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Spiritual Warfare

“Know Your Orders” 1 Timothy 1:18-20

Date:April 18, 2021
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


In Romans 1:18-32, the Apostle Paul outlined the step-by-step disintegration of a society. One cannot read the passage without recognizing the first step in that lengthy process is the suppression and the rejection of the true knowledge of God.

Christians can point fingers at the government, the liberal schools and colleges, the public school system, and the ungodly media, for a lot of the evil things going on in the world today. However, the shame for the suppression of biblical truth belongs to the church, for that was the charge the Lord Jesus gave to His followers as He ascended into heaven.

In this second sermon on the series, “Spiritual Warfare,” we will look at the second step in fighting the good fight, and that is to “Know Your Orders!” What has God called us to do, where, and how?

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Old Testament reading – Joshua 1:1-9 – New Testament Reading – 2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Spiritual Warfare: Fighting the Good Fight
“Know Your Orders”
1 Timothy 1:18-20  

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

Once we know as much as we can about the enemy we face, we need to know exactly where God needs us to be in the battle and exactly what God is calling us to do.

    • In military terms, we need to know our orders and then discipline ourselves to follow those orders, lest we waste time fighting at shadows or we become so confused in the fog of war that we shoot our fellow soldiers.
    • God has gifted each one of us with a unique calling, a super-natural ability to carry out the specific tasks He assigns to us, and our purpose is to discover that gift and use it for the advancement of His kingdom on this earth.
    • As the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 6:10-12, our battle is not with those human beings who are in positions of power and influence, but rather with the evil forces that have inhabited them.
    • As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, our weapons are not carnal, but “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”
    • Spiritual warfare is not fought with sword or spear, but with the truth of God’s Word bathed in much prayer.

We are living in the final days of the Church Age, and God is allowing things to happen to purge and purify the Church to prepare us for the rapture.

    • World leaders are gathered in Devos, laying the foundation for a global government, including a global religion.
    • The antichrist is ready and waiting to take charge of this global government and to establish a New World Order, which will begin after the rapture of the Church.
    • Such a “reset” will begin the 7-year tribulation, which will end with the return of Jesus Christ to this earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with the Christians coming with Him, to rule and reign with Him on this earth for 1,000 years, and in the new heaven and new earth forever, world without end.
    • In 1st and 2nd Timothy, the Apostle Paul said these last days of the Church Age would be filled with great difficulty.
      • People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, and abusive.
      • Children will be disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, treacherous, reckless, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having the façade of godliness, but denying its power.
      • People will not hear sound doctrine, but rather they will flock to the pastors who agree with their sexual passions.
      • These false believers will become so mesmerized by the false signs and wonders of the antichrist; they will follow him to their eternal destruction because they refused to love the truth and to be saved.
    • In 2 Timothy 3:15ff, the Apostle Paul said: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But [you] continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
    • Christians are not to become hyper about these things, but rather we are to become holy.
    • Christians are not to be sensational about these things, but rather we are to be scriptural.
    • We are to view all these things through the lens of the Scriptures.

In the first and last chapters of his first letter to Timothy, the Apostle Paul charged him to prepare for spiritual warfare, to fight the good fight of faith, beginning with the Church at Ephesus, where false teachers were:

    • Attacking the true gospel – adapting it to fit their sinful lifestyles.
    • Attacking Jesus Christ – denying He was the only mediator between God and man.
    • Attacking Timothy – questioning his authority as a pastor and his authenticity as an apostle.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, in his spiritual warfare with these false teachers, he was accountable to the Church, to the Lord, and then to the blasphemers.

1. Timothy’s Responsibility to the Church – 1 Timothy 1:18 – “This charge I commit to you, son, Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.”

In this context, Paul was referring to the church at Ephesus, which the Apostle Paul had started. However, in its broader context, Paul is referring to the universal Body of born-again believers, both living and dead.

    • Paul’s Command –
      • The Greek word translated “charge” in most Bibles is also translated as “command,” in others, which means it was not just a good idea or a suggestion, but rather an order Timothy was duty-bound to carry out for the sake of the Church. See 1 Timothy 5:21, 6:13-14
      • “Duty” is not a part of the lexicon of the contemporary church. Christianity today is more about freedom, feelings, and fulfillment, as well as excitement and entertainment.
      • In 2 Timothy 4:3-4, the Apostle Paul said the time would come when those who claim to be Christians will not hear the preaching of sound doctrine, but they will gather around those preachers who approve of their behavior.
    • Timothy’s Commission –
      • Timothy was committed to take the gospel he had received, protect it from any form of error, and then deposit it into those men who would deposit it in others.
      • With different churches teaching so many different doctrines, our first goal must be to restore the unity of the faith.
    •  Timothy’s Confirmation –
      • Timothy’s charge and commission were confirmed by the various ministry-gifts manifested through him.

2. Timothy’s Responsibility to the Lord – 1 Timothy 1:19 – “Having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck

      • Having faith – to hold fast to the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith and to never compromise them.
      • Having a good conscience – to be able to stand before the church and before the Lord in absolute integrity.

The spiritual warfare we are facing today is much more difficult than the battle Timothy faced at Ephesus 2000 years ago.

    • False teachers were not only attacking the truth about who Jesus was and what He had come to do, but they were also attacking His deity, which then trickled down to the rest of the essential doctrines of the Christian Faith.
    • Today, the attack upon the Christian Faith is coming from the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as from the false teachers and preachers who hijacked the Church many years ago to accomplish their own prideful agenda.
    • The result of such a blatant disregard for the purpose of the church is that now, only 6% of Americans have a biblical worldview.

The “charge” Jesus gave the Church, which is called the Great Commission, was to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to every nation in the world and to disciple those who received Jesus Christ as their Savior by teaching them exactly what Jesus taught His disciples.

    • But over the last 50 years, in our desire to make the church relevant to unbelievers, the church failed to teach believers:
      • That sense of respect for the holiness of God.
      • That sense of honor for those who gave their lives to get the gospel to us.
      • That sense of duty to protect the truth entrusted to us.
      • That sense of responsibility to hand that truth down to our children, in the same manner it was given to us.
      • The correction must begin where the failure began; the pulpit, the pew, and the prayer room.