TITLE: IGNORANT BRETHREN
Subtitle: Failure to recognize the enemy is usually fatal!
Once I heard a preacher quip, "The largest single group within the Church today is that of the ignorant brethren!" And he used as his text 1 Thessalonians 4:13, where the Apostle Paul wrote, "But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren!" (Conveniently leaving out the comma after ignorant!) The preacher was not serious and meant this comment as a joke, but he actually spoke far more truth than he realized.
For well over a century now, the primary emphasis—and in many cases, the only emphasis—of the Church has been upon evangelism and establishing missions. And both of these things are obviously vital, but not to the near-total exclusion of equipping the saints for spiritual warfare! In 2 Corinthians 2:11, the Apostle Paul also had this to say about ignorance:
"To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
Paul was keenly aware of the unseen spiritual battle raging around him, which is the reason why he kept on telling those to whom he wrote that they must not be ignorant. Yes, evangelization and missions are important, but if you will take the time to check it out, you will find that 90% (or more) of the New Testament is devoted to doctrine and instruction in righteousness—with precious little devoted to "how to witness seminars." And every bit of it is intended to equip the saints for a life of service in the middle of the battle. Beloved, the average Christian, seated in the average Church today, is being fed a steady diet of salvation sermons and "warmed-over psychology," with no teaching whatsoever on the enemy! Oh, the devil and hell are mentioned just enough to try to scare someone into "making a decision for Christ," but anything of real substance relative to the subject of spiritual warfare is totally lacking.
Do you know why? The simple, but devastating, truth is that your preachers are ignorant of spiritual warfare! They were not taught this in seminary and most have made no effort to learn it on their own. The emphasis is on numbers while the enemy is savaging the sheep left and right. A good general would never dream of sending his troops into battle without first giving them at least a minimum of training—with one of the most important points of that training to be how to recognize and neutralize the enemy! But Christians are being sent out to fight the original "unconventional war" without a real clue as to the stated aims and strategies of the "dark side" (and if you think that "Star Wars" creator George Lucas invented the term, your ignorance is showing!).
Interestingly enough, over the last few decades the entertainment media has become more and more active in promoting the occult agenda. And their objective is very transparent, once you are made aware that an agenda exists. They are utilizing to the fullest the aspect of human nature that will eventually tolerate almost anything to which we become accustomed. Once again, the old adage concerning the frog and boiling water applies here: "Put a frog in hot water and it will promptly jump out, but put it in cool water, slowly turn up the heat, and you can cook the frog to death!" Slowly but surely, our spiritual enemies are turning up the heat, while sweat is the only indication of danger most ever see—as they stew in their own juice. God’s people are under an all-out assault by demons out of the pit and pastors continue to "play the numbers game" while their flocks are being lulled to sleep and picked off one-by-one. Genuine Christians have bought into and have become totally involved in a merry-go-round of activities, plans, programs, and "do-gooder" schemes, while our own children are succumbing to the temptations of the world around them. May God have mercy on us for our spiritual ignorance and stupidity!
The "Cutting Edge" ministry is, unfortunately, almost totally unique in that it views the Christian experience from a position of knowledge about the occult and tries to inform others accordingly. David Bay, our director and "editor", has made it a point to educate himself by studying the ever-increasing number of "New Age" and Black Magick writings making the rounds today and through the medium of the internet and seminars, to attempt to educate others. As I have personally tried to inform fellow pastors and missionaries about this ministry— with the sincere hope that they will take advantage of the information—I am constantly confronted by an attitude of "ignore him and maybe he will go away!" No one has yet been rude enough to tell me that I am off-base, but their lack of action speaks volumes. Willful ignorance is the worst kind.
Judging from the email we receive at "Cutting Edge," it is obvious that there are far more adherents to esoteric beliefs and practices than the average Christian is aware. We often receive written rebukes from women who are practicing Wicca, deriding us for equating them and their beliefs with witchcraft and claiming that we are mistaken, but their very name gives them away. "Wicce" was the Old English term for "witch"! Just because they give their beliefs a shiny veneer of "doing good" and "having a love for nature," doesn’t change the fact that they are practitioners of white (or "good") magick—one form of witchcraft—black (or destructive) magick being the other. Satan worship is thriving and the U.S. Army has now allowed a coven of witches to operate openly as a religion. How many Christians know (or even care) about these facts? How many Christians really understand the ancient occultic roots of Freemasonry—a fraternal organization devoted to ungodly mysticism and a works-oriented "salvation" that is anything but Christian? How many Christians know enough to respond with sanctified disgust when they see the emblem of "The Eastern Star"—the Masonic organization for ladies? Their emblem, the five-pointed star with two points upward, has been universally recognized for millennia as the "goats-head" emblem of the devil! How many Christians know that this same five-pointed star, so prevalent on the flag of the United States and many other nations, is the same star—just oriented differently? How many Christians know that the bald eagle (our nation’s official bird) is representative of the "Fenex" (Phoenix) bird—another occultic symbol that has been around almost as long as man has been on this earth? My friends, we are literally surrounded by both the symbols and practitioners of "New Age" beliefs and a populace that would have little problem adapting to them in a hurry! And we had best wake up to that fact.
I will be among the first to admit that my overall knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology is very small, but the more I learn the more I appreciate that all of it stems from a common ancient Satanic origin and that affects our daily lives more than we know. Astrology and numerology are also very ancient practices and are growing in popularity rather than fading away. Do I place any credence in these practices? Of course not—but millions do and there’s the problem!
