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BATTLE:

This is an interesting word, found 175 times in the Bible. A similar word: FIGHT is found 170 times. Both of these words are related to the word: WAR which is found 254 times.  We find the first word only four times in the New Testament: once in 1 Corinthians and four times in the book of Revelations.  The word fight is found only sixteen times in the N.T.  We see the word, WAR, twenty three times in the N.T. Why do we see these three words used so much in the O.T., and so few times in the new? Is it because those of us living in the age of grace are not to fight, or are we to fight in a different way? Jesus gave an instructive answer in John 18:36. Using the word “fight,” He Told Pilate in answer to his question of why He had been delivered up by His enemies:  “… my kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world , than would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” So how is this statement of Jesus Christ harmonized with what God said through His prophet, Jeremiah in 51:20? “Thou art my battle ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms …” God goes on further in that passage to describe how we are to fight. The Old Testament is a shadow of things to come. What happened in those times physically is to happen spiritually in our times. God’s believers in our dispensation are to fight with spiritual tools given us and demonstrated by Jesus at His First Coming.  He is coming again soon to put an end to the power of Satan and his antichrist system to deceive the people. Luke chapters 9 and 10 write about some of these supernatural tools given to us to destroy the works of the devil. Jesus demonstrated these tools to His apostles and disciples and then empowered them. In Luke 10: 19 He tells us: “Behold I give unto you power to trend on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing by any means shall harm you.”  If this is true, why is the church in such turmoil and confusion? It is because the church has been dumbed down by false teachers and false prophets in the midst of the sheep (wolves in sheep’s clothing). Most Christians don’t believe such Words of God.  Are you battling your problems and negative circumstances with the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit) or just with the use of physical means like money, medicine, doctors, lawyers, physical strength and talent?  Yes, we are to battle, fight and war, but God’s way, not man’s way. In 1 Timothy 1: 18 Paul tells Timothy this: “This charge I commit unto thee, son, Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest by them war a good warfare.” What are you contending for? I want to be a part of that vast army of disciples that follows Jesus Christ back to earth after the great tribulation that is coming to take back this earth from Satan by means of war. This Great Ride that comes out of heaven on horseback is described in Revelation 19: 11-21. Will you be a part of this great ride? I plan to be. I hope to be found worthy. I believe that Jeremiah 51:20 quoted earlier was a future prophecy for those who will make that glorious ride out of heaven back to earth with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. What a glorious time that will be.

Benefits:

VFW service officers help veterans get benefits accrued to them for combat duty. It is very difficult for a veteran without help to fight through the bureaucratic red tape to get what is legally his. That is probably the biggest reason veterans join the VFW. When someone enlists in the army of God he too receives a “benefits” package? Many who do join Gods’ small band of believers don’t know about all their benefits. We find these benefits listed in Psalms 103:2-5. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Satan and his army tries to keep you blind to what is yours as a believer or steal them from you through doubt, worry or unbelief. When he does this you need to remind him where these benefits are articulated in God’s written word. “No Satan!” you must tell him: “God told me these promises are mine,” and then declare these benefits are yours because you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ. Personal faith is critical when battling Satan in your mind where the battle rages, to receive your benefits. Your mind is where the battle is fought. When those benefits you desire to receive are from active duty in the United States military you elicit a service officer’s help. When they are divine benefits you might elicit a chaplain or another strong believer’s help to pray with. It says in scripture “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in their midst.” This verse Matthew 18:19 is very important in securing benefits. Don’t fight alone in prayer. There is strength in numbers. So what does this opening passage about your benefits say: These are yours but just like with the Veterans Administration often your right goes unrecognized due to incompentence or error and you have to fight through. So when you pray before the answer comes there is also a fight required. Don’t give up! Wait patiently! And be courageous! Remember this: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Bible:

Has the Bible come alive for you? Is it a living word for you, our just a dead textbook. When someone is truly “born again” (John 3:3) one clear sign that his spirit has been activated is that he has a hunger to learn everything he can about Jesus Christ and about the things of God. I became hungry to read His Word. For many years when I was just a member of a church I didn’t even own a Bible. At some point I bought one, thinking I should have one, but was not motivated to open it. It was just a table decoration. A soldier needs a manual that teaches him how to be a good soldier and how to fight the good fight. If you don’t read His Word you may do some Christian things, but you will never learn how to be an over comer; unless you start systematically to read His Word. Get into the Word and begin your transformation so that you can learn how to be pleasing to your commanding officer, Jesus Christ.

