First Lovers, Here are the notes of tonight's teaching on spiritual warfare. Also remember that we are consecrating and food will not be served. Still, if your kids need to eat, PLEASE bring them something. We'll even have snacks available if they get hungry.
For the believer, deliverance is an expression of mutual love between you and God.
Demons, Fallen angels, principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places…they are all real.
And what is the exceeding greatness of His power (DUNAMIS) to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (KRATOS) which He wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above every principality, and power (Exousia)…
CONCLUSION: If Exousia pertains to the power of choice (which it does), then this scripture tells us that Jesus has given us FORECEFUL power over the demonic realm’s power of choice.
Why could we not cast him out? (Matthew 17:17-20)
The answer? UNBELIEF. (Talk about it next week)
Special note: To rebuke (Mt 17:18) means to admonish or charge SHARPLY. Y’all are too soft with your dealing with the adversary. Command like Jesus!
Quick note: We are still consecrating. Yes, even tomorrow. If you need to feed your children and must have dinner yourself, please do so before you come to church tomorrow, as there will be no food prepared this week. Our consecration continues with intercession, prayer and worship, early. We’ll start after 7 and pray together as a family group! Then, we will dive into the Word of God around...Victory in Spiritual Warfare.
From Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare by George Akalonu:
Spiritual warfare is the act of standing on the finished work of Calvary to war, in the Name of Yeshua and at the prompting Holy Spirit against the devil and his evil forces and by doing so enforce the ordinances and purposes of Yahweh on planet earth (land, waters, first and second heavens). Take note that it is not against human beings, even when they are his willing or unconscious human agents.
“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” Ephesians 6:12
Distortions of Spiritual Warfare by two opposing camps
Denominations divide the Body of Yeshua by clinging to limited insights they receive in the word and making dogma out of them. The problem with dogma is that it may not necessarily reflect the whole truth but can deceive by shutting off other truths. For this reason, those who cling to dogma do great damage to their souls as they lack the full counsel of Yahweh. Half knowledge can indeed be dangerous! Nowhere is this danger more evident than in the two major camps that dominate discussions on Spiritual Warfare. For sake of clarity, let us call them the ‘First World’ and ‘Third World’ camps.
The First World Camp
These are ministers from the advanced economies. After years of prosperity with all basic provisions generally met, they seem to have come to the conclusion that the
issue of Satan and evil spirits is a kind of fable reserved for ‘jungle’ societies. Consequently, they do not seem to experience direct encounters with the powers of darkness (or so they believe). They are not able to make a connection between the massive break down of the moral compass of Judeo Christian values and the attendant deviant behaviour at all levels in their countries with the war of attrition Satan and his assigned cohorts are waging.
These brethren love Yeshua, read and teach from the Bible but are clearly blind, leading blind followers who adore them into ditches. By not believing or teaching certain realities because they seem to have it all, they expose saints to the worst of spiritual and social sins: ignorance which leads to destruction as Hosea 4:6 says. Scripture is to be taught in fidelity to what Yahweh says, not subject to our personal opinions or experiences.
The Third Word Camp
These are ministers who have experienced the activities of Satan and his demons first hand or know many who have suffered uncountable torment, pain and even destruction of lives and properties. For them, this is no academic exercise: Satan and evil spirits are real. Consequently, they invest considerable time and effort to study the subject matter of Spiritual warfare, pray more about it, teach it often and conduct deliverance services both inside congregational settings, on special days, in homes and offices. While this camp knows about the subject matter, the attendant risk and danger is that they inadvertently promote Satan and Satan consciousness.
In some ministries, many saints have been ‘programmed’ to utter the name of Satan and evil spirits more than they pronounce the Name that is above all names, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah. This anomaly has bred a degree of Satan- consciousness which brings through the back door, a new form of spiritual and mental enslavement to religion of works! In so doing, saints are led down the path of danger as they bring railing accusations against Satan concerning difficulties they face even when he is not even present! As they work themselves into a frenzy to
‘attack’ Satan and hang on him their burdens, such saints may pause to consider this word of caution:
“8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves” Jude 1:8-10.
