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Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 021713
B
eing a soldier for the Word of God.

 

 

Remember LUK 6:40, A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher. 

HOS 4:7, The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.

 

These people had no knowledge of the Word of God. Their darkness was a result of their own ignorance (HOS 4:6; Cf. JOH 3:19; ROM 13:12; 2CO 4:6).

HOS 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

 

JOH 3:19, And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light;

 

ROM 13:12, The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

 

HOS 4:8, They feed on the sin of My people, And direct their desire toward their iniquity.

 

They set their heart on their iniquity, people not only sinned, they bragged about it (Cf. ISA 5:18).

 

ISA 5:20, Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

 

HOS 4:9-11, And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways, And repay them for their deeds. And they will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have stopped giving heed to the Lord. Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the understanding.

PHI 2:25, Now I consider it necessary to send face to face with you Epaphroditus, my brother also my fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

 

The point is that a soldier does not lead a normal life and that is what Paul is saying here. The Ministry is not a normal life. I want to point out to you some of the similarities of being a soldier as far as the Word of God teaches!

 

2TI 2:1-5, You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.

As believers we have been commanded to fight the good fight of faith under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2TI 4:7-8, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

 

The point is that every believer has been enlisted in the spiritual army of God as a spiritual soldier of Jesus Christ. Most believers have not been listening. They have not been sensitive and respectful to God’s book. They have not been learning from His truths. In fact, as believers they have gone AWOL. They have not been acting like a soldier.

 

So, there are some interesting analogies concerning a soldier in the natural realm and a soldier in the spiritual realm. For example, a soldier must give up his freedom to serve his country and a believer is to give up his freedom to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the principle behind passages like MAT 16:24-25, Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”

 

GAL 5:13 says, For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through virtue-love serve one another.

 

1PE 2:16 says, Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

 

So, a soldier must give up his freedom to serve his country and therefore the Christian soldier is to give up his freedom to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. A soldier must leave all of his worldly affairs behind as he goes forward to serve his country. That’s what Paul is referring to when he says in 2TI 2:4, No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.

 

The first thing that a soldier does is to go into training after he has enlisted in the military and the first thing all believers need is spiritual training through the intake of doctrine. As believers we are to be are armed with the full armor of God.

 

EPH 6:11-17, Pick up and put on the full armor from God, so that you may be able to hold your ground against the strategies of the devil. For our warfare is not against blood and flesh, [against human beings] but against the rulers[demon generals, commanders like Abaddon and Apollyon, Beelzebub], against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness [demon ambassadors to world rulers and demon conspirators], against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. These are the rank and file demons. Therefore, pick up and put on the full armor from God, so that you may be able to hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you, and having done everything, hold your ground. Hold your ground therefore, after you have buckled on your combat gear around your waist with truth [a reference to the P.M.A. of B.D.], and [after] having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [hold your ground] after you have put on your combat boots on your feet with the readiness, [or preparation, equipment] of the gospel of peace. In addition to all, [all of these items of military equipment] taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish [intercept and destroy] all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take or receive favorably and welcome the helmet of salvation, and [receive favorably and welcome] the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

 

The point is that there is a great and powerful kingdom surrounding you and doing its best to stop you from going forward in the plan of God for your life, and to try and hinder your spiritual growth. It is called the kingdom of darkness and it is controlled by your adversary, the devil in 1PE 5:8. Satan is a very powerful king on earth whose desire is to first, seduce us and then to ultimately defeat us. That’s why many believers are being seduced today.

The king of this world, Satan, with his many philosophies will keep on throwing them in your direction until he finally sees one hit. We know that Satan is a king because he has a kingdom according to MAT 12:26, and he is the ruler of that kingdom. You can try and hide from this as much as you want, but if you listen long enough to the shouting of Satan, the god of this world, eventually your life will cave in. And the shouts keep coming from all directions.

 

The philosophies are thrown at you from every angle. Human viewpoint rationalization comes from family and friends. Remember what our Lord said to the religious Jews in JOH 8:23, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.”

