THE KINGDOM OF GOD & SPIRITUAL WARFARE
We need to know what is really going on, so we
can operate effectively and so the work gets done. I hope this is a BLESSING to
you, as we all seek to BE like Him!!! (don't we know that is REALLY what He is
trying to do to us???). Have your way in us all, Lord Jesus!
1. Laying the Ground Work for Understanding the Kingdom of God
Over the years, much has been preached regarding the Kingdom of God and Spiritual Warfare. And still, the average Christian struggles with his or her place of position in both of these areas of doctrine....COME ON...CAN'T WE BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES???...Doctrine is good, as long as what it is teaching is accurate. But doctrine alone cannot guarantee the Christian's success in either of these topics. When Jesus taught about the Sower & the Seed in Matt. 13, He spoke of 4 types of soil (hearts) that the Word of God could be sown in. We have all read the parable before.
Let's read it again, anew...for the first time. We have never read it this way before:
Mat 13:18 "Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower".
"Hear" means understanding AND receiving what He's saying. Everyone will say that they "hear" (understand and receive) what Jesus is saying here, but the truth is, we all are only "affirming" reading it. If this word was truly heard, understood and received by everyone like "we say", then everyone would be experiencing life from the "kingdom of God" perspective, instead of living in defeat, struggling against forces that we have no power over and rarely if ever, "tasting" that the Lord is good.
Mat 13:19 "When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and doesn't understand it, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side".
This is where most Christians live. They read it, they "say" that they understand it, but "really" they don't understand it...Basically, they are is just doing "lip service"... And consequently, the devil comes and steals that word out of their hearts. The reason for this is because the word has never been presented to them in a way that they could understand it and be able to receive it. Huh?...ok...let's open up folks!...God's word is simple, NOT complex. Man makes God's word complex. Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 "Truly I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven". How complex could it be? A "little child" doesn't have the "mental faculty" to break down some extensive teaching into 12 steps, each with sub steps....and so on....Jesus said it was SO SIMPLE, a "little" CHILD could understand it. So how come WE can't????
The answer will astound you...There is a Religious spirit that rules over most of the God's church. It is a stronghold that resides over the entire US and the whole world. And that is WHY we are told to do Spiritual Warfare!!! But, God's people will say: Spiritual Warfare?...I don't want to do warfare...I just want to enjoy all of the "fun stuff" in God!! I just want to play in the "programs" the church offers me...I just want to go to the luncheons, the dinners...the potlucks...oh, yes..don't forget the church sports games, and .....(the list goes on, and on!). Alas, that is why the church is SO powerless in a world that it is suppose to dominate. That is why it struggles and fails...and the devil's kingdom is taking over the world and sin is abounding.
Mat 13:20-21 "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and with joy receives it; Yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended."
These are some of the few that DO hear, understand and receive the word of the Kingdom, but something isn't right within their hearts. The word doesn't have any living root system. Roots require a constant supply of moisture & nutrients to keep it alive. Many of God's people hear the word, understand the word, receive the word, but even in an "anointed worship service", they can't receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit to water whatever "roots they have"and thus are unable to revitalize their Inner Spirit man. They have no ability to stand amidst the "pressures and tribulations" of life or the "persecutions of being a Christian", and offense comes. Not the offense brought on by other people's actions...this is talking about something completely different. This is talking about offense towards the very word of God, Himself. The trials, hardships and persecutions come their way...and for whatever reason, if God doesn't "bail them out", they become offended at the word of God. The "cause" of this is a heart that has not broken before God and allowed Him to rub in the oil and wine to heal that stony heart and make it soft and pliable. Heb 3:7-8 says: "Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness". If our heart is hardened, we CAN'T hear (truly understand and receive) His word. The roots of His word just can't penetrate the stone.
Mat 13:22 "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful."
