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CONSTANT COMBAT PART 3

 

 

CONSTANT COMBAT

 

 

PART THREE

 

KNOW YOURSELF!

This is not theory! Kingdom Strategy is something very vital, something that effects our lives. And not only our own lives, but the lives of others also. Our third essential is to KNOW OUR SELF. We must know our position in Christ; we must know our participation in the Kingdom of God and what God is doing in our life; and we must know the authority which the Master has given to us. This knowledge will help equip us for these end times.

RIGHT EVALUATION OF YOURSELF

If I ask the question, “Who are you?” you may say, “I am man”, or “I am woman.” Yes, you are a man or woman, but more - you are a part of the human race - a part of the humanity that is under constant attack by evil forces.

If I ask, “WHAT are you?” your response may be, “I am just a sinner saved by grace.” Yes, if you are born again, you are a sinner saved by grace. You’re scriptural, for we read in Ephesians:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

But, my saved friend, you are much more than a sinner saved by grace! You are a person who has been justified through faith; you have been cleansed by the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; you have been separated by the Holy Spirit; and as we read in Ephesians 2:6, you have also been raised up and seated on the throne of God in association with the Messiah. You are seated in a place of authority!

(One warning is in order here. We must be wary of superficial or deceitful ideas of ourselves. Let us not be puffed up with ideas of ourselves. But let us know our correct place, our position in the Kingdom of God.)

It is true, we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. In one sense, we are nothing, absolutely nothing. We readily confess this, and because we are nothing, we could be inclined to do nothing. But reader, you must not undervalue yourself. You are very important, important to God, as we see in Ephesians 2:10:

 “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Y'shua for those good works which God prepared beforehand that we should do and walk in.”

You, I repeat, are very important to God, because He has chosen you. He planned for you, and He has a definite purpose for you. So don’t underestimate His purpose, and your true value. Remember also, the Lord Jesus died for YOU. He died for the world in general, but He died for YOU in particular. As somebody said, “If I were the only sinner on earth, Jesus would have come and died for ME.”

Believer, we are redeemed, we’re saved. But as we are beginning to learn, there is much more to our partici­pation in the Kingdom than simply getting to heaven. As believers, we are intricately involved in God’s plan. We are very much associated with our Master who is the Source, the Creator, the King. We are associated with GOD. And our need is to more clearly understand that association, and our participation in His plan.

OUR PLAN AND STRATEGY

We have seen about God’s plan and strategy which is absolutely spiritual. We have also seen Satan’s plan and strategy which is absolutely evil. So now we might ask, what is OUR plan and strategy?

My friend, we are not called to have a plan and strategy of our own. We are not called to make plans for our­selves. Our plan must be God’s plan. Our strategy must always be God’s strategy. And we must be on the alert as our hearts can be very deceitful and can easily deceive us. Even with really good intentions, we can make great plans that are totally contrary to God’s plans. How of­ten this happens in the church. Carnal plans are made, but they are not of God. We are not called to ORGAN­ISE; we are called to PARTICIPATE in His plans. Our “organisation” must be the carrying out of the Divine Will.

EIGHT PREPARATIONS

FOR EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION

The process to effective participation in the King­dom of God involves a deep work of the Holy Spirit in us. God’s intention for our lives is that we will be ...

1.    Trained in Truth

2.    Learned in Obedience

3.    Liberated from Self

4.    Prepared for the Master’s Use

5.    Renewed in Mind

6.    Proven in Faith

7.    Conformed in Character

8.    Filled with the Fullness

The Spirit’s ministry in our “inner man,” setting us free from self, sin and satanic schemes, and preparing us for Fullness, is what Paul prays will happen to EVERY believer.

I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith in Him.”  (Ephesians 3:16-17)

 

1.   Trained in Truth

New believers must be established and trained in the basic truths, including the need for a humble and holy faith-life.

