There is a spiritual war that is going on today. It is going on inside every one of us who are Christians on this earth. This struggle is more important then any struggles we can see physically with our external eyes in this world. This struggle is subjective and inside every one of us. Realize a spiritual war is raging inside every one who is a Christian that affects every aspect of our lives.
The opposing sides are the flesh against the Spirit. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Gal. 5:17 – ESV) “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these oppose each other that you would not do the things that you desire.” (Gal. 5:17 – Recovery Version) In our day-to-day lives, practically these are the opposing forces, the desires of our flesh verses the desires of the Spirit. This is the battle that is raging inside of us today and we are the battleground.
We are the battleground that God and Satan are fighting over today. God wants to win us over Himself and Satan wants to win us over to Himself. This is the ultimate war occurring in all of creation. God wants us to be His possession and Satan wants us to be his possession. When we operate by our flesh alone under the old creation, we are under the power of Satan. We are doing things according to our flesh. When we operate by the Spirit in the new creation, we are under God through the power of the Spirit. We are doing things according to God. There are only two kinds of people in this world; those that are of the flesh under the old creation, and those that are of the Spirit under the new creation.
Realize those that are of the flesh include not only men who reject God, but also all men who rely on themselves to reach God’s holiness. They do not rely on the Spirit. As such, for those who reject God completely, they uphold the “I”, their individualism. That is why in society today, the only moral has become ‘anything that makes me feel good is right as long as it does not hurt others.’ The Lord calls these people as those who follow the lusts of their flesh. They want to do what is good for themselves. That is one end-point of the knowledge of good and evil. The second is ‘I can do all things that are good in myself and even be holy in my flesh without God.’ That is the Pharisees, the religious people who think they can live righteously without the Spirit. In fact that speaks to all those who follow religion apart from relying solely on the Spirit. These people base their righteousness on the fact that they can keep their conscience and be holy. Realize to be holy is an attribute of God that makes Him distinct from us. We cannot be holy, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil tells us we can be holy like God in our flesh without the Spirit. This is how Satan has usurped the world and tricked it. We think we can do all things, even being holy, in ourselves without God. So the flesh is opposed to the Spirit.
Those that are of the Spirit follow the desires of the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). They have put no confidence in their flesh (Phi. 3:3) but rather they walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). They have been crucified with Christ and no longer love their soul-life (Rev. 12:11), so they no longer live, but Christ lives within them (Gal. 2:20). For them to live is Christ (Phi. 1:21). When you look for them, they are always found in Christ (Col. 2:17) because they have learned to pray without ceasing (1 The.5:17), praying at all times in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18). Their surpassing great power that makes them holy is not of themselves, but of God who lives in them (2 Cor. 4:7). God expresses His righteousness out of them so they become the expression of the very righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). They have submitted their wills to His will becoming the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22). So they have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27) and made themselves ready being dressed in fine linen, in Christ Himself, who has made them bright and clean (Rev. 19:7-8). They have become a people for God’s possession (1 Pet. 2:9; Tit. 2:14; Deu. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18). They have won the spiritual war with Christ and are His warriors, having put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11), clothed in fine linen, white and clean (Rev. 19:14). Winning the spiritual war means we have submitted to Christ and we are led as captives (Eph. 4:8) in His triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2:14), having triumphed over us by the cross (Col. 2:15), to present us holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1), without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27), blameless before Him (2 Pet. 3:14). The Spirit of reality (John 14:16-17) expresses God’s reality through us making us a suitable counterpart to God Himself (Gen. 2:18) so we form His Bride.
This is how God wins His spiritual war within us. This is why we are Christians. The most important thing to learn is to submit to Christ and allow the Spirit to live out of us. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
[The above is a synopsis of what God is doing in the entire universe today as it relates to man. To understand these concepts, God reveals it to us “precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little” (Isa. 28:13). The following is a more detailed understanding of the above, so forgive me if it seems to be repetitive. The Spirit in you will reveal a new precept to you each time an idea is repeated. The Bible is written in a way when you read the verses slowly, placing emphasis on different word and phases, more of God is revealed in your mind. That is why, “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63) That is why the website containing this blog is full of verses. Please read this slowly and prayerfully letting the Spirit give you understanding.]