Even less Christians get to this point...This point, though not the "best" place to be, is at least more favorable than the 2 proceeding phases. This is where the believer has a genuine "God encounter"...God takes the heart that has broken before Him and brought the moisture of the Holy Spirit and the life it needs to be productive. But even though the person has "come that far", and have cut down all of the visible weeds that would choke the word, they neglect to "weed" out the un-grown "seeds" that were buried deep in their hearts. Then the things that this world cares for, the deceitfulness of riches, greed, covetousness, etc. (along with all of the anxieties they bring), choke the word and it becomes unfruitful...or as Luke 8:14 says: "bring no fruit to perfection" (maturity). Have you ever known a Christian that shows the beginning of great fruit in their lives? But then something happens and the maturity of that fruit stops and for whatever reason, it remains unripe fruit...it is sour, bitter and undesirable to taste. The inward drive for the "things of this world" will then motivate and control this person, and resentments and unforgiveness take hold of them if they don't "get what they want" or "think they need".
Mat 13:23 "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty".
This is the person that has a True heart after God. They love the Lord enough to take the time (and great effort needed) to clean the heart of all stoniness and weed seeds. This person has gone through the working of humility and brokenness that God is looking for, so He can work "through" them in great ways. A person that will bear Much fruit is the result. So how can WE BECOME THIS KIND OF PERSON???? We will be constantly SEEKING His face, seeking His presence through our praise & worship...through our quiet time before Him...through our yielding unto Him, with total abandonment. (Read my message: "A Timely Message On Revival" for more details).
2. Understanding the Kingdom of God.
The majority of God's people do NOT know what the Kingdom of God really is. Most think it refers to the day we will go to be with Jesus, in the "sweet by and by". Others will say that the kingdom of God is when you are rich or have great possessions, and thus, they start to look for God's kingdom in a place He never said it would be, and end up in the error of covetousness and greed. That isn't to say that if we have riches or great possessions, we are not in the will of God. It depends on our heart condition in relation to these things...(Mat 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"). We can have riches and possessions. God just doesn't want the riches or possessions to have US. Jesus made it plain, even before He died for our sins, where the the kingdom of God was: "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you". (Luke 17:21). So, if the kingdom of God is not in riches or possessions or in the sweet by and by, how do we have it within us?
Jesus said: "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom 14:17). Meat & drink are tangible...we can touch them, we can exercise our physical senses and know that they exist on the physical level of this world. But everything that physically exists in this world will someday be taken away...they will be destroyed. God will someday destroy the whole earth and universe with fire. Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). He said the kingdom of God was with you...it is not meat and drink, but is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (How hard can it be to get this???)....testing...one, two, three...testing...is this thing on???....testing...one, two, three...
God has made it easy for us. He said: "come and worship Me!"....that is ALL we have to do. Come and worship Him...keep doing it...come and worship Him!!! As we do, something extraordinary will happen. We will be transformed and will begin to walk in the kingdom of God. Now someone will argue and say: But the Bible says that we are already in the kingdom, because Colossians 1:13 says "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son". YES, this is the TRUTH, but unfortunately, most people don't walk in the understanding of that truth.
Since the kingdom of God is "with in us"...and is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost", then if we are walking in envy, strife or unforgiveness, we CANNOT partake of the benefits of what God has done for us. A house divided can't stand. When husbands, wives & children, whole families at odds against each other for "whatever reason", they can't experience the reality of God's kingdom in their lives. Re-read Colossians 1:13 "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son". We can't experience the benefits of God's kingdom in our lives, when we continue to allow envy and strife to rule and run our lives. If we will truly get this, if we will truly "see this", we will have to understand that to walk in envy, strife or unforgiveness, we are still under control of the power of darkness.
Jesus said "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" ((John 10:10). How can we think if we continue to walk in the devil's path, that we are going to have life abundantly???
Jam 3:14-16 says: "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work". This literally means that when we allow bitterness, envy and strife to have a place within us, we are opening ourselves up to the devil coming upon our lives with EVERY Evil Work that he can perform. How can we, God's people be SO blind to the word of God? We quote scriptures, stand on scriptures, memorize scriptures, but we forget to LIVE the scriptures.
"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." (1Corinthians 4:20).
