“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Untouchables, by Randall D. Kittle

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Recently the Lord said to me, “Satan is releasing an onslaught of the spirit of offense against the Church.” Why would Jesus allow the spirit of offense to come against His Church? One reason for this is that although offense is a powerful weapon in the hand of the enemy, it is also used as effective pruning shears in the hand of the Lord. Offense comes as a two-edged sword — it can bring wounding and offense or pruning and purification. The results depend upon who is wielding the weapon, and how it is received.

Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries also recently had a prophetic word that the spirit of offense was loosened against the Church. He went on to explain that Jesus was going to use offense to test and purify the church, while Satan would use it to wound and ensnare believers. Satan wants to cause offense that will bring bitterness and unforgiveness into your life. God, on the other hand, wants to use it to perfect our lives (read that: “Kill Your Flesh”). There are things that will be brought into each of our lives designed to cause our flesh to die. If we do not embrace them properly, we may become wounded and bitter.

Both God and Satan our trying to kill you through offense. Satan wants to destroy your new man. He wants to kill off, through offense, the life of Christ that is alive in you. Jesus wants to kill your old man — your old, Adamic nature, and remove any worldly ways that still remain. Satan wants to use offense to negate and weaken your ministry and cause you to fall away from God. The Lord wants to use challenging situations to give us opportunities to choose His life to increase and ours to decrease.

Picking Up An Offense
In Matthew 24:10–12, Jesus shows us the power results of offense.
“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. … And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” This verse tells us that the response of those who receive offenses is betrayal, hatred, and cold love. Jesus tells us here that the real reason for apostasy at the end of the age will not be false doctrine (wrong words spoken), but wrong reactions to words — offense. While the words we speak and things we do to each other can wound and hurt one another, no one can truly give another person an offense … you have to pick it up. The words and actions of others might have wounded you or hurt you or disappointed you, but they never offended you. You chose to take offense at them.

When the wounding comes we always have a choice as to how we respond. Whenever we are hurt or disappointed we will choose to pick up something — it will be either the Cross or an offense. When sharp comments cruelly cut your heart, or you find yourself stuck in the terrible trap of unmet expectations because of what someone else has done, you still have a choice how you will respond. Will you pick up an offense or pick up the Cross? Jesus is allowing offensive circumstances to confront the Church to test if we are dead to our old lives. To the extent that we are offendable, to this exact extent our old nature is still alive. We know that dead men tell no tales, but dead men also feel no offense! Jesus is trying to bring His followers to the place of immunity. The Cross, when applied to our lives, makes us immune to offense. When our lives fully embrace the Cross we will be at the place of immunity. Have you arrived?

If the protest of your heart is, “Randy, you don’t know what was done to me, I have a right to be upset, hurt, and offended.” My response to you would be “No. You don’t have a right. You surrendered all your rights to self to Jesus when you became a believer.” In the Kingdom of God you have the right to remain silent. Every other right you yielded to Jesus when you accepted His Lordship.

Becoming An Untouchable
In his book
Ending Church Splits, Francis Frangipane says, “God wants to use the opportunities for offense to give you a new heart … an unoffendable heart.” God wants us to gain an unoffenable heart, to become Spiritual Untouchables. When I refer to becoming an “Untouchable,” I am not speaking about someone with leprosy or the plague; someone people are afraid to touch. I am referring to those who the enemy is not able to touch with the spirit of offense even when they are placed in the midst of adverse and irritating circumstances.

In Chicago during the Prohibition the city was out of control because of the vast extent of extortion, corruption, bootlegging, gangs, etc. Bribery and injustice permeated everything in the city and everyone in authority. So many of the judges and police officers were corrupt that there seemed to be no one untainted by the greed and corruption that engulfed the city. So the national government appointed some special government agents who answered only to the federal government so they could remain untouched by the bribery and graft of the world around them. The group was nicknamed “The Untouchables,” and was headed up by a man named Elliot Ness. Because the evil that surrounded them was unable to touch them, they never sold-out the authority they had been given, and slowly cleaned up the mob of gangsters who had held the city in its stranglehold.

That is what God wants for our hearts. He wants our hearts to be so untouchable by offense that we will be able to walk in this world in the full authority He has given us. God is calling us to overcome the spirit of offense by giving up our right to be offended. There will be plenty of opportunity to be offended, and God is calling is to overcome offense by embracing the Cross and apply it completely to our hearts that we might be His Spiritual Untouchables.

God wants us to be Untouchables — to have unoffendable hearts — because it is only then that we will truly be set free from the fear of being offensive. This is critically important as the end of the age unfolds. Never before has it been so needful for us to diligently declare the Good News of the Gospel. Yet the very nature of the Gospel toward our earthly lives and to the ways of the world is offensive. This shouldn’t be surprising, for the very center of the Gospel is Jesus Christ, and as Vance Havner once said,
“Jesus was always offending somebody. He offended more people than anyone else ever!”