Blood:

Few are not bothered by the sight of bleeding and blood. Such people make good medical staff. We all know instinctively to stop the flow of blood from a wound. Open wounds can lead to fear, panic, infection, disease and even death. Wounds often lead to future problems. First aid is often just the start of treatment. Counselling can be required following unexpected trauma. And all psychological and spiritual help is not equal. Wounds are certainly physical but also often very emotional. The Bible uses this word 401 times. We instinctively know that the life is in the blood. What the Bible says about blood is instructive. A biblical understanding of this subject can help in healing. Following this word through the Bible we learn that the blood of a murdered man actually cries out to God from the ground. (Genesis 4:10) A powerful illustration of the fact that the life is in the blood. Murder causes God to take up an offence against the murderer. All warfare involves killing. But all killing is not murder. There are justified reasons to kill. But whether killing is justified or not such violence can haunt people. Whether directly involved in such an act or just indirectly, proper counselling in the aftermath of injury and death where blood flows is sometimes necessary. The soul (mind, will and emotions) is delicate. Some are psychologically more fragile than others. Some seem impervious to the barbs and bantering of others that can destroy a more sensitive soul. We are all so different. One thing I know. Christ is the answer to all long term PTSD issues. Bad dreams? God can heal the mind. Physical pain?. What Christ did on the cross can make pain dissolve. Destroyed relationships? His atoning work at the cross brings reconciliation. Emotional torment? He can bring lasting peace. If doctors, medicines, secular counselling, church attendance and such hasn’t helped; suicide is not the answer to long term torment. A life changing encounter with the living God and the indwelling of his Holy Spirit brings healing and deliverance where hospital visits and drug prescriptions often bring only temporary relief. The life that is really needed is found in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross two thousand years ago.

Body Armor:

Trump wears body armor when out in public. Smart! He knows the threat against him is very real. While we may not have people actually gunning for us like Trump does, we need to know there is a real threat against our lives too. God told us so in Ephesians chapter six and elsewhere. We too need physical protection and putting on our spiritually body armor is a part of God’s daily protection plan. Physical protection equipment used to be heavy, expensive and not very practical for day to day use. Especially for the knights of old. But our spiritual armor is lighter than a feather. The Bible needs to be taken seriously:

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”


Ephesians 6:11-18

When you get into the shower in the morning is a good time to appropriate this protection for the day. Supernatural protection is very real for it is demons who are behind the evil in the world and they are under God’s mighty power. Satan goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). It makes great sense to be clothed in the armor of God.

Boldness (1):

A very interesting word. Yet one does not find this important, english word used in the King James Bible. How can that be? Americans use this word when speaking of bravery and courage in the face of danger. We see boldness in many of the actions of Jesus when he faced the authority of the Pharisees (religious leaders) of his day. Some synonyms come to mind. Are they used in the Bible? Audacious (no), bravery (no), courage (yes), daring (yes), determination (yes), fearless (no), reckless (no), adventurous (yes), dauntless (no), nerve (no). Here are a few antonyms: cowardice (no), timidity (no), fear (yes). In America there is another word used in place of boldness. It often is used by judges in writing legal opinions: “Chutzpah” Its a Yiddish slang term meaning something like ‘nerve’ or ‘brass, ”extreme confidence in action’ according to Brother Bob Lindsey. A person with chutzpah is someone who ‘goes for it.’ Jesus certainly demonstrated such boldness at his first coming. The Bible warns us almost 500 times not to fear. Fear is the opposite of boldness. Jesus talking about boldness in Matthew 17:20. But he used the word faith: “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Faith captures what soldiers talk about when referring to boldness of action. It is an important personal trait in a world that tells us “no” when we need to hear “yes.” In these dark times it is boldness that will carry the day. The Bible’s promises are conditioned on faith or what the world refers to as “boldness.” In Hebrews chapter eleven we find many of the heroes of the faith mentioned. Verse six says this about faith: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” My wife just came back from Texas and a funeral for a 25 year old grandson, an army hero. He was tragically killed at the age of 25 by a car thief. We prayed diligently for a harvest of souls at his funeral thinking this alone would make sense of this terrible tragedy. In response to our prayers God downloaded a powerful sermon from heaven which touched many hearts. Are you bold for Christ in the face of the growing anti-Christ spirit? The world needs real men to stand up in these end times. As the world grows darker and things wax worse and worse we need to be the light that draws all men to Christ.

Boldness (2):

Most of us respect bold leadership. Righteous courage is appreciated wherever we observe it. On the other hand indecision in our leaders is quite disappointing. I love Proverbs 28:1. It tells us that “the wicked flee where no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The military has a history of honoring their brave ones. Men who get a hold of truth and act on it decisively. Concerning the present national fear! For a believer there is no virus to fear for those who look to Christ for their protection. (Psalm 91) We are in an age of lukewarmness and political correctness. Our culture is dominated by lying spirits. Many in the church have lost any real understanding of who they are in Christ Jesus. As a retired marine I don’t want to pick on those we look to for leadership such as our pastors. But I can’t help noticing the widespread fear when it comes to the issue of how to address such issues as our personal response to Covid-19, the wearing of masks and the call to shut down our economy and the fear it generates. We need courageous believers to stand boldly against the plans of the enemy. This current fear is certainly manufactured to bring in an anti-Christ agenda: God himself gave us biblical prophecies telling us what the devil and his crowd are up to at this very time in history. That pastors don’t know what is going on is quite telling. Here in Washington State it has been said we are the least churched state in the union. What better place for pastors to show courage and rise up against this unconstitutional attack on our bill of rights. The level of fear is shocking. We are ambassadors of Christ. Hebrews 13: 5- 6: is one of 23 verses that instruct us about the importance of boldness: “… For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” We find this word being used in six different verses in the Book of Acts, and throughout the New Testament. Christians who know their LORD should not fear any virus. We should be as bold as lions. We are called to be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, our LORD.

Footnote: These were teachings for Chaplain’s Corner of VFW monthly newsletter.