 

If you live the life that the Lord has called you to live, you will live of life that is from above. If not, you will end up being attacked by the great king of this earth surrounding your soul and trying to stop your momentum in the Christian way of life. nd you'll know that Satan is succeeding when all of a sudden you’ve lost your peace, composure, poise, happiness or contentment.

 

This great and powerful king, Satan uses thoughts and projections to do so. That’s why we are told in EPH 6:16, in addition to all [the armor of God], taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

 

Those flaming missiles are the philosophies of life. Those flaming missiles are the weapons of the king surrounding your soul. Satan has invisible missiles that attack the soul and cause human viewpoint on the part of believers which neutralizes them and draws them away from the PPOG. The kingdom of darkness throws thoughts and ideas at us through the media, friends, family members, believers, unbelievers, enemies, and sometimes even from our own presumptuous ideas.

 

Then if that doesn’t work, there is a direct attack made upon you which is much closer as we will see in the Christian soldier! The ultimate goal of the kingdom of darkness which attacks your soul is to do whatever it can to take you away from the PPOG and the teaching of Bible doctrine.

Why?

Because doctrine exposes its lies.

 

2CO 2:11, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

 

As the god or the ruler of this world, Satan has placed foolish individuals in positions of authority so that he can try and control the entire world system. This is how he fulfills REV 12:9, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;

 

You can’t deceive the whole world unless you control it, or most of it. Satan has the power and the ability to put whomever he desires in prominent positions. We are not told to fight with those in positions of authority or rulership, but instead become more occupied with God’s plan for our life. This is why throughout the Bible we are commanded not to fight the devil or try to dethrone him or to dethrone those who are in positions of authority that Satan has placed them in. But rather we are told to rise above it all and execute God’s plan.

 

EPH 6:11, Pick up and put on the full armor from God, so that you may be able to hold your ground against the strategies of the devil.

EPH 6:13, ...hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you.

 

JAM 4:7, Submit therefore to God [execute the PPOG]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

1PE 5:9, But resist the devil by being firm in your doctrine.

 

The point is that we are not to attack the rulership of this world but to resist the attacks that they make upon our soul by rising above it all and living the Christian way of life in spite of the pressure placed upon us.

 

A soldier is also known by his discipline, his armor, and his weapons. So the Christian soldier must be disciplined, have his armor on and know how to use his weapons. In fact, the soldier is trained to do the same thing over and over and over again. Through this repetition he is trained if he gets into a stressful situation and he cannot think immediately, he will automatically do what he has been trained to do under pressure. This is true for the spiritual soldier as well. This is security for you because, when you get under pressure, you will think the right thing, do the right thing, and apply the right doctrine because you have repeatedly learned the doctrine.

 

The more doctrinal things you can do automatically, the greater your life will be.

If you make good decisions from a position of strength in normal times, you will be able to do so in time of pressure and disaster. The difference between fear and courage is the ability to concentrate under pressure.

 

If you have trouble concentrating under normal situations, you will have trouble concentrating under pressure situations. If you don’t think doctrine under normal circumstances, you will be filled with fear during abnormal circumstances. But, those of you who take the course under normal circumstances have a chance to learn how to handle disaster. This does not necessarily mean that you will. There are many who will sit through the course but will not metabolize the lesson or if they do, they will fail to apply it at the appropriate time.

 

In combat, a man has to be trained for the job and that takes time. He has to know how to do his job under normal conditions before he is given the job under abnormal conditions. It’s the training that makes him victorious not his lack of fear or his courage. Soldiers are also clothed by the military they represent so the Christian soldier is said to be clothed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

MAT 6:25-33, “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, {as to} what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, {as to} what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and {yet} your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a {single} cubit to his life's span? And why are you anxious about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is {alive} today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, {will He} not much more {do so for} you, O men of little faith? Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves?’ For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.”

