Sunday, 29 March 2015

When We Come to Passover.

We are entering the Paschal season.  I use the old term as the term Easter actually refers to a European fertility goddess ~ hardly honouring to the Creator of the Universe. Paschal is also simply more accurate in that it refers to the Israelite custom of Passover & Passover is the festival Jesus was celebrating on the night he was betrayed. This has always been the high point of the Christian calendar because this is the point in time when God redeemed for Himself a people.

Before we begin I want to make very clear we are NOT Jewish, we are NOT messianic but we need to understand that Christianity is grafted into the root of Judaism [Romans 11:17/18 & we will understand many of the things of Christ better if we understand what he thought, believed & practised.

Now as always when you begin looking at the deep things  of God they work at multiple levels, including the prophetic, & as you will see when we celebrate our Seder next Friday the death, burial & resurrection of the messiah is hidden in the Passover.  It is full of rich symbolism that points to the fulfilment of the Torah in Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:17

I say it a lot because we tend to look at the bible in our own cultural terms & this creates misunderstandings:  Jesus was not a middle class European teacher.  He was a Torah observant practising Jewish rabbi. He wore the tallit or prayer shawl but not the skull cap which is a modern addition & would be contrary to the Holy Spirit’s teachings through Paul that men are not to cover their heads during worship. 1 Cor 11:7 And his prayer shawl would have had the obligatory Tzizit [also known as wings]at the corners with at least one blue thread. Remember the woman with the issue of blood?  Our bibles say she touched the hem of Jesus garment & was healed.  She did not; she touched the Tzizit of his tallit & according to Malachi 4:2 she was healed.  He kept the festivals.  We read of his attendance at the temple for the festivals of Sukkot[Jn7:37~39] & Passover. [Matthew 26:17]

So Jesus would have known the story of the Passover & celebrated the festival from childhood. He would have known about Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt & how God used that to save his family during a prolonged drought.  He would have known all about the Israelites settling in Egypt & growing so numerous Pharaoh took fright & enslaved them. He certainly knew how God raised up a man called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt to prepare them for the receiving of the law.  Passover is essentially the remembering of that leaving.

Passover has been celebrated continuously for over 3 500 years since that initial leaving & it is foundational to the other festivals.

Now, the church has done some weird things over the years so I am going to lay out the original structure for you so you can see what a beautiful fit the old is into the new when you stick with what God did rather than what some churches have done.

Firstly we need to remember that the Israelites count a day from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, not from dawn to dawn. The celebration of the Passover begins at sunset.  It includes as part of its structure all the things reminiscent of that first Passover.

Secondly ~ & we don’t have time to cover everything in detail; you can read about it for yourselves in Exodus ~ Moses begged Pharaoh to let the Israelites go 9 times & 9 times Pharaoh hardened his heart & refused. The 10th time the first born of every household not marked with the blood of a lamb perished: man & beast. Only then was Moses allowed to lead the people out of Egypt.

Thirdly we think of Easter & count 3 days: death, burial resurrection but this is not all. The day following Passover begins the Festival of unleavened bread, which lasts for a week & is followed immediately by the Festival of the First Fruits. The festivals actually overlap each other so we have some crossover happen. On the feast of first fruits a grain offering was given of the first of the barley.  This begins the feast of Shavout, or the Feast of Weeks.  From the feast of the first fruits begins what is known as the counting of the Omer. Seven weeks & one day later a wheat offering is given from the first of the wheat harvest.

