On the 24th of January, 1972, the Japanese imperial soldier Shōichi Yokoi was found hiding in a cave in the island of Guam, almost 27 years after the end of World War II. On seeing the fishermen, he assumed that they came to attack him, and he went on to attack them. However, he was overpowered, captured, and returned safely to his country, where he continued living as a free man. One detail to notice is that Yokoi was aware of the end of the war, since 1952, but he had been conditioned to accept no surrender, but to fight to death; it was a matter of pride, as his statement made clear.
There are many parallels of this story to our confrontation with Jesus, while we live a life of surrender to the devil, in the nature we inherited from Adam, and which is prone to sin naturally. Let’s take a look at them:
- There was a war raging in the spiritual realm, since Lucifer was exiled from Heaven. He (Lucifer), transformed into Satan, managed to capture God’s creation, man, and corrupt him into his own nature. He then conditioned man (mankind) to rebel against God, and to consider Him as his enemy.
- Since the beginning of that war, God had a plan to conquest the devil and rescue man from his slavery. He had His super-weapon ready, in the person of Jesus Christ, and He announced it ever since man’s fall (Genesis 3:15). It is rumored that the USA had the atom bomb ready early in the war.
- Satan’s defeat was inevitable, just like that of the Japanese Imperial Army. It was only a matter of time.
- The Japanese were fierce, even at the face of sure defeat. That was because they were acting under the command of their emperor, who was infamous for his cruelty. The devil will keep fighting to the end, that is, to his ultimate end (Revelation 20:10). His method is to express his cruelty through those who follow him.
- In due time, the A-bomb was dropped, which forced the Empire to surrender, a very humiliating defeat for it. The Empire was promptly disarmed and made harmless to anyone. In the fullness of time, Jesus defeated the devil and death, making them a public spectacle (Colossians 2:15).
- Some soldiers, like Yokoi, were kept in the dark of the end of the war. The devil does his best to keep people in the dark of the fact of his defeat, by turning their attention to other, trivial matters.
- Even when getting the news, Yokoi’s pride prevented him from surrendering to the forces he perceived hostile. While the Lord’s intention is salvation for everyone and life (John 3:16), satanic pride keeps the unsaved man from surrendering to the Victor, even when they hear the news of Christ’s victory.
- Prior to the drop of the bombs, the Allies issues a warning to Japan to surrender and have peace, or keep resisting and face disaster. Christ’s conquest of every stronghold is definite. He is sovereign and omnipotent. It is a matter of time before He becomes the absolute Lord of all.
- Yokoi had only two choices: surrender and be delivered, or resist and get captured. While he chose resistance, he eventually let go of his pride and was delivered back to his home. Likewise, every person has only two choices: Surrender to Christ and live abundantly, or resist and face the fate of his deceitful master, the devil.
Here we have it. The only reason why we can still exercise our free will to surrender or reject is because He, the sovereign Lord, has chosen to allow it to us. The time is running out, though, and sooner than later there will be no more free will, but the terrible acceptance of a fate that was not meant for man (Hebrews 10:26-27).
This is the message of salvation, that today’s bankrupt Christianity has watered down and made powerless. It is just like the former Allies – they have ceased talking about that victorious end of the war, in the fear of “offending” some and for being “politically correct”. The church today prefers to keep silent on Christ’s triumph, because she has become earth-minded, rather than Heaven-minded. And it is this silence and this compromise that will become the downfall of many who live the illusion of being saved and then stopping at that. God’s promises for life are only to the overcomers (Revelation chapters 2 and 3). And while the Japanese Empire may have ceased to exist (though there are rumors to the contrary), the efforts of the devil to keep men in the dark haven’t. if we call ourselves followers of Christ, if we are indeed saved, it is not a choice, but an obligation for us to proclaim Christ’s victory, and capture souls for His kingdom. You are now faced with a challenge. Will you continue to preach a weak message of “accepting” Christ or “giving Him a try”, or will you say it as it is, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2)? I really hope and pray that you will not compromise the truth for the lies.