My son and I have really been hitting the lessons on Spiritual Warfare, hard. He just turned 11, and is reaching an age where it gets harder and harder to reach kids with the Gospel. Anyone that is a part of the body of Christ, should understand that these times are the hardest for the church. Leaving all conspiracy theories at the door, and solely taking truth from scripture……this is warfare time. We are fighting a war in the spiritual realm, that if we are not equipped and prepared, our ship will sink.
I explained to my son, in order to survive this world, you have to know your enemy, Ephesians 6:12.
and the effectiveness of the word of God; the sword of the spirit, being used against him. You have to know how to use your weapons.
We send our kids off, prepping them for college and careers, but, many do not know that they need to train up their children to know how to survive,when thoughts of failure sneaks into their minds, whispers of hopelessness planted by the devil makes them want to end it all. Those are the battles in life that millions succumb to every day, not having the knowledge that we live in a spiritual world, where there is a spiritual realm, and day in and day out….angels and demons are fighting, and the adversary is constantly on the prowl. 1 Peter 5:8
If we could see with our natural eyes what surrounds us all of the time, we would not be able to withstand it.
We do not have to see it, to certainly feel it.
I said to my son, your greatest weapon in life is prayer. When you know how to pray you know how to win. When you speak the word of God with authority….you are casting down wickedness from high places. When you speak the name of Jesus, demons must flee. Just saying His name.
Always remember this truth, Satan is the accuser. He will accuse you of sins God has *already forgiven you for. This is a part of that spiritual Warfare. If he can make you live in guilt…..he can keep you from prayer, from reading the Bible, singing, praise and worship…..all of your weapons to defeat him with. Know your enemy. But know your weapons and the God who provides them for your victory.
The gangrene effect, well i don't know if you know about the gangrene bacteria, you know, the gangrene bacteria triggers a dangerous infection if not treated, it still occur in this present age but it occurred mostly during the era of the American civil war, where people are blown apart with explosives or shot with a gun fatally in the leg or the arm.
The war era was also an era of little knowledge on medicine. So when you're been shot, if you're unlucky the red cross at the war zone, will tend your wounds and if fatal, the doctor will give you anesthetic and then amputate the affected part off, be it your arm or leg, in order to prevent the infestation and spread of the bacteria " gangrene " which will eventually lead to the patients death.
This is the gangrene infection, it's respecter of no man, even a fatal wound to the toe nail might cause a persons death if left untreated in time or amputated if discovered late. With this, came about the gangrene effect. We'll be using this as an illustration.
Two soldiers were badly shot in the leg during a war, they were taken to the medics without their knowledge of been amputated. They were given anesthetic putting them asleep. During the surgery hour, a shell was fired destroying part of the medical camp, everybody in disarray, before the doctors could put themselves together, and continue the amputation the anesthetic wore off. These soldiers woke up only to discover the amputation was still on.
" we can't give you a second dose of anesthetic, because of the side effect, I'm sorry, bear the pain a little while, well continue the surgery, else you'll die not of gangrene this time but of blood loss," Said the doctor.
They agreed, the surgery continued, the doctors continued with the amputation by sawing through the bones, really painful it was for both of them, but one of them gave up just only when the saw was a few centimeter into his bone, he was furious and said;
" I can't bear this anymore, give me some disinfectant, a drug, clean my wound and let me go."
The doctors, warned him saying;
" you're doing this at the cost of your life,"
still he refused, and he left.
The other soldier bore the pain and continued with the surgery, his bone was sawed through and his leg eventually amputated. Though, the entire process was painful, but in the end his wound healed, his gangrene effect, erased. The pains became a past and he was alive and healthy, left with a limb, because that was the price he paid to save his life.
However, the former, couldn't take the pain and then disinfected his wound, but his gangrene infection was still there, from time to time it ate all through his body and died of gangrene infection due to his cowardice and ignorance to pay the price, even though he was trained a soldier.
So it is with a man who receives the word and he who doesn't. A man who heard the gospel, though painful to his heart, he knows he has to Change, he accepted the word, paid the price, no matter how painful it is, but at the end he received his salvation and his past pain forgotten, life was added to his life, who knows there could be a regenerative serum in the near future, were lost limbs can be regenerated.
However one who doesn't accept the truth because it was too harsh for him to handle, and still became ignorant, not caring about the dying state of his soul, will be eaten up gradually by his ungodliness, and eventually lose his life for eternity. Even if he does comes back to his senses eventually, by then he'll pay extra price because his gangrene has done so much damage.