It’s a lot to take in I know but I want you to see how God designed the old to foreshadow the new.  Let’s look at some of the symbols. Before Passover begins every household goes through their homes meticulously & removes anything with leaven in it & burns it.  Why?  Leaven is a symbol of sin. Its removal & burning are symbolic that God totally removes our sin & remembers it no more. Hebrews 8:12

A lamb without spot or blemish was brought into the family home a month before Passover & carefully looked after before being sacrificed.  Think how Jesus became part of the human family before He was sacrificed.  Remember too it was the blood of the lamb that saved the Israelites from death just as it is Jesus blood that saves us!  We remember too that even after judgement has been passed on an individual or a nation God in His mercy & lovingkindness always makes a way out ~ as he did for the Israelites!  Protection & provision!  We are not appointed to wrath 1 Thess 5:9

3 Feasts, 3 Truths:
Passover~ Jesus blood saves

Unleavened bread ~ Jesus, the only sinless man,  bore our sin/ was buried & death could not hold Him

First Fruits ~ Jesus was resurrected, the first fruits of all who will be raised from the dead

Passover was one of the festivals where it was commanded that the entire nation should go to Jerusalem to celebrate ~ so when Jesus was welcomed into the city it was the whole nation that welcomed Him crying, Hosanna, which means save us now. That’s what He was doing but they failed to understand it.

Finally Passover does not officially end until the counting of the Omer is finished.  What do we find 50 days, or seven weeks one day after Jesus resurrection?  Pentecost! The story of Jesus death, burial & resurrection does not officially end until the Holy Spirit arrives to seal, comfort, lead, & impart Truth into those who believed in Christ.

I don’t want to complicate things with the math but First Fruits always falls on a Sunday, the day Jesus was resurrected.

Now there are 2 final points I want to make because we must be in no doubt about who Jesus is or what He came to do or what the Passover is referring to.

In Exodus 3:14 God says this to Moses: This is what you are to say to the Israelites, I Am has sent me to you. I Am is one of the names of God. So when Jesus says I am the bread of life jn 6:35, I am the light of the world Jn 8:12, I am the good shepherd Jn10:11, I am the resurrection & the life Jn 11:25, I am the way the truth & the life Jn 14:6 he is making a very clear statement about who He is ~ & he was understood to have made it or the charges of blasphemy against Him would never have been laid.  There is no doubt about who Jesus claimed to be.

In the end, when all the shouting & the tumult was done & Jesus was led away to be crucified, Pontius Pilate ordered that a sign be placed above Jesus head in all 3 languages commonly used according to Jn 19:20:  Hebrew, Latin & Greek. In translation it reads, Jesus of Nazarath, King of the Jews but in Hebrew it says Yeshua HaNazari VeMeleh HaYudahim.  If you simply take the first letter of each word it reads: YHVH ~ the secret name of God!

This is the secret hidden in the Passover.  Do you know what the other name for the Passover is?  It is called the season of our Freedom.  The Jews of course are only thinking of their freedom from slavery in Egypt but for us it is freedom from the bondage of sin & death for it is Jesus himself who said: So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

This is a wonderful season for those of us who believe & trust in Jesus Christ. Passover is the story of freedom, of a story hidden within a story. When the blood of Jesus  is applied to us we are saved.  We are redeemed.  We are freed.  

Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Word of God or the Bible. ~ Rabqa


Bible, the English form of the Greek name Biblia, meaning “books” the name which in the fifth century began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books the “Library of Divine Revelation.” The name “Bible” was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in our English language.
The Bible consists of sixty-six different books composed by many different writers in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax gathers, tent makers; educated and uneducated, Jews and gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the space of about 1500 years: and yet, after all, it is only one book dealing with only one subject in its numberless aspects and relations, the subject of man’s redemption.
It is divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven books.