Saints have been conditioned to forget that Yahweh is the fountain of Grace and Mercy. People become so legalistic that they attribute some of their present problems to what they did as children and unsaved youth though these may be things that have repented of and renounced! To compound this reality, they literarily worship the deliverance ministers and gladly pay outrageous fees to receive ‘deliverance’ that never really happens. Some are enslaved to several bouts of fasting (7, 21, 40, 50, 70, 100 days) that are continuous with ‘goal posts’ of deliverance continually shifted. They are extorted of huge sums of money from their preachers who feed fat by pumping fear into their hearts. Poorly printed ‘prayer books’ and ‘anointing oil’ are sold at outrageous prices and people have no choice than to buy.
Every one they know is supposed to be an enemy responsible for their woes. In such assemblies, people do not allow others (same congregants) to touch their children neither do they eat and drink together. This situation is not the intent of our King.
This is legalism in disguise and cannot make their practitioners perfect in Yeshua. The palpable spirit of fear and apprehension that is self-evident in such ministries prove without doubt that bondage, rather than liberty is their defining feature.
“18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” Colossians 2:18-22
The balanced approach
There is a third way which has a balanced approach to the subject matter. It is that of systematic exposition of the Holy Scriptures under the guidance of Holy Spirit who was given to teach us all truth. It is also an approach which is hinged on the Words of King Yeshua and His apostles as well as their practical demonstration of Spiritual Warfare. To understand this subject in its fuller dimension, we need to also grasp the realities of another book we will offer titled ‘Critical Adversaries’.
Basic realities in the subject matter of Spiritual Warfare.
Let us take note of these basic realities that are grounded in the Holy Scriptures:
“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” Ephesians 6:12.
On the day of his fall, Satan was able to deceive multitude of angels to follow him in his rebellion. It is estimated that as much as one third of the angels were part of that rebellion. Revelations 12: 3,4. Satan has organized them into a powerful, well knit kingdom of darkness with each disciplined officer holding down a specific territory and representing him as his agent. Some demons(name of fallen angels) have specific assignment over individuals while others are assigned to families, communities as well as specific cultural heights s of society (Family, Schools, Arts/Literature, Culture, Media, Government/Politics, Business/the Professions, The Military) to supervise their activities and lead them to flow according to his pattern and will. We will examine his evil hierarchy in detail further on in this book.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” Colossians 3:1-4.
Understanding the basics of the evil kingdom of Satan
Of the things Abba shared with us so far, the following can be deduced:
The first thing we need to understand is that from the day of his fall, Satan the Devil did not just go to fold his hands in hell which became his headquarters, living an inactive life. Some scriptures show us how he and his agents spend time.
Kingdom of darkness: Levels of authority and circumference of operation.
We now proceed to learn a little more about satan, his companions and agents and how they are structured to give the impression of ubiquity. In other words, some of the things saints glibly attribute to Satan are in fact direct activities of these officers in the kingdom where he is chief. Discernment of spirits will enable us to know exactly what we are up against so that instead of praying generally, we can deal with the hindering or opposing spirits by name, just as Yeshua and his disciples did. In one single verse, the hierarchical structure of the Kingdom of darkness is outlined for our benefit.
“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” Ephesians 6:12
We learn that while Satan is at the Apex of the Kingdom of darkness, there are other levels of authorities who work with him to steal, kill and destroy. Let us gain more insight into what those spirit beings are.
Principalities: These are ruling territorial demons which have charge over large areas and vast number of people. Principalities are assigned to enforce the ordinances and plans of Satan in their spheres of influence. They are also assigned to ensure that people in those areas have a distorted view of God and to see no need for Him in their affairs. Just as there was a Prince of Persia trying to hinder the prayers of Daniel, there are Princes of nations and territories today. Daniel 10: 1-21.It
is interesting that the Prince of Greece was also mentioned in that scripture (Daniel 10 Verse 20).
Powers: These are ruling demons that exercise influence over all thrones from which human ruler ship is exercised. Assigned to every throne on planet earth is a demon which seeks to cause the human rulers to forget that they are ministers of God. With this deception, such human rulers go into delusions of grandeur and forget that
they are created beings, until it is too late when sickness, rebellion, overthrow by coup, loss of elections or death cuts them down. Have you not known some people closely and could vouch for them but within a few months or years of being in political office, you can hardly approach, counsel or vouch for them again? Now you know what is at work! Rather than complain and moan, deal with this demonic power and you can recover the affection of your friend or relative.
