~~ By James Fire
In review from Part 1:
We are as the church positionally seated, where now? What does it say in vs. 6?
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Each of us who are in Christ Jesus, exist (positionally) in a very real spiritual sense, “seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. We have no right nor place to that seat in heaven but by the grace and empowering authority of God that brought us into the Kingdom in the first place as His children (See JOHN 1:12).
I believe that we share in the authority of Christ Jesus and in His Name as His bride (REV 21:9, 22:17), as ambassadors who speak in the Name and authority of the LORD (2 COR 5:20) and as overcomers who will one day sit with Christ on His own Throne, rather than the Father’s Throne where He sits now (see this list in scripture referring to overcomers):
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
It would seem that the portrayal of the overcomer is the lot of the regenerated believer, for we are born of God by faith, and shall partake of the Tree of Life, receive the hidden manna and a new name engraved in a white stone (is there any true believer that won’t?), nor shall we suffer harm from the second death, we shall be clothed upon in His righteousness and will not have our names blotted out of the Book of Life and shall witness our LORD confessing us before the Father and His angels (see also LUKE 12:8) and shall inherit all things.
ABIDING in the WORD, the AUTHORITY of CHRIST:
Being so placed in that position of authority, seated with Christ Jesus and thus classified as overcomers, having all spiritual power and authority under the LORD’s feet, thus His body as well, which we are, we likewise share in the spiritual victory over the enemy:
1 JOHN 2:13-14
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
I notice that in vs.14 it refers to these young men who are strong and that “the word of God abideth” in them, and to this relates the verse that declares:
JOHN 15:5, 7
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Denotatively speaking, I believe “what we will” refers to fruit bearing because we desire to bear fruit for the glory of God, but in a broader application, anything that is within the will of God as quoted earlier in 1 JOHN 5:14-15.
This abiding in God’s Word doesn’t merely mean continually reading (although that is of course part of it) but would by necessity require “walking in the Spirit” which is a result of applying God’s Word to our every day living in a way that produces the character, nature, and life of Jesus and therefore honors Him.
No saint can do this unless we partake of God’s Holy Word, sowing the seed of the Word that we may produce fruit as His children, and by His Spirit (not by our own power or strength) obey its commands to die to self, that is, “the flesh” and live according to “the Spirit” (please read this paragraph again and let it really sink in) –
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Show me an overcomer, I will show you someone who is walking (not merely alive by God’s Spirit, but one active in manifesting Christs’ power, fruit, and good works) in the Spirit, a fruit bearer, one who lives a crucified life that denies carnality and the sinful impulses we are all prone to whether sinner or saint. I believe all true believers will manifest these things, whether in minute or magnificent proportions, and so we shall all receive (or be denied) varying degrees of reward on that Day of Judgment (the Bema Seat judgment of rewards for the saint).
To reiterate a point, to “abide in Him (and His Word in us)” and to “walk in the Spirit” is to hear (read and understand) the Word of God and to obey it. Such as do these things shall never fall no matter what storms, slings, arrows and every other weapon that the enemy contrives against us, for we shall stand upon the firm foundation that is Christ, the solid Rock:
A spiritually alive Christian (is there any other kind, truly?) who has a vital relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ, and one who recognizes their spiritual authority in His Name is able to examine the portion of scripture which is the subject of this treatment with a ready mind, and by God’s Spirit of grace, able to implement these valuable lessons on battling the enemy and conducting successful campaigns in spiritual warfare.
A RALLYING CRY! –
As I was looking over the first few verses of EPHESIANS 6:10-18, the word “rally” came to mind. When I looked up the word, I concluded that these words are indeed a sort of “rallying cry” by the Spirit of the LORD, through these scriptures.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “rally” as such:
“To call together for a common purpose, assemble; to reassemble and restore to order; to rouse or revive from inactivity or decline; to recover abruptly from a setback or disadvantage, to show sudden improvement in health or spirits, a gathering especially one intended to inspire enthusiasm.”
We have seen films such as Brave Heart and The LORD of the RINGS in which the captain of the army presents himself before his men, prior to engagement in battle, in order to provide some words of encouragement.
Here is Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), Captain of the Armies of the West, giving his rallying cry to his men:
STAND! MEN of the WEST!