It's not what scripture we quote, stand on or even memorize...it's what that word has done in our heart that counts! It goes beyond being just words and becomes POWER within us. When God's kingdom begins to manifest in us, we will show forth a demonstration of power. God's power...power over sin and bad habits, power over temptations of the flesh, power over anger....POWER over ALL the power of the enemy that can come upon our lives.
You know...the Disciples had something that even the majority of the Christians don't have today. I am talking about BEFORE Jesus died on the cross, BEFORE the resurrection, BEFORE the day of Pentecost...They had child-like faith:
"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name" (Luke 10:17). They didn't even HAVE the baptism in the Holy Spirit yet, and they had POWER over the devils!!! Jesus told them to go and heal the sick and cast out devils... and so they went. They didn't have to attend 13 seminars on "Healing & Casting Out Devils" first...they just went and did what He said to do...plain and simple. Yet, we can't even cast down our own personal warring's within our own lives and families. (oops...sorry, no offense intended...please don't shoot me...I'm just the messenger)...
1Corinthians 6:9-10 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God".
God's People are self deceived...yes, I said that...self deceived. Actually, the Greek is written in PRESENT ACTIVE IMPERATIVE, which more properly translates as: "You ARE deceiving yourselves & I command you to STOP!!!" But, no...God says something, yet we will continue to walk out our lives as if what He said doesn't relate to us or we are "immune" to His words...or even worse, we think we are walking in the words, when we really aren't. How can we think that we will inherit the kingdom of God and still walk in the very things that God said not to. The problem goes deeper than we really know...until now.
James 1:22 says: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves". We ALL say that we hear the word, but the fact is, the truth is...if we are NOT DOING the word we say we are hearing, we are self deceived. God's kingdom can NOT manifest in us or through us in a great way, as long as we continue to operate in a self deceived state of mind.
3. Beginning to Walk in the Kingdom of God.
When we will "come to ourselves", just like the Prodigal son did, then we can begin to walk in and truly experience the Kingdom of God in our lives. We must recognize that we have "sinned against Heaven and in Father God's sight". We haven't done anything in secret, our Heavenly Father sees all. A cloak of deception has blinded our eyes so we could not see.
2Corinthians 4:4 says: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them".
The church's problem is, they think this is speaking about the people of the world. WRONG! It is talking about the church. The mind of the church has been set on self. What it can get, what it needs...SELF. That's why so many churches have the programs they do....to appease the people. The SAD reality is that the majority of Christians that sit in church month after month, year after year, do next to nothing for the Kingdom of God. The Lord brought me to a staggering reality one day, when He told me that Very few will even lead 1 person to Christ during their lifetime. Imagine that!...standing before God and NOT even have one soul that they can testify they were a witness to for the glory of God.
The church's mind has been blinded by the enemy, so that they can't SEE the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ. The Gospel is GOOD NEWS...the good news of Christ!!! That is the news of what Jesus did by dying on the cross and granting us pardon from sin and has given us a new name...and a new life...a life that is like Christ. Christ is NOT a man, Christ is what happens to a man...he become anointed with the Holy Spirit.
Luk 4:18-19 says "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord".
When we become anointed by the Holy Spirit, we will begin to live differently. We will live a life that is consumed by Him. Being anointed means that we have POWER...power over all the power of the enemy. But even mightily anointed Christians, sometimes aren't' very effective in their life walk and ministry in this world. These are those that haven't "weeded out" the things that will choke the word of God from bringing forth the fruit that He so richly want to bring forth through them.
When the church begins to see the light...the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ...when that light begins to shine unto them, then they will change...and the Kingdom of God will begin to manifest in them and through them. They will shine, as light in a dark place. When the church will come to a place of repentance towards God that a great change will come to this world. The church is the light of the world, because Jesus is now in us. The world can only walk in the light that the church is shining. No wonder the world is SO screwed up! Lord help us to see the light, your light, that we may shine the light that we see. Then we will see as David saw and was a man after God's own heart. Then and only then will we begin to make a difference not only in our own lives, but also in the world:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee" (Psalms 51:10-13).
