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“The Analogy Behind the Memphis Belle Battle Scene”

Dr. John Maxwell in his book PARTNERS IN PRAYER said this:

"Early in my ministry, I was naive about how much Christian leaders have to battle the devil. But as I continue in my ministry, I find that I have to fight Satan more and more, and the battles usually occur when I'm making major decisions. I believe the evil one watches for the right time to attack Christian leaders, and he is especially active before an advance for God's kingdom, after a victory, and when a leader is just plain tired. [This fits a physical parallel seen in World War II: B-17's came under heaviest attack from Me109's and FW190's and also flack just before they got near the target, or just after hitting the target--on the way home. Also, the German's would especially go after crippled aircraft or ones separated from the formation. Talk about why Christians shouldn’t be loner’s, having no church to attend. Loner’s don’t survive. German’s hated attacking a tight box formation of B-17’s, each having 13 fifty caliber machine-guns to train out on their respective side of the box.] John Maxwell continues.

“Any time a person is doing positive things for God, Satan will try to stop it. The higher you go up the ladder of Christian leadership [or accomplishment], the higher you go on Satan's hit list. That means pastors and other church leaders are going to be under continuous spiritual attack because they spend the majority of their time working to build God's kingdom." [That was a quote from pages 83-84 PARTNERS IN PRAYER, by John C. Maxwell, my remarks in brackets [ ] .]

I made the same observation as a result of the attacks that have been leveled against me whenever I was about to make a quality addition to my site. These attacks would become the heaviest as I made significant changes or additions to the Christian unity website the Lord was inspiring me to create. These well-timed attacks continue to this day, often when I least expect it. This site utilizes the talents I have been blessed with, so that I am fulfilling Romans 12:1-2 to the very fullest in my life. (The site is now nourishing an average of 500 persons a month with high quality sermon transcripts and topical Bible studies on prayer, Christian growth, faith, evangelism, concepts of ministry and church history.) That is why I started using the battle analogy that the work I was doing was like a spiritual "Memphis Belle" (a famous B-17 bomber in World War II) heading for a spiritual target over enemy territory. Once I made the analogy though, I started saying to myself (kind of doubting) "this is crazy". Then the Lord started backing up the analogy, and he did so well over seven times in two short years, twice by actually bringing the B-17 bomber that was used to film "Memphis Belle" to our local airport! The other two major signs were the mailing of two large zipfiles of B-17 nose art to me, unsolicited, by a former shipmate. Contained in the second zipfile was the actual file photo of the Memphis Belle and her crew being congratulated by Army high brass after their 25th mission (just before their return to the United States). These signs would come within weeks of my doubting myself and this analogy and whether the Lord was really backing it up. They occurred over a two year period. After the sixth sign from the Lord, I stopped questioning whether he was really doing and inspiring me to do this work I have started to undertake. Now it's just a given to me that this is what he wants me doing, and that I'm going to get shot at, and I'm going to be flying into spiritual "flack storms".

The analogy behind the battle scene is that the work the Lord has given me to do is like a spiritual Memphis Belle (B-17), carrying a spiritual bomb-load against Satan's evil empire. The bomb-load is aimed at bringing spiritual health and nurturing to the body of Christ, thus bringing a degree of spiritual unity to the body of Christ (not doctrinal or organizational unity). Spiritually, this creates spiritual fire-storms in the midst of this evil world Satan holds sway over, the same as our B-17s would do on enemy targets. The bomb-load itself is the content of the website, and the Belle is the website itself. The crew are the people who work on the site, myself, and right now Sue and Mike who are web designers and run the server the site is on. This may all sound nuts to you. But the attacks I have been under were real enough, and so were the signs I received over a two year period, often received just after I entertained major doubts about the Lord's backing up this crazy sounding analogy. I’ve been a Christian long enough to recognize attacks from Satan, subtle as some are, as compared to the result of my own carnality mixed with time and chance. Satan’s attacks are usually timed just before, or after a major advance has been made for God’s kingdom. And the major symptom is that their effect is like all hell breaking lose in one’s life, and then suddenly everything’s back to normal [much like an enemy fighter-plane attack on a B-17-the fury of a firefight, then they’re gone-and you’re left flying onward, hopefully, licking your wounds]. If you can’t picture this, rent the movie Memphis Belle and watch it.

