Champions of the Philistines

The Sonshine   
Walter Olsen
November 1, 2018

Introduction

Israel had many battles with the Philistines, the continuous enemy of Israel.  On one occasion we read, “And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them” (I Sam. 17:3). This is emblematic that there is a great divide between true Christianity and the world. Actually, it’s the difference between spiritual life and death.

The Philistines had a great warrior whose name was Goliath. “And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span” (I Sam . 17:4). That would make him almost 10 feet! The text goes on to make much of the armor of the man from Gath. 

The purpose of this article is to show some of the champions or strong men the world sends against Christianity. The enemy has many weapons, all of them strong in the battle against the truth of Christianity. Let’s consider just a few.

The champion of political correctness. This seems so right and necessary in the minds of those who do not know the truth of the  Bible. It would seem to be about treating everybody equally with no lines of distinction. The problem is, it seeks to erase the lines of godliness that God Himself has established! It breaks down the markers that are established for the protection of people. It seems right to people who know nothing of Biblical righteousness. It is a man originated system of governing.

Actually, I believe it is a system of gaining more control over people. It obviously promotes great chaos and paves the way for the government to step in and take control. Even this may seem good to some people, that is, until they see that they have lost much of their freedom! Such control eventually leads to the antichrist’s dictum, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor ,free and bond, to receive a  mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16-17). Of course, this takes place in the tribulation after the church has been removed to heaven. This is not just a course set by man himself, but by the will and design of Satan.

Because of the prevalence of political correctness, the standards of Biblical morality are destroyed. Marriage, the distinctions between men and women, and what constitutes sexual purity are all being trashed. Think about it, God’s standards for the goodness and the protection of society are being replaced by crime, drug addiction, disease, a feeling of desperation, and suicide. It would be good to meditate upon God’s word such as, “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself...” (Psa. 4:3).

Do we see that a knowledge of the Bible is essential to being able to comprehend the present and future state of things? Man, apart from the truth of the Bible, builds a tower of Babel with the same ultimate results!

The champion of disdain for Biblical truth. This has been intimated above, but needs to be emphasized a bit more. Of course, the truth of the Bible is a revelation of truth from God as the Bible itself proclaims, “Knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (I Pet. 1:20-21).

Part of the reason people disdain Biblical truth is because, if they know not the Lord,  they do not and, indeed, cannot identify with it. Jesus said to the unbelievers of His day, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not. Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (Jn. 8:44-47). Emphasis mine.

We should note that, just because the world proclaims somebody to be smart and wise does not mean that they are so in the sight of God. A person may be very highly educated according to the standards of the world and yet know nothing of the truth of God’s word. Paul made this clear when he said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not Gad made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (I Cor. 1:18-20).

Paul spoke of those, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:25).

Further, let’s consider one more thing in this realm. Do not believers sometimes disdain Biblical truth as well? If believers are not well grounded in the word, do they not sometimes reject truth that may cause them to feel uncomfortable? It is only when one has a growing relationship with God that he has an inner hunger for all the truth of the Bible. Then indeed, “...his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night” (Psa. 1:2).

Most of all, the believer will say with Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).

The champion of the teaching of evolution. The teaching of evolution is a major tenant of the unbelieving world. This is true for several reasons. For such teachers, it is a bulwark against the Biblical teaching of creation. If one accepts evolution for the origin of all things, he does not have to wrestle with the truth of the Bible. If one can accept the alternative of evolution, he can just as easily accept other matters of false doctrine, such as the innate goodness of man, salvation by good works, and a love of God that does not punish unrepentant sinners.

If one accepts as truth the idea of evolution, he will not have to face the wrath of those who oppose evolution. He will be one with them.  False doctrine is so much easier to embrace than a doctrine that is held by the minority, specifically, believing Christians. There is often an innate desire to be accepted by one’s peers, particularly when they are so very vocal.

Holding to the teaching of evolution often gives one standing in certain circles such as the fields of public education and in the scientific community. However, to desire such standing, especially for the believer, is to desire something contrary to the truth of the Bible and God’s order of things.

The champion of secular education. By secular education I mean education that purposely rejects the truth of the Bible. It is education that places man above God and makes man himself the final authority. In some cases, it is almost a worship of public education. Of course, it has the seeds of destruction built within it, for no one can replace God and prosper. Again, Let’s remember what God has said, “...I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (I Cor. 1:19).

Note, though, this does not mean that all public education is problematic. The truths of math, true science, and many other subjects seems pretty much constant. Further, there are many Christian teachers in public schools. What I am speaking of is the intent of education that seeks to replace God in all of its teaching. It seeks to divert the student’s focus away from God to the ideals and goals of man.