There is a break of 400 years between the Old Testament and the New
The Old Testament is divided into three parts:
1.    The Law (Torah), consisting of the Pentateuch, or five  of Books of Mosses
2.    The Prophets, consisting of…
1.    the former, namely, Joshua, Judges, the Books of Samuel, and the Books of Kings
2.    the latter, namely, the greater prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets.
3.    The Hagiographa, or holy writings, including the rest of the books. These were ranked in three divisions:
1.    The Psalms, Proverbs, and Job, distinguished by the Hebrew name, a word formed of the initial letters of these books, emeth, meaning truth.
2.    Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, called the five rolls, as being written for the synagogue use on five separate rolls.
Between the Old and the New Testament, no addition was made to the revelation God had already given.
The period of New Testament revelation, extending over a century, began with the appearance of John the Baptist.
The New Testament consists of…
1.    the historical books, via., the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles
2.    the Epistles
3.    the book of prophecy, the Revelation
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses is altogether of human invention, designed to facilitate reference to it. The ancient Jews divided the Old Testament into certain sections for use in the synagogue service, and then at a later period, in the ninth century A.D., into verses. Our modern system of chapters for all the books of the Bible was introduced by Cardinal Hugo about the middle of the thirteenth century (he died 1263). The system of verses for the New Testament was introduced by Stephens in 1551, and generally adopted, although neither Tyndale’s nor Coverdale’s English translation of the Bible has verses. The division is not always wisely made, yet it is very useful.

The Bible was written over a 1500 year period (approx 1400BC -100AD).
It was written by one author the Holy Spirit through 40 different people as mentioned earlier This is explained in 2Pet1.21 (NKJ)

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Why the Word? ~ Ganeida

These are the notes I used, NOT the sermon I preached but all the scripture references are listed here as promised.

When I began this study I hadn't realised how highly God holds his own word.  As I researched & more & more scriptures turned up I realised I hardly had to say a word because it was all there in The Word.  My first study concentrated solely on what we call the bible because I have a pedantic sort of mind but the Lord took pains to point out that His word is more than just a collection of dusty old books; it is a living, vital thing because its embodiment was in the living person of Yeshua ~ Jesus Christ.

God wants his people to know His word that they might stand firm against all opposition & proclaim it boldly to those who are yet in darkness.  More importantly He wants us to know the one who is His Word.

In Psalm 138:2 we read:

I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your
Word above all Your name.

John 1: 1~5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

John 14: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 5:39 ... "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 

The Hebrew word, torah (תורה), is derived from a root that was used in the realm of archery, yareh (ירה). Yareh means to shoot an arrow in order to hit a mark. The mark or target, of course, was the object at which the archer was aiming. Consequently, torah, one of the nouns derived from this root, is, therefore, the arrow aimed at the mark, The target is the truth about God and how one relates to Him. The torah is, therefore, in the strict sense instruction designed to teach us the truth about God. Torah means direction,teaching, instruction,or doctrine. ~ Torah resources International

Remember one of the words for sin in Hebrew is chata'ah ~ seen best in the picture of an archer, who aims at the target ~the righteousness of God, or Torah, & misses the mark.

Tanakh (Ta-nack is how you pronounce it) is the Hebrew term for the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). This term is an acrostic formed from the Hebrew letters "taw"(t), "nun" (n), and "kaph"(k), which stand for the three main divisions of the Hebrew Bible: The Torah (Instructions), the Nevi'im (Prophets), and the Ketuvim (Writings).

Yeshua (Jesus) said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Til heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the Torah, till all be fulfilled." Matt. 5: 17-18

Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Tav is the 
last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The first and the last letters 
in the Greek alphabet are Alpha and Omega. In Revelation 1:8  we are told that Messiah is the Alef  and  Tav or Alpha and Omega

Torah, broken into its component Hebrew letter says: Behold, a man nailed to a cross.  ALL scripture talks about Christ.

KJV Exodus 18:20 And thou shalt TEACH them ordinances and TORAH, and shalt shew them the WAY<01870> wherein they must WALK, and the work that they
must do.

KJV Matthew 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and TEACHEST the WAY of God in truth ...

 Prayer:  Acts 4: 23~31
When they were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, 'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'-for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness,while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

Faith begins where the will of God is known.  Knowledge of the character of the one in whom we believe, what he has done & who he is, is revealed in scripture

Admonition: Colossians 3:16
 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

Why: Eph 4:11~16 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saintsunto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Godunto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, may grow up in all things into him, which is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.