 

That takes care of being clothed in the natural realm! In the spiritual realm, GAL 3:27, For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Every believer has been enlisted in the spiritual army of God and is a spiritual soldier of Jesus Christ. A soldier is also told who to go to war with and he understands who his enemies are. The Christian soldier has his warfare appointed to him and his enemies are made known to him by the scriptures! Basically our enemies are said to be the world, the flesh and the devil. For example, we are told that the devil makes war against the Lamb and His followers, inREV 17:14, “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

 

The world is the enemy of the Christian soldier insofar as the things of the world, the pleasures or the profits of the world take the believer away from the plan of God. This is why John wrote in 1JO 2:14-17, I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

 

A soldier is also supplied logistically for as he goes forward in training, discipline and warfare, so the Christian soldier is provided logistical grace for his spiritual walk and warfare. The military bears the expense of the war and furnishes the soldier with whatever is necessary for his calling. Our Lord has given us clothes, armor, weapons, and whatever we need to handle what we are going to face.

 

This is why the apostle Paul said in 1CO 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

 

Every thing we need both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm has been provided for us by God.

 

So let’s look at some analogies between a natural soldier and a spiritual one:

 

  1. A soldier must give up his freedom to serve his country and a believer is to give up his freedom to serve the Lord Jesus Christ,MAT 16:24-25.
    2. A soldier must leave all of his worldly affairs behind as he goes forward to serve his country, 2TI 2:4.
    3. The first thing that a soldier does is to go into training after he has enlisted in the military and the first thing all believers need is spiritual training through the intake of doctrine, 1TI 4:6-8.

 

1TI 4:7-8, the apostle Paul uses physical exercise as an analogy to self discipline!

 

1TI 4:7, But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

 

Again we see the importance of self-discipline. Why does it say to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness? Because it requires self-discipline and organization to execute the Pre-designed Plan of God even if you have Bible doctrine as your number 1 priority. If it is high on your scale of values it requires a lot of self-discipline. There are many times when you do not want to come to Bible class. Many legitimate and even illegitimate reasons are given. However, it takes a lot of self-discipline to get here. Then once you get here it takes more self-discipline to listen, especially if it’s not your favorite subject.

 

1TI 4:8  for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things,

 

There is profit in physical exercise but it’s only for a short time. The reason why we have exercise used as an analogy to godliness is because exercise requires self-discipline. You have to have a priority slot for exercise. You have to exercise (if you take it seriously) whether you feel like it or not. This is why there are all kinds of gadgets and pills on the market that really are trying to monopolize on inconsistency. However, you have to be consistent for exercise to be profitable.

 

Godliness or living the spiritual life is the result of consistency in the perception of doctrine. Your consistency is very important because the doctrine you learn today is going to carry you for a short time. That’s another reason why doctrines have to be repeated and are repeated in certain books of the Bible. There must be the repetition of doctrine. Even the Bible repeats doctrine. Repetition therefore, becomes vitally necessary in the Christian life.

 

1TI 4:8, for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things,

 

In other words the most important thing in your life is your consistency in the spiritual realm.

 

Godliness holds the key to this life. Your happiness depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your capacity for life depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your success in life depends on godliness or spiritual living. Your promotion in life depends on godliness or spiritual living. So godliness is said to hold promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The life to come is a reference for all eternity.

 

For all eternity because some of you were consistent and faithful in the little things you are going to have the uniform of glory, the order of the morning star, the various different crowns, your name recorded in the historical section of heaven, you are going to rule cities for a 1,000 years in the Millennium. Godliness is profitable in time, but even more it is profitable for the life to come. Verse 8 says - it holds promise for this life and the life to come.

 

So, the one thing that you have in this life as a believer which will be profitable for you for ever and ever and ever is godliness or spiritual living. Again godliness or spiritual living is compared to physical exercise. Exercise tones up the muscles, just like Godliness or spiritual living tones up the spiritual life. The believer needs spiritual power much more than physical power. Physical power is a dime a dozen, and anyone can have it if they desire. However, spiritual power is hard to find.

 

So self discipline means:
Dedication
Commitment
Instruction
Discipline.

 

The word discipline means to drive on or something performed or practiced in order to develop skill. Anyone can exercise, even in the spiritual realm, but for a person to stick with it consistently takes character. It takes training, self-discipline, spiritual exercise.

 

Exercise for the Royal family in the congregation of the local church means:

1) Self-discipline
2) Assembling together
3) Concentrating on the teaching
4) Good-manners
5) Silence.
6) Not commenting
7) Not disturbing
8) Not moving-around
9) Objectivity
10) Persistence in spite of distraction.

