Wisdom, Weapons and War

     With regard to Wisdom, the Apostle Paul shares his experience of being a wise master builder.  Jesus Christ was the best builder who ever lived.  Before one starts anything significant, he is advised to consider the cost.  A wise person will move deliberately while ever increasing the necessary components of structural integrity (character), load (responsibility) and balance (authority).  This is important because anything built too fast may fail and without proper pace and planning the result will be in question.  Available materials will either be shipped in or taken from available local resources.  Those shipped in are often already tried and tested. Those taken from local resources require some degree of time, testing, and evaluation before too much reliance or weight is applied. I will share more on the aspect of materials in future posts. 

   For now, it is helpful to see how the Lord provides us wisdom on tactics, tools, and examples of ever increasing release.   As for God's building program, from the time of Adam to the Upper Room release of the Holy Spirit - and continuing today there is an ever expanding, carefully deployed, arrangement of power and release of the Kingdom of God to those who have been tried, tested, and found to be ready.

     Regarding Weapons and War, for the Christian, these are primarily spiritual.  The following is an overview and resource for further study on the subject of a Christian's responsibility and authority.  It is not meant to be an all-inclusive presentation.  I have covered much of this topic over the last month or so, in messages shared at Harvest Light – partly during our study of Ephesians (Ch.6 in particular) as well as being incluided in a message on 'Thoughts' given 12-12-14 on a Friday night.  Jonathan August covered the Armor of God in Wednesday evening Bible Study 12-17-14.  I also will be covering it more in the future through messages like the recent 'The Plan, The Promise, and The Power' series given on Sunday mornings.

 

First for our weapons:

2 Cor. 10:4 brings this up.
(NIV ) "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds".
(NLT) "We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments."
(NASB) "for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses."
(KJV) "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"

 

Four Powerful weapons are:

Prayer – Aside from the Blood and the indwelling Holy Spirit, this could be seen as the most powerful force we have.
Praise - Coupled with Thanksgiving - Ps 100:4 "nter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."
Preaching – Encouraging, directing, teaching and speaking the truth in Love - training for reigning.
Testimony - We overcome by the word of our testimony – both the speaker who is reminded and the hearer who is encouraged (Evangelism is void ‘unless someone is sent and tells’)

 

Next is Authority:

From God to Adam (mankind)

  • Adam had authority that he relinquished when he and Eve fell to sin.
  • Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful and have dominion ("The heavens are the Lord's, but the earth He has given into the hands of man" – Ps 115:16)

  • Adam and Eve sinned and Satan took legal claim since Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan (Authority passed from Adam to Satan as manifested allegiances changed)

From God to Jesus
While Jesus was here, God told his disciples that He was pleased with Him, and to ‘hear Him’.

     'He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”'' (Matt. 17:5)

Peter recounts this event in 2 Peter 1:17 – since he himself was on the mountain and heard the voice.  I believe when God said, ‘hear Him’ – He was clarifying His own designated authority. Hear Him as "He has My orders. He speaks for Me"

From Jesus to the 72
Jesus had authority and gave it to ‘those in training’, or the 72 disciples who were being sent out.  I believe Jesus was also teaching the disciples that He didn't need to be with them - a 'training wheels moment'.   See Luke 10 where Jesus gave His disciples a designation of His authority in which to operate in.

     19  "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you." (Luke 10:19)

From Jesus to all who would believe
His authority was ultimately released to his disciples and all that he prayed for all who would follow their teachings and benefit from their ongoing ministry.

     18 As you sent me into the world**, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.  20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  (John 17:18-20)  **  (see 1 John 3:8)

While Christ was here on earth he walked in heaven’s authority as Adam was intended to walk in that authority, and that He (Jesus) could now walk in having not fallen as Adam did.        