What: Eph 5:26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,

[WHY] that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

How: Romans 10:17 
Faith comes by hearing, & hearing by the word of God.

Because: Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Our Weapon: Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Against Satan

Our example Christ
Matthew 4 Starting verse 1
Three times Jesus reiterates It is Written & quotes the relevant scripture


Unforgiveness Mark 11:22~26
Not walking in love Galatians 5:6
Breaking natural lawsPhilipians 2:26~30
Marital problems 1 Peter3:7
Unbelief Mark 6:5
Not maintain the right mental attitude Ephesians 4:22~24

Teaching: James 5
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Galatians 6:10 refers to us as the Household of Faith
Romans 1:17

... For in it is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written, The just shall live by faith... 
Repeated in Hebrews Galatians, Habakkuk, Zachariah Ezekiel
So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith.

Prayer of faith  [hebrew 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Don’t ask amiss

changes things, not people
Can have the things God desires for us to have. 

Can pray that God’s best will be done in someone’s life.

Can pray that God’s will be done.

A righteous person is someone who has submitted to God’s will, thus positioned themselves in a condition of being right with God.  Knowing the word of God, activates our faith because faith comes by hearing & hearing by the word of God

3 Elements of effective prayer: according to James 5

The word of God

The Name of Jesus

The Holy Spirit

[Romans 8:26] And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered;

The word is to be applied, for we are to be not just hearers of the word but doers also.  The word is a tool to help us walk out our Christian faith but it is only any good to us if we actually know it & apply it!  We will do better the better we know & follow the one who is The Word.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Enemy ~ Rabqa

Now that you know who your Heavenly Father  & His will for your life. It is important that you understand some of the characteristics of the enemy-satan. This will help you recognise when he has been at work. Remember that satan has been defeated by Jesus, & so as a child of God you don't have to allow him to influence your life.

The Apostle John explains the difference between the purpose of God & that of the devil.

Jn 10:10 ( N L T) the thief’s purpose is to steel & Kill & destroy. My Purpose (Jesus) is to give them (you) a rich & satisfying life.

Have you ever had anything stolen? Even if you have replaced the article that was stolen it probably a trying experience. As difficult as that might have been, however, satan,-the thief-wants you to do even more damage in your life. He does not want to steel your bicycle or sound equipment or even your car-he wants to rob you of the joy peace & hope that you have found in God. BUT be encouraged: Jesus your good Shepherd, has saved you & gives you abundant life. Ask Him to restore anything satan has robbed from you & to teach you how to walk in the abundant life He has promised you.

Satan has one goal & that is destruction. He comes to kill, steel & destroy everything good that God has in mind for you. Jesus said that He has come that we might enjoy our lives.

Are you enjoying life? Are you enjoying every facet of life? Or just what you consider to be the fun fun parts? I truly believe that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can enjoy EVERYTHING. We can enjoy our work & times of waiting. We can enjoy the journey & not just the destination. Life is really all about the journey. Even when a train arrives at whatever station it is headed for, it soon leaves again for another station. We spend more time waiting then we do arriving. God created us to be goal-oriented. Once we reach the goal, it is not long before we are setting another one. we must learn to enjoy where we are- on the way to where we are going.

One of the ways satan steels from us by making us think we can only enjoy certain things & not other things. BUT the truth is that we can get a new mind set & DECIDE to enjoy everything in life. We need to learn that when circumstances change we do not have to change with them. We must refuse to allow satan to upset us. When he steals from us or aggravates us he really does not want our goods BUT our joy.

Life is wasted if we allow ourselves to be miserable all the time. Jesus said in JN 14:27 that He left us His peace & we are to stop allowing ourselves to be upset. He has given us gifts & responsibilities. We are partners with God. His part is to provide peace & joy, our part is not to let the devil steal it. Decide today to start enjoying your life.

Satan is also know as the thief, the devil & Lucifer. The Bible is so clear that he does exist, & that he his able to operate here on earth. 

