Ministry Excerpts on Inoculation and Dealing with Opposition – Part 2
We are in the Lord's recovery. The Lord's recovery is radically different from today's Christianity. Regardless of how careful we are and how properly we behave ourselves, we can never avoid controversy. What shall we do? Never argue, for argument never avails. In the Lord's recovery, our best course of action is to bind the strong man by prayer. If we will spend more time before the throne touching the highest authority, appealing to the highest authority, and asking the Lord to bind the strong man, we will certainly see something happen. (The Kingdom, pp. 87-88)
We need the preaching and the speaking of the word, but first we have to pray. As Christians we are priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6). When we pray, we are functioning as priests. When we preach, we are functioning as kings. As priests we should bring people to the Lord in our prayer…
Prayer is also necessary to deal with the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). Our fighting is against the evil spiritual forces in the heavenlies. Men do not reject the gospel because of its content. There is nothing offensive about the content of the gospel. The content of the gospel is good, bright, glorious, sweet, and rich. People reject the gospel because they are in the captivity of the strong man, the devil (Matt. 12:29)…
Our spiritual warfare against the principalities and powers is mainly conducted through our fighting prayer. We are not wrestling with flesh and blood. We are wrestling with the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. (Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses, pp. 22-23)
Christ said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and disciple all the nations” (Matt. 28:18-19). When we go to preach the gospel, we must not only seek power from on high, but we must learn to exercise the authority of the headship and lordship of Christ. (Preaching the Gospel in the Way of Life, p. 22)
Verse 15 continues, “Who have both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and are not pleasing to God, and are contrary to all men.” Paul was wise in writing this verse. Here he is inoculating the believers against the eventual coming of the Judaizers. Paul injected a healthy warning concerning the Judaizers into the Thessalonian saints…
This inoculating word [in 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16] was also part of Paul’s fostering of the saints. Even inoculation is included in fostering. In caring for their children, parents seek to protect them from disease. Even in caring for a garden we try to protect the plants from disease or insects. Otherwise, disease may ruin the plants, and the insects may devour them, especially the tender parts. Therefore, in order to protect a garden, we may spray the plants with insecticide. We may say that in this verse Paul was giving the believers at Thessalonica a divine germ-repellent. He warned them not to have any confidence in the Jews or to give them any credit. On the contrary, the Thessalonians were to reject them. (Life-study of 1 Thessalonians, p. 112)
Speaking the word of God with boldness is a genuine and necessary sign of the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 4:8, 31; 13:9). The most important aspect of visiting people by knocking on their doors is to speak the word with boldness. Even a little weakness in our speaking is a sign that we are not under the outpouring of the Spirit. We must exercise our faith in God, in the ascended Christ, and in the word of the Bible. Then we will have the assurance to say what we want to say. We will have the boldness, not to shout in an empty way, but to speak. To speak with boldness means that in our speaking there is something solid in content and in authority. People will recognize that this is not ordinary speaking. Even a learned professor will recognize this boldness in a young sister.
This boldness in speaking is seen in Acts 4:31. At that time the apostles had been threatened not to teach in the name of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. However, when they came back together, they prayed to such an extent that the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they began to speak the word of God with boldness… To speak with boldness is a strong sign of being under the outpouring of the economical Spirit. Our praying or speaking in any meeting must be with boldness. This is not just to shout, but to speak with something in our spirit which cooperates with the Spirit that rests upon us. (The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ, pp. 156-157)
We can tell all the opposers that we believe in the Lord Jesus according to the Bible. We hold to all the crucial points: that He is the Son of God, that He became a man, that He died for our sins, that He shed His blood for our redemption, that He was resurrected, that He is now in the heavens, that He is also in us to be our life, and that He is coming back to meet us. Since we believe all this, no one who is fair can condemn us as heretical. It is absolutely unfair to do this. Nevertheless, some may still say, “You damage the person of Christ by teaching that He is the Father as well as the Son.” This brings us back, once again, to the matter of the Trinity.
We say that Christ is the Father and the Spirit because of Isaiah 9:6, 1 Corinthians 15:45, and 2 Corinthians 3:17. We believe whatever the Bible says. Although others may not agree with us, nevertheless it is not fair to condemn us for believing what the Bible says. Therefore, the difference between us and others is not a matter of heresy, but of different interpretations, of different opinions. They follow the traditional teaching concerning the Trinity, and we believe in the pure word of the Bible. Hence, there is a discrepancy. If others say that we are heretical, then how about them? It may turn out that the very ones who accuse us of being heretical are themselves heretical. However, because they are dear brothers, we do not wish to condemn them. In like manner, we ask them not to condemn us. If you fellowship with others in this way, you may be able to help them see that it is neither right nor fair to accuse anyone who believes what the Bible reveals concerning Christ of being heretical. (Young People’s Training, pp. 109-110)
From the time the Lord's recovery came to this country, there has been opposition against it. The Lord's recovery, of course, is a testimony. But religion does not feel positively about this testimony. Satan, the Devil, is behind this opposition, for he knows that the recovery will defeat him and bring the Lord Jesus back. Hence, through the years, the opposition has followed us wherever we have gone. According to the book of Acts, it was the same with the apostles. Wherever the apostles went, the opposition was there. Some of the opposers even followed the apostles.
In the midst of this opposition, we must not be passive. We should be not only active, but even aggressive. However, we do not want to fight with others or be angry with anyone. Whenever you meet an opposer, take that as an opportunity to work on him. If that opposer says something negative, do not argue with him. Instead, be patient and pleasant, and take down all the negative points he speaks to you. Then, ask for his name, address, and telephone number and let him know that you would like to study the points and talk with him again. (The Spirit and the Body, pp. 109-110)
We need to learn how to present things to people in a pleasant way, in a way that is convincing, subduing, and captivating. Whenever people ask us a question, that is an opportunity to catch them. To do this, we must learn how to share with them in a complete way. If someone asks you what it means to turn to the spirit, that is an excellent opportunity to capture him by sharing something with him. We all must learn to do this. (The Spirit and the Body, pp. 105-106)
When the trainees recently went out to visit people, even though some people rejected them, the majority of people did open their doors to them. When people opened their doors, the trainees were able to discern who the sons of peace would be. The Lord Jesus also said that He sent us out as lambs in the midst of wolves. This indicates that in the midst of wolves, there are sheep that have been chosen by God (v. 3). (Being Up-to-date for the Rebuilding of the Temple, p. 152)