Men don't like being used, but unknowingly to many, they've been used right from the beginning. Your actions are not just your actions, they're driven and coordinated by the spirit you yield your heart to. Are you been used by Jesus or by the devil. If you ask most people today if they're been used by the devil, even though they're, still they'll reply " no! " Some out of ignorance, others just because they don't know, and many they know but wouldn't want to change.
At a point in time we've all been used by the devil, even the writer of this message, for we were all born into sin. Sin is like an gene, passed down from generation to generations right from the fall on man. We are created by God, sent from heaven to be clothed in flesh, so we can fulfil God's purpose for our lives, He has deposited in us, His spirit. That's why when a man wants to do evil, there's a whisper in his heart telling him not to, but if you go dip into sin, this spirit of God will be completely shrouded in darkness. Such a man will no longer be able to hear the whispers of God.
God gave us His spirit, but since we were born into sin, His spirit in men has been suppressed by the spirit of evil, if not, men would have walked the earth in the likeness of God. That's why Paul said;
" I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do."
he said this because of the war between light and darkness in a man's soul, but then again, he said;
" What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our lord! "
That's why Jesus came with the gospel, because during the time of law, a man lives a righteous life for the fear of death. But Jesus knew it is not the flesh that makes a man sin but the spirit of sin in a man. Just like the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned to death, Jesus knew it was not her, but the spirit in her, he knew that even though the woman was killed the spirit won't, because spirit don't die, it will only leave for another host.
So Jesus came with the gospel, a message of salvation unto a dead man's soul delivering him from the bondage of sin. This gospel, God's word, is also the sword of the spirit which pierce through the heart and soul dividing it asunder, separating every darkness from light.
You see now you don't have any excuse living for Jesus, the moment you heard the gospel you are fit to follow Jesus, you then see that If you're not following him you are the one who let the evil one dominate your heart, A man who does not walk with Jesus has no excuse to offer, because Jesus has made a way for salvation, so that a man will no longer be bound to sin. the man who walks in darkness willing offer himself to darkness, after all God has given us free will of choice, though He created hell for Lucifer, still He's not happy over the loss of a sinner.
However God hates sin, and the only way to destroy sin living in a man is to destroy the vessel harboring it. That's why Jesus said there's great joy in heaven over a repentant sinner. A bell is ringing always in heaven When a soul is won to God, why can't you be among those who keeps that bell ringing, even if you won't, others will take your place.
For us to be made ready for God, is to surrender ourselves to Him, but still it's not a man that changes, it is the holy spirit that changes a man. The day gospel comes into our heart, it changes it, giving that us the desire to know Christ more. But then a war against your soul between light and darkness starts, that's why many can't follow Jesus, because they gave the devil chances to take over, Again!
And then they become worse than they were before. Because if a demon is driven out of a house and that man did not occupy that house with the properties of Christ, the demon will come with seven other demon stronger than the first, to live in that house and the conditions of that man would be worse than before. That's why when you try stopping a sin like sexual immorality with your own power instead of taking it to God in prayers, though you might think you've won, but I tell you if that spirit should come back again, instead of committing such act, let's say.. Twice a week like, he'll do it even seven times in a week. Overcoming sin is not just by self determination, you must be determined and assisted in spirit also.
The triumphal entry of Jesus is a typical example of gospel meeting a man. When Jesus sent His disciple to a town to bring him a colt tied there. He told them to untie it, and if anyone asks why? They should reply " the Lord needs it." They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloak on it, and Jesus rode on it even as the people spread their cloths along the pathway rejoicing.
Jesus sending his disciples to get the donkey is the same as Jesus sending the gospel to a man's soul. If the seed, the word of God, fell on a good soil, that is; if a soul accepts Jesus not by mouth but by the confession of the heart, Jesus will come in and be the driver of his soul.
The path to the kingdom is on war, except we strive to stand firm, we cannot be saved. After you've done everything to purify yourself which is your effort to live without sin, supported by the righteousness of the holy spirit, He than sanctifies your soul, giving you a new life of holiness by untying you from every sin that has you bound. This the disciples did, by untying the colt setting it free from it's bondage.
Then, Jesus takes absolute control over you life, just as he rode on the back of the donkey, you know a donkey driven by its rider doesn't wander off carelessly, he goes where the rider commands. This applies to the driver driving your soul, be it Satan or Jesus, if it is Satan he will seat on that colt leaving it tied in bondage till his weight crushes it, but if it is Jesus, He will untie it, ride on it because His burden is light and his yoke is easy.