2 Corn4:4 (N L T) Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the good news. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

Satan is the god of this age & he binds the minds of the people, they choose not to believe resulting in their inability to see the Glory of Christ.

Jn 12:31 (N L T) The time for judging this world has come, when satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.

We used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil-the commander of the powers of the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.

In Ezk 28:12-19  we see some of the details that God gives about the devils life as an angel & his demise.

In Gen 3:10-15 we see that Adam had been clothed with God's glory before he sinned. as soon as Adam & Eve sinned, they realised they were naked. We might say that they lost their covering. As long as they obeyed God they were protected from everything the devil wanted to do to them-& ultimately, through them. Seeing what the devil had done, God immediately announced satans's doom & told him how it would occur.Satan did not really understand what God was saying; nevertheless, God said it & it had to come to pass: He said in Gen 3:15 NKJ) "& I will put enmity between you & the woman, & between your offspring & her offspring; He shall your head underfoot, & you bruise His heel".

To bruise the heel symbolises a weakening of authority, God said that the woman's offspring (Jesus) will take a way satan's authority. Satan will bruise Jesus' heel (that is afflict) His body-on both the cross & by afflicting mankind.

Through Jesus' death on the cross, God took satan's authority  (which Adam gave him) & gave it first to Jesus & then to every person who will believe-not only that Jesus died for them, but also that satan lost his authority over them. We need to understand not only that Jesus died for us, but also that He has redeemed us.

No matter what the devil tries to do to you, he is doomed to defeat, & you are redeemed & victorious over him.

In Isa 14:12-15 Self will destroyed Lucifer in exalting himself, he said " I will five times: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit on the mount of the congregation, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, &I will be like the most High, BUT God has an answer for him, He said "you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades) to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead)"In other words satan you will be cast into hell".

We need to guard against self-will by following Jesus' example. Sooner or later God will ask you to do something contrary to your will, & you will need to remember what Jesus said, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not my will but Your will (Matt 26:39)

Not getting our own way is one of the most painful things we ever go through in life. When we want something, we really want it, & we do not give up easily. We certainly do not like to vote against our own desires! It takes a lot of humility & brokenness to bring us to the place where we are pliable in the hands of God, to the point where we can say "Well, God I'd rather not do this, but I am willing to do whatever you want.
The lesson here is we must be willing to do what God says & not what we think, feel or want. We must deny ourselves if we are going to follow Him. We need to say "your will God be done in my life" & We must really mean it.
We are afraid that we will never get the things we want if we deny ourselves, but God will give us what we desire, & even better, in due time. Do not be afraid to delay gratification & trust God to give you what you really need.
In Rev12 satan is called the accuser of the brethren. He tries to make us feel guilty & condemned. When we feel unhealthy, guilty, & condemnation, we must remember that God does not make us feel that way. He wants us to experience His love & feel the power of His forgiveness. Guilt depresses us & make us feel as though we are under a heavy burden. Jesus came to lift us up, to bring good news that our sins are forgiven & the penalty of them removed. Resist guilt & condemnation by embracing the salvation authority of Christ in your life.

In Lk 10:18 Jesus says "I saw satan fall like lightening from Heaven.

This was not a vision that Jesus had seeing satan cast out of Heaven, but rather He saw the ultimate defeat & doom of satan.

Satan was created as an angel & is therefore limited to the abilities of an angel, & does not possess the same characteristics of God. Satan is NOT omniscient (all knowing) or omnipotent (all powerful) or omnipresent (everywhere).

Col 1:13 NLT) says Jesus has delivered us from the power of darkness, & has transferred us into the kingdom of His dear Son.     

We should be thanking the Lord for delivering us out of the control of the dominion of darkness & transferring us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

1 jn 4:4 (N K J) You are of God little children, & have overcome them, ( the agents of the Antichrist) because He that is in you is greater then He that is in the world.

We can be assured that the victory is ours now that we are in Christ, therefore we can be bold & fight against any attack of the enemy.

