arrow02I received the following question:

See what I got this morning as reaction to our resent effort to spread the Word of God. A Pastor whose name is Sam, came to my House this very Morning to tell me that he heard a voice that mandated him to tell me to pray against the arrow of death. Adding that he heard this voice while passing by our house where we reside. He further asked me to fast some number of days and do some vigils all together so as to appease God to remove the death arrow which is looming. Isn’t it laughable? Or maybe something to be desired? However, I did took him through some evidential miracle of the period covered by the Acts of the apostles and the divine intention of God for those signs and wonders, yet he did not believe the scriptural evidence, but was ironically surprised at the findings we got from the scriptures we shared which also touches on spiritual gift. What is your thought on this, Sir? Is this a mark of spirituality OR Deception on the side of this zealous pastor? Your comment will be welcomed so as to guide me properly on the truth given for our obedience in the dispensation of the grace of God.

I believe you were right in setting forth to this pastor that what he was trying to do was in line with the time of the Acts period, when the Lord was working openly, manifestly, and evidentially, but is not in line with how the Lord is working now in this time of His silence. A big problem with what he is saying is that it would make him God’s spokesman to you to tell you what God wants you to do. For God to give him a message to give to you would make him a mediator between you and God, and this would violate the truth of I Timothy 2:5: that there is One Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. I am writing about this in my newest commentary on I Timothy. The point is that he is taking a place that belongs today to Christ alone. What he is doing could have been right in the Acts period, when there were other mediators between God and believers, like apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers. Yet today there is no God-given mediator. We can learn and grow in the Lord, and then act as teachers and leaders to help others do the same, but we earn this position by growing closer to God ourselves, not by being given a position as mediator by God Himself. What we must do is point others to Scripture. We cannot say, “I have a message directly from God to you.” That would make us mediators, and that we cannot be.

Another problem with what he is saying is in his suggestion as to how you are to counteract this “arrow of death.” The Bible tells us how to guard against Satan’s arrows in Ephesians 6, and it is not by fasting some number of days and doing some vigils all together so as to appease God. What Ephesians 6 tells us is to take up the whole armor of God in order to stand in the evil day, and specifically in verse 16, “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” The shield here is the great shield, which was the size of a doorway. It is with faith that we protect ourselves against Satan’s arrows. Faith is knowing and believing God’s Words and living according to them. It is by knowing and believing and living the Scriptures, not by fasting and keeping vigils, that we are protected from Satan’s attacks.

Another problem with his statement is that he talks about appeasing God. I thought he said it was Satan who was attacking you, not God? Why then appease God? The reality is that toward us in Christ our God is already appeased. As I explain in my commentary on Colossians 2:14, the “true bill” of our offenses before God has been taken out of the way by Christ and nailed to the cross. There is no need to seek to appease God about anything. As for Satan, we do not appease him, but we oppose him and guard against his fiery attacks with the great shield of faith, which we achieve from knowing and believing God’s Word. His attacks will be blocked and extinguished by God’s truth. They will pass right through fasting and vigils.

As far as the zeal of this man, he might well be very zealous, and his error might not be intentional. I too have met very zealous people who nevertheless were deceived and thinking they could live out things from the Acts period today. I would notice, though, that if you listened to him, you would be treating his words as if they were the words of God, and that would certainly be a big boost to anyone’s pride! As servants of God, we must always guard very much against pride. Yet he might well not really be consciously aware of the personal pride and self-aggrandizement that go along with his statement to you. He probably has a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, as the Jews did in Romans 10:2.

I pray that you will continue to grow in knowledge of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. May His grace be with you!