 

 

All of this is part of the spiritual exercise that takes us from salvation to Spiritual Self Eesteem (SSE) to Spiritual Adulthood (SA) to Spiritual Maturity (SM).

 

A soldier is also known by his discipline, his armor, and his weapons so the Christian soldier must be disciplined, have his armor on and know how to use his weapons, EPH 6:10-17. Soldiers are also clothed by the military they represent so the Christian soldier is said to be clothe by the Lord Jesus Christ, MAT 6:25-33, GAL 3:27. A soldier is also told who to go to war with and he understands who his enemies are so the Christian soldier has his warfare appointed to him and his enemies are made known to him by the scriptures, 2CO 2:11. Basically our enemies are said to be the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

A soldier is also supplied logistically for as he goes forward in training, discipline and warfare, so the Christian soldier is provided logistical grace for his spiritual walk and warfare, 2PE 1:3. The military bears the expense of the war and furnishes the soldier with whatever is necessary for his calling. Our Lord has given us clothes, armor, weapons, and whatever we need to handle what we are going to face. Every thing we need both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm has been provided for us by God.

 

A soldier must also be an expert and well-skilled in his field so the Christian soldier ought to be well-skilled in all things necessary for his calling, LUK 14:31.

 

LUK 14:25-32, Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand {men} to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.

 

A soldier must also know his place and how to keep both rank and file so the Christian soldier must know his place and particular station, where he has been placed in the body of Christ by God the Holy Spirit, 1CO 12:18. Military discipline has appointed every officer in the army his proper place, and every private soldier is to abide in the same rank and file, or the place where he is set by his commander.

 

In the military, you're not free to change your station or post on your own...especially in a time of battle when you expose yourself and others to great danger if orders are not followed accurately and precisely. The Christian soldier must keep his place and particular station, where he has been placed in the body of Christ by God the Holy Spirit.

 

1CO 12:18, But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.

 

The believer is not to quit his command when he pleases. Or because he or she doesn't like the personality of the officer above them. The average Christian soldier has gone AWOL because of no humility, and this is especially true when it comes to keeping his place in the body of Christ. Staying with his training. Staying with his commitments. Staying with the intake of doctrine and the execution of the PPOG.

 

The Christian soldier is to discover God’s plan for his life and stick with it while he is growing spiritually. Pastors must keep their places, deacons must keep their places, members of each church must keep their places, and not withdraw when they please. This does not mean that you will not be promoted, it simply means you need to hold the ground that you have gained.

 

Soldiers must also follow their leader. So every Christian soldier follows the Lord Jesus Christ and ought to have his eye upon Him through the intake of doctrine, see MAT 10:38.

 

REV 14:1-4, And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

 

So, every Christian Soldier is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and ought to have his eye upon Him through the intake of doctrine. As Christian soldiers we must be willing to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in His reproaches, afflictions, difficulties and even dangers if necessary. And remember that this is the intensified stage of the angelic conflict and therefore many of these principles take place in the invisible realm as well. This is why the Christian soldier ought to be well skilled and an expert in God's wisdom so that he is not ignorant of Satan and his devices.

 

2CO 2:11, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

There is a spiritual war made against the soul of the believer and it is something that none us can afford to be ignorant of. Nothing is more necessary for spiritual soldiers than wisdom and power from God especially when we are faced with internal adversaries. For example, you need to understand that not only does the kingdom of darkness try to put things in our mind but in reality their best work is done by keeping things out....namely doctrinal viewpoint.

Remember that our adversary the devil is compared to a serpent because he is sly and deceitful. The devil is a subtle enemy and the Christian soldier is his main target. If Satan could overcome man and woman when they were in a perfect state without an OSN, just think of how easy he can do it now. Therefore, divine wisdom is needed or else we will become fools.

 

EPH 5:14-17, For this reason it says, Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you. Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So, then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

 

Satan is a master at choosing the proper time and the most advantageous season for tempting and attacking the believer. Satan knows when to make his attacks and the time when he is most likely to prevail.

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