In Eph 6:10-12 the apostle Paul explains the weaponry & armour we have to stand firm against the devil, we call this the armour of God.
(N L T) A final word be strong in the Lord & in His mighty power. Put on all of God's armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh & blood enemies, but against evil rulers & authorities of the unseen world, mighty powers in this dark world, & against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

God's armour is found in Eph 6: 14-18 (N K J) Stand therefore having girded your waist with  truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all talking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one. & take the helmet of salvation & the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Praying always with all prayer & supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance & supplication for all the saints.

Verse 12 gives insight into the spiritual war that all believers are in. Our enemies are not natural but spiritual. We can never win our battles if we fight against the wrong source in a wrong way. We tend to think that people or circumstances are our problem, but the source of many of our troubles is satan & his demons. We cannot fight him with carnal (natural) weapons, but only with supernatural ones that God gives us for the destruction of satan's strongholds which is anything opposing God's will.

Would you ever leave home half dressed? No of course not! BUT many of us often forget to put on our spiritual clothing. Every day the forces of satan wage war against both you & me, & it is important to be protected with this spiritual protection & authority, you can stand against evil forces. Learn about your Spiritual armour in (Eph 6:10-18), & as you put on your clothes on each day, also put on your armour & pick up your sword which is the Word of God. For example, walking in peace is equivalent to putting on your shoes of peace, or walking in righteousness is equivalent to putting on the breastplate of righteousness which protects your heart from condemnation. God supplies the armour you need to defeat all the attacks of the devil BUT you must put it on.

Many of us fight battles in the realm of our emotions, but as we see from these verses  that our battle is not just with our emotions, but with the spiritual forces that play on our emotions.

 We are told in the NKJ that we do not war with flesh & blood, but against principalities & powers, rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. This means we war against strong entities.

It is important for us to know that we cannot fight darkness with darkness. I believe the best way to resist & overcome our powerful spiritual enemy is not by venting our anger & frustration in some fleshly manner. Rather we need to put on our spiritual armour as described in verses 13-17 & yield ourselves to the power & presence of the Holy Spirit within us & we pray according to V 18.I know some do not speak in tongues, but those who don't can worship in their own understanding (your own language) & put on praise & worship music, if you don't have your own there is always the internet, U Tube has all you need. 

In 1 Tim 6:12 Paul encourages us to fight the good fight (N L T) Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.
Notice Paul didn't say fight if you feel like it or have that sort of personality. Every believer must fight the good fight of faith, satan will wage on believers & he doesn't fight fair.

One part of fighting the good fight of faith is to recognise our enemy. As long as we are passive, satan will torment us. Nothing is going  to change about our situation if all we do is sit & wish things were different. We have to take action. All too often we do not move against the enemy when he comes against us with discouragement,  fear, doubt, & or guilt. We believe his lies when we should stand against them with the truth of God's Word.

You & I are not supposed to be punching bags for the devil; instead we are called to be fighters & respond aggressively to his attacks.
The devil tries to trick us into fighting with others around us. BUT God wants us to forget all the rubbish that satan stirs up within us to get us offended toward other people. Instead He wants us to fight against the spiritual enemies who try to war over our lives & steal out peace & joy.

I encourage you to take Paul's words to heart. Lay hold of the eternal life you have been called to receive & fight the good fight of faith.

James 4:7 tells how deal with the enemy (N K J)  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil & he will flee from you. 

This verse teaches to renounce all rebellion, Submit yourself to God. Renounce the devil & reject all his suggestions.

We must remember that the devil is NOT going to sit back & allow us to take new ground without putting up a fight. Any time we make progress in building the kingdom of God, our enemy is going to come against us. BUT this verse tell us that if we submit to God  & resist the enemy he will flee from us.

In Mk 16:17 Jesus explained to His disciples ...& these signs will follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out demons...