Today, God has returned to dwell in us as our possession. We lost God as the divine life entering into man to be possessed by man when Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever” (Gen. 3:22) Man could not eat Him and assimilate Him, internalizing God as our possession. This escaped mankind until Jesus came (except for a few select individuals whom God entered based on their believe.) Only when Jesus died for us was the righteous requirements of the law met so God could come back into man as the Spirit. By believing in God, we can now live forever because we have the divine life now living within us. “For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. “ (John 3:16) That is why we have eternal life. Having eternal life is because God has returned to make a home in our hearts as our possession. He is transmitted to us as the Holy Spirit. He has become the living bread now for us to eat and assimilate the very God Himself into us, resulting in the Father and the Son making a home in our hearts (John 14:27) as a new spirit that He has placed into our hearts (Eze. 37:26-29) as our possession.
When Jesus was on this earth with His disciples, the closest term He used was to call them friends. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15) He spoke to them to make known what His master, the Father, was doing. Realize “friends” was His closest term He used in relation to His disciples. He could not get into us because we contained the nature of sin that was not yet forgiven. So God could not enter into us. “By this He spoke of the Spirit, which those who believed in Him were to receive, for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:39) He has not given us of His Spirit which transmits the Father and the Son into us, because the righteous requirements of the law was not yet met. So his disciples were friends. But when Jesus died for us, He met the righteous requirements of the law by paying the penalty for our sins. When Jesus resurrected, His relationship with his disciples made a radical and drastic change. When He met the first human being, Mary, in His resurrected form, He told her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17) God has become our Father, and Christ is our brother! Realize mankind has become connected to God in the divine life by His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are no longer just friends, but we have become born of God so Christ is our brother and His Father is our Father! We have returned to Him as our possession. This is the single most important development in the history of mankind since our fall. God can come into us to transform us. We have come back to the Father as our possession.
This is the most significant step in our transforming from our flesh to the Spirit. God has entered into man transforming our earthly finite human beings into one with a heavenly infinite divine life. Christ showed us this by breathing His life into His disciples. “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ’Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) They could no longer die and had the divine life dwelling within. But they were told to wait until the day of Pentecost, when they were to receive the fullness of the Spirit. When the fullness of the Spirit came, the disciples “were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Realize this is an example of the expression of the Spirit through man.
Today, many Christians are trapped between receiving the breathed-in Holy Spirit and realizing the fullness of the Spirit they have received as God gives His Spirit without measure. “…For He gives the Spirit not by measure.” (John 3:34) They know that they have the breath-in essential Spirit giving them eternal life, but they have not realized the power of the fullness of the Spirit that is in them. “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) So we turn back to trying in our flesh to be holy. We try to do things based on our knowledge of good and evil. So “in church”, we just realize we need to be a good person. We see this in our own struggles to be good and in our view of how others, who are Christians, should be good but are not. But realize the struggle is not in “how” we should be good and not be evil, it is a war between our flesh and the Spirit.
“The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Gal. 5:17) “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these oppose each other that you would not do the things that you desire.” (Gal. 5:17 – Recovery Version) There is a spiritual war going on in every one of us on this earth. The opposing forces are God and Satan. Satan thought he could do all things in himself and he did not need God. (Isa. 14:13-14) That was the original rebellion. He brought this same rebellion into man when he tempted man and man took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil is our conscience. Every man in this world has one. It is the thing that makes us know if something is better or worse, if it is right or wrong. If we choose to ignore it and disobey our conscience, then we commit sins. If we choose to obey it, then we do things that are right. We have taken control of our conscience and can choose to do the things that are right or wrong, as we please. It was not so clear to us as a child because we did not know the law. But as we grew and was taught the law, “sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” (Rom. 7:8-9). As we grew and learned of this world, what we knew in our conscience was affirmed by the law. Not only were we judged from the inside, the law from the outside told us how much we have fallen short of the glory of God. Sin, taking the opportunity through the law which tells us what not to do, show us how bad we were in doing them in our flesh. We understood that we cannot actually do what our conscience told us on the inside to do. We were made of the flesh, unclean. We may not even see our sins. Our strength in upholding the law was finite. We might uphold it for a while but as finite creatures of the flesh, our strength gives out. That is why we need the eternal.