He'll ride that donkey into a new life of glory where people will spread their cloaks on the way as he passes with shouts of joy. Just like the angels would when you're walking with Jesus. You'll walk on carpets without getting your feet stained, living a life of joy and rest. Though there'll be trouble even as the donkey walks through a rough path but in the end the rider knows his stuff, He'll bring that donkey out of it, and he will continue to ride that donkey unto the glory of God.
Believers are not intended to walk within the Law for their righteousness, for it is only Christ and His work that brings one to rebirth and which imputes His righteousness! Surly there is nothing more hindering to Christian spiritual growth (but not to receiving salvation itself) than to misapprehend the intention of the Law concerning its purpose and application (which knowledge will probably not become common enough in Christendom until the translation of the Church)! It has been accurately stated that “The New Testament is "enfolded" in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is "unfolded" in the New! It must be well understood though, that this has only to do with the individual identification and purpose of each system, and that neither have application to the other beyond the types and shadows of what God will do and has done concerning the salvation of believers.
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” does not design the motive that the Law is fulfilled in the believer, but that the righteousness—to which the Law directs—“condemn sin” and deliverance in Christ (which “the Law could not do” - Ro 8:3—NC), is fulfilled in the believer! The Law was not intended for deliverance (not even for Israel to whom only it ever applied) but only to identify and reveal guilt of sin, and rather direct one to deliverance (Gal 3:24). It was in the sacrificial ordinances and not obedience to the Decalogue that forgiveness was obtained (Num 15:24-31); which ordinances had only Christ’s sacrifice in mind, and it is here where deliverance is “finished” or completed! The purpose of obedience to the Decalogue was to manifest faith in God and His commands, especially concerning the ordinance of the sin-offering, which alone brought forgiveness.
The same applies to Christian obedience, because obedience does not deliver but manifests there has been deliverance, for there must first be deliverance before than can be true obedience, because it requires the right heart in the obedience (new nature after Christ’s nature - Col 3:10). One walking “in the Spirit” with the “new man” or new nature, glorifies God in manifesting that salvation has been applied to the soul only because of what Christ has done, and this provides for us to ask God for faith in His Son and His work.
Also, please excuse the excessive cementations below, due to what I feel are issue-pertinent, thanks!
“Even so through the obedience of One” (Rom 5:19). This was our Lord’s death, as an act of obedience: “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” (Phl 2:8). He was of course always obedient to His Father, but it cannot be too strongly emphasized that His life before the Cross—His “active obedience,” as it is called, is not in any sense counted to us for righteousness. “I delivered to you,” says Paul, “first of all that Christ died for our sins” (1Cor 15:3).
Before His death He was “holy, guileless, undefiled and separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26). He Himself said, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jhn 12:24). Do you not see that those who claim that our Lord’s righteous life under Moses’s Law is reckoned to us for our “active righteousness; while His death in which He put away our sins, is, as they claim, the “passive” side, are really leaving you, and the Lord too, under the authority of the Law?
“Justified in His Blood,” and of that alone, reveals the direct lie to the claim that man must have an “active righteousness” (self-works—NC) as well as a “passive righteousness” (Christ’s works—NC). The specious assertion is, that “inasmuch as we have all broken the Law (even though God says that Gentiles were ‘without law’—and those in Christ are not under it) and inasmuch as man cannot by his works himself recover his righteous standing, Christ came and kept the Law in man’s place; Then He went to the Cross, and suffered the penalty of death for man’s guilt so that the result is an ‘active righteousness’ reckoned to man—that is, Christ’s keeping of the Law in man’s place; and second, a ‘passive righteousness,’ which consists of the putting away all guilt by the Blood of Christ.
Now, the awful thing here is the unbelief concerning man’s irrecoverable state before God (self-works being applied for redemption and not because of redemption is the same as demonstrating works-salvation. It’s Christ only, as our works should show—NC). For not only must Christ’s Blood be shed in expiation for our guilt; but we had to die with Christ. We were connected with the old Adam; and the old man—all we had and were in Adam, must be crucified—if we were to be “joined to Another, even to Him that was raised from the dead” (all of which are far from the workings of the Law – Ro 8:3—NC). Theological teaching since the Reformation has never set forth clearly our utter end in our death with Christ on the Cross (which answers to the reason why so much attention is given to the admixture of Judaism and Christianity, i.e. the Judeo-Christian concept. This is acceptable if the meaning here is proselytizing from Judaism to Christianity, which was the initial intent of meaning. But to conceive of amalgamating the two systems would result, if were possible, in detracting force from both—NC).
