Love is a Battlefield
There are about three reasons why a person tries to make disciples and fulfill the Great Commission. These three reasons are as followed: love for lost ones, prove works and prideful success. Two of the three reasons are, of course, wrong in intent as we have already discussed in previous weeks. Today, we are going to look at the battle we face when we are discipling because of the love for lost ones. There is a common battle that the righteous fight within themselves every day. Can anyone tell me this battle? It is the battle between spirit and flesh. When we are out there trying to spread the Gospel and bring others into this body of Messiah, we will face the same battle of flesh vs spirit. Romans 8:5-11 says,
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit.
6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.
7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able,
8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.
10 And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.
11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.
Let’s put my thought into perspective. When we are fighting spirit and flesh when we are righteous, how much more is that fight when we are trying to proselytize someone that is of the world? It is a much more uphill fight than one may think. I was talking with John Dolittle down the road yesterday and he is a Christian about holidays. I explained to him how I came into the faith that I am in now by using an elementary explanation, but I still got flack and rebuttal with a fleshly response. Let me share with you what I explained to John Dolittle. First, I told him that when I came to this faith, I was reading the book of Revelation.
16 “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
Then I said to John, “When I read this verse, I started to ponder, what’s the difference between cold, hot and lukewarm? Continuing to explain, I said that this question reminded me of a verse in the book of John,
John 14:15, 21
15 If you love Me, guard My commands.
21 “He who possesses My commands and guards them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and manifest Myself to him.”
After saying this to John, I continued to say, John, when I read this, it reminded me of the two greatest commands,
38 “This is the first and great command.
39 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
40 On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.
As John continued to listen and nod his head, I could see his mind turning thought after thought and yet I still felt at this point that my explanation was getting no where but yet I still continued. I said to John, when I finished reading this, it reminded me of Exodus
6 but showing loving-commitment to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.
Speaking to John, I got to the point of understanding that verse that reminded me that I should love the Lord with all my mind, heart and strength. This brought me to the Shema as I was explaining to him,
4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!
5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
6 And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart,
7 and you shall impress them upon your children, and shall speak of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up,
8 and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9 “And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
At this point, I saw in his eyes a bit of disbelief. I knew from what I was seeing in him that I was starting to battle the flesh, man’s doctrine, the church indoctrination and the common misconceptions that we are were taught about love in the church and in the world. Quietly and calmly, I could see an inner distraught man being risen. However, I pressed on. At this point, I was explaining that we are grafted in and then I referenced Revelation again,
4 And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Once I referenced this verse, I saw a question mark above John’s head and so I then had to reference the grafted in verse,
17And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, have been grafted in among them, and came to share the root and fatness of the olive tree,
So I explained that we, the set apart ones, are grafted in. This didn’t bring much for John to the table, so I went into my Christmas speal about Deuteronomy stating not to worship the Father in the ways the pagans do and that it wasn’t His birth. Now the tongue of John lashed out. What difference does it make? Whether we worship His birth on one day or another it’s to honor the birth of the Messiah. So, this banter continued a few minutes and I did the regular routine about Sukkot so forth and so on and the same thing came out of his that comes out of every Christians mouth, God knows our hearts and that’s what matters.
In this lengthy example, I showed a battle of a spirit filled man vs a fleshly indoctrinated man. This is a battle that all those who try to make disciples must face. It is inevitable. You will not ever escape it. You can’t avoid it and you can’t run from it if you want to make disciples. All you can do is be prepared, plant the seed and pray for Messiah to water that seed so it can grow to ask questions and become more open to learn the truth.
There’s a part of this discipleship battlefield that has a place in prophecy and that’s what we are going to turn our focus to now.
15 “And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken and snared and taken.”
16 Bind up the witness, seal the Torah among my taught ones.
17 And I shall wait on יהוה, who hides His face from the house of Ya‛aqoḇ. And I shall look for Him.
18 Look, I and the children whom יהוה has given me – for signs and wonders in Yisra’ĕl from יהוה of hosts, who dwells in Mount Tsiyon.
