The “Way” Of A Godly Solider

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by Steven Crook

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In Joh 14:6 we all see and are familiar with a verse which is simple in appearance yet which holds so much weight that to fully understand its depth, width and height would take a man or woman 10 life times just to scratch the surface. Nevertheless, we must all endeavor to understand as much as we can about Jesus Christ and God the Father through Him.
Of course, this will or will not be all given to us via the Holy Spirit, but it is the Word of God which will be opened up to us if indeed the Lord is willing. My hope today is that the Lord will anoint this study so that we all will come to a broader and clearer understanding of what the Lord is working in all of our lives either now or later.
Let us endeavor to come to the realization that what we have been called and chosen to, if indeed we have been called and chosen to it, is a life of a spiritual soldier, among other things, which we will touch on today. We are called to a war which has been raging since the foundation of the world. We have been chosen to battle the fiercest and scariest enemy that has ever been known by man. That enemy is you and me as the carnally- minded natural man.
Today, I will be dealing with a topic that has been on my heart and mind for a long time, but it is only now that God’s timing has brought me to the point that I am being used to bring this study to fruition.
I pray we can all take a hold and bring into remembrance always what we have been called, chosen and commanded to be faithful to. In the end, we can all take great comfort in knowing that we know God is working all of it after the counsel of His own Will.

The Art of War

Sun Tzu is a Chinese general who lived in the 6th century B. C. and even today is highly read and respected war tactician and strategist who won many battles and wars for the emperor of his day. Sun Tzu wrote a book named, “The Art of War” which even today is mandatory reading for the Chinese military.
I know this to be true because not many folks know of my history with a Chinese man who began to teach me Chinese wushu or as some know it, kung fu, in 2003. He no longer lives in Indiana, but he is still a dear friend to me. He was a Chinese officer in the red army, and he also grew up as a Chinese monk in the Shaolin temples in Shanghai. I no longer train with him, but ever since I have come to know and see some of the truths that I now do, I have often thought of the various reasons of what the Lord was doing with me in that part of my life and walk with Him. Anyhow, those trains of thought led me inevitably to the study which we are all apart of today.
Getting back to how Sun Tzu comes into this study, I wanted to compare physical war with what spiritual war is said to be in the scripture and what we have to do with that entire process. Being that Sun Tzu is a basic reading for how successful wars are won and waged, specifically the good and bad aspects of a great general, I thought his book might be a good place to start with comparing man’s ways to God’s ways concerning war. War is a topic which inundates the Word of God from cover to cover, so as another means of studying to show ourselves approved unto God, I think it is a great topic to study in order for us to further learn what the Lord is showing us about Him and ourselves.
With all that in mind, let us begin to see what the Lord has for us today.

A Good Soldier

2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [ this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

These few verses lay the foundation of the topic that I chose for today’s study. Before we take line upon line and precept upon precept let’s look a little closer at these verses to start to see one aspect of our calling in Christ.
In verse 2, there are a few words that I want us to keep at the forefront of our minds when thinking about this entire study because they will keep us focused on the end- game of what we hope for.

2Ti 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

“Be strong in grace…. committing the things you have heard of me… to faithful men, so that they can teach others also” then we read:

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [ this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

On the surface this seems straight- forward, but just to make sure we all understand what we are being told, there are a few other translations that really bring out what is being said:

(Darby) Take thy share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
(Darby) No one going as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of life, that he may please him who has enlisted him as a soldier.
(YLT) thou, therefore, suffer evil as a good soldier of Jesus Christ;
(YLT) no one serving as a soldier did entangle himself with the affairs of life, that him who did enlist him he may please;
(ISV) Join me in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
(ISV) No one serving in the military gets mixed up in civilian matters, for his aim is to please his commanding officer.

And just so we can confidently know that we are indeed speaking about a soldier, we can look in several other verses and see that the word “soldier” translated in the Greek in verse 3 is in fact the same Greek word “stratiotes” or soldier we see Christ addressing in Mat 8 when we see Christ speaking with the Centurion soldier.
This same word is used a handful of others times throughout the New Testament and it is the most widely used when speaking about a soldier in general, but interestingly the soldier mentioned in verse 4 is actually a little bit different in the Greek than in verse 3. The soldier as translated in Greek from verse 4 is “strat- o- log- eo” which is translated as a “chosen soldier” and encompasses the entire verse of “who hath chosen him to be a soldier” and this is the ONLY time it is used in scripture.
So, we can conclude that we are indeed commissioned by the Holy Spirit to “be as a good soldier by suffering whatever the Lord puts in front of us and not getting caught up with what normal everyday life throws at us” because we know that the scripture bares out that the rain is sent to the just and unjust alike; therefore, we will have the same everyday trials and concerns that are common to all mankind but that should not be our focus spiritually.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

But what do we do with this knowledge? Hopefully, we can be confident that the Word of God has an answer for us.