Jesus Bringing Offense
From His earliest days it was known that Jesus would bring offense to this world. In Luke 2:34 the old man Simeon held Jesus in the temple when He was perhaps a month old and declared
“Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against.’” He was saying that Jesus would cause the stumbling of those who think they can get to God on their own and the rising of those who will accept God’s way. Simeon was declaring that this would cause offense — that it would be spoken against. First Peter 2:7–8 makes this even clearer: “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone, and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’” Both the Greek words translated here as “stone of stumbling” and “rock of offense” can be translated offense. So this verse could literally be translated “Jesus has become the chief cornerstone, and an offense, and an offense!”

Regardless of the stronghold of “nice Jesus” that permeates much of the Church, the truth is that Jesus offended many throughout His life. Jesus is not a heavenly “Mr. Rogers” who invites everyone regardless of how they live and what their lives revolve around to come and be His neighbor. The Bible portrait of Jesus’ life shows almost every person who was near Him picked up an offense because of Him. In Matthew 13:54–57 we see Jesus returning to his hometown and healing people and teaching them the secrets of the kingdom of God. What was their response? They were greatly offended!
“Coming to His hometown, He began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter's son? Isn’t His mother's name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at Him.”

Matthew 15:1–13 shows us one of the times the Pharisees became offended because of Jesus. In this passage the Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples don’t follow their traditional law of hand washing. Instead of explaining it in nice, “user friendly” terms, Jesus answers them:
“why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? … you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ … Then the disciples came to Him and asked, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?’” Jesus knew that what He said was hard and it was challenging for the Pharisees to accept, but it was the truth. Jesus gave the Pharisees a chance to see their hypocrisy and repent. The words Christ spoke were not about making people feel better about themselves, but about people coming to the end of themselves — to see the need for the new life that only He could give.

The examples of those picking up offenses because of Jesus go on and on in the Scriptural account. In the sixth chapter of John, Jesus offended the superficial disciples who followed Him after He had fed the multitudes. He declared that He was the Bread of Heaven come down to them and that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have life. Jesus was trying to get the crowd to see that this spiritual bread He offered them, His life, and not the physical bread He had provided was what truly mattered. But the response of these disciples was to take offense to His petition for them to grab hold of the true spiritual riches He offered.
“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, ‘Does this offend you? … From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:60-66)

Whether it was Jesus referring to the Canaanite woman and her daughter as dogs (see Matthew 15:22–28), Jesus’ unwillingness to recognize His mother and brothers when they came where He was ministering, or Jesus telling His closest disciples that they would forsake Him, people were constantly being offended because of Jesus Christ. And if it is no longer you who live, but Christ who is living in you, people will be offended at you! This is no surprise for the Gospel we have to share is a message that offends this world. First Corinthians 1:21–23 tells us that the message of the Cross is an offense:
“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.” So the message we have to share is both foolish and offensive! We cannot present the Gospel unless we are willing to bring offense to others.

Mild-Mannered or Christ-Like
Most of American Christianity is currently far from being a band of Untouchables who clearly proclaim the offensive message of the Gospel. Vance Havner once described it this way:
“The average Christian service has been described as a mild-mannered man, standing before a mild-mannered congregation of people, exhorting them to be more mild mannered!” In the old superman comic books and television show, Clark Kent was referred to as “mild-mannered.” As believers, are we to be more like Clark Kent or Superman? We are called to be like Jesus, the most super man who ever lived!

When Christianity is inoffensive, it is ineffective! Let us nail the fear of being offensive upon the Cross and come into the freedom of being who we were created to be. The Word of God says that we are all called to be ministers of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:18–21). This ministry is one of serving God by sharing the Good News with this lost and dying world. This ministry will comfort the afflicted who accept it, but it will also afflict the comfortable who reject it! The message of the Gospel about the sin of Man, the Cross, the blood of Christ, and that Jesus is the only Way is offensive to this world! Even the world of pseudo-Christianity so prevalent in America! As the end of the age unfolds declaring that Jesus is
the way — not just a way, not one of many ways, but the one and only way — will become increasingly offensive to our culture (a culture baptized in tolerance and acceptance at any cost). Their offended response will be “You can’t say that,” when, in fact, we must say that! Let us quit tiptoing around trying to “keep the peace,” and instead become disturbers of this world’s false peace. The Apostles were called “Disturbers of the Peace” by the rest of the world, and we are called to walk in their footsteps. Will you answer the call to become one of God’s Untouchables, overcoming both the spirit of offense and the fear of being offensive in order to be fully free to serve the Lord? Your call is waiting!


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