5. Weapons of Christ
What does God want? Victory – the honor and glory of Jesus, the Word God is always speaking.
5. Weapons of Christ
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Because I continue with my commitment to receive into myself ALL that God speaks as Christ Jesus my only life, I find myself going in different directions than many who seem to teach similar things. I do so because I am very interested in all that God speaks in the Covenant I signed with Him and He with me.
Christ is war. To be in union with Christ is to be active in battle. Passivity, just thinking, “Well, I guess God's just taking care of everything,” is not part of our picture.
Yes, God directs all things according to His purposes.
But there you have it – according to His purposes.
God's purpose is to reveal Himself in all that He is and in all that He is doing through a body of people, many sons, conformed to the image of His Son.
If God is directing all things according to His purposes, then He is doing ALL of that through me – filled with all the fullness of God.
There is no question from the Bible what God is doing. The tension in the universe, placed there by God before sin was ever conceived, is subdue, in the New Testament, overcome.
To subdue-overcome is battle; it is war.
To see God in all things is to see the God of battle.
Furthermore, the necessary and only outcome of subdue-overcome is victory.
God created the creation and all things in it and in its history for one purpose – to prove that His Word wins all victory against all opposition through faith alone (Revelation 12 – a woman in travail to birth the Word God speaks in the face of the serpent).
To remove the opposition from our picture is to despise the intentions and heart of God. Sometimes I read some who talk about “God all in all,” but God Himself seems to be not in their picture. So few care about God.
What does God want? – The victory and triumph of His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Seed – Plant – Seeds.
Yes, the Seed has won all victory. Yes, that Victorious Seed lives now as the Plant, as us, outwardly weak by external appearance, but for one purpose, that He might form the Seeds by Himself as the fullness of Victory.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. John 15:20-21
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
We wrestle against rulers of darkness, against multitudes of wicked heavenly beings.
Wrestle, in the Greek, means a literal wrestling match between two in which the winner is declared the victor after successfully pinning the opponent under the hand, or as in the Hebrew, “subdue,” – underfoot.
Why? Why did God do this? If God is all in all, does He not have the right, then, to order creation and our Covenant with Him as He sees fit and for His purposes?
Does union with Christ mean that God can shove off, that He is no longer allowed to have His desire?
I speak strongly, though I receive all who love the Lord Jesus.
I would see all that God speaks fulfilled in me right here on this earth. It is my right.
Let me explain how reality exists. You and I are surrounded by people. We interact with people every where we go. Some of those people are good and some are wicked. The worst sort for us, however, in our walk with God, is those who pretend to be brethren, but who maliciously abuse us for their own religious excitement.
I asked a sister who knew Norman Grubb what he would do when such a person pretended to espouse Christ as us, but then used that familiarity as a means of manipulating and controlling him. She told me that Norman Grubb would, very simply, walk away.
Why? Why would Norman Grubb walk away from persons seeking to abuse him?
Other people can manipulate and abuse us, they can entice us to run with them to do evil things, they can beat us and torture our bodies, they can throw us into prison, they can even kill us dead. At no point would we be “godly” to subject ourselves to such stuff in a subservient manner claiming that “since God is all in all, I had better submit.”
Yes, we see God in all things, but if we have opportunity, we get up and walk away.
BUT!! The real issue is not other people and what they do or could do against us.
Paul, by his gospel, claims that we are at war with multitudes of dark and wicked persons, only these persons are not earthly, but heavenly.
Otherwise, there is no difference.
If a man beats you, should you go back to him to be beaten again?
If a demon beats you, should you call it “God” and line yourself up for more?
If walking away from an abusive human is the right thing to do, then walking away from a demon is even more right.
People have funny ideas about “the heavens,” ideas that are not in line with what the Bible actually says.
We live in both heaven and earth right now all the time. You cannot be more in heaven in the future than you are right now. You are surrounded by people and animals inside the earthly dimension of your being, and you are surrounded by angels, fallen and unfallen, inside the heavenly dimension of your being. No difference.
Do you hang out with wicked people who entice you to do evil? No, of course not.
Do you hang out with wicked angels who entice you to do evil? Sadly, many Christians do, calling those wicked angels “ME,” calling those wicked angels “God all in all.” These are people who would never consider riding with the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang. Why not? Because the Hell's Angels act contrary to Christ in horrifically wicked ways.
There is no difference.
Why did God surround the believer in Jesus with both wicked people and wicked angels?
Victory – the honor and glory of Jesus, the Word God is always speaking.
Yet the Scriptures are clear. – Our fight is not with people, but with angels, that is with particular created beings, thinking and deciding persons, of heavenly substance.
Let's go back to the weapons of Christ.