When a person - particularly a young person - comes to Y’shua the Messiah, he usually is filled with enthusiasm and before long he may feel that he is capable of winning the whole world for Christ. But he has not yet been trained in the ways of God. This is why Paul said, don’t appoint a novice to a high position, or to leadership too soon.

A person who enlists in the army is not quickly made a Colonel. He has to be thoroughly trained. And we must be thoroughly trained in the ways of God. It’s not a four-year theological course that trains us in those ways. It’s a school of training over, sometimes, many years. The Master must train us, firstly, in the basics of the Kingdom of God - the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS, the fundamental message of the Word of God. And we all know, I think, that truth as a doctrine, is not enough. We must also learn to APPLY and PRACTISE those truths.

Secondly, the Master must train us in the DEPTHS of the Kingdom of God - the DEEPER TRUTHS of the Word. And He must teach us to PRACTISE the Word of God in a deeper way. He must take us beyond a shallow, paddling stage in our practice of the Word of God.

2.   Learned in Obedience

We are told that Messiah Y’shua Himself learned obedience in His life, through suffering. (Hebrews 5:8). How much more we must learn obedience! We are to walk in His steps.

You will agree, we must be totally loyal to our King; and we must maintain a total prompt obedience to our King. We know that, but to do it, is usually our problem. To teach us, the Spirit of God uses a process in which He brings us to an end of ourselves.

i. We must come to an end of DIVIDED LOYALTY; of trying to serve both God and mammon; living for God and yet living for ourselves; having one foot in the Kingdom of God, and one foot in the world - as though that were possible. We must be brought to an end of divided loyalty.

ii. We must also come to an end of our SELF-RELIANCE - of our relying and trusting in ourselves. Our faith must always be in God. Self-confidence is not enough; in fact, it can be quite counter-productive. In all situations, our faith, trust and reliance must be in the living God.

iii. We must also come to an end of SELF-AMBIT­ION, which, of course, is double-mindedness. Sometimes we say we want to serve God, but actually, our motive is self-ambition. ‘I want to be an evangelist.’ Why do you want to be an evangelist? Because I want to build my own kingdom! Or it may be that I feel, “I am God’s man for the job.” All types of ambitions or motives are possible. God must bring us to the end of our self-ambitions, so that we have no ambition other than to be, and to do, what God wants.

God will allow all types of experiences to enter our lives, to bring us to that place of obedience where we can say, like the Lord Jesus did on earth:

“I do not seek My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30).   “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29)

3.   Liberated from Self

God knows all about us? Right! And when we come to Christ, He commits Himself to working in our lives, to make us what we should be. The process to effective participation begins the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus. And then, as we surrender our lives, confess our sins and failures, and walk in fellowship with Him, the process con­tinues, step by step, effecting a liberation from sin and self, and leading us to a point of TOTAL SUR­RENDER to Christ - a surrender of everything that we are, and everything that we have, to His control.

The process involves a breaking - a breaking of our resistance to God’s will, of our self-life, so that the life of Christ is released within us. This, God has committed Himself to do in our lives.

Take a wild horse; he may be a beautiful beast. Lasso him; bring him to the King. Will you invite the King to ride on this unbroken horse? No, that horse is no use to the King. Rather, it is a very great danger to him. The horse must be broken in, and then trained over a period of time, so that he will, if he is a good horse, do exactly what his master says. And so it must be in our lives.

Brokenness is a continual process - not a one-time experience. The Master may need to break us again and again because we are so prone to forget the lessons. But always remember, when God breaks us, He NEVER destroys us! Sometimes you may feel God is bringing you to the end of everything. Not everything! He is bringing you to the end of YOURSELF, to the end of your self-reliance and self-ambition. And when He brings you to the END of yourself, He also brings you to the BEGINNING of Himself. God never destroys His people. He may chastise them; He may send all types of trials; but always to fulfil His plan in their lives.