4. Laying the Ground Work for Spiritual Warfare:
Spiritual Warfare is NOT exactly what the church thinks it is. The church is "in a world of hurt", if it thinks that it can go into "the enemy's camp" and spoil his goods, and not be properly prepared for battle. The 7 sons of Sceva tried to do spiritual warfare...and they got hurt bad! Act 19:14-16: "And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded".
The Christians in the early church had something that we don't...they had uncluttered minds. Back then they didn't have the distractions that we do, they didn't have many of the temptations that we do. Life was different...life was more simple. Today, we have a foe that is against us and most believers don't even know what this foe is. It is a Religious spirit. This religious spirit has tampered with God's people's minds and belief systems so that we don't believe according to the pattern of God's word. Oh, we believe God's word alright, but we only believe it in bits and pieces and in the order that this religious spirit has orchestrated for us, which is really according to a mixture of things that can best be described as "sand".
Luk 6:47-49 says: "Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great".
Many of God's people Do believe the word, but they don't believe what Jesus said and the way He intended it. The church has their own way of believing...that is why there are so many denominations...(or I should say, "demonizations"). Because truly, the demons are involved with bringing divisions and offenses to the church to keep it from being unified. Sand is made of rock, but the "rock" is in very small pieces and has no stability, but is fluid and movable. God's word, as it is intended is fixed firm, like a massive rock...and cannot be moved. So you can see, how what people believe "is made of the word of God", but it is broken up in small pieces, so it is unstable and dangerous to build upon. Only when we build upon the rock of God's word, are we stable and secure and effective.
Jesus said something in the New Testament that He repeated and repeated and repeated...in fact, He said it a total of 7 times just in Revelation 2-3: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches". For Him to repeat it over and over like that, it tells me what He said was VERY important. We need to have ears that hear what He is saying to the churches...Not what man is saying...definitely not what the devil is saying. But God's people are listening to the words of the devil all the time, and they don't even realize it. It's what they believe.
5. Spiritual Warfare 101:
Eph 6:12 says: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places".
So many of God's people read this passage, they know of it, but few really even know how to do what God is telling the church to do with it. Do we really think that we can reach up in the sky and pull down a demon power that has existed, God only knows how long. It exists there because it has maintained its integrity over the people of this world. Like the 7 sons of Sceva, we can get ourselves in a "mess", by trying to do so. We DO HAVE spiritual power to do warfare, but it isn't done in the way that most of the church thinks.
The real battle is NOT trying to pull the stronghold out of the sky. It is disarming its weapons and making it powerless against God's people and ultimately the world. Luke 11:21 says "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils". Only as we understand what spiritual warfare really is and our place in it, can we really begin to do great exploits for God. God's word tells us that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood"...but isn't it funny that this is exactly what the church continues to do year after year, after year? Take all of the denominations...(I like the above "other" rendering better!). They are all an attempt at "spoiling" the enemy..."we have the truth"...we are the "REAL church"...etc.
All that it has done is cause more division and disunity. People looking at how someone else is or is not dressed...how long their skirt is...the makeup they are wearing...the list goes on. Then even within "a" church...they fight over the color of the carpet, or what day to have the rummage sale...or perhaps they are offended because the Pastor didn't shake their hand or smile at them that Sunday....(hello!)...OR, they put on their "religious" face and go to church and everyone thinks they are really something"...then they go home, take off their "clothes" and go ahead and do things "they ought not". The church is FULL of wrestling with flesh and blood...that is all that it seems to knows how to do. How can WE fight the devil, when we are SO busy fighting ourselves??? Only as the church gets it's eyes off of others and begins to look at itself...(one on one)...looking at our own shortcomings...judging ourselves, then we will begin to be able to start looking up in the sky and perhaps start to do something about "what is up there" in the sky.
This Religious spirit that reigns over most of the church (in varying degrees) and actually the whole world (yes, that's why there are so many religions on the face of this planet) has such a tight hold on everything because the people believe whatever it tells them to believe. And let me tell you...it will let you believe just about anything you want...that is why you can find a church that believes "your way"...it's a "Burger King" religious world. The only thing that this spirit won't let you believe is anything that will lead you into the truth....God's truth, the way He meant it. Because John 8:31-32 says: "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". So this thing in the sky, must keep God's people or anyone else blinded from getting into the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
2Co 10:3-5: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ".