Rulers of the darkness of this world. These are demons whose principal assignments are to inflict all manner of pain, suffering and crises upon mankind. The idea is to
make people, in the heat of intense pain, to “curse God and die” as the wife of Job suggested in Job 2:9. There are such demons which instigate wars, release and spread diseases, Cause people to forget important appointments, occasion wrong speech, occasion misunderstanding of intent, rouse people into stubbornness and insubordination, make children headstrong, self willed and wild, cause people to tend to criminality and indeed all kinds of evil. The natural is engineered from the spiritual. For this reason, virtually every imaginable evil that can come upon mankind have their roots in the infernal hearts of Satan and his agents.
Spiritual wickedness in high places. 2 Corinthians 4: 3,4. These are religious demons whose chief assignments are to cause humans to worship false gods and to draw their hearts away from the only true Creator. They promote the myriads of false religions that litter the universe. They appear as angels of light to cause men to
receive extraordinary “light” from above which draw multitudes towards hell while believing they are serving Yahweh . Even within the Christian faith, these demons are responsible for all the falling always that have occurred since the days of Yeshua, Jesus when out of 500 that saw Him ascend bodily into heaven, only 120 heeded His instruction not to go forth until the Church was officially birthed at Pentecost.
Every false doctrine including that which in the name of ‘Grace’ causes Christians to live carelessly, oblivious of the imminence of the return of King Yeshua and tendencies to eat and drink and forget the Great Commission are instigated by spiritual wickedness in high places. These demons twisted divine prosperity out of context to promote covetousness as prosperity message with saints piling up treasure for generations to come while the Kingdom needs within their localities and other parts of the world went unmet.
Today, these demons have penetrated the Kingdom message movement to promote a false and toxic gospel which depreciates the person of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah to be a mere (undefined) King and not Divine. At the same time, these demons have twisted scripture out of context to tell saints that they are of equal rank with Yeshua, Jesus since He is only our senior brother so that they will no longer have awe for give Him the glory that is due. The demons on assignment study the Scriptures and turn their essential meanings upside down in order blind the eyes of those they deceive. The most outstanding assignment of these demons is to cause men to walk in ignorance of who Yeshua Ha Maschiach, Jesus the Messiah is. As the pivot of the salvation of man, inability to grasp the reality of His Divinity implies rejection of the plan of salvation.
“Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” 1 Corinthians 12:3.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 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. ” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. By denying the only King that bought them, some of these folks have embraced a reprobate state
Human agents. In addition to these spirit beings, there are humans who are inclined to evil and thus lend their vessels to Satan to possess and use to think, say and do evil.
“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith” 2 Thessalonians 3:2.
They do not have to plan evil. Their imaginations and actions are evil continually! In this, they simply demonstrate the reality of what is in control of their lives. That is why we are not to focus on the vessels but on their ‘bosses’. If we focus rightly, we can have compassion on the vessels and deal with the spirits at work through them. Better still, as Paul instructs, we can hand over the battle to Yahweh whose Spirit possesses us! He generally does a better job in Spiritual warfare!
The Statute of Limitation is the limitation placed upon Satan, as a created being whose activities will ultimately work together to manifestation of the Supreme will of Elohim. The Supreme Ruler of the Universe on whose buck all things stop is Elohim!
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” Ephesians 1:10-12.
When Yeshua paid the Supreme Price for the redemption of humanity, He proclaimed ‘It is finished’. By that decree, the legal power of Satan to smite and
torment saints at will was taken away as they were translated from his grip into the Kingdom of Yahweh! By doing this, Yeshua was not founding a religious organisation but rather opening the life gate for those who would to become members of the Family of Yahweh on earth.
“12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church” Colossians 1:12-24
Even in the Old covenant, let us see the Statute of Limitation at work. Satan had to take permission from Yahweh before he could oppress Job! Even in granting that permission, Yahweh set a limit to what Satan could do: he was not permitted to kill Job (See Job 1 verse 12).
“6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” Job 1:6-22
At the same time, no matter what Satan and his agents do to saints whose lives are hidden in Yeshua, it will ultimately work together for their good, though there may be some pain along the line.
Subsequent permission sought led him to inflict more pain but at the end of the day, here was the testimony of Job:
“10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
15 And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations.
17 So Job died, being old and full of days” Job 42:10-17
Saints, it is not over until Yahweh says so! In our days,
Excerpt from Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare by George Akalonu:
Five core factors cohere to make prayers effective. They work together to create the synergy we need to produce desired outcomes:
1. Right Relationship with Yahweh and fellow humans. This is the basis on which we are able to approach Him in the first place. In His mercy, Yahweh can respond and does respond to the needs of people in distress, including sinners. In real terms however, the very first need of those outside His family and Kingdom is to come into right relationship with Him which is offered freely through the blood Shed by Yeshua, Jesus at the Cross of Calvary.
