Column: "One Layman's Outlook": A spiritual Emergency Broadcast System prepares oneself for unexpected attacks

Monday, December 15, 2003

by Larry Elkins

"This is a test. This is only a test."

These words have been part of the American vernacular.

I remember early one summer morning I snuck into the living room to watch cartoons. The television was turned down low enough as not to wake up my parents. The attention signal for the Emergency Broadcast System did exactly what it was designed to do; it got their attention.

That morning EBS, for me, stood for Extended Bed Stay. By the time I was allowed out of bed the cartoons were over, game shows had ended and the soap operas were on.

I grew up around -- and Daddy worked at -- the Pine Bluff Arsenal. It was a military base for storage and disposal of old weapons. Living that close to an arsenal, during the Cold War, we would hear the test of the warning sirens.

The tests were held every Wednesday at noon, for years. Finally someone realized that if the Soviets were to attack it would probably be Wednesday at noon, so no one would pay any attention to the siren. The enemy always looks for the best time and place to attack us.

Wait a minute! Did I just slip over into the spiritual? Well, you knew it was coming.

Our enemy, "the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour," 1 Peter 5:8

If we're not careful he may attack at a time when we are not paying attention to the warning sirens.

What are his attacks? False doctrine, compromised truth, and a watered-down gospel top the list. They could come at us at any time.

I was watching a panel discussion on television between several denominational ministers, a Jewish Rabbi, a Catholic Priest, and a Muslim teacher. I found myself yelling at the TV screen, "You people have missed the whole point!"

They were discussing how we could all get along and live in a world of peace. They urged the "coming together" of all religions.

There will be no peace until the Prince of Peace comes. Isaiah 9:6-7 says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end... ."

Jesus first came to set up a spiritual kingdom and left us His spiritual peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Soon Jesus will come again to establish a physical kingdom, bringing true world peace.

We see all the peace accords, the United Nations Peacekeepers, and the "road map to peace." They tell us we can have peace if we just compromise with the enemy.

I have peace, not because I compromised, but because I surrendered. I was once an enemy of the cross. Paul said in Philippians 3:18-19, "...they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." Before I got saved, I definitely fit that description.

Now my Emergency Broadcast System, the Holy Ghost, "itself beareth witness with our spirit" (Romans 8:16), to sound an attention signal when the enemy attacks. Even if the attack is so subtle that my mind misses it. The enemy can't get anything past the Holy Spirit, because "it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth," 1 John 5:6.

Therefore when I listen to the voice of the Spirit within me, as the announcer says, I am "instructed where to tune for news and official information." That would be the Word of God where I find in Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." And in 2 Corinthians 13:11, "Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

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