After the resurrection not only did Jesus have God’s designated authority (taken back from Adam’s loss) and because of His sinless life given  - He defeated Satan putting him to an open shame – took back the keys of hell, death, and the grave, having set captivity itself captive and set the captives free.   See Matthew 28:18-20; Eph. 4:7-10; Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18-19

From Satan to Jesus
Here’s the power!  It is Finished!
Col. 2:15 ‘When He (Jesus) had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.’ (NIV says 'On the Cross')

But this will not be until all has been put under Christ’s feet – when His bride overcomes as well – when we prepare ourselves along with those who have also learned how to walk out what Jesus completed. Working out your salvation with fear (reverence) and trembling (great care).

 

All of this progressive transition of authority has now clearly delineated the two kingdoms – Satan’s realm and Christ’s – both operating under God’s ultimate authority. (I spoke on the Kingdom of Light from Oct. 26-Dec 14. ‘Kingdom in Control’, ‘Kingdom in Conflict’, ‘Kingdom in Contrast’, and ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is Like’)

Satan has his minions (or fallen angels) and fallen mankind who follow willingly or blindly without Christ, still in Adam’s sin.

Christ has on His side, the angelic host as its Captain of the Host of Armies as well as His believing saints – those redeemed from Adam’s sin.

In a nutshell:

  1. Our weapons are not of this world, of the flesh, or carnal –
  2. They have divine power and are mighty through authority God released through Christ
  3. Old Testament was a natural depiction of war. New Testament is a spiritual war.  One of thought (which also controls emotion) and encompassed (but is not limted to) Faith, Belief, Trust, & Courage
    1. Note: This is one clear difference between the Bible and the Koran - the Koran has no New Testament - no spiritual application - no God that speaks, no life that brings freedom. Their war remains carnal or natural, worldly without love, compassion, or offering of hope other than forced compliance and conversion with legalism.  Their victory is realized in the dominance of man, our Christian victory is realized in our conforming and surrender to Christ alone.
  4. To understand warfare is to understand our weapons (Eph. 6.)
  5. Our weapons and also our tactics are not carnal – natural in the flesh – but are spiritual.
  6. Since our weapons are spiritual and we are spirit beings made in the likeness of the Godhead, we war in the supernatural yes, but mostly in the overcoming of self with the goal to be ambassadors of light, messengers of truth and love as if God were speaking through us.  Holy Spirit teaching and guiding us in ways that please our Father God to the Glory of God's Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Our Authority’s Armor:

There is so much in Ephesians Chapter 6 and its meaning, but here is a summary.

  1. Eph. 6:10 Be strong IN THE LORD and the Power of His Might
  2. Having girded your waist with truth (belt)
  3. Breastplate of Righteousness:  Emotions - Guarding our heart (emotions) which when we are in right fellowship with God (righteousness) becomes a stable place of faith, hope, and love.
  4. Shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ambassadors moving)
  5. ‘Above all’ the Shield of Faith with which to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked one
  6. Helmet of Salvation:  Thoughts - Secure in our understanding and thoughts regarding our position as redeemed saints – taking thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2.Cor. 10:5).
  7. Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God

We fight by walking in Faith, Belief, Trust, Courage, Light, Truth, Testifying, Character, Developing the Fruit of the Spirit, etc. – and overcoming our soulish nature not giving the devil anything to use to promote doubt, dismay, discouragement, or anything that keeps us from growing in Christ – His perfect reflection (It is Christ manifested in us which is our hope of Glory)
 

All Internal:

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

We war by knowing the Bible, by allowing Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, by being deliberate in not idly watching people get hurt or taken captive – especially children who are just starting out (we encourage, speak truth, help, serve, build, etc.).  We becoming a living testimony of all Christ is - this is where the war truly goes internal…contending against every thought taking it captive, against doubt and anything that so easily slows us down (besets us).

 

Joshua 1:8-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Words to Consider:
1. Knowing the Bible brings prosperous and good success.
2. Know that God Himself has commanded you - sent you. This will sustain you in the darkest of moments.
3. Be strong and of good courage - do not be afraid of dismayed (confused or turned back).
4. Because God is with you wherever you go.