And here is William Wallace (Mel Gibson) from the film, Brave Heart in his rallying speech:
Just as Aragorn bid his men to STAND, Wallace admonishes his men to fight in conviction of FREEDOM or as it’s expressed in GALATIANS, LIBERTY:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
In these words penned by Paul, the LORD is seeking to bring His body together for the common purpose of this spiritual campaign against the forces of darkness. Even in the midst of past spiritual defeats, among the wounded soldiers of the Cross on the battlefield where the enemy in his wrath has wrought such ruin and destruction, the LORD calls for reassembly and restoration; to rouse and revive the weary warrior whose strength has come to an end, and perhaps whose heart is despairing of terrible loss so far suffered.
Even among such disadvantaged and ill-prepared saints who in a state of bewilderment wander the smoking devastation of this martial landscape, the LORD is well able by His empowering grace, to provide for such setbacks and bring about in us a sudden imputed improvement and righteous revitalization in our spiritual health and heart!
May the Word and this study of it bring encouragement and enthusiasm based not on some emotionalism or human motivational contrivance, but upon the very Inspired and Holy Scriptures that provide for all things pertaining to life and godliness!
2 PETER 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
For the call to the glory of God’s kingdom and the virtue of those who will inherit it, all by His Divine power!
So let us heed this rallying cry and take heart; fear not, be of good cheer and courage for these are the words that our LORD (via Paul), the Captain of the Hosts of Heaven declares unto us!
The following youtube clip from Sermon Index is about 55 minutes long, but quite worth the time; please set aside time to view this vital message.
SATAN’s FINAL WAR PLAN EXPOSED – by David Wilkerson
The RIGHT STUFF: (click this link for an article about what ‘right stuff’ we need as born again Christians)
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
“Finally my brethren” – Paul is addressing the brethren, born of God’s Spirit and alive in Christ Jesus. If the believer does not engage in this spiritual battle, no one else can; no matter how moral, nor matter how ethical or religious or wealthy or intelligent unregenerate man may be! Only those members of the church are equipped with ‘the right stuff’ – the Spirit of God, the Word of God, the Armor of God and the Cross of Christ which alone can diminish those things that have proven deficient in man and unavailing in this war against Satan and his kingdom of darkness.
I refer to all such things that pertain to the flesh, the carnal nature and mind (see EPH 2:1-6, especially vs. 2,3), the very fallen ‘Adamic’ nature that has brought us into bondage to sin and has made us slaves of the enemy of Christ Jesus. By the Cross, we are able to identify with Christ and allow our sinful nature to ‘die the death’.
God told Adam in the Garden of Eden,
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Or literally in the Hebrew “dying, you shall die”. An instantaneous severance from the Author of Life as a result of sin occurred in the spirit of man, but along with this, the deteriorating, dilapidated and desperately slow anguish of death working corruption and depravity in the soul of mankind began its evil work.
Yet at the Cross of Christ we crucify this sinful self of ours, the very depravity and corruption that make us easy prey for the enemy; thereby we deny him the ‘ammunition’ of our human weaknesses and propensity toward sin, which he is eager to use against us! Thus, in “dying, you shall live . . . and experience victory!”
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Dying to self and sin (ROM 8:13, 1 PET 2:24); dying to the world and all its allurements and enticements (COL 2:20); dying to the god of this world and being alleviated from all of his vile influences (EPH 5:8), dying to the Law and being wed to Christ (ROM 7:2-8; GAL 2:19), we find victory in the instrument of our death, the Cross; which by the grace of God and the resurrection of Christ Jesus becomes the glorious Way of Life! “Christ liveth in me!”
Now this earthly life I live by faith in God’s Son brings resurrection power to me so as Christ walked in this world, so too now can I (See PHIL 3:10; 1 JOHN 2:5-6 and 1 THESS 4:1-3)!
“Be strong in the LORD” – This is no mere exhortation from Paul, this is a command given to us from the LORD, and this is not an option! He commands us to be strong in HIM and also:
“. . . in the power of His might”. How patient the LORD must be in teaching us how to rely on His strength and might, rather than resorting to our own; these are the lessons of the disciple, who must become disciplined in these spiritual truths, under the tutelage of our LORD. Yet just as any child must first crawl, then walk, and then run, we too learn these lessons progressively, and the LORD in His astounding wisdom knows how best to teach us so that we may understand Him and His ways!