The prophecy we are reading here is a portion of two correlation prophecies. One partial prophecy which is about those who are going to fall, the symbol of the arrogant, prideful and disobedient ones who mock and scoff at those who try to live the faith in Messiah. The second being the prophecy of the disciples who wait on the Father in haste but not in a passive stillness but as in a worker bee. A worker trying to continue to work for the kingdom, focusing his efforts on the business of the Most High. It really means to be totally attentive to the Father and focused on His every move, desiring to respond to His every desire.
As disciples, the law of the Father is sealed on us which means we are connected and bound to Him through His covenant giving us the most important job of the kingdom which is to spread His word and make disciples as we can see referenced by Yeshua in John.
16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you.
In Isaiah, the prophet is telling us that we will wait on the Father like a butler waits on his master. When we take this perspective, it makes since consider Yeshua references Himself as the master when He tells us not to be called “rabbi” which in on definition in the concordances means master. No one is master but Yeshua and the Father. Isaiah continues to prophesy that we will be looking for signs and wonders in Israel. Since we are speaking of Israel, and we are in this era and not the era in which this prophecy is written, we must take it in context. Israel is us and we are seeing that we will look toward Him in the heavens as He sits on His Mount Zion. Then as Yeshua states in John, what we just read, we must go and bear fruit. If we go out and make disciples, we bear a new creature or fruit for Messiah to mold into His spiritual image.
That’s the prophecy that leads to us today hastening to tomorrow, the second coming of the Son of Man. But what about after this point? What about after the fact, when it is time to sift the wheat and the tares? Discipleship plays a major role in the harvest. To understand this spiritually and physically, let’s look at some comparisons.
Wheat that’s in the field is processed into food. Like a converted believer is processed into a Torah observant lover of Messiah producing much fruit. On the flip side, a tare is a weed known as false wheat in modern science.
29 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I shall say to the reapers, “First gather the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.” ’
14 And I looked and saw a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was One like the Son of Aḏam, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another messenger came out of the Dwelling Place, crying with a loud voice to the One sitting on the cloud, “Send Your sickle and reap, because the hour has come for You to reap, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
16 And the One sitting on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
17 And another messenger came out of the Dwelling Place which is in the heaven, and he too held a sharp sickle.
18 And another messenger came out from the slaughter-place, having authority over the fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him having the sharp sickle, saying, “Send your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.”
19 And the messenger thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of Elohim.
20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the bridles of the horses, for about one thousand six hundred stadia
Think of the two-house teaching that some have heard. I’m not going to delve into the understanding of the two-house teaching but some of the concepts that are pertinent to our message today. The first house, Judah, a people who obey Torah but deny Yeshua. The second house, Ephraim, a Christian faith that proclaim Messiah but deny Torah. Eventually, both will come full circle, and some will follow the set apart path and others will fall away. This will end the two-house scenario and make that one body of Messiah completely with both natural born and adopted combining into one family without any divisive issues.
22 “And the esteem which You gave Me I have given them, so that they might be one as We are one,
23 “I in them, and You in Me, so that they might be perfected into one, so that the world knows that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me, might be with Me where I am, so that they see My esteem which You have given Me, because You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25 “O righteous Father, indeed the world did not know You, but I knew You, and these knew that You sent Me.
26 “And I have made Your Name known to them, and shall make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me might be in them, and I in them.”
We are built to become as one with Yeshua through the Father and it had been ordained since the foundation of the world. Therefore, we battle. Our love of Messiah, our devotion to bring about a completeness in unifying the body of Messiah within all His believers. To finally bring together the children of YeHoVaH. To break through the darkness and shine the light of Yeshua. Discipleship is the key to bring forth more wheat and less tares. Discipleship is a battle that we must wage as soldiers, the infantry of the Father’s army in this darkened world that is full of our enemy’s own army. The difference is that our Commander in Chief is perfect, and His army will not fall. Let’s commit, let’s decide right here today, let’s put our first sword forward as an army rising and go recruit more soldiers to help us battle. Our love will diminish any flame of the wicked one. It will crush our enemy beneath our feet. Do you love Messiah? Do you want more brother’s in arms? Will you help build this army? Will you be a vessel for Messiah? Will you battle this day, the next day and every day after? Let’s stand in arms together and say, “NO SOUL LEFT BEHIND!”