When God breaks us, He brings us to a glorious liberation from our wretched self-life. You realise don’t you, that our ego, our self-life, is a great problem? It creates havoc in God’s Kingdom. Our life is unruly, and must be brought under the complete control of the Spirit of God. Our ego controls our bodies and our emotions and if it is not surrendered and broken, we will be a great hindrance to the King, and not a great help.

A life that is not controlled by the Spirit of God, will be wide open for Satanic strategy. A carnal Christian life has so many cracks in it that the serpent has no problem in influencing that life. Remember, Satan has a strategy to destroy your life; or at least, to put you out of action. And if you hold anything back from God, you leave your­self wide open to that strategy. That’s why I say, we need to go into the depths, not only of the basic truths but also of the practice of the Word of God.

Again, a soldier needs to be disciplined and surrender­ed to the king’s command. If you take some raw recruits, give them automatic weapons, and immediately send them out to fight, they will be far more dangerous than helpful. So it is with the believer. If he is not broken; if he is not surrendered; if he will not surrender up his own sword to the Lord, and should he be given the power of God, he would use that power for self-exaltation. Or he would try to use the power of God to make business, like the man, Simon of Samaria. When he saw the disciples moving in the power of God, he said, “Give me the same power. I will pay you for it.”

Evidence of the unbroken, unyielded life is seen in our egotism, worldliness, ungodly living, our pride, and in our self-protectionism. How quick we are to present OURSELVES, and OUR viewpoints on how right WE are. And how quick we are to justify our own sin and carnality.

Why does God say, “Do this,” and “Don’t do that?” Why does He say, “This is right” and, “that is wrong”? Did God somehow make a snap decision and say, “Well, we’ve got to have some rules. Let’s think up a few rules for these people?”

No! When God commands some­thing, it is because He knows what is right and He wants to save us from the things that destroy or hinder the fulfillment of His plans. If God says don’t do a certain thing, it’s because that thing, whatever it is, is a hindrance to God’s ministry in our lives. It is called sin because it is both an affront to God’s holiness, and a great danger to our personal peace and effectiveness in God’s service.

4.   Prepared for the Master’s Use

Isn’t it true that often we are more keen to serve God than to be what God wants us to be? But more important than our service is what God is doing in our lives; because unless He makes us into prepared vessels, then we cannot be of real service to Him. You know, I’m sure, that it is not the amount of activities we do; it’s the degree to which God is able to use us, that is important.

Of ourselves we can do nothing of spiritual value. When the Messiah said:

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8),

He was not saying that the power of heaven is yours simply for the taking and abusing. The reason we are “half-victor­ious”; the reason why we are NOT continuously filled with the Spirit, is because we are not prepared vessels. We may be willing to USE God’s power, but we are not willing to be humble, prepared instruments, to channel that power. Unless we are broken and prepared, the Master must withhold the fullness of His mighty power from us.

We must be prepared by God; God wants us to BE; to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-controlled. Then we will be victorious; then our actions will be supernatural; then we will be saved from our carnality - the carnal life which is not much different to the natural life of an unbeliever.

5.   Renewed in Mind

It is a fact, the Spirit of God dwells in all born-again believers. He dwells in our spirit, within our body. Now we must deliberately choose to surrender our life to His control. Our mind must decide, for it has the power of choice. And to choose aright, our whole thinking pro­cesses must be reshaped by the Spirit of God.

In Ephesians 4:23, as also in Romans 12:2, we read that we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Our minds have been influenced in varying degrees by the world, and so they need to be renewed and brought into line with the Word of God.

How to renew your mind? Not by going to college, not by watching television, reading news­papers, and surfing the net! Renewing of your mind is through the Word of God. To read the newspaper, watch television and search the internet, while neglecting the Word of God, can cause the world’s standards to become our standards. We need much more of the Word of God than we do the world’s news.

