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Mar8TueMarch 8, 2022
Just a reminder that when we talk about war, it is spiritual warfare we are talking about. Everything changed with Jesus, but the Old Testament still applies. It is imperative to understand that God has not changed. We have the Old Testament to give us understanding of the New and vice versa. Jesus said Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Paul said 2 Corinthians 3:12 “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Don’t confuse this passage, as many have, with reading the Old Testament. This is not a license to ignore it. This passage is referring to the Jews who do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, even though the Old Testament clearly states He is. Jesus said John 5:46 “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” This is not about one nation against another, such as Russian against the United States, as if one serves satan and the other God. Spiritual warfare is not about democracy verses dictatorship. Saying the United States is a Christian nation is false; it’s not even close. Democracy is often as tainted as a dictatorship, as often politicians pander to themselves and the people are only looked out for at election time. The rest of the time is spent trying to stay in power. Look at the lunacy of the United States politics right now. Don’t be deceived by those Christians in the United Sates clinging to their constitution that states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Christianity is not a religion; it is the only Way. If the founding fathers understood this, they would have said Christianity. As it is now this endorses all religions. Canada has done the same. “Under section 2 of the Charter, Canadians are free to follow the religion of their choice.” This is not about flesh and blood but spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Just keep that in mind as you read about the power of God. The last few days of this week I will be talking about the same power that healed and cast out demons.
Yesterday we saw Hezekiah prayed that God would deliver them from the hand of Sennacherib. God answered and bared His strong arm against the enemy. In the following passage we see God do the same. 2 Chronicles 20:1 “After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). 3 Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” Then Jehoshaphat prayed and said “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.”
The enemy we face today is just as vast as this enemy coming against Jehoshaphat, but he knew enough to bow before God and admit that they had no power to stand against them. The church on the other hand doesn’t seem to realize that. Instead, it just comes up with doctrines to explain away the powerlessness. When you do admit you are powerless against your enemies, God does amazing things when He bares His arm against our enemy. It really is amazing that the church thinks it can defeat our enemies without God. Here is what God did when He bared His arm. 2 Chronicles 20:14 “Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” They then worshipped before the Lord. 20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
This is the amazing part of what can happen when God bares His arm against our enemies. 2 Chronicles 20:22 “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.” Then they praised God. 27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets. 29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”
If we trust God and serve Him wholeheartedly, we have nothing to fear. As Paul said Romans 14:8 “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” We live in a time where the church is almost powerless against a vast enemy that has all but annihilated the church. God gave David a promise so there will always be a remnant, so we must persevere in hope. Hebrews 10:32 “Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
This abomination that causes desolation is coming to an end, but we must continue to cry out as Hezekiah and Jehoshaphat did, calling on God to act against our enemies. We pray as Daniel prayed when he said, Daniel 9:17 “Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” The desolate church needs to do as Judah did. “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” What will you do?