As an added note, if we have been paying attention at all, we see that the goals and traditions of pubic education have changed greatly in the past few years. This is seen in many areas such as the teaching of history. The heroes of yesterday are not the heroes of today.

The champion of the promotion of the state as the supreme well-being of the people. Of course, the state can do many good things for people, such as providing care for people in genuine need, and protection for its citizens. The state is needed for the general well-being of any people. It is right and good to pay taxes and pray for our leaders as God told us to, “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplication, prayers, intercessions ,and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior...” (I Tim. 2:1-3).

The problem comes when the state becomes the caretaker for all of society. When that happens, God is removed from His rightful place of leadership, protection, and provision. If the state is our caretaker, what need do people have to pray and seek God for themselves?!

A study of the Bible reveals that eventually there will be the supremacy of the state ruled over by an ungodly man that seeks his own ends. Well, let’s make it even more clear. That man will not be a man of God but a man of Satan!! His chief end will be to destroy believers and God himself. Of course, he will not succeed, but he will create great havoc and suffering on his way to his Satanic ends. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:7-8).

The good news is that, if we are believers, we will not be here during that time [the time of the tribulation]. Instead, believers will be enjoying the presence and fellowship of God in heaven!

As one reads the Bible, he can see that all of history is heading toward a climax engineered by Satan. Of course, he does not have the final say and will himself be eternally punished by God.

As believers, we can be thankful that we have the light of the Gospel and the presence of God to guide us through such tumultuous times.

The champion of cultural corruption. Probably many don’t see this as a problem. Certainly many people who do not know the truth of God’s word fail to see this as much of a concern. Christians, though, see it differently. They see the corruption of our culture as a departure from the standards of God’s word and the evidence of the life of Jesus Christ. For the believer, certain standards of decorum are consistent with the Christian life. We are exhorted, “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:6-7).

This is not just a matter of following written instructions, but it is a matter of the heart. We obey God from the heart or we do not obey Him at all. It is a matter of identifying in our innermost being with the will and heart of God. Corruption must be seen as it relates to God. God is holy and He does not in any way countenance ungodliness. Thank God, though, that He is willing to forgive us when we repent and turn from our sins.

This corruption is seen in many different ways and places. For example, much of the music of the world is little more than the expression of wicked hearts. The lyrics of many “songs” are not only weird but are also the expression of sinful hearts.

Much of what passes for acceptable literature today is a promotion of a sinful lifestyle. The standards of morality are no longer acceptable to many.

Of course, the promotion of pornography is everywhere present. Is it any wonder we see the problems in society created by such indulgence?

The champion of religion without Christ. Of course, this has been a problem since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Satan does not mind any religion that does not proclaim Jesus Christ as the Savior of men. Any religion that leaves out the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is no threat to Satan. Any religion that ignores the necessity of the shed blood of Jesus would be promoted by Satan himself. His mission is not to help people, but to deceive them.

Israel was reminded many times to separate themselves from the religions of the world, of their enemies. Very often they disobeyed and thus incurred the judgment of God. Believers today are warned not to partake of the religions of the world. They can only bring condemnation.

A couple of things are of special note here. The new age movement, so common in the world today, promotes and supports any and all religion that opposes true Christianity. It matters not how vulgar and unbiblical it may be. The basic idea is to reject all Biblical teaching of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Peter reminds us of another danger we need to take note of. “But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false prophets among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you...” (II Pet. 2:1-3).

So, the problem is not only from without but from within. A study of the churches of Revelation relates some of the special problems churches face from within. False doctrine, moral corruption, formalism, worldliness, and indifference are only some of the problems churches face today.

Conclusion

The champions of the Philistines are everywhere present today! The problem is, they are often not even recognized by the church! We need to be students of the Word, alert, and given to prayer so as to deal with these ever present challenges. To fail to do so is to fail in our walk with God and also to be a truthful witness to others.

It seems impossible, but we are about to enter into the holiday season before long. It is a busy time but a blessed time.

We saw our first snowfall of the year on Sunday, October 14th. We had about an inch. It was kind of pretty on the colored leaves. I think we are about done with cutting grass for this year.

We are looking forward to The Exchange Ministry to be presented in our church soon. It is a five day meeting with emphasis on being a better witness of our faith.

The mid-term elections are almost here. Our votes make a difference. Since government was instituted by God, we should be faithful to our duty and privilege to vote.

“Where there is competition, be sure that you put your relationship to God first.”  Oswald Chambers

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:5-6).

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