Today the entire world is dominated by this one thought that we can do the good without the Spirit actually doing the good in us. Sin became more powerful when the law came in because it told us we now know what is good or evil so we should be able to do the good and uphold the law in our flesh. Not upholding the law becomes sin. “For sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.” (Rom. 7:11). We are taught to follow the law, to do what is right as an individual, elevating us above God. We glorify the individual saying each one of us can be good in his or her own flesh so we fight for what is good. But we fail for this very reason because we are of the flesh. Realize we are the battleground for this warfare between the flesh and the Spirit. God wants us for His possession so we can live by our spirit so we can live out the good in practice and have no confidence in the flesh. Satan wants us to be confident in our flesh so when we fail, as we inevitably will, we become enslaved to sin so we become his possession.
Satan seems to be dominating the world today because we love our soul-lives. The things in this world are now dominated with “I”. The worldly moral is whatever “I” do, as long as it does not hurt others, is moral and right. We strive to do everything for ourselves. We strive to do what is good for us. We take everything that we feel we deserve in this earthly life. In the mist of all this, our knowledge of good and evil tells us to do what is good for others. It tells us to serve others before ourselves. “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’” (Gal. 5:14) That is why we are anxious. That is why we have no peace. This is the war that we are in. The conflict we are in is the desires of the “I” against the thoughts of God. These thoughts of what is good and evil are spelled out in our conscience. Yet we fail to adhere to them because we are of the flesh, mortal and unable to be good by ourselves. The subjective war within every single human being, our spiritual warfare, is between the desires of our flesh and the Spirit. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Gal. 5:17) “For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” (Rom. 7:18) “For I know nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Rom. 7:18) The war that is going on today is between the desires of our flesh and the Spirit dwelling within us. This is the warring battleground. The world draws us with the desires of our flesh; the Spirit brings us the contentment of God that we hunger for, resulting in peace within. That is why, “…in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Realize Christ has already won this war. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) That is why Revelation says, “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’” (Rev. 12:10) For believers who have the Spirit within them, Satan accuses us day and night before God that we still behave according to our flesh. Realize He is telling our flesh to try harder and harder to follow our knowledge of good and evil. When we fail within our flesh, as we inevitable will, he accuses us day and night before our God for not being able to follow our conscience. This cycle repeats day and night. How is this stopped? “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ has come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives (soul-lives) even to death.” (Rev. 12:10-11) To win this war, we conquer by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We conquer first by the blood of the Lamb that Christ shed of the cross and apply it to our insufficiencies in our flesh for our salvation. When we do wrong, we repent and apply the blood of the Lamb. The blood of the Lamb washes us so the uncleanness of our flesh is cleansed. Our cups are cleansed on the inside so we could express His righteousness on the outside.
That is why the second aspect of our conquering of Satan is “because of the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12:11). The overcoming saints have put on Christ to become their righteousness in reality on the outside. Christ has brought God’s holiness inside of us to dwell within us, cleaning our cups on the inside. Then we use the power of the Spirit that dwells in us to manifest God’s holiness, expressing Him out of us. So the word of our testimony is God’s righteousness expressed out of us. Our testimony by what we do in this world is of the Spirit living within us expressing Himself out of us. We did not love our soul-lives even if we have to lose this life in our mortal bodies, for we have died to the soul-life with its desires of the flesh. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mat. 10:39) We have lost our soul-life even unto death and have found the divine life in the live-giving Spirit. We loved God more and desire the Spirit within us as our possession. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son on God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) The “I” has been defeated. The desires of the flesh have been crucified. The Spirit conveying the Father and Christ Himself now dwells within me. So I live by faith, the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. This is how we win the spiritual warfare.
Everything else in our existence of this earth flows from this reality. Having the Father and the Son dwell in us as the Spirit is the single greatest reality that we have to recognize within. Why? Because the Spirit makes us holy and one with God.