Books and other writings when viewed objectively will invariably reflect the beliefs and social practices of the period in which they were written. During the Middle Ages, for instance, books and other artifacts of historical significance, such as the paintings and works of art, reflect a wide spread belief in dragons. Some of the paintings, such as St. George and the Dragon by Raphael, depict scenes where mounted knights are fighting and slaying hideous monsters. Today we view those beliefs as ridiculous, but back then they were accepted as fact. Also few questioned the "facts" that the world was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth, because to a human intellect limited by information to the contrary, those things appeared to make sense. Maps and other maritime charts of that era usually depicted "sea monsters" inhabiting the "regions beyond." And once such beliefs are firmly entrenched in the minds of the masses, they take on a life of their own and will often survive for centuries before finally fading away completely, and then only because the light of truth was allowed to shine.
On the other side of the coin, however, certain legitimate beliefs have faded to the point of near-extinction because of social "enlightenment." The belief that God created the world and everything in it was pretty much universally accepted up until the last 150 years or so. But then Charles Darwin developed his "Origin of the Species" theory and "evolution" rapidly became the rallying point for unbelievers. It is a thoroughly ridiculous and indefensible theory—totally at odds with both common sense and the laws of mathematical probability—but it’s about the only game in town for those who reject the Biblical account of creation. And I can certainly understand disbelief in creation because that involves faith, but puhleeze, don’t insult the very small amount of intelligence I have by insisting that life sprang spontaneously from a fortuitous combination of pond scum and electricity or whatever! I am being perfectly honest and forthright when I say that I could accept the possibility that "space aliens" deposited us here a whole lot quicker than swallow the odds against spontaneous generation of life.
Another legitimate belief that has suffered from modern "enlightenment" is that of the supernatural—our subject at hand. While I do not have any statistics to prove it, my belief is that percentage-wise there are probably just as many people today who believe in the supernatural as has ever done so; however, this belief in the supernatural is no longer Jujdeo-Christian, but based upon the occult. Among professing Christians, a marked decline has taken place in which the evil element has been neglected as a minimum and outright ignored as a maximum. So much emphasis has been placed on the "love, joy, peace, etc.," routine, that the devil and his cronies are going about their business totally unseen and unhindered. Christians are suffering from depression, anxiety attacks, behavioral problems, and a host of other "mental illnesses" which their pastors are attempting to solve by applying psychological techniques—apparently never understanding that the root of the problem is spiritual: demonic oppression. And many of the saints are downright offended if you suggest that their problem could have a devilish connection. Our spiritual forefathers of 200+ years ago understood the "devices" of the devil and were constantly vigilant in their spiritual warfare—taking refuge behind the spiritual armor provided by the Lord for that very purpose. "Pop psychology" is never going to cure ailments that have their origin in the pit and the sooner this useless practice is stopped the better. We have it on good authority (2 Timothy 3:13, et al) that the situation is not going to improve and is only going to continue to get a whole lot worse as we near the end of the Church Age. As the old saying goes, "We aint seen nothin yet!"
The Word of God is very clear in teaching the existence of evil in this world and the reality of supernatural beings we call demons—those foul entities allied with and subservient to Satan—and numerous beyond our comprehension. And as mere flesh and blood mortals, we presently find ourselves in the middle of an invisible and unbelievably huge cosmic conflict being waged all around us.
The Word of God has quite a bit to say about the time in which we are now living and it would pay us to heed it. For instance, 2 Timothy 3:1 tells us:
"But understand this, that in the last days there will set in perilous times of great stress and trouble—hard to deal with and hard to bear" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Although most in our country would probably argue that we are living in the best economic times ever, the fact remains that the rest of the world is a boiling cauldron of hatred, just waiting to explode and consume us all. The good times are literally killing us as we scramble about trying to amass more and consume more—all under the guise of "enjoying life." Consumer debt is at an all time high, because the "have-nots" are determined to keep up with the rest and very few bother to take note that there will come a day of financial reckoning. A small number of the brethren still cling to the doctrine that everything is going to eventually get better and a great revival will usher in the Second Coming, but for the life of me I can’t see where they get that idea! Paul continues in the third chapter of 2 Timothy by saying in verse 13:
"But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
This tells me that the situation is going to deteriorate, not improve—leading right up to the rapture of the Church and the onset of the Tribulation Period. But to my mind, the one verse of Scripture that describes our day perfectly is found in verses 3 and 4 of 2 Timothy chapter four:
"For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold. And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary; Emphasis added).
Listen to what God said about the spiritual attitude of most in Israel just before He sent in the Babylonian army to inflict Godly judgment upon Israel for her sins; you will recognize the attitude of American Christians here.
"… Prophesy to us smooth things, prophesy to us deceitful illusions. Get out of the true way, turn aside out of the path, cease holding up before us the Holy One of Israel." [Isaiah 30:10-11, Amplified Bible Commentary]
Too many American Christians today do not want to hear any "harsh" things said to them, even if it is the truth. They want to hear that Jesus Christ is all "love", and they certainly do not want to hear of spiritual warfare. These people are willfully ignorant, and the time is coming quickly when their willful ignorance may cost them dearly.
Many is the time I heard the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee make statements on his radio program (or read it in his books) relative to people not wanting to study doctrine or engage in serious Bible study. And I know from my own personal experience as a pastor that this is the plain, unvarnished truth! Plus we constantly get email from those who want to accuse us of hatred because we dare to tell them what they do not want to hear and challenge their beliefs—but that is just too bad, because preachers are supposed to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable", in order to stimulate us to greater spiritual maturity!
Are you comfortable today? If you really understand the enemy and believe what the Bible says about him, you will ignore comfort, take refuge behind God’s armor, and be constantly vigilant—as the apostle Peter exhorts us to do in 1 Peter chapter five and verse 8:
"Be well-balanced—temperate, sober-minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Please do not continue as one of the ignorant brethren and wind up being a casualty of the battle.
If you have received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and been born again, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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God bless you.