When people claim to be in His family and kingdom, the basic expectation is that conversion and the supply of His grace makes them averse to sin and willing to grow in righteousness. To claim to be saved and still indulge in sin as a habit and lifestyle is to make the grace of God of no effect. Romans 6:1-16. For those who are part of the family of Yahweh, here is what His word says about coming to Him presumptuously:
“18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” Psalm 66:18
“13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”. Proverbs 28:13
Coming to Yahweh to ask for any blessing that is not based on a right relationship with Him or fellow humans will only produce a religious ritual. This is why Hebrews 12:14 urges us to follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. We may not be able to dictate how fellow human beings will act towards us but the Word enjoins us to do as much as lies within us to live
peaceably with all men.
If they pursue the path of enmity with us, we should diligently guard our hearts and ensure that no root of bitterness takes hold, so that we are not defiled.
“14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”; Hebrews 12:14-15
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved” Psalm 15:1-5
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah”. Psalm 24:3-6
“8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”. Matthew 5:8
“12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Matthew 6:12
“32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you”. Ephesians 4:32
“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” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 .
2. Knowledge of the Will of Yahweh. The will of Yahweh is crucial in prayer because asking outside His will is merely wearying of our souls, tasking our bodies and vexing of our spirits. Yahweh has a personality and will. Therefore, it makes great sense to know His will concerning all that we should ask.
“14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” 1 John 5:14-15.
Prayer is an instrument of relationship with Yahweh
3. Knowledge of the Word. The Word of Yahweh is a reliable storehouse of His will. The Scriptures are essentially a documentation of His will for mankind generally and the redeemed in particular. Studying and meditating on the Word is an extraordinarily healthy spiritual exercise that provides grounds on which to walk in tandem with Yahweh.
“16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15.
4. Faith. Faith is active reliance on the Word of Yahweh. It is the grasping on His Word as true and certain, even when there is nothing physically manifested. The attitude of faith is this “If it is in the Word, then I receive it”. The heroes of faith all had one central thread which ran through their lives: they lived by faith in Yahweh and His word regardless of what their senses suggested. In this, they fulfilled a vital law of the Spirit expressed in this short but powerful passage:
“7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 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 11:1-6.
Paul the apostle was to clarify this factor as a vital fulcrum on which his incredible ministry was based and for which he suffered incredible opposition and pain:
“16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Interestingly, our faith is increased with hearing and studying of the will of Yahweh in His Word.
“17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17
Faith is not the exercise of mere positive confession. It is rather standing on the sure promises of God as true and reliable.
5. Prayer. Prayer brings all the four factors above together. In prayer therefore, we come with a penitent heart to Yahweh by the way of the Blood, receiving mercy and grace to rely on His sure Word. Standing on His received will, we ask in faith and hang in there before Him in importunity until we receive that which He says is ours!
“19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21 And having an high priest over the house of God;
22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:19-23
“7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” Matthew 7:7-8.
“22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”. Mark 11:22-24
What do you do when you do not know what to do? Just pray, seeking to know what Yahweh is saying in the situation and His will in and through it. This is a very healthy lifestyle which cannot fail as King Jehoshaphat found in 2 Chronicles chapter 20: 1- 30! If we allow the principle in Colossians 3:1-3 to be real in us and get lost in Yahweh, He takes over all our battles and we rest in His divine providence!
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” Colossians 3:1-3
“15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you”. 2 Chronicles 20:15-17
THE MODEL PATTERN OF PRAYER – INSIDE THE YESHUA, JESUS SCHOOL OF PRAYER
In the book of Luke 11: 1, the disciples pleaded with Yeshua, Jesus, to teach them how to pray just as John taught His own disciples. Knowing that what they desired of Him was right and proper, He proceeded to lay out a frame work of how saints should pray. He was by no means telling them a ritual to recite or a religious box to be trapped in. The focus of Jesus rather was to show His disciples, by practical illustration, that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of goods accumulated nor should man live by bread alone.