Holiness if a condition that man cannot attain to no matter how hard he tries. In our nature, no matter how we behave, we are still of the flesh, finite beings. We do not have the strength in our flesh to uphold the law, to hold the book up against gravity (see previous 2 blogs). We are slaves to sin. Now God has come into man to become the reality of the righteous requirements of the law. He not only fulfills the righteous requirements of the law, He is the very reality of what the law dictates.
When we win in our spirits in this way, it will spread to winning is our souls and, in turn, solve our wars in our bodies (flesh) that we fight physically. To win our wars in this physical world, realize we need to win the spiritual war that is fighting within us first. We need to win the war in our spiritual or heavenly realm first in order to win the war in our fleshly or earthly realm so we will be cleaned on the inside first and express the holiness of God on the outside. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behaviour; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Pet. 1:13-16) We must prepare out minds by submitting ourselves to Christ. As Christ lives through us, His temples, we become holy as He is holy.
From our standpoint, we think that winning in this physical world is somehow more important to us. The good works we do are the proof of God’s work in us. This is how we think. Our goal is centred on how this physical world that we live in is changed through our belief in God. From God’s standpoint, winning in the spiritual realm is more important initially. “…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7) The cleansing of our cups on the inside initially is more important than the cleansing of our cups on the outside. In the Lord’s way, the good works that we do outwardly are a necessary consequence of His divine life living in us inwardly. As we grow in Christ and begin to recognize His holiness, the cleansing of our cups on the inside continues to lead us ever onward to run this race. We realize no matter what we do on the outside, we are still not holy. “No one is good but God alone.” (Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) The only way is by faith, in the Son of God, expressing Himself in us. Realizing Christ deeper and deeper within us will allow Him to be expressed more and more out of us. This in “by the word of their testimony” (Rev. 12:11), the second aspect of how Satan is conquered by God. When we have these two conditions in Rev. 12:11, realize we do not love our soul-life unto death, and Satan is conquered.
Winning this warfare means “’…the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’ It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev. 19:7-9) The righteous acts of the saints are their testimony. The word of their testimony, which conquered Satan, testifies that they are the true words of God. “…These are the true words of God.” (Rev. 19:9) They live according to the Word that has been breathed into them (2 Tim. 3:16). God was initially alone facing the problem of Satan who was created by Him. In His righteousness, He has now used another one of His creations, man, to defeat Satan. God defeated Satan by coming in the form of sinful flesh, yet without sin. He came in the person of Jesus. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14) Then He died for us, condemning sin in the flesh. In resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit imparting this Word into us. This Word is now within us making us the true words of God. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63) This is how the Spirit wins the war against Satan.
To win this war, realize we do nothing in our flesh. We need to take our Sabbath rest and do no labour. God conquered Satan first by the blood of the Lamb, then He lived in us as the Spirit expressing Himself out of us as the word of our testimony. The Spirit becomes the reality of our righteous acts so we are the true words of God. That is how Satan is conquered. The saints, God’s called out ones, “loved not their soul-life even until death.” (Rev. 12:11 – Recovery Version) That is why we need to have a Sabbath rest in the Lord where we do no work according to our flesh. When we rest on the Lord, we wait on Him. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31) When we wait on the Lord and rest in Him, we are protected from Satan’s darts. That is why to win this battle, God does not teach us how to parry and thrust with our sword. He teaches us how to wear our armor. As the battleground is ourselves, what we do is teach each other, through the Spirit who gives us utterance (Acts 2:4), how to defend ourselves from the enemies attacks. The only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Realize it is God as the Spirit who defeats the enemy Satan. When we apply His written Word as the breathed-out word to make Him real to us as life in the Spirit, Christ Himself defeats Satan.
To do this, we need to pray at all times in the Spirit. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit…” (Eph. 6:18) Realize to pray at all times in the Spirit is to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength and with all our mind. When we love Him with this intensity, we will set our minds on Christ, thinking about Him all the time so we are one spirit with Him.
Loving God is the key to realizing Christ’s victory and Satan’s defeat in our spiritual warfare.