Last updated 052617
Dave Muralt was one of the greatest men of God I have ever known. God blessed me when Dave became my friend. Click here to hear his instruction, which includes singing, on evangelizing children. “I will sing a new song unto thee, Oh God.” It will bless you. After salvation, every believer should have a burden for souls.
What does saving faith do? If you have saving faith, does it affect you motivation, your life purpose, your life cycle? Can you be saved without being changed! What does coming to Christ really mean? Once saved, what are to do with our past? Click here to hear the answers to these questions and more.
Preparing for the Underground Church in America
Pastor Jason Cooley, “The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit,” December 26, 2012 (Morning education period) (Without the Holy Spirit believers and churches will use earthly means to unsuccessfully try to accomplish God’s work.)
“Saved, But Not That Saved – The War On Your Sanctification” on sermonaudio.com (071316)
- “The Helmet of Salvation: Armor Against Satanic Attacks On The Mind,” on sermonaudio.com (100415)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “The Girdle Of Truth To Defend Against The Father Of Lies,” on sermonaudio.com (100715)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Spiritual Armor: Gospel Boots For Stomping Serpents And Treacherous Terrain,” on sermonaudio.com (101115)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Breastplate Of Righteousness-Imputed And Imparted Righteousness,” on sermonaudio.com (101115)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Spiritual Armor: Gospel Boots For Stomping Serpents And Treacherous Terrain,” on sermonaudio.com (101115)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Shield Of Faith: Quenches All The Fiery Darts From Hell’s Army,” on sermonaudio.com (101415)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “The Sword Of The Spirit: Take It And Slay Devils And Dragons,” on sermonaudio.com (101815)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Spiritual Warfare with a KJV Sword or with an Antichrist Butter Knife Version,” on sermonaudio.com (101415)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Cloak Of Zeal: Don’t Lose Your Fire,” on sermonaudio.com (122715)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “Waging War God’s Way And Winning – Might Won’t Win The Fight” on sermonaudio.com (020316)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “The Armory Of Satan Will Not Prosper Against The Saints Of God” on sermonaudio.com (020716)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
- “The Christian Warrior’s Heart: Be Strong And Of Good Courage” on sermonaudio.com (020716)
- “The Strict Commandments For Warfare: Blueprint For Victory” a sermon by Brother Nate Marino on sermonaudio.com (022116)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)
“War With The Saints – Satan’s Devises,” on sermonaudio.com (100114)(Click here for Youtube of this sermon.)(For more relevant “After Salvation” sermons on spiritual warfare go to “Sermons by Pastor Jason.”)
Street Preaching, Dinkeytown, and Spiritual Warfare/Luciferianism, Enochian Magick, Aliester Crowley & Dinkytown Witches
Great article: Spiritual Fitness.
Once one is saved, he is a new creature who has a new nature and who can now understand spiritual matters:
Ep. 2.1-6: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”
1 Co. 2.9-16: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
See also, e.g., Ro. 8.1-17.
Thus, heavenly or spiritual is distinct from earthly:
“‘The heavenlies’ [or ‘heavenly places’] may be defined as the sphere of the believer’s spiritual experience as identified with Christ in nature (2 Pe. 1.4 [‘Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’]); life (Col. 3.4 [‘When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.’]; 1 Jn. 5.12 [‘He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.’]); relationships (Jn. 20.17 [‘Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’]; He. 2.11 [‘For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,’]); service (Jn. 17.18 [‘As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.’]; Mt. 28.20 [‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’]); suffering (Ph. 1.29 [‘For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;’]; 3.10 [‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;’]; Col. 1.24 [‘Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:’]); inheritance (Ro. 8.16, 17 [‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.’]); and future glory in the kingdom (Ro. 8.18-21 [‘For I reckon that the sufferings of this present timeare not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.’]; 1 Pe. 2.9 [‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’]; Re. 1.6 [‘And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.’]; 5.10 [‘And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.’]). The believer is a heavenly man, and a stranger and pilgrim on the earth (He. 3.1 [‘Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;’]; 1 Pe. 2.11 [‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;’]) (1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 2 to Ep. 1.3, p. 1249; see also, e.g., Ep. 2.4-5, Jn. 3.12, He. 3.1, I Pe. 2.11.).”