We are living in such an evil world that our whole thinking processes are being subtly influenced by evil. Our consciences, which can be deadened by the corruption around us, must be continually re-sensitised by the Word. And our minds, our emotions, our bodies, must be brought under the control of God. Satan controls his people and uses them in an EVIL way. But God controls His people to use them in a HOLY and right­eous way.

6.   Proven in Faith

Without faith you cannot enter the Kingdom of God; without faith you cannot progress and effectively partici­pate in the Kingdom; without faith we may as well pack up our Bibles and go back to the Broad Way. If we are not going to practice the principle of faith, then we are not going to succeed in the Christian life. Faith is BELIEVING what God says, TRUSTING God, and putting it into PRACTICE. Without faith we cannot please God; without faith we cannot help anybody else, without faith we will just be as any worldly person.

I am not talking about an abstract faith. I am talking about FAITH IN GOD. There is a very subtle teaching going around the world, even in the church these days that says, ‘if you simply have faith, all things are pos­sible.’ There is a verse to that effect, (Mark 9:23), but the correct interpretation of that verse is, if you have faith in God, all things are possible.

The teaching that’s prevalent today however, says that if you simply have “faith,” that is, faith in something, faith in faith, faith in your self, or in your mind power, then you can succeed and do any­thing. That is a counterfeit. Our faith is in the Messiah, and this faith develops as we walk with our Master.

Often we will trust God, to a certain extent, and then trust ourselves for the rest. Sometimes we say, “I’m trusting God,” and yet we will run off to someone else, for the counsel and help. It’s very possible that we trust our friends more than we trust God.

(Counsellors! Be extremely careful. When God is working in a person’s life and allows trials to come into that life with the view of bringing that person to the end of his own self-reliance, if we, as counsellors, come along with all good intentions, and superficially relieve the person in his trials, we may rob that person of God’s intention and ministry. Counselling needs the wisdom and guidance of the Spirit of God. When you are counselling somebody who is going through a trial, don’t spoil God’s work; but in your counselling, seek to bring that person to a realization of God’s intention so that he is able to see beyond you as a counsellor, and to come to the place where he or she really trusts in God.)

The process which God uses to break us, to remake us, and to test our faith involves all types of trials and experiences. Now somebody may ask, “If God made us and wants good for us, why does He allow us to go through severe trials? If Jesus died to save us, why should He allow us to suffer?” Because there is no instant maturity! We must be prepared, through the process that God chooses to use in our life. That’s why Peter says, “Don’t be surprised if fiery trials come.”

How does God break us, and remake us? What process does He use? He has a thousand ways, but always the process seeks to bring us to an end of our self-reliance. God allows the trials and various situations to come into our lives, so that in the midst of these circumstances we learn to TRUST Him. God wants to bring us to “Point T & P.” (T for Trust and P for Praise). At point “T & P” we are at the place where no matter what happens, we TRUST God and we PRAISE Him.

It happened in Job’s life. Job could say, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” But Job had to go beyond that place, to a point where he no longer relied on his own righteous life. He came right to the end of himself and abhorred himself. He was utterly broken. From that moment on, God moved into his life in a new way. Job’s faith had been tested and approved.

You may be saying, “Oh I wish I had greater faith.” Then ponder of these six points:

SIX WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH

i.      Spend more time reading the Word - reading it more thoroughly.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10: 7). The experiences of others in the Word, helps us increase our faith.

ii.     Exercise the faith that you already have. God has gifted all believers with faith. As we exercise that faith, as we obey His Word, our faith increases.

iii.    By acceptance of trials, knowing that they are sent to test and approve our faith. Rejoice amidst trial.  Rejoicing, praising the Lord, helps to increase faith.

iv.   Listen to the testimonies of other believers. Read biographies of men and women of God.

v.    By prayer, develop an intimacy with the Master. Pray through the Satanic barriers. When you DON’T feel like praying THAT’S the time you especially need to pray.

vi.   Obedience to God. Sin weakens faith, des­troys faith, disintegrates faith. But obedience increases faith.