Here is where the REAL Spiritual Warfare is done...Welcome to Spiritual Warfare 101...The journey and the battle now begins!!!
God has "equip" His people with power and armor that is able to destroy the works of the enemy. But the battle is not aimed against the thing in the sky. The battle is with what the thing in the sky has done done to infect the church, God's people and the world. The doctrines and traditions of men are part of the enemies plans to defuse the church's power and authority. If it can keep the church in the dark, if it can keep the church unable to see, if it can keep the church believing the way that it already has it...that spirit will have no problem continuing for a long, long time.
Our weapons are not carnal or fleshly, they are MIGHTY through God!...but they have a specific purpose...pulling down strongholds! These strongholds are NOT what is up in the sky...these strongholds are what the thing in the sky has done in the heart and mind of the church. The word "stronghold" in the Greek means: fortify, as a castle...and literally means "arguments". So a stronghold is: an ARGUMENT that has been fortified as a castle, in the mind of the believer to keep him\her from being powerful for God. This is why so many of God's people are sickly and have a very hard time receiving "being healed". This Religious spirit has infected their belief system to "somehow" believe "healing may be for others, but isn't for them"...or "God is trying to teach them something"...or "they are suffering for Jesus", etc. This is just one of many examples of the "arguments" the enemy has fortified into the minds an heart of the people, to keep them powerless. This infection that the Religious spirit has affected the Church with and the whole world is extensive...it covers any topic you can think of...(and believe me...when I say: "think of"). Because that is where the REAL Warfare IS.
The words "pulling down and casting down" are identical in the Greek and literally mean to demolish or destroy. There can be no playing patty cake with the devil. We have to mean business with this! We are to aggressively DEMOLISH and DESTROY the arguments (false belief systems) that the enemy has programmed the people with. They can be NO MERCY. We are to CAST down (demolish and destroy) Imaginations. Imaginations are "Reasonings" the word actually means "logic, logical...words". It refers to our taking mental inventory...the words that we have "stored" in our being. We are to cast them down!
It actually continues to say that these arguments and reasonings...(the words that we have stored in our being), are actually "High Things". These High Things are thoughts, words, reasonings that have been "elevated" to a place out of reach and it actually becomes a "barrier". And, if you can receive it...this is where our position for Eph. 6:12 really exists (we wrestle not against flesh & blood...). It says "casting down imaginations and every high thing that EXALTS itself above the "knowledge" of God...These "high things" are elevated above what God has spoken...(His words) and have become a barrier between us and the things of God. THESE are actually what Paul is talking about in Eph. 6:12...(Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places). These are "high places" in the mind...way up where we can't easily reach them...they are the tings that we believe...We are told to bring every thought unto the obedience of Christ...every thought to the obedience of the anointing of God in our lives.
Now, I am going to drop a BOMB on you, that the Lord told me back in the 1990s, but He didn't allow me to share it until now...it is very, very important...to all of us...if we will hear it and receive it. Jesus said something in John 6:63 that LEAPED off of the page one day back in the 1990s. It struck me HARD and really BLEW me away.
John 6:63 "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life".
It was then that He spelled out this truth to me...a truth that can and will change the Church and ultimately, the whole world. The words that Jesus spoke are spirit & life...Conversely, the words that the devil speaks are spirit and death. (steal, kill, destroy). That is good as it is...but then He let me have it FULL BORE...what He was REALLY SAYING...and the weight of this has got to be given for us all to carry.
He said that: words ARE spirits...(that means, what we say are actually the manifestation of spirit(s)....God's or ????
Mat 12:33-37 "Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned".
Looking at this warfare from this perspective, we can see why the church struggles so badly with issues such as healing, prosperity, soundness of mind, family problems...the list goes on. Ok, let's move on:
6. Going to WAR!
"Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD" (Psa 149:5-9).