A born again believer can be deceived:
Col. 2.6-8: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
To avoid deception and walking in the flesh, he must increase in, among other things, knowledge. He must fight a spiritual warfare using only spiritual weapons.
II. KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, AND WISDOM
Even though one is a “new creature” after he is saved, he has a responsibility to increase in knowledge:
2 Pe. 1.3-10: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”[Emphasis mine. This indicates that if you do not do these things, you will fall. According to the Word of God, the steps in the downfall of a nation are religious apostasy, moral awfulness, and political anarchy. America is well into the third stage. It started with the preachers and churches. Correction must start with the Bible believing preachers and churches. This is covered in much more detail in God Betrayed.]
Ro. 10.2: “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.”
Ro. 15.14: “And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”
Ep. 1.15-23: “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
Col. 1: “… 5: That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; … 9-10: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; … 24-29: Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
Besides gaining knowledge, one must add understanding to that knowledge in order to become wise. See, for example, Da. 9.22-23. II Ti. 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” Col. 1.9 says, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” You don’t learn everything immediately as a result of being saved.
Knowledge without understanding is dangerous: It causes pride.
a) Love instruction. Pr. 8.33 (Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.), see also, 12.1, 15, 23.12.
b) Love reproof. Pr. 15.31-32 (Pr. 15:31-32 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.); see also. Pro. 17.10.
c) Love correction. Pr. 3.11-13 (Pr. 3:11-13 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.); see also Je. 5.3. David is a prime example of accepting rebuke. I S. 25. Here David is rebuked by a female. I encourage you to read the chapter. I just ask you to consider his response to Abigail’s rebuke in 1 S. 25:32-33 “And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.” He is looking at a woman who is married to a fool.
Instruction, reproof, and correction give understanding. A fool hates all three. Pr. 1.7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” See also, Pr. 15.12, 18.2, 23.9.
How do you respond to reproof, correction, and instruction: Your response determines who you are becoming.
The result of growing in knowledge and understanding is that God will give you wisdom. Pr. 4:5-7: “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” a) Wisdom is the practical use of knowledge. b) Wisdom begins with a fear of the Lord. Pr. 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Pr. 2.1-15: “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:”
Christians are losing the spiritual battle in America because, among other things, they are not proceeding with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom–as to the Word of God first, and then history, present events, philosophies, law, etc. They are especially deficient in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding concerning church, state, and separation of church and state.
Sadly, for twenty years I was misled about critical issues as I worked long and hard along with other Christians who were also misled to bring America back under God. My efforts were futile because I, and those other Christians with whom I was working, did not understand the biblical principles concerning church, state, and separation of church and state.
III. SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The church, as well as the individual Christian, is a spiritual house, not an earthly house:
He. 9.1-2, 11: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary…. But Christ, being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.”
I Co. 3.16-17:“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” ( In the N.T. the usual Gk. word for sanctuary (naos) is used of (1) the temple in Jerusalem (Mt. 23.16); (2) of the believer’s body (I Co. 3.16, 17; 6.19); (3) and of the local church (2 Co. 6.16). But in all these instances the thought is simply of a habitation of God. No reference to the structure of the temple, as in the case of the tabernacle (He. 9.-10), is traceable.” 1917 Scofield Reference Edition, n. 1 to I K. 6.1, p. 393.).
Ep. 2.19-22: “Now therefore ye [church members] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
I Co. 6.15-20: “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid…. know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit… What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? ….”
He. 3.6: “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
2 Co. 6.16: “[Y]e are the temple of the living God: as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
1 Pe. 2.4-5: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
The Christian can walk in the flesh and proceed according to the flesh, the old man. However, God wants each child of His to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh:
Ga. 5.16-25: “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” See also, e.g., Ep. 5.1-17, Jn. 6.63, Ro. 8.1-13.
God’s Word describes the nature of a church body and the functions of each of her members:
Within church bodies God “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ep. 4.11-13). “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ep. 4.14-15).
1 Co. 12.4-27: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole werehearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” [Emphasis mine.]
