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God's Invading Army: The Church - Rev. Kola Ewuosho
“The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word” (Joel 2:11).
“For the weapons or our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (imaginations) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) NKJV
The history of the Christian Church in contemporary times has been filled with stories of people who catch only a glimpse of who they are, or what they have become in Christ, or people who have no clue as to what exactly they have become, spiritually because of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Those who catch a glimpse of who they have become tend to run off with their little ‘vision" or picture and run roughshod over others and eventually make a wreck of their faith, wondering what happened. Those who have no clue tend to believe whatever comes their way or they fall on some past religious beliefs they had before coming to Christ. This present generation, on the other hand, has the advantage of seeing, learning and having a fuller picture than previous generations as to who they are in Christ and what is theirs in Him.
In the divine exchange dimension of Christ"s sacrifice, He became who we were so that we can become who He is. He took our sins on Himself so that we can become the ‘righteousness of God in Christ". He became poor so that we through His poverty can be made rich. Believing in Jesus, coming into the kingdom of God and functioning like we should implies becoming new creatures in Christ, having authority in His name over the works of darkness and living by faith, honouring God and serving His purposes. In these the proper foundation for our relationship with God is laid. Without these, we have a mishmash of different beliefs and we call it the Christian faith. What is not understood is that when we have a faulty belief system, our beliefs can empower the kingdom of darkness to exercise authority over us. Whatever we measure some degree of significance to has that measure of significance in our lives. God"s Word becomes significant in our lives to the measure we measure significance to it. “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you and more besides will be given to you who hear.” (Mark 4:24 Amplified Bible).
An idol is that which we measure significance to in place of God in our lives. Any idol in our lives will have authority over us in some measure or the other. Mammon, for instance, is the idol we serve if greed and covetousness define our attitude and disposition toward money. The love of money, for instance, is the root of all evil. Mammon is the idol behind many, if not all, the evil perpetuated on earth today between human beings. Its foundation is built on human insecurity and looking for that security in the possessions that money can buy. The human tendency to have ‘lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life" feeds directly into the insecurity that needs things to feed the emptiness or void in our lives. What we lost in the fall of man, combined with what our upbringing has done to us, causes a tendency in us to be ‘wanting, wanting, wanting", as the Message Bible calls it. Somebody once said we have a void in us that only God can fill. No matter what we try to use to fill it, we will not be satisfied. We need to recognise these things and allow God to fill us with His love and nature; with character and power; with a new identity and authority so we can grow and mature into wholesome people, able to give the love of God to others. What a life!
“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking, as new born babies, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV).
God"s way of building us up, amongst other things, is through painting ‘Word pictures" that enable us, through our fellowship with Him, to see ourselves the way He sees us so that we can begin to function in these things. This can be seen in how a parent can believe in their child and the child lives up to the expectation of his loving parents. Of course, the converse is also true, that children can live ‘down" to the negative expectation of parents too! Such pictures are seen in the Bible. These pictures represent metaphoric images that depict processes and expectations from God that we need to cooperate with for His purposes to be fulfilled in and through us. There are 7 pictures of the Church in the New Testament. These are the Church as an Assembly; the Church as His (Christ"s) Body; the Church as His Workmanship; the Church as God"s Family; the Church as The Temple of God; the Church as The Bride of Christ; and the Church as the Lord"s Army. There is a lot more we need to see here but space will only allow us to see a few things that will position us to fully experience the many sided grace of God.
7 PICTURES OF GOD"S PEOPLE
THE GOVERNMENTAL ASSEMBLY:
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first born who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect”(Hebrews 12:22-23).
This represents the Assembly of God"s people who carry authority. The “ecclesia” is the equivalent of the senate of a government. The strength of God flows out of Zion (Ps 110:1-3) and His Kingdom rules in the midst of His enemies. The Holy Spirit through prayers and the gifts of the Spirit, extends the sceptre of God"s authority over the nations. The essential feature is that the governmental authority of God is in His people and they are required to respect His order in their lives and conduct. The increase of His government (kingdom) and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgement and justice from that time forward, even forever. (Is. 9:6-7). We need our lives to be ordered by His kingdom priorities, and our corporate prayers need to carry authority.
“And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23 NKJV). “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for Me. (Heb. 10:5). So we being many are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another (Romans 12:5). See the verses in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and see how we inter-relate as the Body of Christ.
To get things done in a time spaced world is to do them through His Body. He relies on us do His work on earth. We are required to live our lives in obedience to Him as we do His will.
HIS WORKMANSHIP CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM
(EPH.2:10). “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10).
