Spirit – there is more than what we see.
- You are a spirit who possesses a soul and lives in a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
- God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)
- As a born-again believer you are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- Angels are spirits sent to minister to the heirs of salvation (Psalm 104:4)
- Demons are spirits who desire to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10)
The world of the spirit can seem like a science-fiction story when spoken of by most people. There have been so many novels, movies and television show on the subject. Most of them are based on ancient myths and perversions of the truth that the Bible teaches. Yet, as a Christian, we cannot escape the reality of the world in which we live.
God is a Spirit, whom we have asked to take up residence within us, recreating our dead human spirit through regeneration as a result of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness of sins. Sounds pretty spiritual when you spell it out like that.
Your body is going to die (sorry to break the news). Our flesh will return to the dust of this earth, but our spirit continue to live in either heaven or hell. You are a spirit. You possess a soul and your currently reside within your body. The flesh that is wrapped around you is your earth-suit. It is what qualifies you to be alive and active on this planet. Without a body you cannot have influence on the earth. This is a law that God established back in Genesis.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ” Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
God’s gift of dominion to man over the earth is echoed throughout scripture.
What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, All sheep and oxen, And also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, Whatever passes through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:4-9)
The promise of the New Covenant was to take God out of a temple made of stone and allow Him to live in us.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
The manifestation of the New Covenant is the Holy Spirit living in us.
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. (Colossians 1:26-27)
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Under the New Covenant when God moves on the earth He uses His people.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:18-19)
In the current church age, we the believers in Jesus Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit are God’s representatives here on the earth. We are not God on the earth; we are His ambassadors. He has given us the power and authority of His name. We have been given the ability to speak and act on His behalf. We have been given a limited divine power of attorney.
“Itell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:12-14)
The bible reveals the struggle of faith and the struggle of building the Kingdom of God on the earth to be a spiritual struggle and not an earthly or physical struggle.
We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. (Ephesians 6:12)
Let’s get some basics out-of-the-way.
- People are not the enemies of God.
- People may be opposed to God, His truth and His Gospel, but Christ dies for everyone because God loves them and wants them to be saved. (1 Timothy 2:4)
- The Kingdom of God is not expanded through military conquest.
- The church is not a physical army fighting against a people group.
- Hatred, violence and murder are not the Christian response to those who stand against what the Bible teaches.
The war in the spirit is THE war. The devil has unleashed an all-out offensive attack upon the human race in an attempt to steal from God the things that He loves the most, us.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
…But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time. (Revelation 12:12)
You do not need to look far to find the influence of evil in our society. It is as easy as opening Google’s News Page or turning on the television. Each day we are bombarded with violence, corruption, perversion and transgression. We experience the horrors of genocide in places like Sudan to the pedophilia that seems to plague organized religion. We read almost daily of Muslim suicide bombers to witnessing the collapse of the family unit each day. Our universities are filled with men and women who openly teach doctrines of demons. Many of our “Christian” denominations ordain homosexuals, condone abortion and preach universalism. Many of our “Charismatic” ministries preach a spiritualized materialistic capitalism that cannot be found in scripture. Many of our churches no longer preach the cross, the blood or the resurrection. Many pastors will not lay hands on the sick, give altar calls for salvation or cast out demons. There is a real war being waged in our midst and the church in many cases is completely oblivious.
I want you to read Matthew 16:18-19 one more time:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
I have never been attacked by a gate. The purpose of a gate is to either keep something in or keep something out, most of the time both. The devil holds hundreds of millions of people within his gates. They are bound by false religion, philosophy, addiction, perversion and ignorance. The church has been commissioned by Christ to set the captives free. Jesus won the war.
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: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
…Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:17-18)
There must be a forceful advance of the preaching and ministering of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the earth. We must be unashamed in our declaration of truth, unconditional in our display of love for the sinner and uninhibited in our ministry of the power of the Spirit of God. We are the vessels of the Holy Spirit, we have the treasure in the jar of clay. The same price that was paid for you by Christ is the same price He paid for all. He has brought you to the Kingdom so that your life may produce fruit and that your fruit would remain (John 15:16).
You cannot defeat the devil nor do you need to. As a believer your role is to enforce the victory that Christ has already won. The devil cannot remain where the word of God is spoken. The greatest attack on error is the proclamation of the truth. The preaching of the gospel accompanied by the signs and wonders of the Holy Spirit enforces the victory won by Christ.
But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. (Luke 11:20)
The reality of the spiritual war for the hearts of men must be awakened within the body of Christ. We will never officially enforce the victory of our Savior in the arm of the flesh. We must minister the grace of Jesus Christ. We must attack the gates of the enemy. We must be willing to speak truth, regardless of its popularity or acceptance. We must be willing to love all, regardless of the opinions of men. We must be willing to lay hands on the sick. We must be prepared to cast out demons. We cannot select or specialize, we must deliver the complete package.
Love, salvation, truth, healing, deliverance and baptism in the Holy Spirit – these are the powerful hallmarks of the Christian faith. These are great gate-busters of God’s arsenal. These are the required operation and manifestation for the New Testament Christian.
We are not flesh and blood only. We are a spirit, who possesses a soul and lives in a body. More importantly, we have become the house of the Holy Ghost.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Wake up! We are in a battle for the souls of men and women and we are on the winning side. You are an enforcer of the victory of Jesus Christ. Put your armor on and run to the battle.