CHAPTER x10 – Spiritual Warfare … to my grandchildren; Prepare….for the battle, the Spiritual Battle – For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are Spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Ephesians 6: 10 – 12


TO MY GRANDCHILDREN

My son, Pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words do not let them out of your sight keep them within your heart, for they are life to those who find them and health to a mans whole body – above all else guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:20-22

Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. – Proverbs 3: 7-8

Jesus said ‘…be wise as serpents, harmless as doves….’  Daniel, Job, Moses, David, Solomon…are our examples…Study.

Prepare….for the battle, the Spiritual Battle – For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are Spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Ephesians 6: 10 – 12 (JB Phillips)

2 Cor 10:1-6 Paul teaches us, ‘Now I am going to appeal to you personally, by the gentleness and sympathy of Christ himself. Yes, I,Paul…………………….speak…….  The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ…….’. JB Phillips ((Compare to the Amplified – ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, ………and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, ...’2 Corinthians 10:4-5))

Paul is explaining to us, and JB Phillips translates it into everyday language very clearly, that all of our thoughts in our minds, must be put at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, who died for ALL of our sins, and we are now dead to the past, raised to walk in newness of life. Do it over, over, over, and over again. Do it in your mind as an exercise, all day every day.(Mine)

Philippians 4:8-9 ‘………..Don’t worry over anything whatsoever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus…’. (JB Phillips)

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, Christian love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore brethren be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you…..’  2 Peter 1:5-11 NAS . (A key of the kingdom of heaven?)

(Philippians 4:8 American Standard) ‘Here is a last piece of advice. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find that the God of peace will be with you.’ JB Phillips  (( Compare to the American Standard))  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren. whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things-fix your minds on them. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace-of untroubled, undisturbed well being-will be with you.

WORSHIP

Matthew 8:2  – The story of the man appealing to Christ to help him was called worship. Acknowledging God in everything is worship.

Philippians 4:5    ‘Delight yourselves in God, yes, find your joy in him at all times. Have a reputation for gentleness, and never forget the nearness of your Lord.’ JB Phillips  ((Compare the Amplified version ‘Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness-your considerateness, your forbearing spirit. The Lord is near – He is coming soon. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition (definite requests) with thanksgiving continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace {be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace} which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things-fix your minds on them. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace-of untroubled, undisturbed wellbeing-will be with you’. Philippians 4: 5-8 Amplified?))

‘I beg you, as those whom I love, to live in this world as strangers and “temporary residents”, to keep clear of the desires of your lower natures, for they are always at war with your souls. Your conduct among the surrounding peoples in your different countries should always be good and right, so that although they may in the usual way slander you as evil-doers yet when disasters come, they may glorify God when they see how well you conduct yourselves. Obey every man-made authority for the Lord’s sake – whether it is the emperor, as the supreme ruler, or the governors whom he has appointed to punish evil-doers and reward those who do good service. It is the will of God that you may thus silence the ill-informed criticisms of the foolish 1 Peter 2:11-15 J.B Phillips

Sing songs of praise, acknowledge the Lord God Almighty in all of your ways, Pray constantly, Ask Him questions and read the Bible for His answers. Read the Songs King David wrote, Psalms, to praise and worship Him.

TRUTH

Ephesians 4:  (JB Phillips)

Evil is as utterly different from good as light from darkness

For of this much you can be quite certain: that neither the immoral nor the dirty-minded nor the covetous man (which latter is, in effect, worshipping a false god) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Don’t let anyone fool you on this point, however plausible his argument. It is these very things which bring down the wrath of God upon the disobedient. Have nothing to do with men like that–once you were “darkness” but now as Christians you are “light”. Live then as children of the light. The light produces in men quite the opposite of sins like these—everything that is wholesome and good and true. Let your lives be living proofs of the things which please God. Steer clear of the activities of darkness; let your lives show by contrast how dreary and futile these things are  (You know the sort of things I mean–to detail their secret doings is too shameful) For light is capable of showing up everything for what it really is. It is even possible (after all, it happened with you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also. Thus God speaks through the scriptures:

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee.

You know the truth–let your life show it!

Live life then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but grasp firmly what you know to be the will of the God. Don’t get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls. (Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, because He is your seal for the day of redemption) Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of the Lord! Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And “fit in with” each other, because of your common reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 6

Children and parents: servants and masters

Children, the right thing for you to do is to obey your parents as those whom God has set over you. The first commandment to contain a promise was:

Honour thy father and mother that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the earth.

Fathers, don’t over-correct your children or make it difficult for them to obey the commandment. Bring them up with Christian teaching in Christian discipline.

Slaves, obey your human masters sincerely with a proper sense of respect and responsibility, as service rendered to Christ himself; not with the idea of currying favour with men, but as the servants of Christ conscientiously doing what you believe to be the will of God. You may be sure that the Lord will reward each man for good work irrespectively of whether the man be slave or free. And as for you employers, be as conscientious and responsible towards those who serve you as you expect them to be towards you, neither misusing the power over others that has been put in your hands, not forgetting that you are responsible yourselves to a heavenly employer who makes no distinction between master and man.