I supplied emphasis because tragically, even in many Bible believing churches, many members do not understand and apply this emphasized portion of God’s Word. Instead of suffering with a suffering member, many times church members make another member or other members suffer or add to another’s suffering rather than manifesting the fruit of the spirit (“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:” Ga. 5.22-23.) toward that member. Other members may be jealous instead of rejoicing when God or man honors a fellow member. Furthermore, many church members believe that they have no need for someone with a gift that they do not have since they feel that they are totally gifted in all matters. So when another member doesn’t believe or act like they believe they should, or when another member doesn’t do what they want or in the manner they think something should be done (according to the criteria set down by legalistic brother(s) or sister(s)), those legalists make life miserable for the object of their disdain. What a way for Christians to act! What an effect this has on a church body! Many believers think they are endowed with “all knowledge.” They have all the answers and do not need to study some subjects, for example, such as law, history, the biblical doctrines of the church, government, and separation of church and state since they already know it all. They are like the jailhouse lawyer, incarcerated for some crime, who suddenly reads a few cases and laws and knows it all. Jailhouse lawyers go to their lawyer (who may be a good one who has studied the law diligently for years and has his clients best interest in mind) and say, for example, “I should be out today because of this sentence right here in this case.” Little does he know how that one sentence fits into the facts of this case, if at all, and the vast sea of relevant cases, statutes, Constitutional law, etc., much less the mindsets of the judges and prosecutors with whom his attorney must contend. Similarly, a disgruntled church member who is more concerned about his money than He is about pleasing God argues, for example, “I can give more if I can take my tax deductions and it makes it easier to take such a deduction if the church will incorporate and get a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the civil government.” That member is blind and cannot see. He has not studied the biblical principles, and he believes he doesn’t need to. He knows the answer as to this matter (He may be a great Christian in some other ways, but fall way short on this issue which is of great importance to God.). He refuses further light, so God will leave him where he is on this issue and he will continue to operate in the dark and against the principles of God, at least as to this matter. This type of attitude will only contribute to the continued decline of churches and the salvation of souls in America.
Thus, God desires His children and His churches to proceed according to their new spiritual nature, and not according to their earthly fleshly nature. How can they do this? Church members and the entire church body are to rejoice in the fact that the Lord has called every born again member within a church to exercise a spiritual gift. The entire body should encoruage and support every other member, no matter how insignificant or significant the member’s particular gift, honoring the less gifted more than the more gifted. At the same time, God desires that every member also seek to grow in biblical wisdom and understanding on important issues:
Jn. 8.31-32: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
2 Ti. 2.15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
He. 5.12-13: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.”
Thus, individual believers and churches are to fight a spiritual warfare using spiritual weapons:
God has chosen His children to be soldiers. 2 Timothy 2:4: ”No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
2 Timothy 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Notice that God did not tell us to seek a life of material blessing and ease.
Christians are soldiers in a spiritual warfare. Ep. 6.10-18: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Sadly, most Christians have not performed as soldiers. This aspect of the Christian life has been ignored, if it was ever known, by pastors and Christians. Most just want God to materially bless them as churches, pastors, individuals, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and as families.
2 Co. 10.3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
Col. 2.10: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:”
The words of Mt. 23.13 could probably aptly be spoken to many “Bible believing pastors” of our day because they take away the keys of knowledge from the people. In Mt. 15.1-9, we learn how the Pharisees took away the keys of knowledge: they transgressed “the commandments of God by [their] tradition.” They omitted the weightier matters of the law: Mt. 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” In the modern church, do Christians understand their tradition as judged by the Word of God? We are in an age when pastors prepare messages, sprinkle them with Scripture, so that people go away feeling good, and have not the knowledge that they are to be spiritual soldiers involved in spiritual warfare.
Many modern pastors are also like the scribes. The scribes had 4 characteristics: “(1) They rejected and sought to prevent the message of John as to the kingdom as being accepted by the people; (2) they viewed themselves as superior or elite to others; (3) they were always ready to accuse and find fault; (4) they were not content with the message and the abundant evidence of God supported by His Word.”
Only when Christians and churches begin to separate themselves from earthly, carnal, or fleshly methods and techniques will they please God. God wants them to grow in knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, to enlist in His spiritual army and to fight the spiritual warfare in a spiritual manner using spiritual weapons.