 

7.    Conformed In Character

What sympathy you express when you see a person who is 20 years old, but who possesses the body of a small child. Or a person whose body has matured, but whose mind has never grown up! If it is your child, how disappointed you are.

What about God when He sees some of His children never growing up? His intention, as Paul explains, is that each of His children should grow …

“to a full-grown, mature, perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Messiah.” (Eph. 4:13). “We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head – the Messiah.” (Eph. 4:15)

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” (Romans 8:29)

Conformity to Christ - to the character-likeness of the Messiah. Or you can put it this way - it is Christ-likeness. It’s the life and beauty of the Saviour developed in the believer. It’s the holiness of God expressed in the life of the one born of God. It’s the grace and charac­teristics of the Lord Jesus, displayed in His followers.

Christ-likeness must take hold of our character, of our personality. It is maturity, so that our walk is possess­ed by Godliness. It is a maturity that enables a believer to fulfil the work of God; to teach the deeper things of the Word; to build up the Body of Messiah; to equip His army and to lead the saints in triumph over powers of darkness.

The work of turning a “raw recruit” into a conform­ed Christian (Christ-like-one) is a life-long process. Tragically, some believers frustrate that process through selfish living. It must be our constant goal, “to be like Jesus”; and to fulfil that goal, we must surrender ourselves totally to the ministry of the Spirit who leads us on, through each one of these steps, to Fullness.

8.   Filled with the Fullness

Paul prays in Ephesians 3:19; that we might …

“… know the Messiah’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

“That you might become a body FILLED and FLOODED with God Himself.”

 This is the intent behind Paul’s statement also in chapter 5 verse 18: “Be filled with the Spirit.” He is not encouraging us to “get more power,” but to be a channel for the Spirit of power. He’s saying, “Become a body filled and flooded with God Himself.” You say, “That’s impossible!” For an unbroken Christian, it is impossible; for a carnal Christian it is impossible; for an unsurrendered Christian it is impossible. But if we will yield our life to God; if we will say, “Oh God, here I am. Take me and do whatever is necessary in my life. Do it, Father,” it is possible.

But are we not often half-hearted in our response to God? We say, “Lord, here are my bits and pieces. Use them if You can.” But the Master is not interested in our bits and our pieces. We say, “Oh, but I give a 10th to the Lord.” The Master is not interested in our tenth. He says, “Present your body, and everything that you have as a living sacrifice unto God. If you will take Me at My word; if you will understand what I am doing; if you will give yourself to Me, I will FILL you and FLOOD you and USE you to the maximum.”

My friend, an unbroken Christian is never victorious. And unyielded Christian will be predominately carnal - a little spiritual but a lot of the time the living is “in the flesh.”

Reader, we must be willing for all God is willing and wait­ing to do in our lives, even though the process sometimes seems very painful. He must train us, renew us, break us, remake us, and fill us with His fullness. And in dealing with us, the Messiah is preparing us to reign with Him in life, in the power of His authority.

THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER

After His resurrection, Y’shua told His disciples:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:18-19)

The Messiah was not promising muscle power, or electric power; he was not offering even nuclear power. He was talking about AUTHORITY - His authority, which He would share with His people.

This authority is based on HIS position, and is dele­gated to His people so that they might fulfill His kingdom’s strategy. But it is only those who are Spirit-controlled who will rightly understand and apply that authority. A believer who is carnal, with his “mind set on the flesh,” will not understand it, and neither would he choose to exercise that authority. The carnal man will always want to do things in his own way - in a natural, worldly way.

It is important then, that we make progress in the above “preparations” at the same time as understanding our “throne rights,” for if we are not obedient, renewed, liberated from self and controlled by the Spirit of God, divine authority will be out of order. Don’t think how­ever, that you must reach “spiritual giant-hood” before you can start applying the authority of Christ. No! Even a new believer, if he understands what it is, can apply the authority through the faith he has. But we do need to grow to greater maturity and become more experienced and effective in Kingdom Authority.