Laying Plans

When speaking about war, Sun Tzu starts by saying, “The art of war is of vital importance to the State”. Before we go any further, let me clarify that this is not a study on how we are to wage physical war. Rather, this is a study on how we should be regarding the war that is going on in our day to day lives.
I am sure there are veterans who are either here, listening to this study on Ustream or will be listening or reading these study notes at some point in the future, so I will be the first to state that I personally do not know the first thing about waging physical war. So, this may all be old hat to those who have been physical soldiers but none- the- less the spiritual meaning of war as laid out by the Word of God is another whole ball of wax.
However, being that the scripture is full of war and we are told that we are spiritually in the middle of the most IMPORTANT WAR to ever happen, I think we should all be very interested in how we can “be all that you can be” in spiritual warfare.
With that being said, I want to use some of the strategies that Sun Tzu taught and see if we can glean from the scripture how that could apply to us and for us spiritually.
Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of “The Art of War”.

18. All warfare is based on deception.
19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
21. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.
22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.
23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.
24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
25. These military devices, leading to victory, must not be divulged beforehand.
26. Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple where the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

Those are some very interesting statements. I would venture to say that spiritually speaking, we can all probably see how some or all of these might apply spiritually. However, let’s see what the scripture has to say on such things.
In 2Co 2, we see Paul addressing the Church at Corinth, and in this chapter we can see a very interesting message being given by Paul. Remember, according to Sun Tzu all warfare is based on deception.

2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

The greek word used here as devices, according to Strong’s, is the word “no- ay- mah” and can be found a whopping six times in the new testament! These verses work very well together in determining what Paul was revealing to us here. Astoundingly to me, five of these verses are in 2 Corinthians! Here are the six verses, but pay attention to what the scripture concludes we are being told:

2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
2Co 3:14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [ vail] is done away in Christ.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I don’t know what you just got from that, but I can clearly see one thing and that is that we are all “up a creek without a paddle” UNLESS of course “the peace of God shall keep our hearts and minds THROUGH Christ Jesus”.
But let me add just one more shocker to your system and reveal, in case you might not be aware of it, that Christ Jesus is a HEAD and BODY. Christ Jesus is not complete without his inheritance. Christ Jesus is not Christ Jesus without HIS BODY who you and I are as “a good solider for Christ Jesus”.
We are used to prophesy, preach, teach and evangelize this truth with the Mind of Christ and the mind being is our HEAD!
You might be wondering how in the world we stand a chance because not all are apostles, not all are prophets, not all are teachers, but ALL are the body of Christ if indeed you are part of His Body!
Best of all we are given to us freely what we need to protect this spiritual body of a soldier, we are given these verses of comfort.

 

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

 

The word here translated as wiles explains a mountainous amount of knowledge of what we are at WAR AGAINST! We are at war against the lying in wait of the devil in how he can use our very flesh against us. How can I say that? That is what the very word means according to the scripture. We are not left in doubt about this. It is amazing how these very concepts are concisely revealed to us if only we are given the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it.

 

The word wiles in verse 11 is translated only two times in the entirety of the New Testament. Here are those two times.

 

Eph 4:14  That we [ henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [ and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

 

Now, we just determined that the devices that Satan uses are the very MIND and thoughts that are anything other than the Mind of Christ, and Eph 4:14 makes it very clear that lying in wait and the wiles of the devil are the same thing. This verse also makes it clear that it is not a child who bears the weight of the armor which the body must be protected by, but it is a soldier that bears armor!

 

Did we not see this spiritual example in the fact that king David could not bear the weight of Saul’s armor, but instead had to completely rely on what the Lord provided him?

 

1Sa 17:38  And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.

1Sa 17:39  And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.

1Sa 17:40  And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

 

Saul gave David his armor which David tried and knew it would not work for what the Lord would have him do. So, he set off to do the Lord’s work with what the Lord had made David to be at that time, a shepherd with a staff and even David proclaims what his purpose was while having been mocked for doing the Lord’s work. Here id what the old man says to the new:

 

1Sa 17:26  And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

1Sa 17:27  And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.

