Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Manna 76: Commission)
On the Front Line (I)—Knowing Who You Are
TOC | Previous | Next

Adapted from lectures by Vuthy Nol-Mantia—Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Most—if not all—of us have seen soldiers in uniform, be it in the flesh, on the streets, in the movies or on TV. They generally evoke admiration because they seem so different—so cool and capable. Growing up, many children say it is their ambition to be a soldier in order to protect their family and country. However, being a good soldier is not easy; a soldier has to be self-disciplined and proactive; he must be willing to endure hardship and be ever ready to fight. Fundamentally, soldiers need to have a clear understanding of who they are and what they are supposed to do.

These are the very questions of identity, sense of belonging and role that many youths today struggle with. In particular, as youths in the True Jesus Church, how do we see ourselves? 

This series of articles discusses the following questions: Do we truly know and understand who we are? Do we know our purpose in life? Are we equipped to fulfill this purpose?


When we were baptized, we became children of God by His grace (Jn 1:12–13; 3:5; Rom 6:4). Besides being adopted, we automatically enlisted in God’s spiritual army; each and every one of us is a soldier of Christ. Since we accepted baptism by faith, the nature of our enlistment is voluntary. Even if we were baptized as an infant, if we have experienced God for ourselves then His grace and love will compel us to follow His calling and to serve Him. In fact, being a child and soldier of Christ is a precious status. Not everybody obtains this status because although God so loved the world, not all respond to this love. Though many are called, few are chosen. Hence, we must treasure this status which has been freely given to us.


Ready to Fight

What is the purpose of God’s army? Most armed forces of this world have several service branches which play different roles in defending their homeland; some are more active and high-paced while others have a more passive or defensive function. The Lord’s armed forces clearly must belong to the former category because the enemy we fight is ever seeking opportunities to invade and conquer (1 Pet 5:8). In fact, a spiritual war is already being fought on our territory—the church. We cannot afford to hunker down and just wait to be bombarded. Instead, we must fight back by penetrating our enemy’s front line and gaining victory over Satan (Eph 6:11–12). Satan seeks to destroy our faith through temptations, tribulations, and deception; he also wants to prevent us from saving more souls. So we must always remain on active mode, ready for spiritual warfare, whether it is at home, school, work, or church.

Determined to Save

The mighty men of King David were chosen—like us—to fight on the front line (2 Sam 23:8–12).  On one occasion, their chief, Josheb-Basshebeth, single-handedly defeated an astounding 800 men. Perhaps we cannot relate to the feats of these mighty men but consider another man who, even more amazingly, defeated 3,000 in one go; that man is Peter. After the Holy Spirit descended upon him, Peter was moved to speak a sermon that cut to the hearts of his listeners. Many believed, repented, and were baptized—thus putting their old selves to death and being reborn in Christ Jesus (Rom 6:3–6).

From this perspective, the act of defeating men no longer pertains to physical death, but rather to turning men to Christ and putting to death their old man. The motto of the US Army’s Special Forces, De Oppresso Liber—which means “to liberate from oppression”—describes well our role as the Lord’s Army. There are many people who are still held captive by the king of the world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The primary act of spiritual warfare, then, is preaching the gospel of salvation—bringing people to the realization of their sinfulness, and their need for Jesus to liberate them.

When we reflect on our abilities, skills, and weaknesses, we may feel that we will never reach the heights achieved by the mighty men of the Bible. However, we should not easily give up. David’s mighty men were originally homeless renegades, but they became mighty men after years of training. Peter was a fisherman given to bursts of impetuosity and whose nerve failed him at a most critical moment. But the Holy Spirit transformed him, bolstering his courage and bringing to mind all that the Lord had taught (Lk 22:33; Jn 18:10, 15–26; Acts 4). 

Therefore, we too need to undergo training and equip ourselves with the Spirit and word of God, to be able to fight on the front line and to break through the enemy’s line. Most importantly, we must acquire the attributes of a soldier in God’s army.


Clothed in Fine White Linen

As with any army, the heavenly army has its uniform. John witnessed “the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (Rev 19:14a). The fine, white linen that they wore was obtained at the point of baptism (Rev 7:13–14; 1:5; Acts 22:16). Hence, as we approach the end times, we must strive for holiness to ensure that our white linen robes remain unblemished (Rev 3:4; 16:15), because they identify us as members of this heavenly army.

Are our thoughts, words, and actions pure?

Riding on White Horses

In John’s revelation, the armies in heaven rode on white horses (Rev 19:14). Jesus, the Lamb of God, also rode a white horse when “he went out conquering and to conquer” (Rev 6:2b). The white horse represents the true church, which means that Jesus will use the church to conquer and fulfill His purpose. In the same way, the armies in heaven rode on white horses; this signifies that we need to abide in the true church if we wish to be part of the heavenly army and have the power to overcome the enemy.

Do we really believe that the True Jesus Church is the only church that is saved in these last days?

Stay Focused

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he    may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Tim 2:4)

As a soldier of God, we must not entangle our lives with the things of this world. This does not mean that we spend all our time praying and reading the Bible or that we should all become full-time ministers; in fact, we should continue to study and work hard, since these activities can support the work of evangelism. 

Neither does it mean that we cannot enjoy a life of variety. But our perspective should be different from that of the world. We must remember that the things of this world are temporary and that they can keep us from reaching our full potential as mighty men of God. Our first priority should always be to serve God.

Today, what are we focusing on?

Be Watchful

Behold, it is Solomon’s couch,

With sixty valiant men around it,

Of the valiant of Israel.

They all hold swords,

Being expert in war.

Every man has his sword on his thigh

Because of fear in the night. (Song 3:7–8)

There were about two million Israelites at the time, but Solomon chose only sixty to guard his carriage. These hand-selected sixty were experts in war. They all held swords which were bound on their thighs, meaning that they were always ready. Moreover, they had fear in the night, which, coupled with their readiness, shows that they were always watchful. Their fear also made them more humble, for they knew their limitations and weaknesses.

Today, we too must be watchful at all times. Do not complacently assume that our faith is strong enough to withstand any temptation that Satan can throw at us. The wily wicked one will tirelessly try to destroy us by planting impure thoughts in our heads and by using a plethora of temptations. Hence, we must be prepared. As Christian soldiers, we are on duty 24/7. In order to defend ourselves, we must pray and read the Bible regularly, for God’s Spirit and word are the weapons we wield against Satan.

Are we Spirit-led and do we keep the word of God in mind at all times?

Willing to Suffer

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Tim 2:3)

The soldiers of Christ must be willing to suffer for Him. As we preach the gospel or serve God in other ways, we may often have to give up our personal comfort and leisure activities, or sacrifice time with our families and friends.

Being a full-time soldier is physically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging. But we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We have been chosen by God to join His awesome army and to fight in His great battle, the battle at Armageddon (Rev 16:16). Therefore, we must fight to the end.

Are we prepared to endure hardship?


Another battalion of the US army has Volens et Potens—“willing and able”—as a motto.  Jesus Christ willingly gave His own life in exchange for ours so that we, though unworthy, can receive eternal life. If God so loved us, we too ought to be determined to engage in this spiritual battle—to be well-equipped with the armor of God, so that we can be like one of the mighty men on the front line, fighting for our Lord Jesus Christ and protecting our beloved family in Christ.

Are we willing and able to fight?

[To be continued…]

PDF Download

Author: Vuthy Nol-Mantia