness 1 Tim­o­thy 3:16. By Pro­claim­ing Christ to the be­liev­er’s heart and to the fall­en world, The Holy Spir­it De­mol­ish­es false ide­olo­gies and si­lences false prophets. The fear of God falls upon some who see the holy man obey­ing his Lord. The Spir­it Brings some to faith in Je­sus Christ and He Hard­ens the hearts of oth­ers Ex­o­dus 7:3 to re­ject God. In this way, holy men and women in every era have been His weapons of war­fare against the evil works of sa­tan and the false prophe­cies of the an­tichrist Psalms 116:15, Rev­e­la­tions 11:3-13. Forged by God through obe­di­ence, the weapons of our war­fare are not car­nal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong­holds. Every act of obe­di­ence does fun­da­men­tal vi­o­lence to the strong­holds and lofty imag­i­na­tions of the sin­ful heart and the sin­ful world.

Have you ever seen a paint­ing or a draw­ing? If you were to com­pare the paint­ing and pho­to­graph of the same same scene, you will no­tice that the artist “for­gets” to paint cer­tain de­tails and adds oth­er de­tails that aren’t present in the pho­to­graph. Why? Well, that is how peo­ple see. In or­der to see clear­ly, you must first be­come blind to every­thing you do not want to see. Hence, self­ish love is blind be­cause self­ish love can only see it­self. But Chris­t­ian love sees all by see­ing only Je­sus. In a sim­i­lar way, un­der the guid­ance of the Bible, I have been us­ing words to paint a pic­ture of the dis­ci­ple. In a...
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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3