“Of Your Own Selves Shall Men Arise”

Singers of psalms hymns and spiritual songs have often raised the anthem, “Soldiers of Christ Arise”. The church needs men to rise up and put their armor on. A battle is being waged every day for the soul of every man. Each generation rises to adulthood and eventually succumbs to death, having either been an effective soldier in the battle or a casualty of the war.

            Deeply saddening is the fact that the Apostle Paul, by inspiration, laid a charge at the feet of the elders from Ephesus as they met in Miletus at the behest of Paul (Acts 20:17). Paul warned them that among that very group of men, spiritual leaders, shepherds of Gods flock, would men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30). Now, it is evident that the song that is beloved by many and what the stalwart apostle said are opposed in meaning.

            Paul’s words tell us that some men, would in essence, wage war against the body of Christ for their own selfish agenda. There would rise up men from the body of Christ, that would for their own ambition cut asunder and divide His people. The very men that were charged and approved to lead and protect would eventually divide and destroy. The very men that were to lead others to Jesus would eventually lead others to themselves. It would start among the Ephesian eldership, but it would not stop there.

            How incredibly sad that men would choose, and do choose, to be the arm of Satan against the church. How incredibly sad that men would fool themselves, and do fool themselves, to believe that they can do harm to the church and themselves be right with God. These people are professors of eternal life, but not possessors of eternal life. Listen to Paul, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Paul would say of these men, “If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

            We see an example of this kind of destructive teacher in James. James chapter three is dealing with teachers. Teachers use their tongues, or by extension their pens. These perverted men will bless God in one breath and curse good men with which they have no right in another! These perverted men preach sermons and teach classes in front of Gods people, but use filthy language and tell dirty jokes outside the assembly. They are one way at the church house and another down at the lake. All the while, riding their narcissistic high horse. GOD WILL REPAY. James further notes that this kind of perverted man, who has no business teaching Gods word, is not showing godly wisdom, but that which is of the world (James 3:13-18). The teachers that draw away members for their own selfish ambitions are full of bitterness, and are envious of the lofty position of Christ, and they themselves desire the preeminence (3 John 9). All of this comes out of an evil heart. A heart that is lifted up with pride and arrogance. This teacher/leader is one that James says, “lies against the truth” (James 3:14). Friends, sadly today these men exist. They are doing the devils bidding, but fail to realize that God will expose them- if not now, in eternity. Solomon penned, “For God shall bring EVERY DEED into judgement, including EVERY HIDDEN THING, whether it is good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14). “Every idle word that men shall speak shall be given account in the day of judgement” (Matthew 12:36).

            These evil men are further noted by James by what Gods man actually looks like. If we can spot the true man of God, we can also note the perverted teacher. James says the godly teacher, using godly wisdom, is (1) pure, (2) peaceable, (3) gentle, (4) EASY TO BE INTREATED, (5) full of mercy, (6) producing good fruit, (7) not partial, (8) without hypocrisy. When one notes what Gods man looks like, the hand of Satan sticks out like the sore thumb it is.

            If you have ever been hurt by someone like this, please, know that the devil will use anything and anyone to accomplish his goal. The false teachers and hypocrites that divide and cut asunder the body of Christ already belong to the devil. Don’t allow them to bring you down to hell with them. Please, know that genuine New Testament Christians stand ready to assist you. New Testament Christians hold forth the word of life, extoll and magnify the Christ and do just what God desires, which is to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). Anyone who has evil motives may perpetrate their heinous crimes for a time- but eternity is coming. Our prayer is they turn to the Lord and repent of their wickedness before the righteousness of God is revealed against all of their evil doings (Romans 1;18).

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