Recently, a politician stood before the cameras of the media and proclaimed with self-proclaimed audacity that the “enemy is within”. What that person was implying was that anyone who questioned the progressive reality of the changing political landscape was the real enemy of the country. To the credulity of the news junkies, this was received as factual truth. In fact, it was a call to “arms” to deal with this tide of adversity. Let me use this as an analogy for what is and has been an attack on the Church from within.
In the Church today there is a two-party system. There are the “right wing” constituents who are made up of people who defend the Bible as their Constitution. The Sixty-Six “articles” (Books) lay out the Biblical foundation of the Kingdom of God. Members of the “left” party are those who challenge the wording of the Bible. They believe that God’s actions are defined by the times. The Bible must be interpreted in the most relevant and up-to-date way. God said so, but what did he really mean? As the bipartisan Church strives to activate the Word, there is also a movement within the Church that is determined to render its efforts ineffective. More and more “fleshly immigrants” are infiltrating the Church with the intention of destroying the Church from within. Jesus warned about those who would come “in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) There are people today who prophesy, cast out demons and do many wonders in the name of Jesus, but they are not “true” believers. Jesus rejected and will reject those who have used his name falsely. (Matthew 7:22, 23) The sons of Sceva tried to cast out demons in the name of Jesus, but the evil spirit within the possessed man called out to them and said: “I know Jesus, and I know Paul; but what? who are you?” “He then proceeded to so brutally beat the seven brothers that they left the house “naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:14-16)
The question immediately arises as to how someone who is not a “true” believer can perform signs and wonders and even prophesy in the name of Jesus. What he shows us is the power in the name of Jesus. Jesus will allow the use of his name, but will hold the person who uses that name accountable for furthering his own agenda. Searching the Scriptures, he will find many times in the Bible when God used his enemies to accomplish his purpose.
Failure to recognize the enemy within us will impede the fulfillment of the Church’s calling. It is amazing how many “enemies” of the Cross are in leadership capacities within the Church. We are so concerned with getting people into our buildings that we have adopted an open door policy. Satan, recognizing the vulnerability of the “open door” church, has sent his people to bring division within his gates. Look at how many churches have split, divided, and closed over the years. How can that happen to the Church of the Living God?!
Right Wing, Left Wing, Enemy Within. It is time to stop playing “church” and start being the Church that God has called us to be. It’s time to make changes hard and fast. If we don’t, we may see the answer to Jesus’ question: “…when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)