Thus, it is needful to examine what is now called the Lord’s Prayer in detail to see the point He was making and the way He wanted His saints to think outside the box of cares of this life. To do justice to this prayer, we shall break down and examine all the constituent parts therein from the lenses of the man who was the assigned biographer, Matthew the ex-customs officer.
A Pattern to follow: Let us take note of this vital key that unlocks what Yeshua was saying in Matthew 6: 9: “In this manner therefore pray” –In contemporary language, He was saying ‘Let this be a model or pattern of what to cover in prayer.’
Excerpt from Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare by George Akalonu:
As we continue to mine the depths of this critical topic, it is needful that we take a little time to be challenged on two dimensions of prayer which will change us for good and equip us with the capacity to pray with certainty. If we grasp the concepts to be discussed in this Chapter and practice them to excellence, there will be no more wearing out of ourselves in praying in a ‘hit and miss’ fashion. We will rather hit the mark always and enjoy our times of encounter with the Supreme Ruler of the universe who wants to exercise His Authority through and with us as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of heaven in the earth realm!
Where we do not have an idea of what the will of Yahweh is, the right thing to do is to go into inquiry mode. In inquiry prayer, we desist from clutching at any position or opinion. Rather, we come before our heavenly Father in a childlike manner to
ask what His will is. If we cultivate the habit of hearing and knowing His voice, He will speak expressly and we will hear it. David was a man who Yahweh approved greatly.
Part of the reason He found favour with Yahweh is, we believe, his constant tendency to inquire of Him whenever he was between two directions, thus avoiding presumption and supposition which could be deadly. The life of David teaches us an important principle of enquiry prayers: never take His will for granted and never rely on an old pattern for a fresh challenge or assignment. Let us examine a passage where David faced two problems and in each case was saved because He inquired from Yahweh and did not trust his own judgement or intuition. In these last days when Satan would let loose the full arsenal of evil at his disposal, we must learn the great safety in being in the centre of the will of our heavenly Father in all things, including prayer!
“Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors. 2 Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. 3 And David's men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?4 Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the
Philistines into thine hand.5 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah” 1 Samuel 23:1-5
David did not just proceed presumptuously to fight the Philistines. He needed a word from Yahweh. Once He heard the word of Yahweh, he acted promptly and gained victory. It is also interesting as we shall see in verses 7-13 of the same passage that when Saul came to besiege the same city of Keilah that was saved by his intervention, David did not assume their loyalty. He inquired of Yahweh if he would be betrayed by the same people he saved. Once Yahweh signalled the truth, David immediately fled, thus saving himself unnecessary trouble.
“6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars. 8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men. 9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.10 Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down. 12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee
up.13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth”. 1 Samuel 23:6-13
Let us also read another account of how one of the most accomplished military Commanders to walk on earth responded to an emergency situation which involved the carrying away into captivity of his own household. Ego and anger could have driven David to act rashly but he had the presence of mind to inquire from Yahweh which way to go.
“And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of
Nabal the Carmelite. 6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 7 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 9 So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed” 1 Samuel 30:1-9.
To pray inquiry prayers sincerely, our heart disposition must first be that of willingness to obey, no matter what Yahweh says. You cannot pray inquiry prayer with an existing idol of your preferred answer in the heart, otherwise, Yahweh will answer you according to what you want! In other words, He will not say anything but allow you to be deceived by your own deceptive heart!
“25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; 26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward" Psalm 18:25-26.
This principle is further amplified in an encounter Prophet Ezekiel had with elders of Israel who came to him, supposedly to inquire of Yahweh but had their hearts and minds stuffed with their own agendas. Yahweh is very emphatic that He would allow such people to be deceived and caught in their own craftiness.
“Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols” Ezekiel 14:1-5”.