Be forewarned and forearmed in your spiritual conflict

In conclusion be strong–not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless strength. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women. And pray for me, too, that I may be able to speak freely here to make known the secret of that gospel for which I am, so to speak, an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak out about it as is my plain and obvious duty.  (Emphasis Mine)

 

1 Kings 3:9 Solomon prays for knowledge and wisdom from God and God says ‘………behold I have done according to thy words; lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart…’.

 Trust your discernment that God has given you. The Spirit of discernment, to know truth, good and evil. ( Pray for yourself, and your brothers and sisters in Christ that they also may have spiritual understanding, discernment.) (Mine).

Luke 12:3 Jesus says ‘…………be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that they have no more they can do. But I will show you the only one you need to fear. Fear him who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Fear Him…………..’

Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego are our examples. They prayed daily to God, and trusted Him. You must, too.

Chapter 2 verse 37 Daniel begins to give the interpretation of the Kings dream to the King – note the response – Daniel’s respect for authority that God had given to Nebuchadnezzar. ‘You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field, and birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all…….’ It is a lesson to us to be respectful to persons who are in positions of authority, in spite of the circumstance. ‘Yes Sir/Maam, because you are my teacher/instructor/officer/………….,’

Just as Daniel depended on God we depend on God.

When faced with destruction by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’

Joseph who was sold by his brothers into slavery, and was a young man, terrifed, crying and all alone, acknowledged that God had a plan for his life. There is no mention of Joseph’s being terrified, crying, depressed, feeling all alone. I believe it is because Our Father in heaven knows us so well. That those horrible feelings are normal, natural and He knows we are feeling them. Maybe He doesn’t write it down, because His purposes are so much greater then our temporary ‘horrible feelings’, and His words are always with us to comfort us. We are to always call on His Name and know He is with us.

1 Peter 2:19-23 ‘…A man does something valuable when he endures pain, as in the sight of God, though he knows he is suffering unjustly. After all, it is no credit to you if you are patient in bearing a punishment which you have richly deserved? But if you do your duty and are punished for it and can still accept it patiently, you are doing something worthwhile in God’s sight. Indeed this is part of your calling. For Christ suffered for you and left you a personal example, and wants you to follow in his steps. He was guilty of no sin or the slightest prevarication. Yet when he was insulted he offered no insult in return. When he suffered he made no threats of revenge. He simply committed his cause to the one who judges fairly. And he personally bore our sis in his own body on the cross, so that we might be dad to sin and be alive to all that is good. It was the suffering that he bore which has healed you. You had wandered away like so may sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. JB Phillips

FRIENDSHIP

God is always your friend. A perfect friend.

Just as King David and Saul’s son Jonathan were friends, you can be a friend too. Set your face to be the kind of friend to them you wish they would be to you. You will discover being a friend is a large responsibility. Failing to be a true and faithful friend is very easy. Pray, stand firm, be strong, ask God to intervene into your life and lead you, show you the path he would have you walk. Just like Daniel, pray in the morning, at noon and in the evening.

If you want a friend, be a friend first and you will always have friends.

 

THE REAL ENEMY

Your Family, Friends and Loved Ones are not the enemy.  John 8:44d ‘…..the devil……He always was a murderer, and has never dealt with the truth, since the truth will have nothing to do with him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks in character, for he is a liar and father of lies……….’ He is the enemy.

1 Peter 5:8-14 ‘Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. Resist him, standing firm in your faith and remember that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world. And after you have borne these sufferings a very little while, God himself (from whom we receive all grace and who has called you to share his eternal splendour through Christ) will make you whole and secure and strong. All power is His for ever and ever, amen!

(He lies to you in your mind telling you Mom and Dad or that teacher, that kid, or that person, doesn’t love you or like you or tells you its okay to talk about them or to tell lies. You see! He is ‘…..the father of lies……’ and he is the enemy.) (Mine)

(He lies to you in your mind telling you, ‘Your spouse’ doesn’t love you or like you or tells you its okay to talk about them or to tell lies. You see! He is ‘…..the father of lies……’ and he is the enemy! Not your spouse.) (Mine)

Know The Gospel – The Good News

‘THE GOSPEL’ – ‘THE GOOD NEWS’

Acts 10:38-43  N.A.S. ‘You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.  And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.’

1 Cor 15: 1-8  ‘By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of the first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more that five hundred (500) of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also,….

Beware of the evil one:

Luke 8:12,13  “The ones along the path are those who have heard. Then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.”

The evil one desires to destroy your faith. He uses this word, ‘Predestinated’, to take away the word from your heart so that you may not believe and be saved, and to steel away salvation just as it is offered to you.

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