Another authority promise given to us as disciples is:

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.”  (Luke 10:19)

Serpents and scorpions represent demonic forces. And notice, it is not only the Messiah who has bruised the serpent’s head; He is teaching His disciples, in real-life combat, to tread down the works of darkness.

To understand our authority, it is essential to first understand the authority of our Master. In Ephesians one, we read that the Lord Jesus was raised and seated in heavenly places:

“These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in the Messiah, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one that is to come.” (Ephesians 1:19-21)

As you know, the Messiah ascended to heaven. But He did not only ASCEND; He was also EXALTED and SEATED IN THE PLACE OF AUTHORITY in the heavenly places. This does not mean that the Lord Jesus simply took a chair in the heavenlies. He was exalted to the THRONE of God. A King does not simply sit on a chair. He occupies a throne.

Y’shua ascended to the Throne, not just because He was the Son of God, but because He was the Victor-returned-victorious. He was exalted because of His Victory through the blood of His cross – His redemptive work. He is in the place of authority because He triumphed over demonic powers. (Colossians 2:15)

Associated with Christ

Now we must realise that we, as a part of the Body of Christ, are intimately involved in all the activities of the Master. You know that when Y’shua died, you were there on the cross. Do you believe that? Yes; but how was it possible when you were not living 2000 years ago? It was because Y’shua was your Representative. As your representative, He died in your place, so that you can say YOU died on the cross of Calvary. When His body was placed in the tomb, YOU also were put in the tomb. And because you are now associated with the Messiah, when Y’shua came out of the tomb, you also came out of tomb. This is your POSITION, in virtue of being “in Christ.”

You may say, “That’s all theory,” Ah!  But it is related to the practical, to what you experience in your life now, because when you came to the Lord Jesus, you experienced a death, burial and new birth miracle. You came to life, a new person “in Christ” – “in the Messiah.”

Now read Ephesians 2:4-7:

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Messiah - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with Him and made us to sit with Him in the heavenly realms in the Messiah, Y’shua, so that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Y’shua.”

In the Messiah, the Believer is on the Throne

Let us go a step further. This is the fact I want you to remember; When Y’shua ascended to heaven, YOU ALSO ASCENDED, and YOU ALSO WERE SEATED on the throne of God in the heavenly places. This is your spiritual position in Christ - raised above all powers, and seated on the throne of God, in the place of AUTHORITY. It is not because of what you are in yourself, but because of your ASSOCIATION with your King.  Read Ephesians 2 again.

“But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with the Messiah (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up with Him, and made us to sit with Him in the heavenly realms in the Messiah, Y’shua.” (Ephesians 2:4-6)

My friend, never see yourself apart from your Master. Always see yourself as in Him – you are linked to Him. We are in the place of authority because of the Messiah. We have not earned the right, but through faith we are part of Him and in Him we are on that throne. My reader, you and I, as believers in Y’shua, Jesus, are saved by grace, cleansed by the blood, separated by the Spirit of God, raised again, lifted up and seated in the heavenly places, and have authority with the Messiah. We now have “throne rights.” But only when we are broken, remade and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, will we know how to exercise those throne rights correctly. Thus it is vital that we have a right evaluation of our King; and a right evaluation of ourselves.

Truth Must be Applied

It is very important to know the truth. But you must agree that it is not enough to know doctrine; we must APPLY it in our lives. Because our feet are still very much upon the earth, and because there is warfare raging on this earth, we must first know our position, and then exercise the authority given to us. Can you imagine a President who says, “I know I am the President; I know I have been given authority - but please don’t expect ME to act like a ruler?” If he fails to exercise the authority of President, then he is going to end up a very disappointed and defeated man, and bring tragedy on his nation.