The weapons of our warfare are. . . mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. . . 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
Paul uses three terms here for the target of our weapons of war: – strongholds, – arguments,and – high things that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. He uses four terms in Ephesians 6: – principalities, – powers, – the rulers of the darkness of this age,and – spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
All seven of these terms refer to one aspect or another of a group of beings best understood as fallen angels.
Jesus called them “unclean spirits.”
God says that we, that is, Christ as us, wrestle against these things with the full expectation of victory. I am utterly uninterested in any explanation as to how it is that God lied, how it is that the Covenant I signed with God and He with me is somehow bogus.
I want to know God through all that He speaks, that is, through Christ my only life. I cast down every argument that exalts itself against the knowledge of this God, the Father, who fills me with ALL of Himself.
Yet I receive all who belong to Jesus in just the same way that Jesus receives me.
We do not fight against people; we have no need to “convince others.”
My main purpose for this letter, however, is to talk about the weapons of Christ, the weapons of our warfare. First, let's look at Paul's description of the armour of Christ.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit . . . Ephesians 6:14-17
Obviously, I have heard much teaching on these things, as I'm sure you have. Yet none of it ever made sense to me. I simply did not know HOW to put on these things. “Put on” is simply ridiculous. No one knows how to do it, no matter what they might claim.
Only when we “put” the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ entirely upon our own person, Life upon life, Mind upon mind, Heart upon heart, Body upon body, Self upon self, by FAITH, that is by believing that God speaks the truth against all outward appearance, sinking utterly into Him as into the covers of our bed, do we find the simple reality of our union with Christ that IS the weapon of our warfare.
But I want to reduce Paul's list to three things; three things that are all the practical implementation of the one thing, put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our first weapon is the sword of the Spirit, all that God speaks concerning us – speaking Christ. Our third weapon is the shield of faith that quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one – giving thanks.
But in between, and maybe the amalgamation of all the other things Paul lists, is the one transaction we make with God according to the gospel.
– Asking God to fulfill all that He speaks in, as, and through us right now in this age, and then believing with quiet assurance that He has done so, acknowledging it to be so in every direction.
Let it be to me according to Your word. – Let it be to you according to your faith.
Speak Christ – Ask God – Give thanks.
You may recall my teaching on the ten commandments of the New Testament. Here is the list again.
1. Abide in Me and I in you. (Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.)
2. Speak what God says you are (– your hope).
3. Ask and believe that you have received.
4. Give thanks in and for all things.
5. Love one another.
7. Watch out.
8. Cleanse yourselves.
9. Do not love the world.
10. Be – just like God.
Of truth, the first commandment is the only commandment – Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.Everything else God says is real only out from this one thing fulfilled in all fullness in our lives, in every possible scope of its meaning.
Commandments two, “Speak,” three, “Ask,” and four, “Give thanks” are how we know the full practical reality of the first, “Abide in full union with Me.” They are the weapons of our warfare, the weapons of Christ.
Commandments five, “Love,” and six, “Give,” are the expression of God through us; these things work always together and come only out from the first, “Abide in full union with Me.”
Commandments seven, “Watch out,” eight, “Cleanse yourselves,” and nine, “Do not love the world,” are also part of our warfare; these are the three wards, or defenses, against the original sin of Adam – “watch out” for the lying words of the serpent, “cleanse yourself” from the curse of the tree of knowledge, and “do not love” the face of Eve, that is, the expectations of other Christians living by performance.
Listen, “Watch out, take heed, and beware,” all saying the same thing, is the most frequent command of God to us in the New Testament. Watch out for what? Beware what? God? – No! This “Watch out, take heed, beware,” is something God and I do together as one. We watch out for every voice that speaks against all the speaking of God. When I read even union with Christ people speaking, “This verse will be fulfilled only in 'the next life',” then I am hearing the victory of the voice of the serpent against Christ. They failed to watch out and thus believe and now speak the lying words of the evil one.
Why? For their destruction? NO!!! Christ Jesus is living them all the way into life that He might be glorified as He proves the Father true in all the speaking of God.
Commandment ten, “Be – just like God,” is found at least fifteen times in the New Testament, specific and demanding: “Be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect” – “Walk just as Jesus walks.”
This is the outflow of Christ our life, the One who takes us in Himself to the Father, that God might be all in all.
Seed – Plant – Seeds.
Speaking Christ, asking God, and giving thanks always go together. Speaking Christ is union, asking God is communion, and giving thanks is expression.
Everything is already established in Christ; we speak what is, though we do not yet see it outwardly.
Giving thanks, which includes all praise and worship, is the going forth of the Spirit through us.
But asking God to fulfill all that He speaks in us and then believing that we have received all that we have asked is the center of communion, the most precious and meaningful weapon of WAR.