God's people have powerful weapons of warfare, they just got to know what they are and how to use them properly. Our praise & worship is a formidable weapon against the power of the enemy. Using our bodies as instruments of worship and praise, has a devastating impact on the work of the enemy in our lives. As we learn to operate in spiritual war, we will begin to see the enemy's effects reversed and be defeated from operating in our lives. You might be thinking...well why do we have to fight the enemy from affecting our lives? Why can't we just pull that thing down from the sky?
These are serious and valid questions and deserve serious and valid answers. The truth is, we CAN pull that thing down from the sky. We just can't do it the way we want or think we can. That Religious spirit has been around for a long time. It has its hold on so MANY people all over the world. Look at it this way. That spirit has cast a "web" of deception all around the world. It has rooted itself into many, many generations and every walk of life on this planet. Like a spider's web, the prey has been affectively "caught" and can not get free.
We have to break ourselves free, then we help others break free, then we help others, help others...and so on, and so on, and so on...until that massive web of deception as been totally destroyed and has lost its grip on this world. At first it will seem like we aren't taking ground, but it will build up momentum. That how revival can "take a city". It starts with "one" person...then as that person ministers the truth & anointing of God to others, it spreads, then church begins to come together in unity and speaking the same things...(the things that God is speaking to the world). The love of Jesus sweeps a region...the bars close down, the crime rates plummet...the city is won for Christ!
Worship and praise is the greatest weapon the church has. It has the power to totally wipe out the enemy. But it has to begin within the heart of the individual. Then it will spread in the church, then in the churches, then in the community and then it will take the city. It grows and grows....revival consumes the land like FIRE...because it is REVIVAL FIRE!!!!!
7. Taking Our Place In Spiritual War!
As we go into battle, what we are actually doing is going towards God. This is where the battle is won:
2Chron. 20:14-25 "Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much".
Don't WE want to fight a battle like that??? All they did was PRAISE the Lord. This is a picture of what we are to do to possess our land. Before we can possess our land ("that we live in": our city), we must possess our land that we live in (our own body, individually, then corporately in each local assembly). When the Children of Israel were told to go and posses the land, Moses sent in "spies" to check out the land. We all know the story....all of the spies had an evil report (except Joshua and Caleb). The other spies said that there was "giants" in the land and they were like "grasshoppers in their own sight". This is the same picture that the Religious spirit has painted for God's people today: The devil is MORE powerful than God. God doesn't heal anymore...
We are SO BLESSED with Salvation through the precious blood of Jesus and we can't even appropriate the promises of God because we have received an evil report of "giants in the land...and we are grasshoppers in our own sight". The giants of sickness...poverty...mental instability...etc...etc...
We have to get to the root of the problem, in order to get free from the power of this enemy. God told them to go in and possess the land...a land flowing with milk and honey. But they chose to believe the "lie" of the enemy instead of the word of the true and living God. They ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years...going in circles. After everyone died off (except for Joshua and Caleb), they were able to return and possess the land...and possess the land, they did.
So, how did they go in and possess the land? God told them to go in and "drive out all of the "ites" of Canaan...the 7 heathen nations that ruled in the land. Only as these nations were rooted out, could the children of Israel possess it. This is the SAME truth for the Church today. If we are going to pull down the Strongholds up in the sky that rule over our regions, we have to drive out the "ites" from Canaan, just as the Israelites did.
First, let me say, that as we look at the things that are written in the Old Testament, we have to understand what God is wanting us to see from them. Paul said in
1Co 10:11 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come". In other words, God wants us to look at them and see how these things are for our example to learn from and not make the same mistakes.
Deut. 7:1-6 "When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth".
"Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee. Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" (Deut. 9:1-5).
The church for SO long has played "patty cake with the devil"....it is time to SHOW THEM NO MERCY!!!!
Meet the "Ites" of Canaan: The Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. God said that these "are seven nations greater and mightier than YOU". These are spiritual things that most Christians have never, ever heard about, until now. You might say: well. what does these 7 heathen nations have to do with me and my victory in spiritual war? The answer will set you free. These nations are the inhabitants of the land...these are the mindsets...the strongholds...the fortified castles...arguments and reasonings, the words of "mental inventory", the things we have "stored" in our hearts and minds...they have become barriers that have elevated themselves against the knowledge of God (the knowing and experiencing the power of God being released in our lives). I know, I know...this is quite a "mouthful" and still I haven't even broken it down yet.