But back to the spiritual analogy of a B-17 bomber with its bomb-load. When people are enlivened spiritually by reading any of these studies, it lights them up spiritually. You might say it lights their fires. This may sound screwy, but according to a pastor I’ve talked to who has spoken to demon possessed people, the demon possessing the person has remarked that it hurts being around a real Christian because the indwelling Holy Spirit is painful for them to look at, like looking into an aircraft or naval searchlight--it’s blinding. We humans can’t see it, but we do light up the world wherever we are. Satan’s demonic world hates this. The stronger the body of Christ grows, and the more people drawn into real relationships with Jesus Christ--possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit--well, it’s like setting the demon’s evil world on fire. Yeah, we can’t see the fire, but it’s there nonetheless. So if this site is doing the equivalent of lighting spiritual fires wherever it drops these studies, it’s the same as what our bombers did in WWII when they fire-bombed industrial cities behind enemy lines. It’s just an analogy, but I think it’s an accurate one. In WWII, with just 11 percent of the military budget, our bomber force virtually destroyed the enemy behind the lines before his army collapsed. Their army ground to a halt from lack of supplies and fuel long before their physical ability to wage war ceased. The apostle Paul had a lot to say about spiritual warfare. Be sure to look up the section on Ephesians 6 on this website to see what Paul had to say about spiritual warfare. Also an excellent resource on spiritual warfare is Brian Broderson’s booklet SPIRITUAL WARFARE, which can be ordered from The Word For Today, PO Box, 8000, Costa Mesa, CA 92628. The cost is $3.50. It’s just 73 pages long and gives a good outline of all the major facets of this fascinating subject. Yes, Johnny, there is a devil, and he walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Right now my site is almost complete as far as the content required to effectively draw a non-Christian to Christ, as well as strengthening the walk of Christians. The material on it has the ability to nourish Christian readers, drawing them into a closer and more relevant relationship with Jesus Christ. The more interesting but superficial areas of the site, like prophecy and church history, are actively linked via hypertext links to sermon transcripts and topical studies that are of the caliber required to actually draw non-Christian and Christian alike into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. The topical studies on prophecy are also linked by hypertext links to the topical section on evangelism, leading Christian readers to articles that will instill a desire to fulfill the job Jesus gave us all to do until he returns (Matthew 28:18-20). The specific goals of the website are that the site exists for the benefit and spiritual enrichment of all genuine Christian denominations and fellowships by helping to nurture all Christians of all denominations online. It is not my desire or intent that this site draw Christians from one denomination or fellowship into another. Instead, it is my strong desire that Christians remain in the Christian denomination or fellowship they are in and help strengthen it by their enlivened presence and service. Right now I live in a house with my two children, one age 15 and the other age 19, somewhere in central Massachusetts, working as an electronics tech. For further material dealing with the subject of spiritual warfare be sure to click on the section on Ephesians and scroll to the sermon transcripts dealing with Ephesians 6. Also in the “What is Evangelism?” section, click on “Principles of War: A Strategy For Evangelism.” During this church age that spans the time from Jesus ascension to God’s throne to the time of his return in glory, we find ourselves living in a cruel world where Satan and his demonic forces hold unseen sway over all of mankind. His deceptions reach out to all of mankind, as clearly stated in Revelation 12:9. As Romans 13:11-14 states, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” And if you think we’re not closer to Jesus’ return, then you must have been sleeping during the events of September 11, 2001. Enjoy the site,

 

 



Peter F. Benson
editor, UNITYINCHRIST.COM

P.S. Again, for a very good study on the subject of spiritual warfare, write to The Word For Today, PO Box 8000, Costa Mesa, CA 92628 and order SPIRITUAL WARFARE by Brian Brodersen (Cost $3.50). Pastor Brian Brodersen of Calvary Chapel Westminster, England brings biblical balance and practical insight to the subject of spiritual warfare. To look this booklet up online log onto http://www.thewordfortoday.org .

 

 

 

Flying a B-17 in not usually attempted by one person, this heavy aircraft requires a pilot and co-pilot.  I am looking for a qualified spiritual wife/co-pilot, with similar spiritual background, to assist in this ministry.

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn8tqacRXK4&feature=em-share_video_user

 

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