1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

See this is what our brothers say to us when we say to Goliath that we are going to kill him. Surely we can’t fight and prevail against a giant, can we? “I know thy pride,” is what we are mocked with, but our mind, our mind of Christ against the giant who defies the Lord is:

 

1Sa 17:45  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.   

 

Here is what the Lord provides to us as spiritual soldiers, and this is how we come spiritually in the name of the Lord of hosts:

 

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

It is a spiritual soldier who is called, chosen and Lord willing, faithful to fulfill the role of the prophet, teacher, preacher, evangelist and giving and delivering to all with the power of God the peace of God to those who God has placed in our path.

 

Above all, it is the shield of FAITH which David had, it is the shield of FAITH which is used in conjunction with the other armor that allows us to defend and know what lies in wait from the adversary. It should now be coming clear that the lying in weight is used as a means to use the very beast against the new man. It is the old man that Satan infiltrates giving birth to the thoughts and mind that the WHOLE world is susceptible to.

 

These are the DEVICES of satan, the god of this world:

 

2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 

2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 

 

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

You might be saying, wait a minute, where is the Lord in all of this? It is HIS WAR on both sides. He is completely calling the shots! It is the Lord who lets the giant Philistine defeat the armies of Israel until he steps in and changes the game, so to speak. Here is david addressing Goliath before he kills him:

 

1Sa 17:47  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

 

Wasn’t the battle the Lord’s when Goliath was killing Israel? Let’s see what the sum of the word says on the matter.

 

Jer 18:11  Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

Jer 18:12  And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.

So, what is the solution to this dilemma? The Lord has told us too many times to count throughout the scripture, none- the- less, here is the answer:

 

“Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”

 

But how in the world can we do that if it is the Lord who puts it in our hearts and minds to do just what we are doing when we walk after our own devices, our own MIND? Remember all the armor we are to put on, well here is what it is used for:

 

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(ISV)  Pray in the Spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert with every kind of effort and request for all the saints

 

(NIV)  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 

It sounds too simple, eh? Prayer is the answer? Prayer? It seems like prayer is a keen to a sling with five stones? Am I really recommending prayer? No, I am not, but the scripture is commanding it.

 

1Th 5:15  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.

1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The “Way” of a Godly Soldier – Part 2

In part 1, we started to learn of the various aspects of being a spiritual soldier. We also focused our attention on what the enemy is doing at all times of war. Satan is concentrating his forces on lying in wait so that he can blind everyone’s mind from what our focus should be on. We also briefly touched base on the scriptural truth that it is all the Lord’s battle and we are a part of the bigger body of the spiritual army, the body of Christ.
Prayer is what we should be instituting into every part of our lives because as a spiritual solider in the body of Christ, we are taking upon us the life that the Lord commands and not the life which we think we should be living. In other words, we are soldiers who look to obey the commands of our superior officer and not the commands of our own desires and lusts.

Here is another point that Sun Tzu makes:

 

“Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.”

 

Praying, allows us to be first in the field and rested and constantly vigilant because the Lord prepares our minds through prayer to focus on the war at all times versus becoming sluggish warriors as time passes.

 

“Now a soldier’s spirit is keenest in the morning; by noonday it has begun to flag; and in the evening, his mind is bent only on returning to camp.

 

A clever general, therefore, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to return.  This is the art of studying moods.”

We have now arrived at a point where we are spiritual soldiers who are at war with our enemy, which just so happens to be ourselves. It may be satan who is leading the armies on the other side of the battle field, but it is the Lord who causes it all to come to fruition. It is the Lord who will decide who wins or loses, and it is the Lord who will decide who is standing at the end of the day. If satan appears to have a victory, we can be confident that it is indeed the Lords victory because he has orchestrated it all.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

 

Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

 

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

 

Jer 21:10  For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

 

 

The Mind of Christ

 

 

Being a good soldier of Christ involves us putting on the armor of God, but as we read in verse 4 of 2Ti 2, it is a chosen soldier who is in an elevated position to the standard soldier. We see this to be true in our physical armies with the role of officers is our military. And this is no different in spiritual warfare only the Lord is the commander and chief and we aren’t given titles of private, Lieutenant, Captain, Sergeant and so on. Rather, we are given a totally different office all together, and it is a progressive office of Kings and Priests.