Authority must be applied by faith. We must act, speak, fight and bind the enemy, on the basis of the conferred authority, and our position with Messiah on the Throne. We must act, we must exercise the authority, we must reign with the Messiah.   This will involve taking authority over the activity of the strong man and his evil forces.

This is a tremendous authority and responsibility the believer has, but is it not true, we usually say, “Well, all we can do is to pray about it. Then we must leave it to the Lord”? We fail to exercise the authority, thinking we are little, unempowered no-bodies.

Listen to what Jesus said to Peter:

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth will be bound, having been bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth will be loosed, having been loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:19)

And a little later, Jesus said to all the disciples:

“Again I say to you, that whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18-19)

And this is what He expects us to do today - to bind the activity of demonic forces, and to loose captives from sin and Satan’s clutches.

If we are confronted by a demon-possessed person, we know that we have authority to take authority over that evil spirit and to cast him out. But satanic activity does not always come in the form of a person throwing his arms around and convulsing. Satan works in a thousand ways, and mostly in very subtle ways. So we have to be on the alert for his schemes. But in whichever way it operates, we have authority to bind that activity.

Our authority is expressed in five words; The Name, The Blood, The Word, The Spirit, and the Testimony.

1.   THE POWER OF HIS NAME

Our authority is applied firstly, in the Name of Y’shua the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Name of Y’shua is authority, because of WHO He is, and the fact that His Name is above every name, and that all authority has been conferred on Him by the Father. Moreover, Y’shua is Master. He is not a defeated Master, He is not half-victorious, but absolutely victorious, and His plans will be totally fulfilled, including the ultimate and abso­lute containment of Satan and evil.

 “Therefore (because He humbled Himself), God exalted Him to the highest place, and gave Him the Name that is above every name.” (Philippians 2:9)

“And Y’shua came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’.” (Matthew 28:18)

But my reader, don’t try to use the name of Y’shua or Jesus, as a magic word. We are not magicians, and the Name of the Y’shua is not a mantra or magic. It is authority!

2.   THE POWER OF THE BLOOD

The blood of Jesus is also authority; not magic! Don’t try to use the expression “the blood of Jesus Christ” as a magic formula. The shed blood of Jesus is the very basis for the liberation of souls from the tyranny of Satan. If there was no shed blood of Jesus, not one person would be saved. The shed blood stands for the atoning, redeeming, liberating work of the Messiah, and it is that work that spells defeat for Satan.

“In fact, under the Law, almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission - no release or forgiveness of sins.”  (Hebrews 9:22)

The blood of Jesus, moreover, is the “defence system” against evil, because His work cleanses and restores.

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Y’shua His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

The Blood of Jesus means His life, for “the life is in the blood.” (Leviticus 17:11).  The pure life-blood of the Lamb of God produces an “immune response” in the lives of those who trust in the Lamb. Because of His victory at Calvary, “the Blood” fights against the sin virus that has produced death in our lives.

The redemptive life-blood of Y’shua is the tremendous power that defeats evil.

 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 12: 11)

3.   THE POWER OF THE WORD

The third aspect of authority is the Word of God. This is not an ordinary word, but the Word of the living God. It’s not magic, it is the Word of the Eternal One, and we must use the Word authoritatively. When we speak the Word, we speak it as authority. Remember, it was simply by the Word that everything was created. The Word of God is so powerful. Yahweh only needs to speak the Word, and worlds come into being; and that is the same Word that we have in our Bible. That Word is powerful, but it must be APPLIED BY FAITH and with THE AUTHORITY OF THE ONE WHO GAVE US THE WORD. Never use the Word of God in a vague way. You do not need to apologise for it. Rather your confidence should be absolutely firm. This Word is what God says!

 “For the Word of God is alive! It is powerful, active and sharper than any double-edged sword; it cuts right through even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow; and it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

It is “The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)

4.   THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is the power of God that enables him to apply the authority of Christ, and that gives him the “thrust.”