1. Hittite: in the Hebrew it means- dominating\lordship, to break down by violence, confusion or fear. To loathe or despise authority. Example: the woman wearing the pants in a family or those that would try to control or rule their Pastor.
2. Girgasite: in the Hebrew it means- unruly, unbridled tongue. Example: Flattery, gossip, railing, idle words. loves to hide behind humor. This is like a thermometer rising..empty of God.
3. Amorite: in the Hebrew it means- pride, publicity, prominence, to say or boast self, seeking own glory (God showed me). Example: can't admit to being wrong. seeking praise & honor from others, complement & boast in self. If no recognition is given, goes into self pity..."no one recognises my true worth, dedication or sacrifice".
4. Canaanite: in the Hebrew it means- hypocrisy, false witness - seeks profit. Submits or humbles self as long as it sees some profit in it. Or it quits "serving God". Example: Always puts down other's "goods"..."mine are better". Watch out for those people...the Jews wanted to make Jesus King, until He spoke of things they couldn't swallow (eating\drinking His body & blood).
5. Perrizite: in the Hebrew it means- open country, unwalled village, decidedly separate. A separate or independent spirit. pushes to do "own thing", rather than listen to "counsel". The New Jerusalem is a walled city. Walls are for protection. Won't submit, shuns authority or counsel that God gives through the 5 fold ministry. Seeks to separate others from the protection of Godly counsel. Can't see walls as protection, only sees them as a prison. Won't stand and defend when things get tough. Example: "Pastor means well, but he doesn't understand God like I do". Is not it's Brother's keeper...would rather run and mind own business.
6. Hivite: in the Hegrew it means self confidence\trust, always is innocent in own eyes. If found guilty, it blames others. Doesn't question anything that issues forth from it's heart. Accepts it as normal, natural, loving, right. Makes judgment accordingly. Claims God is on their side even win fighting against God. Example: The Pharisees condemned Jesus. This is the oldest of the 7 "ites", has been here since Eve (hence, the name Eve-ite).
7. Jebusite: in the Hegrew it means- Threshing place, trodden down. Natural discernment is polluted. Can't properly discern right or wrong, good or evil. Example: "Christ is my head...I don't have to listen to anyone else". "He talks to me!"..."God gave ME a message".
NOW, lets look at the "ITES" as they REALLY relate to us today, in Prov. 6:16-19 (The 7 Abominations that God hates):
Prov. 6:16 "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him":
1. A proud look - self glorification (Amorite).
2. A lying tongue - unruly, unbridled tongue (Girgasite).
3. Hands that shed innocent blood - hatred (Hittite).
4. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations - self trust, "Eve-ite" Satan worked thu Eve (Hivite).
5. Feet that swift in running to mischief - polluted natural discernment (Jebusite).
6. A false witness that speaks lies - hypocrisy (Canaanite).
7. He that sows discord among brethren - (Perrizite)
Here is where the Church has got to possess the land...if we can't destroy "these things" in our lives, how can we expect to win the world for God? This is where True Spiritual Warfare begins! So, Church...what do we say? Are we going to stay the way we have been and let the Religious spirit continue to have its way, or are we going to fight and do exploits for our God?
Yes, I knew you would see it God's way....Ok, the Warfare begins...
Run towards God in praise & worship! This is what GOD is doing all over the world...REVIVAL, REVIVAL, REVIVAL....!!!!!This is the easiest and best way to drive out and destroy the "Ites" out of our land! Abandon yourself in HIM. Get lost in His presence...this is where He will do a work in us. This is where we get free from the "Ites". The more we run to Him in our worship and praise, the more the "Ites" are destroyed in us. The roots are being dug out, the seeds are being killed, so no future harvests can affect us. We will begin to shine as lights in a dark place. People will begin to see Jesus in us and we will begin to disappear.
"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).
THIS is what Jesus' TRUE radicals are GETTING INTO....WE ALL must join with them too!!!!
Have your way in us, Lord Jesus!!!