The fatal result of this terrible error is to leave the Law as claimant over those in Christ: for “law has dominion over a man as long as he liveth” (Rom 7:1). Unless you are able to believe in your heart that you died with Christ, that you old man was crucified with Him (Rom 6:6), and that you were buried, and that your history before god in Adam the first came to an utter end at Calvary, you will never get free from the claims of Law upon your conscience. Such is the plight of Reformed theology. Both Calvinists and Arminians think that the flesh (old man; Adamic sinful nature of one’s spirit—NC) is not so bad that it cannot be acted on for God by Christ using the Law of God and giving it power through the Spirit (I am still researching if these two doctrines believe this claim—NC).
The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is our righteousness. His earthly Life under the Law is not our righteousness. We have no connection with a Christ on earth and under Law. We are expressly told in Romans 7:1-6 that even Jewish believers who have been under the Law were “made dead to the Law by the body of Christ, that they might be joined to Another, even to Him who was raised from the dead” (Rom 7:4).
It is only the desperate legality of man’s heart, his self-confidence, that make him drag in and cling to the Law—even though Christ must fulfill it for him (leaving self out of any credit for salvation is the only true faith within Christ-only-salvation—NC)! Vicarious Law-keeping is Galatian heresy! Christianity begins with the resurrection (spiritual resurrection from sin and death—NC).
In this last age and generation, the devil has been cast down and he knows his time is very short, the scripture says;
" Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwells in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, he's filled with fury because he knows that his time is short."
We are in the end time were all spirits and demons of hell have been unleashed like a dark cloud over the earth, every demon no longer wants a physical alter, but rather, to manifest themselves through the hearts of men so that they can also be glorified for a little while. Every spirit finds expression through the hearts of men, even the holy spirit, because man was created as a vessel with a vacuum for spirits. Darkness has encroached the earth for too long, and so in this last days, God's is raising an army, mighty men of valor who'll bring deliverance unto the remnants of God, and to crush the powers of darkness. He said;
" And afterward, I'll pour out my spirit upon all people."
That is; those who are elected for His kingdom shall receive His spirit if they are willing. Just as the devil is mustering his army, so also is the Lord God Almighty, as seen in Joel 2:1
" Blow the trumpet in Zion: sound the alarm on the holy mountain. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the lord is coming. It is close at hand. A day of darkness, and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountain a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come."
Right from the very day a lost sheep gets found and brought back into the flock, he's recruited to be trained to defend itself and the flock also, which is God's kingdom.
Note; " a lost sheep," he was created to be holy, but because of the natural law of the spiritual, once a man is born of this world, conceived of a woman, he is already contaminated with sin, and so he's lost. Glory to God for sending Jesus to come redeem and gather all strayed sheep the Father has given Him.
Once a man is purchased at a cost, he is bound to whoever purchased him, so also the very day a man chooses to follow Jesus whole heartedly, he has been recruited into the army of the Lord. In the military there are soldiers of different rankings, it's all up to them to choose how far they'll progress, anybody can be recruited but, not every one can become a high ranking officer.
The battle is fierce, and it is spiritual, but we should known that the spiritual is interwoven with the physical, whatever is made manifest in the physical has already transpired in the spiritual. Therefore, we should be armed ready for battle at all time, putting on the full amour of God, for it is a continuous battle without truce until we get to the kingdom.
Here are three major requirements to engage in this phenomenal battle as a soldier not as a civilian.
- Food or soldier enhancement serum - which is the word of God
- Artillery - which are you prayers
Obedience is the absolute, it is total commitment, any soldier who doesn't follow orders, is a cast away, he'll be punished, deprived of food, and when the enemy fires into the barracks, well he might end up wonder or dead.
Feeding, of course is also very important, after all war isn't won on an empty stomach. Here I'm not talking about physical food, I am talking about spiritual food. If you're the type who eats much you'll have to reduce what you eat, because too much of food is too much flesh. The flesh acts as a spiritual barrier that gives limitations to the manifestation of God in a man. Unless you suffer the flesh, denying it it's comfort and pleasure, unless you thin the barrier of the flesh, it'll be hard becoming a spiritual warrior.
One of the best way to neutralize the flesh to zero is by eating less, forget scientist saying; man must eat three square meal. Jesus know the hindrance of the flesh, when he said;
" Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
God's word sustains a man both spiritually and physically.