Similar commands have been issued before by God (directly or by a prophet) to others:
We saints can rest assured that if God issues a command for us to obey, He will have made provision for us, the ability to obey (see PHIL 2:13), even if in the natural realm, it seems unlikely or altogether hopeless.
Consider the man with the withered hand, whom the LORD commanded to “stretch forth [his] hand”. In his own natural ability, the man had no strength whatever to obey the LORD’s command, however with his will to obey, God then furnished him with the means to obey and by such received his healing (LUKE 6:10).
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
These other words, “power” and “might” respectively in the Greek have particular meaning:
Power is kratos in the Greek and it means, “vigor [great], dominion, might, power, strength; force, strength, might; most especially manifested power, derived from a root meaning, “to perfect, to complete” and its used elsewhere in scripture in the same sense as is here in EPH 1:19; 6:10; COL 1:11; 1 TIM 6:16; HEB 2:14 and REV 5:13“.
In regards to this word, “power” we find these passages to be quite encouraging!
2 SAMUEL 22:31-33
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
The Hebrew word for “power” is chayil and means, “a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength; it refers to ability, influence, faculty, power; specifically such ability and power derives from the LORD”, for in this passage, King David remarks that by the LORD, that is, His power, he was able to run through a troop, to leap over a wall (vs.30); to run with extreme proficiency on high places, not taking a single misstep (vs. 34, 37); he was also able to break a bow of steel (vs. 35; more likely bronze, but still!).
1 CHRONICLES 29:11-12
Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
In verse 11, the Hebrew word employed is, g’buwrah and it refers to “force, valor, victory, might, mastery; the primary meaning is power and strength”. David’s powerful regime is a kingship of gebuwrah (vs. 30). As both physical strength and wisdom were necessary for leadership these two qualities are joined together. In wisdom (PROV 8:14), in the Spirit-filled Micah (MICAH 3:8); The Messiah’s special role will be a demonstration of might and counsel (ISAIAH 11:2).
In verse 12 however, a different Hebrew word is used: kowach, which means, “to be firm, of vigor, to produce, strength, ability and power; used in a poetic sense, its employed often in scriptural poetry as well as in prophetic literature. This word is used in reference to Daniel and his three friends who were skilled in all wisdom, cunning in knowledge and understanding science and had ability to stand in the king’s palace.
Also consider the following:
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
“Power” or owz in the Hebrew is here used in the sense of “strength, force, security, majesty, praise, boldness, loud, mighty.”
And also –
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
In the Greek the word here for “power” is exousia, meaning, “privilege, force, capacity, competency, freedom, mastery, superhuman, potentate (spiritual or political), token of control, delegated influence, power, authority.
The PRIVILEGE of POWER: Its ALLOCATIONS and ABUSES
It is interesting to note that all power, as mentioned above, ultimately belongs to God and exists for the sole purpose of magnifying and glorifying God for His Almighty nature and unrivaled authority.
He also delegates powers, abilities, and mastery to various beings, people, animals and things as it pleases Him. Such powers have inherent purposes that are intended by God Himself, and when such purposes are abrogated (particularly by the angelic and human races) this is nothing less than transgression itself before the God of all power.
Any ambitious reach for power beyond that which is divinely allocated is a breach of protocol as established by the Supreme Potentate, and no acquisition of such power can be attained without a deadly price (The old expression “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” applies aptly to us creatures, but not to our Creator). “The wages of sin (harmartia, falling short of the mark, an archery term) is death…” see ROMANS 6:23a.
Lucifer sought for greater power and authority than was his due, even though he was probably the supreme regent of all angelic authority; likewise Adam and Eve were the supreme authority on Earth as the Stewards over it and all creation by the proclamation of God Himself and yet Eve likewise sought for greater power than was her due.
Mankind ever since our Fall has sought by his ambitious lusts for the acquisition of power, and control over others. This has and still does lead to greater abuses of said power, and corruption. This is keenly evident in practically every government on the Earth today, especially our own American government of the past eighty years! Yet such lust and ambition for the acquisition of power is nothing new; such encouragements are found in the works and writings of Nietzsche, particularly his notion of “the will to power” (see: Nietzsche’s “The Will to Power“).