And it is. Ask and believe we have received is the most powerful weapon we possess. It is the strongest foundation of faith in our minds and hearts.
Picture the center of Michaelangelo's Sisteen Chapel ceiling, the point where the finger of God reaches out to touch the finger of man. That point of connection, the point of the Covenant, where the actual transaction takes place, where the Blood Covenant is made our only reality IS this ACTION of ours.
No one receives anything from God unless they ask for it. No one knows anything of God unless they ask God to fulfill His word as Christ made personal and real inside of them and then live inside the mind that believes that they have received all that they asked.
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:22-24
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15
God's will is His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, living in our hearts in all the speaking of God.
Nicene Christianity has taught believers in Jesus to see God as a Being outside of themselves, far above and far away. Thus believers also see “the things of God” as outside of themselves. Yet they continually seek for those things to “come upon them.” And each new moment requires another desperate, “Please, God, come upon me.”
Inside this context of separation, the essence of “earthliness” in the negative sense, most believers in Jesus see “asking” as asking for things outside of themselves to happen or to come to them.
What about the Word God speaks?
Yes, believers in Jesus do ask God to fulfill this or that Word which He speaks in their lives, but then listen to their confession. Their continued expression comes out of the conviction that God has NOT, in fact, given them what they have asked for. They believe, continually, that God does not do what He has said.
I know, that's where I lived for many years.
Believing in a Jesus far away has nothing to do with believing in Jesus.
We believe all that God speaks as Christ made personal in us. Let me share some musings sent to me by a brother who reads these letters, things he jotted down when he was awake in the middle of the night.
God calls all of His seed “I Am.” I am the will of God, I am the creation that is void and without shape, with the Spirit hovering over the face of my deep. My faith IS THE SUBSTANCE of everything. The seed goes forth, that is, the Word, and it Will accomplish all that I intend. I am the clay created for destruction; I am the new creation, created in Christ Jesus. There is only the Word who IS the image and likeness of God. I am that seed.
The mountains shake and the seas roar as the blade comes forth. I don't see the workings, but, But, I HAVE BEEN GIVEN EYES TO SEE AND EARS TO HEAR. I thank God for all things... Everything is okay, everything is right. To the froward, I Will appear froward, to the pure of heart, I will appear pure. I am pure because God is pure. He is flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone because I am flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone... Beware of what and HOW you hear. The Angels harvest the tares (in my mind) and burn them. The pure Word, the Living Water remains. I Am that seed, I am that seed. I cannot sin because I AM ( His Seed) lives in me.
My Word goes forth and it SHALL accomplish ALL that I purpose. As Jesus, the Word, "sits," all His enemies, me and like me, are being defeated. I have been defeated and have been returned to union; I Am the New Creation. I realize that Jesus is in the Father and I am in Jesus.
Do you see how even the “negative” in God's Word becomes real and personal as Christ inside of us.
Speaking Christ establishes us in the knowledge of the Word God speaks made personal in us. Speaking Christ causes us to become aware of who and what this Person who lives in our hearts really is.
Asking and believing we have received is the transaction of communion that is the Bond of the Covenant, the seal by which we enter into a binding relationship with God.
Then, giving thanks in and for all things is the going forth of God, our continual acknowledgement that God HAS, in fact, given us all that we ask and that now all things are God in us reconciling the world to Himself.
Ask, and believe that we have received.
That you might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19
Is it God's will that you and I be filled with all of God? Or is such a thing contrary to God's will? Read the whole context. Can we ask God to fulfill this word in us, and then can we believe that we have received ALL that we have asked?
Let it be to me according to Your word. – Let it be to you according to your faith.
This is the connection of the Covenant.
Conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29.
Is it God's will or is it not God's will that you and I be conformed in all ways to the Lord Jesus Christ, just like Him in being and in relationship with the Father?
And if we ask God to fulfill this word in us, can we believe that we have received all that we have asked?
James said that if we ask and do not believe, we are double minded.
Speaking Christ is not the most powerful weapon I possess.
Giving thanks is not the most powerful weapon I possess.
Asking God to fulfill all that He speaks as Christ in me and then believing that I have received all that I have asked IS the weapon of power, the foundation of God, the Bond of the Covenant, the Victory of Christ.
Asking is my personal connection with the Father; believing that I have received is the Father's personal connection with me.
What happens when I ask? – I believe all that God speaks.
What happens when I believe all that God speaks? – I do not believe the voice of the accuser, the one who says, God lied. What happens when I do not believe the voice of the accuser? He is cast out of the heavens.
WAR – Victory!
And this IS the Victory – my physical body transformed into Jesus' physical Body, swallowed up by life and made incorruptible as the resurrection from the dead.
