Affiliated with the Intercontinental Church of God and the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association

 
 

Are You a Victim of Spiritual Sabotage?     MP3


In the early months of World War Two, Germany conquered and occupied France.  Soon thereafter, the French Underground or resistance movement was founded.  Their ranks consisted mostly of non-military civilians with very limited resources or weapons.  From their inception they knew they had no real power to defeat or destroy the massive and well-armed troops of the German war machine.  They therefore initiated a long-term program of sabotage, which according to Wikipedia, is, “a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction.”

The Wikipedia goes on to say, “The name derives from the early industrial age, when powered looms could be damaged by displaced weavers (proto-saboteurs) throwing their wooden shoes (known in French as sabots) into the machinery. Literally it means, 'clattering in sabots.'”

In another dictionary I read:

sab·o·tage 

Treacherous action to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor; deliberate subversion.  The objective of sabotage is to halt all production, rather than to destroy or imperil human life.

As God’s called-out firstfruits, we are in spiritual warfare with Satan and his resistance movement.  In this case, he is the saboteur.  He uses treachery in hopes of hindering both the Work of God and the individual member in his or her pursuit of salvation.  Satan even attempts to influence us into spiritually sabotaging our own salvation.  

What is "spiritual sabotage"?  How does it happen?  What does the Bible say?  How can this enemy be overcome?

TWO KINDS OF SABOTAGE

There are two kinds of spiritual sabotage:

1] Sabotage against the Church
2] Self-inflicted Sabotage

1] Sabotage against the Church

The Bible does not use the word “sabotage” but there are two key words which match its meaning, “seditions” and “varience”.  Notice Galatians 5…

 

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. – Gal 5:19-21


Notice “seditions” from Strong’s:

NT:139 - seditions

hairesis (hah'-ee-res-is); from NT:138; properly, a choice, i.e. (specially) a party or (abstractly) disunion:

 

KJV - heresy [which is the Greek word itself], sect.

Now the word “variance” from the dictionary:
 

The condition or fact of varying: difference, variation. A state of disagreement and disharmony: clash, conflict, confrontation, contention, difference, difficulty, disaccord, discord, discordance, dissension, dissent, dissentience, dissidence, dissonance, faction, friction, inharmony, schism, strife, war, warfare.

 

Spiritual sabotage against the church comes in the form of sedition and variance or disunion, discord and dissent.

The Number One Tactic of Sabotage in the Church

Notice the root word and primary rendering for seditions.  It’s “heresy.”  The bringing of heresies to the church is the number one method of causing disunion and discord in the church.  The definition of church is, “a group of called out individuals bound together by common doctrine."  The bringing in of heresies is a direct attack on this common bond.  Ironically these heresies and resultant discord come from within.  Notice the words of Peter to the church…

 

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. –2 Peter 2:1

The difficulty with heresies and the way they are brought in is that they come bathed in light and sincerity.  Sometimes those bringing the heresies, because of their passion for truth and a desire to please God have no idea that they are the ones bringing in the seeds of discord.  Others are driven by secret greed for position or their self-righteousness.  The motivations are often envy, jealousy and even hate.  This type of sabotage will increase as we come closer to the Great Tribulation.

In Titus 1 we see what God commands the church to do in these cases…

For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. –Titus 1:10-11.


Be wary of any member of the church who approaches you with some claim of error in doctrine.  If a member feels there is truly some error, he or she should contact their local minister, area coordinator and/or headquarters immediately.  The question that goes begging is, if a member thinks there was an error in doctrine, why would they take it to other members of the church rather than to the ministry or headquarters?  This person should do all he or she can to protect the flock until the ministry is contacted.  False teachers will almost always use the claim of error to gather a following of some kind or to instigate discord in the congregation.  The best method of not falling for false doctrine is to remain fully immersed in the Word of God.  See my Notebook piece, “How Does God Correct the Church?

2] Self-inflicted Sabotage

 

Self-inflicted spiritual sabotage is usually far different from the kind visiting the church.  The saboteur in this case is the church member him or herself.

In doing some research on this subject, I found the following table of elements describing how members disrupt and harm their own Salvation Process.

 

Betrayal: Isn't (something else) better -- more important?

Delay: I'll do it next; I want to do (something else) first.

Denial: I didn't know; Are you sure you told me?

Excuse: I had other things to do; not enough time.

Fogging: What was that request again? Again? Again?

Forgetting: It must have slipped my mind; I must have forgotten.

Procrastinating: If it needs to be done, someone else will do it.

Rebelling: I don't want to do it; It isn't my style/way/desire.

Sabotaging: I'll do it (but I won't); You can(not) count on me.

Stalling: Can it wait until ...; I don't think I can do it until ....

Subversion: Do you think it necessary? What about (something else)?

 

These elements result in one being a foolish virgin as we see in Matthew 25, a prophecy for the end time.  These are all elements of backsliding that if not repented of will surely result in one falling away from the faith.

In Lamentations 3:36 it says, “
To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.”  A few verses later the admonition is clear [speaking to the one engaged in sabotage], “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” See also: Isaiah 55:7; Hosea 6:1, 12:6, 14:1-3 and Joel 2:12-13)

 

Don’t allow spiritual sabotage in your life!!

 
 

back to top                 back to Minister's Notebook                   home                 ICG Web Sites

 
 

Portland, Oregon Church of God - part of The Intercontinental Church of God and The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association - Tyler, Texas