In this matter of inquiry prayer, our best example again is our King and Savior, Yeshua Ha Mashiach, Jesus the Messiah! He clearly divested Himself of the ability to think independently of the Father and by doing so, learnt obedience by the things He suffered. Hebrews 5:8. A classic example of this lifestyle was the issue of Calvary when the time was due. At Gethsemane, we see Yeshua in His humanity commit the ultimate decision of whether to go forward or not to the Father .Matthew 26:36-46
It is important that those who form the habit of reading and applying instructions on prayer and spiritual warfare based on the experience of mere human beings, no matter how mightily used of God they may seem with prayers that are documented as prayer books or manuals, to realize that they can be easily led astray. It is
far better to understand the Scriptures and have them made flesh in us so that when we are faced with peculiar challenges, no matter how similar to our past, the
Holy Spirit alone becomes a reliable compass to interpret the whole counsel of Yahweh already deposited in our spirit and soul to chart the way forward. Let us therefore build our faith on the Word and the Holy Spirit rather than on the opinions of mere mortals! John 14: 15 – 18, 26; John 16: 12,13
Praying in the Spirit
Far more significant than inquiry prayer is the sweet practice of praying in the Spirit. This is not necessarily the effusion of fleshly display found in many Pentecostal and Charismatic circles where people try to show off their skills by publicly speaking in tongues, drawing gaping admiration and ignorant applause from those who are not mature in the faith!
If we are willing, the Holy Spirit undertakes the serious assignment, when we yield completely to Him, to take over the exercise of praying from us! This is what is referred to as praying in the Spirit. Here, the Holy Spirit – who knows the mind of the Father on the Throne of Grace –comes upon the yielded saint in earnest
prayer mode, borrows the vocal cord and brings forth prayer in unlearned tongues which ascends with express speed to Yahweh and receives His speedy response.
That is the point made in these two scriptures.
“2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful” 1 Corinthians 14: 2,4,14.
“26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God”. Romans 8:26-27
This is why we must reject the praying in tongues that proceeds from the human memory which is marked by repetition of certain syllables and words every time
saints purport to flow in this blessed experience. True praying in tongues is an original and creative release of prayers inspired by the Holy Spirit who cannot be monotonous. The Holy Spirit may also choose to bring forth the words of prayer in deep groaning that cannot be uttered.
Major Benefits of Praying in the Spirit
“20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost” Jude 20
Oh, that we may learn to give way to the Holy Spirit! Then He will simply bypass our minds, the seat of reasoning and simply speak through our tongues. No wonder there is such a refreshing, peace and joy whenever we truly pray in the Spirit. There is no tiredness because the prayer is not done by might or by the power of the flesh (exertion of the mind and will which is engaged when forming words and logic in natural prayer).
We also pray in the Spirit when we forgo our agendas, let go and
surrender our entire wills to the Holy Spirit to lead us on as to what to ask for. In this state, we are so sensitive to His promptings that we do not exceed the circumference of the prayers He charts for us! He thus ministers to us what we need to ask for in prayer.
As we all know, prayer is Tuesday night at 9 until midnight. However, there will be no night watch prayer service next Tuesday (Election Day). That being said...
More than ever, this is a vital week to fast and pray. I am asking that every night (starting tomorrow until next Tuesday) at 6:00, put down your plate, and your social media until 6am. In the evening at a time of your choosing, gather your family together for a time to pray for at least 30 minutes…EVERYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD. If you live alone, you can arrange to go to someone’s house, or pray by yourself. It’s up to you.
Also, I will be posting daily readings in 1Body and on our website on spiritual warfare. This will come from readings out of a book by George Akolonu called Prayer, Fasting and Spiritual Warfare. Please follow the provided link and read, as we will be covering spiritual warfare on Fridays, but there is no way we will cover any ground if we only study once per week. Fasting week is a good time to cover ground. So outside of your nightly prayer time, please take the time to read and study the material I post. This is for you and your own freedom, so it is important, especially in this season.
Here is our internal (First Love Fellowship) prayer focus:
Also, below is the prayer focus for America from the International Minister's Fellowship. Please be sure to cover the prayer points as you pray with your family. This would be a good time to get your children accustomed to praying aloud, as our children need to learn to interceed and engage in prayer now, more than ever.
Also, please keep in mind that those of you who are not part of our house church, but are connected to First Love Fellowship are welcome to join this fast as FAMILY. We are in this together and must connect as warriors for righteousnesses during this time.
TEXT ME (Niral) DIRECTLY IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FAST, PLEASE.
I promise, we will be talking about Halloween tonight. But, there are a few housekeeping things I’d like to cover. In the past few weeks, I have been approached by individuals and ministries with urgent needs, but as First Love Fellowship, we have not been able to help in the way that I believe we should. It was because of a lack of finances. It grieved my heart (no fault to you at all). I take responsibility for that, as I have not pushed the idea of collections. Unfortunately, that’s a disservice to you personally, to those in need, and to the church.