We likewise see the abuse of power in the church, among those that teach that our spiritual authority granted to us by Christ Jesus our LORD is a manifest truth of our own godhood; such teachings from Kenneth Copeland, Earl Paulk, and countless others has yielded the corrupt fruit of presumption, arrogance, and deception.
Only by submitting to the God of all power, and complying with that allocation of power so designated and granted to each of us by the LORD can we be assured of wielding said power properly, but only in so much as we do so in the wisdom afforded to us by His Word and Spirit.
For us the church, such allocation of power granted to us by our LORD Jesus Christ has been granted and ratified by the scriptures themselves, as duly noted in the passage above of MATT 28:18,19. On the basis of this power (authority, privilege, competency, freedom, mastery and delegated influence) we are “therefore” to go and teach all nations, and baptize them.
We have such power granted to us, entrusted to us by GOD the Father, through the LORD Jesus Christ, that as we act on His behalf, according to His Kingdom and His Holy will, we properly conduct ourselves in this, the authority of the believer in Christ.
“Might” in Greek is, Ischus, meaning “force, forcefulness, power; might, ability”. In EPH 1:19 and EPH 6:10 it’s said to be the strength of God bestowed upon the believers, the phrase “the power of His might” indicating strength afforded by power.
This might is not our own, is not dependent on our own resilience, or attitude and estimation of our own abilities (or more significantly, our lack of abilities), but based solely on our faith in God’s own might as presented here in Ephesians.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
In the Hebrew, to “wait” in this sense comes from the word, qavah: “to bind together, (twisting, collect) to expect, wait, look, wait for, look for, gathered. The word stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude, a forward looking with assurance.”
The picture that comes to mind for me is a child with a baseball, tossing it up in the air. He looks upward with expectation, assured that (as its done thousands of times before) the ball will come back down so he can catch it, toss it up, and catch it again. His eyes and attention are focused in a certain (upward) direction.
Likewise in our hour of need, we must wait in this manner for the LORD Who Himself shall renew our strength. Often we grow weary in prayer or in trials, and we must look to the LORD, and wait upon Him to renew our strength that we might persevere in prayer and endure the fiery trial.
Just as the child throws up that baseball, we send up our prayer for renewed strength; likewise just as that ball comes back down, we must rest assured and expectantly confident that the LORD will send down His Spirit and power, delivering to us that renewing of vigor, strength, perseverance and determination, borne not of ourselves, but of the Holy Spirit Himself! “Renew” likewise is a very pertinent word in this passage:
Chalaph – “…to change, also to abolish or cut off, to sprout again” In utilizing these various shades of meaning together, the person who waits upon the LORD shall abolish their own strength, cut off, to forsake, or to leave off their own human strength, which is truly frail and untrustworthy (“putting off the old man”), and in exchange take on the strength of the LORD (“putting on the new man”).
The passage in Isaiah goes on further that “they shall mount up with wings as eagles”. These birds of prey, like others of their kind, are sensitive to the wind currents and know when and where such currents are going to rise up, and at the opportune time, launch out and ‘catch the wind’ in their wings and soar effortlessly over miles of terrain at tremendous heights, never tiring; for it is not their own power, but the power of the wind, that carries them.
Likewise not by our own effort or strength, we must be sensitively, expectantly waiting upon the Spirit of the LORD. In His time, we launch out as the Spirit moves us and operate in the spiritual power that God has provided. We work effortlessly in fields of His Kingdom (see MATT 11:29-30).
By waiting, expecting, focusing on the LORD we seek His grace and power and His Spirit to enable us to “mount up as eagles” and soar through whatever trials, or battles that face us; we “shall run (1 COR 9:24) and not be weary”, and we “shall walk (GAL 5:25) and not faint”.
The Hebrew word for “strength” in this passage of Isaiah is kowach, and has already been defined and treated before (ref. 1 CHRON 29:12).
This concludes part 2 of this series; please patiently await the 3rd segment as I busily study, research and pray on its development. In the meanwhile, stand fast in the LORD Jesus Christ, our Solid ROCK upon Whom no saint shall fail, though the fiercest, most powerful storms which loom ahead of us may assail them!