 

In part 1 we covered king David’s biblical battle with goliath, and we all know that David ends up being a King. but there was a spiritual message alluding to this and what happens with us as we progress through this training in warfare that we all go through throughout our entire time spent in this tabernacle of flesh.

 

Here is what we see happen to David. Here is an amazing spiritual foreshadowing of what we are promised to be if indeed we are called, chosen and faithful to the end.


1Sa 18:1  And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

1Sa 18:2  And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.

1Sa 18:3  Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

1Sa 18:4  And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

1Sa 18:5  And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

 

Here we can see in type and shadow that Saul fulfills the role of God the Father…the King. Jonathan is the king’s son, and the king’s son “was knit with the soul of David…. and loved him as his own soul”. Does that sound like Jesus Christ to anyone? Wait, it gets better! The king’s son, in type and shadow Jonathan, represents Jesus Christ and “strips himself of the robe that was upon him and gave it to David, his garments, sword, bow and girdle.”

 

Due to all of this, how is David changed? David no longer goes to his former life under his “Father’s house”, but David went “wherever his king sent him he behaved himself wisely”.

 

So, in type and shadow, after winning the war with goliath, we then go immediately to training for what our ultimate calling is, and that is the office of the King and spiritually speaking it is to be “Kings and Priests.”

 

Although we will never be rid of the old man until this flesh is done, we can and indeed better be praying we are walking after the spirit and not after the flesh. We can never be fully rid of this decaying and disgusting tabernacle of rottenness, but we can be walking in the spirit, warring against the flesh because it indeed we ALWAYS be warring against us.

 

Sun Tzu said: “If your enemy is taking his ease, give him no rest” and I guarantee Satan does not tire of this war we are in. Scripturally, we see:

 

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

 

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  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.

 

So, we must be diligent through prayer, praying that the Lord would not “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. Why is it that Christ himself told us to pray this way? Why would Christ tell us that when we pray, we should pray, among other things, that we not be LED into temptation?

 

This is because the battle is the Lord’s!  This is because that left to our own selves we would act just the way we were designed.  We would, will and do “walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart” because the Lord has charged that:

 

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

If I were a betting man, I would bet you 10 to 1 that you will never hear that in an orthodox Christian church gathering. Regardless of that, we can be confident that:

 

Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

Eph 3:12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Eph 3:13  Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Kings and Priests

As it was with David in type and shadow, so it is with us in that we also are in training to be Kings and Priests with Christ. After all, we surely agree the Christ is a head and a body but we also should realize that Christ as the head is the KING of kings and LORD of lords.

 

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

1Ti 6:15  Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

 

Rev 17:12  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Rev 17:13  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Rev 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

These verses in Rev 17 should be throbbing in your brain right about now due to what they reveal to us. Remember, it was in the wilderness that Christ was tempted by satan but it was also the spirit that LED him there.

 

Mat 4:1  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

 

If Christ were led up of the spirit to be tempted, how much more are we? It is the temptation to receive power as kings for one hour in and over this flesh that simply the majority of mankind will fall into and will not have this burned out of them until they have it burned out in the lake of fire. I pray this is not the case for any of us!

 

Now, pay close attention to what is said in verse 17:13, and for that matter, throughout the entire Word of God. This is what we are at war against. This is what we are fighting against and later being trained on in our path to becoming kings and priests reigning with Christ, Lord willing, and that is this:

 

Rev 17:13  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

 

Throughout the entire bible there are two men as has been talked about on iswasandwillbe for a long time now. These two men also have a mind contrary one to the other. These two men are at war constantly within each of us, and the ONLY WAY that any of us stand a chance to actually be standing at the end is for the old man to die and the new man to remain. That is why we die daily, that is why we are crucified with Christ, and that is why when we walk after the spirit we are actually dead in the flesh and Christ is living His faith in us and through us risen in the newness of His life.

 

Gal 2:20  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.

 

These two minds are what it is all about. We can see this clearly in several verses:

 

Rom 15:5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Rom 15:6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Php 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

 

1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

 

 

See, having the mind of Christ is living to the will of God. Where the will of God was, there was Christ also, and Lord willing, where the will of Christ is there is His Christ who WE ARE.

 

Having this mind, this will of God, is what Christ came to do and it is what those who are His are sent to do…have the will of God in this world.