Even God's desires us to subdue the flesh, that's why you can see when Elijah was fed by God, he was only given food twice a day. And you can see how Elijah manifest the dimensions of heaven on Earth so easily.
A soldier needs his food to give him strength for the battle ahead. This food, is the word of God, the bread of life. Many people have over looked the word of God and labelled it useless, have you ever wondered why the devil hinders a man from meditating on the word.
Without your food which is the word you can't pray effectively. Praying and the word of God must be in alignment. That's why some soldiers can't pick up their artillery and fire, even if they do, they shoot poorly, because the strength and skill isn't there.
The word of God is Jesus as seen in John 1. The word of God is life, and so also Jesus is that life, Jesus Christ left the world, but just as he left, He also asked the father to send the holy spirit. You'll need the holy spirit to fight this battle ( a warrior can't call himself a warrior without having a warrior's spirit ), and the only way you can have this spirit is by constant meditating and obedience of the word.
He said at the last supper, that unless we eat of the bread which is His flesh ( the word of God ) and drink of the wine which is His blood ( the spirit of God ) we are not part of Him and His spirit cannot remain in us.
Let me put it in simple terms, if you take in cocaine or probably muscle enhancement steroid, that steroid remains in you and the more you take it the more it reshapes, strengthen and transforms you. So also is the word of God the more you feed on it the more Christ becomes evident in you.
What more should I say; if you're to eat the heart of a fire breathing dragon to gain it's fire breathing ability. if you eat half, you will only get half and so you can only breath out half the fire, but if you eat everything, I tell you, you will breathe out enormous fire as the dragon did. That is you are now the dragon and the dragon is you, living inside of you, you are one with it.
So also is our relationship with Jesus, the more you feed on his word, the more his presence fill you, you then become a representative of Him, His proxy here on earth, when you walk, it's the same as Jesus walking.
The extent to which you mediate on the word matters, that's why I said earlier, that soldiers have different ranks. If you're not filled with the word, you won't have enough strength or skill to fire any artillery and prayer is our artillery. Since you don't have enough strength, since you're not one with God, there are some battles you won't be able to conquer or probably, there are some classified credentials you won't have access to.
The more you are soaked in the word the more you become one with Christ and I tell you, you can bend any situation according to your will for His glory and you can turn the tides of the battle like a one man commando.
Without obedience one cannot have God's word dominating His heart, and if a man's heart is not saturated with the word of God, he cannot pray, because the spirit that prays in a man isn't there and you cannot have this spirit without consuming God's word to live in obedience. If you don't have the holy spirit, you're not recognized spiritually as a soldier for Christ, rendering you a civilian in this war torn kingdom.
The more God's word dominate your heart, the more you deliver weighty prayers, God's word dominating a man is the power of God that is released, prayer is just a means to release that power. It's like firing a gun, the gun is just a means to release the bullet in it and the quality of the bullet comes in variety.
That's why some people pray with little result, because they are not immersed in God's word, they're not one with Jesus, it is a man that is soaked in the word that can say; " be healed! " and healing will take place immediately. Only a man who is immersed in the word can be filled with life to give life unto dead souls bring many to salvation.
The only way to emerge victorious, is to be given an artillery to defend your self, this artillery is prayers. Prayer is the weapon we use in this spiritual warfare, and your spiritual height in Christ Jesus determines the artillery that'll be given you. A new recruit, not built in God's word, does not have the strength to take up a machine gun, so he'll have to use his bare hands for combat, until he has been built and trained on God's word to be empowered to wield a machine gun.
The man with a machine gun can gun down many enemy. However, the general is of the highest rank, they talk directly to Jesus and strategize with Him, they have the authority to sink a territory of darkness with a nuclear strike, these men are God's generals, men who can take a whole nation from the captive of darkness unto salvation in Christ Jesus.
These are men whom God can entrust with much, because of the sacrifices they have made to get where they are. These men are in a whole different level, these are those who are ordained by God; Apostles, great prophets . Only few can thread this path, only few can attain this rank.
If you don't sacrifice much to grow in Christ Jesus, you'll be entrusted with little territory, but he that is dead to the flesh, giving his life time to Jesus, being immersed in the word and prayer, he is the one given charge over greater territory.
And on that day of judgement, they'll be rewarded with much, as men of valor. They'll be the ones recognized in heaven. Of the millions of soldiers, only few will be recognized. If you should go to heaven and ask of Peter, of course everybody knows Peter there, but not everyone is recognized there by the immortals. What will you do to be recognized?