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). It is He who “forms Christ” within the believer (Gal. 4:19), and who fills and empowers him for combat.

In our warfare, when we come up against insur­mountable problems, strongholds of evil, and torrents of opposition, it is the Spirit of God in us, who translates the doctrine into experience. It is He who makes our position, our faith, our authority, a reality. And we are assured, not only that nothing can separate us from the love of God, but that the One within us is the Almighty God, and that He is greater than any problem, satanic opposition, discouragement, heartache, distress or peril that we encounter.

“Test the Spirits … you are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:1, 4)

You can list all the forces arrayed against you, but greater is the Spirit of Messiah in you, than all of them combined.

So don’t be overly-impressed with the works of the devil. When we imagine the oppression, the persecution, the roadblocks are terrible and overwhelming, we are forgetting that, “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.” Nothing in this whole world is bigger than Messiah in you!

This we must constantly remember, and believe!

5.   THE POWER OF A HOLY TESTIMONY

The word of our testimony is an essential backup to our exercise of throne rights. In Revelation 12:11, we read,

“They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of THE WORD OF THEIR TESTI­MONY.”

Our effective testimony as believers is to the power of the Name, the Blood and the Word in our lives. It is a testimony to Y’shua the Messiah. Our testimony is not, “Oh, I think Jesus may be this and that.” Our testimony is to who He is, to what He has done on the cross, and to what He has done in our own lives personally. If we don’t have a testimony, then of course, we can’t display it.

If we are not walking worthily, then our testimony will be weakened. That’s why Paul says in Ephesians 4:1:

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”

And if you read through Ephesians, you will see exhortation after exhortation, to walk as mature sons of God. This has to do with our testimony.

Don’t Sell Your Throne Rights!

It’s sobering to realize that any sin will prevent us from exercising our throne rights. Sin effectively robs us of our throne rights! And any unholiness, any sin at all, will open up a door for Satan’s strategy. Remember Esau, that careless man who sold his birthright for a plate of food? We criticise Esau. We say, “What a crazy thing to do?” But many believers “sell their throne rights” for some trivial thing.

Some believers trade their throne rights for a few coins or crumpled notes. Even a little amount of dishonesty or underhandedness will rob you of authority. Yes, you may have financial pressures, but if you resort to dis­honesty and money manipulation, you shelve your throne rights and authority. One can become spiritually ineffective because of a few paltry pence, cents or rupees. In the same way, for a few moments of self-gratification, we can “sell” our authority. For a few moments of pleasure, we yield up our authority; for some selfish ambition we forfeit our authority; for some fleeting ambition, we allow our hair to be cut off. As a result, like Samson - our strength has gone, our authority has gone, and we become weak like any carnal man.

Yes, any type of sin will rob us of authority. But praise God, our loss does not need to be permanent. Esau; yes, he lost his birthright forever. He could never regain it. But we CAN regain the authority that we have lost through carnal reactions and practice. We can regain our authority through repentance, and through the cleans­ing of the blood of Christ.

The ministry of the Spirit of God always seeks to bring us to a place of confession, whenever we have gone wrong. When we fail the Master, we must come back to the “fountain filled with blood.” We need to be cleansed, and then take our position again by faith in the risen Messiah and accept His authority once more. We can then go forward boldly in the mighty Name of our Heavenly Master.

My reader, go deeper into the Word of God, and learn more of His ways and principles. And as you learn, remember, you are an important part of the strategy of God. Recognise that you are a soldier and must be trained. Exercise the authority and weapons God has given to you. Be determined to follow the Master. Don’t let Satan rob you of your authority, and never lay your weapons down. Take your stand boldly, in the Name of the Messiah, and go from victory - His victory -  unto victory, keeping your eyes on Y’shua, the Author and Finisher of your faith.

 

4th AND FINAL CHAPTER –“KNOW YOUR WEAPONS”

 

 
 
 

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