 

Joh 5:30  I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

 

Joh 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

 

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

 

Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

 

 

This Doctrine

 

Now let me ask you all this. If Christ came to do the will of the Father and we are to have the same mind, then where does doctrine fall into this equation. It is of the utmost importance to winning the war or losing it. It is in- fact what we are all called and chosen to be faithful to.

 

In Mar 7, Christ is asked of the Pharisees, the spiritual kings of their day in their own right:

 

Mar 7:5  Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

They are “breaking bread”, and bread as we know is spiritually the word of God. Continuing,

 

Mar 7:6  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

Mar 7:7  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mar 7:8  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Mar 7:9  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

 

In  Mat 5, 6 and chapter 7 we see Christ expounding some truly earth shattering doctrine that the people were simply not getting from their spiritual leadership of the day and their response was:

 

Mat 7:28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

Mat 7:29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

If doctrine is not important, then why are we to hearken to Christ’s doctrine?

 

Mar 4:1  And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

Mar 4:2  And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

 

Mar 4:3  Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

 

Mar 12:38  And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

 

            Luk 4:32  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

 

            Joh 18:19  The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

 

Finally, we see:

 

1Ti 6:1  Let as many servants as are under the yoke (I’ll add here the YOKE OF CHRIST) count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

1Ti 6:2  And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

1Ti 6:3  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

1Ti 6:4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

1Ti 6:5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

 

Doctrine is intricately linked to the name of God, the mind of Christ, the will of God and the very thing that we are to TEACH and exhort with. Some men say we are in no need of teachers because their perverse doctrine destitute of truth teaches them that they are gaining godliness but in- fact have fallen into the temptation that satan has laid in wait to deliver.

 

Do you think any of us are immune to this? I sincerely pray none of us think that. I will give a very strong example that I pray offends no one here or listening, but none- the- less the word of God will cause us all to be offended.

 

Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

 

Mar 14:27  And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.

 

Here is the example I wish to share with you all. It is a deeply engrained tradition of men which most, if not all, Americans are privy to. That doctrine is the doctrine of freedom, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

 

Are we really the land of the free? Are we free of God’s sovereignty or is there a mind in us with this attitude that is so deeply important to us that we are willing to defend against and kill anyone who threatens what we perceive to be freedom? “God and country, God and country”. I use to hear “God the Father, and country” when I heard that phrase. However, now I hear what is really being said.

 

What is really being said is, god and country…. with god being a lower cause g. “Don’t you know that you are god’s?

 

           class=”bibleverse”>Joh 10:34  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

 

I am the first to admit that I know we do not know that we are really spewing blasphemy against God the Father when we claim to be coming in the name of the Lord when we are saying, “For God and country” being that it is a strong delusion that God has sent us so that we would believe a lie. None- the- less, that is exactly what it is.

 

When we live our lives out and choose to spend our time on what we believe is important, when we choose to dedicate our lives to one cause or another, we need to be judging ourselves and determining just what doctrine and mind we are following.
The kings and priests that will reign with Christ I can guarantee you will not be pursuing their own mindsets, they will not be deciding on what is Godly or not because such things will not be needed. Meaning, we will be given the mind we need on such things, and that mind will already now what needs to be done or decided. Lord willing, we are all being prepared for a role in reigning with Christ so that we can share this tremendous blessing and mercy with others.

 

Rev 2:14  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Rev 2:15  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.

Anything other than the way, truth and life is and idol. Jesus Christ, the way truth and life is the sum of the Word of God on what the will of God is. The mind of Christ is all it is about and everything else is simply an idol of the heart. We are to determine, via the Word of God and continual prayer, what that mind is on anything we have going on in our lives.

 

Eph 6:18 (NIV)class=”bibleverse”>And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 

Conclusion

 

Today, we have learned that there is much to being a “good soldier of Jesus Christ”. There is simply so much more that can be said on this subject that it only gives me comfort to know that whatever has been said and received by you is exactly what the Lord intended.

 

To be mindful that we are indeed at war is to also acknowledge that only one side wins a war when spiritual warfare is being fought. With the armor of God and the prayers of the saints, by the faith of Jesus Christ and His mind, we can prevail against the lying in wait of the adversary to use every opportunity available to use the temptation of our flesh to implant his mind in us.

 

None- the- less, as Christ was led of the spirit to be tempted in the wilderness of satan, we can be confident that though we will be promised to reign as kings for but an hour while in this flesh, we will be victorious, Lord willing through Jesus Christ, to reign for ever and ever with Him.

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

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