Mk 16:15 records what we commonly refer to as the great commission & He said to them "Go into al the world preach & publish openly the Good News (the gospel) to every creature of the whole human race". People from every Christian Church accept & attempt to carry this verse. Yet two verses later Jesus says that believers will cast out demons, speak in tongues, & lay hands on the sick. Some Churches do not practice these things, & sadly many teach against them.
I honestly believe that a few moments of sincere thought will reveal to the seeking soul that if Jesus meant for us to carry Mk 16:15  then He intended for us to carry out verses 17 & 18 as well. It is dangerous business to pick & choose Scriptures. If we are going to follow the full Gospel, we cannot take the Scriptures we are comfortable with & ignore the rest. We need the whole counsel of God's Word, not just bits & pieces of it.

Lk 10:17 NKJ) Then the seventy returned with joy, saying "Lord even the demons are subject to us in Your Name."

The name of Jesus signifies His authority. Satan will attempt to deprive you from God"s best for your life. DO not give him any place in your life.

1 Pet 5:8(N LT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Maintaining a healthy balance in all things is so important! that we do not open the door to satan who roams around hungrily seeking to devour us. I want to share with you some thoughts that will help you stay balanced. I want to focus on self image as it such a foundational issue.

1) know that God created you, & He loves you.

2)  I have faults & weaknesses, & I want to change. I believe God is working in my life. He is changing me bit by bit, day by day. While He is working on me I can still enjoy my life & myself.

3) Everyone has faults, so I am not a failure just because I am not perfect.

4) I am going to work with God to overcome my weaknesses, but I realise that I will always have something to deal with; therefore I will not become discouraged when God convicts me of areas in my life that needs improvement.

5)I want to make people happy & have them like me , but my sense of worth is not dependent upon what others think of me. Jesus has already affirmed my value by His willingness to die for me.

6) I will not be controlled by what others think, say, or do. Even if they totally reject me, I will survive. God has promised me never to reject or condemn me as long as I live as I keep believing (Jn 6:29)

7) No matter how often I fail, I will not give up because  God is with me to strengthen & sustain me. He has promised never to leave or forsake me(Heb13:5)

8) I like myself. I do not like everything I do, & I want to change-but I refuse to reject myself.

9) I am right with God through Jesus Christ.

10) God has a good plan for my life. I am going to fulfil my destiny & be all I can be for His glory.  I have God given gifts & talents, & I intend to use them to help others.

11)I am nothing & yet I am everything! In myself I am nothing, & yet in Jesus I am everything I need to be.

12) I can do everything God calls me to do, through His son Jesus Christ (Phil4:13).

If we do not maintain balance in our lives satan will take advantage of the door we have opened. I encourage you to check your life & if you find any areas out of balance, ask God to help you make the necessary adjustments.

Eph 4:26&27 tell us to let go of our anger before going to bed. There is a problem here as we might become angry just before going to bed. If we get angry in the morning we have all day to get over it. Becoming angry just before bedtime means we have a quick decision to make about what to do with our anger.
You may be wondering why it is unwise to go to bed angry. I think it is because while we sleep, what we are angry about has time to fester in us. & the Word admonishes us not to leave room for the devil to gain a foothold through our anger. If we refuse to get over our anger, we open the door for the devil & give him a foothold. Once he gets a foothold in our lives, he sees an opportunity to move on to another stronghold.

I encourage you today to deal with any anger quickly & decisively so the devil sees no opportunity to take advantage of the situation. No matter how you feel you can choose to forgive & walk in love.

Lk 10:19 NLT) God says "Look I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, & you can walk on among snakes & scorpions & crush them. Nothing will injure you".
Snakes & scorpions are symbols of spiritual enemies & demonic power, over which Jesus has given His followers (you) power.
Remember satan is a defeated enemy, & his ultimate punishment has already been decided. His time is limited to impact the earth, & as a child of God you have authority to overcome his attacks.  

Acknowledgement I Believe An Introduction to Christian Living. Rhema Family Church.
Joyce Meyer.