If anyone ever asks, we are First Love Fellowship. And yes, we are a church – a real church. I know we're very informal, but we're not a bible-study, small group, or para-church organization. FLF is the foundation of a network of house churches that exists to win the church to Christ through spirit-led works that foster: Enduring Sanctification, Intentional discipleship, and Missional living. While serving as house churches, we also are committed to supporting other ministries. They are:
While supporting these ministries, I am also committed to supporting you – First Love Fellowship. With everything in me, I want to see you blessed, free, thriving, and making the discipleship of souls your priority. To facilitate this desire, we have, by God’s grace in the past year, secured a place for corporate prayer (which is not free, btw), discipled, counseled, established a private social media network, and financially assisted those in need – and we are dedicated to serving as God provides. Still, there's more.
There are forward-moving visionary goals we currently have, including the one-room schoolhouse, extended night-watch prayer ministry, house-church planting, outreach ministries to nursing homes, and a more comprehensive restorative discipleship program. Further, we want to see new house churches spring up in Tulsa, throughout America, and all over the world. We also want to expand our restorative discipleship program so that we can all be equipped to individually bring people to Jesus and disciple them into a living relationship with Jesus. This vision will move forward with the provision of God as the wind in our sails! I am excited about where we are going and honored that you are in some way, a part of this journey. That being said, this ministry has come at a huge personal cost, as it should – and I will pay that price as God’s grace provides. Still, if you have benefited by FLF in any way, I am asking that you support the furtherance of the ministry's involvement in God's kingdom, through your giving.
Giving is just as much a part of discipleship as prayer. “And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God” (Acts 10:31). In this instance, God memorialized Cornelius’ giving in the same light as He did prayer. In fact, Cornelius’ giving and his prayers was a precursor to God pouring out His Spirit upon his household. Concerning collections, the apostle Paul says: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come (1 Corinthians 16:2). The idea was, Paul needed resources that could be stored, so that when he needed them, they would not have to raise funds because the resources would already be there. This is my hope, for FLF.
Finally, God loves a cheerful giver: "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
God’s response to your giving is GRACE. It is enabling power abounding toward you to have full provision, to accomplish every good work, and enrich you in everything. Yes, giving is part of the big picture of your growth in Christ. Engage here, and you will be a step closer to the place your dreams are calling you to go.
There is so much more I would like to share in this topic, as I believe it would benefit you in your relationship with God, your worship, and the answers to your prayers. But right now, for the sake of the Kingdom; for your own sakes; and for the advancement of the vision of First Love Fellowship, I am asking you to give bountifully. If your family has been impacted; if your children have been impacted, if you find yourself growing in Christ by being here, please help us further that impact to others through your consistent and generous offerings.
You can give cash (I will make space for that on Fridays, going forward), or you can give at the FLF website: https://www.wearefirstlove.com/partners.html.
Join me in making a difference through our giving.
P.S. It would be great if you would engage in 1Body! You'll see that First Love Fellowship is more than just our house-church. There are people on there who are waiting for answers that may come through your own testimony.
Thanks for the blessing you always are!
If the message of the gospel is the "power of God unto salvation," this would mean that in it is the power to bring freedom for...anything. The measure of bondage to ANYTHING in your life is directly proportional to the measure of your revelation of the gospel.
Let's all talk about it tonight.
“…whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:8-12).
This great salvation should fascinate you every time you hear of it. It should bring a pause and a reverence when such holy things are uttered out of the mouth of another person. Even as we read the scriptures, there should be a certain sobriety, as the Word of God and the message of the forgiveness of sins is no light thing. Still, reading this got me wondering: Is the gospel the answer to EVERYTHING? I was literally sitting up at night wondering this. See, if it is the answer to everything, then as believers our problems are only as strong as our lack of understanding of the gospel. On the other hand, if the gospel is NOT the answer to everything, that would imply that there were areas in life that the blood of Jesus could not reach. My mind refuses to go there. If the gospel cannot reach certain areas of life, there are eternal implications there.
Seeing that it is logical to believe (based on our core beliefs about Jesus) that the gospel is the answer to everything, how do we connect a crucifixion from 2000 years ago to our lives in the here and now? Also, HOW does the gospel answer everything? Remember, the scriptures tell us that ancient prophets and ANGELS wanted to dig further into this mystery. Let’s dive into the ACTUAL message of the gospel and give it the gravity and attention it deserves.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:11-14).