I (Jesus and I always together) – put on incorruptibility; I – put on immortality.
I – put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, the highest form of “asking” is the words of Mary: Let it be to me according to Your word.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the knowledge of the requirements of God and what breaking those requirements must mean draws this response from all who hear God by that tree.
All that the Lord says I will do.
These words, as the response of a human to the voice of God, create the false self, imagination only. Notice that God Himself is kept entirely on the outside. There is no faith in these words, for faith is the entrance of God. The person saying them is boasting in the arrogance of the flesh that “I” can do God.
Mary responded by the tree of life. – Let it be to me according to Your word.
By those words, God Himself is free to enter the human and to be all that God is inside of us.
The Bible can be the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Bible can be the tree of life.
The choice is entirely human.
Those who do not want another Person inside of them say, “Hey God, I will do all that You say.” They also add “with a little help from You, far away from me,” in order to cloak their dishonesty.
Those who know they cannot be God-ly without God say, “You are welcome, my Father, arise in me by all the Words that You speak and be God in me.”
When we know that it is God in us who is God as He speaks, we know that God is God by ALL that He speaks.
This is the victory by which we defeat the world – our faith.
Christ lives in our hearts by faith.
Faith is action flowing every moment out of pure rest.
Faith is the action of communion flowing from the pure rest of union, flowing out as expression every moment.
Union is God, something He alone does; we speak union to know for certain what God has already done. Communion is God and I intertwined together. And expression is God and I together riding the cherubs of heaven with the wind blowing in our hair.
And the center point of all of it, the joining of communion, as to ask the fulfillment of the Word God speaks made personal in you and believe that you have received.
Look out upon the world. God is not known.
Look throughout the church. God is not known.
The knowledge of God present and now, God Personal in us, God revealed, is absent from the earth. That absence is darkness, the absence of light. Yet that darkness is not neutral; it is empowered by dark heavenly persons who hold a claim over this earth and the human race.
Mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
This is precisely what God created us for, that God might be known through us.
You and I are the Victory of God.
When I read many in today's church who speak of the grace and goodness of God, it seems to me that there is an ignorance of human history behind parts of how they think. We in the western world have lived lives divorced from the normal experience of the human upon this earth, and we imagine that our comfortable and secure lives are the normal.
Studying the history of man on this earth, the normal experience of most humans, through my twenties, was shocking, frightening, to me. But I have always been driven by a need to understand man on this earth, and so I persevered in comprehending the awfulness of the human experience. Yet I have walked all my life in a powerful bubble of God keeping me. I have never seen a torn body; I have never seen death; I have never seen evil acts. And so I have sought to comprehend the human experience by wide and extensive reading.
You see, I must comprehend a man such as Genghis Khan, and thus Conn Iggulden's series on Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons is a treasure house of pondering for me. What is this thing God calls His image? Yet when I read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago in my twenties, I could not finish. My heart was broken in grief, in horror, and in anger before I was a quarter of the way through. I could finish a biography of Lenin because there was a slight sliver of humanity in him, but I stopped the biography of Stalin after he turned 21; I did not want to know evil.
Everything the governments of this world, especially the US government in its entirety, and everything the evening news is telling people is fabricated deceit. Do not be taken by it. Osama bin Laden died in December of 2001 from kidney failure and his death was reported throughout the world. All this nonsense about killing Bin Laden is just to play evil with your mind, to dance you to the tune of sickness. When you discover how much the world is lying to you, you will not be able to stand.
This world and life for mankind upon it is a hell hole. The experience of our lives MUST return to that normality, except that God will continue to keep us. Yet we will comprehend the ferocity with which our fellow human beings are determined to control us and to prevent any possibility of God ever showing up upon this earth.
To say that everything is just getting better and better is delusional. It has no basis in normal human reality.
I reject any answer that does not face the human experience of darkness and evil, of horror and murder and slaughter and filthiness and debauchery HEAD ON. I reject any story of God that does not give direct and immediate purpose for all things. Don't tell me that a God of love would never allow the existence of demons.
I am reading a book, Lamentation by C.J. Sansom, that begins with a Reformation time burning of precious brethren to death in London BECAUSE they believed that Jesus lived in their hearts!!! Burned to death by Christians who also believed they were defending the truth of Christ!
The evil of man against man, evil that stares us in the face, is greater than any evil of “fallen angels.” Man is the master; angels are but servants.
This earth belongs to me and all creation as well. It is my inheritance.
I have no stomach for insipid passivity. To allow any shadow of darkness to remain upon this earth is to be not with God.
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. – Do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:1 & 7
It is time. By God's grace, God now in us, let there be war.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57