We are required to yield to God so that His wisdom and creative ingenuity can be made manifest in us. We are His creative masterpiece. The word in Greek is “poema” from which we form the word poem. God"s ability to make us fit together like a poet uses words to fit together is what this ‘workmanship" is about. He has an original picture and He works in us to bring about His beauty in creation. The many sided wisdom of God is put on display for all to see by us as we yield more and more to God and His dealings in our lives.
The next picture is that of FAMILY. We are God"s family or His Household. ‘Family" and ‘father" in the Greek language are from the same root word. As the Father, God is the source of life for His Family. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” (Eph. 3:14-15 NKJV). We enjoy acceptance from the Father and we can give that to others in the Family. We are all fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Eph. 2:19). We are not only connected to the Father in our vertical relationship with God but we are to maintain our horizontal ones with one another in love and fellowship.
The last three pictures are TEMPLE, BRIDE AND ARMY. As a TEMPLE we are growing into being the Temple of God. ”In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph.2:21-22). The thought here is that we are being shaped like stones from a quarry to be made to fit into the place God has ordained for us in His eternal Temple. We are lively stones the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:5; we are being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. This temple is built with living stones as God"s Spirit dwells in us (1 Cor. 3:16). The requirement here is that we should be willing to be shaped by God. As the Bride we are expected to have mutual commitment as He (Jesus Christ) has to us. As the Army we are to submit to Divine discipline. In Ephesians 6:10-18 Paul describes the armour of a Roman soldier and he advises us to put on the whole armour of God so we can take our place in the raging battle going on in the realm of the spirit. Every part of the armour is vital to our success in life. We are to put on the whole armour… “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”. (Eph. 6:18)
The Church of Christ has a ministry to the Lord in worship and obeying Him; to itself in loving, walking in acceptance toward one another, exercising our gifts in ministering to others; and also a ministry to the world to present the Word and influence of the Kingdom of God. God"s will is for His Kingdom to be made manifest in the earth and we are the ones responsible for this to happen.
Societies and cultures all around are known to be majorly influenced by seven areas of influence. These areas are mountains from which demonic influences flow into every known society. These influences corrupt, pollute and pervert the original purposes of God, keeping many in the grip of deception, trapped in a lifestyle of sin and out of fellowship with God.
“Now it shall come to pass that the mountain of the Lord"s house shall be established on top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and nations shall flow to it.” (Isaiah 2:2)
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the entire world as witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”(Matt. 24:14)
These are the mountains: Government; Economy; Media; Education; Religion; Celebration of arts, music and drama (Entertainment); and Family.
Let us start with the ‘MEDIA MOUNTAIN". Media refers to the news outlets that report and establish news. They can make small issues big and big ones small: therein lies their power to influence. They can actually create news. The top of this mountain is influenced by spirits that convey terror and fear. They cause more damage than the terrorists themselves. Without media coverage the effect of terrorism would be minimal. The fear of Satan, terrorism, plagues and diseases or wars puts the hearts of men and women in the wrong battlefield and conditions them to respond out of ungodly fears. The fearful and anxious become easy prey for Satan and his cohorts. God will, and is, raising Kingdom citizens who will rise up and influence this mountain by prayer and divine strategy so that the “Mountain of the Lord"s House can be exalted over this media mountain”. (See my write-up at www.kolaewuosho.com titled ‘Prayer Strategy for the 7 Mountains".)
I thank God for the Missionaries who left the shores of Great Britain, carrying the gospel and also establishing schools (taking the mountain of Education). They also established governments based on the laws of God (at least to their level of knowledge of God) and so influenced the mountain of Government. We can tell they tried to influence many of the other mountains like family, celebration, economy and, of course, religion. Their influence has waned in the nations and the mountains have been taken over by satanic hordes. In some nations these mountains need to be retaken, in others they need to be taken afresh. When godly influences are around, many will come to the saving knowledge of Christ in large numbers. Let us have a summarised view of these mountains and have a quick view of the influences on them and what needs to be done.
Appollyon is the principality involved with destruction, while Lucifer uses pride and manipulation; Beelzebub is the lord of flies who uses lies, while mammon uses greed; Jezebel uses seduction; Baal uses perversion and the religious spirit uses false worship. To really disciple all nations these mountains cannot be left unattended.
GOVERNMENT MOUNTAIN: the spirit of corruption serves the purpose of Lucifer, conditioning people to be pawns of his master plan. Read Isaiah 14:12-16 and see the intention “I will ascend”. This defines his motivation. Once this motivation is injected into the human spirit, the DNA of Satan is established. God will raise apostolic people with a spirit of humility to dethrone this power of darkness.
Humanism is the spirit behind the lies that govern the EDUCATION MOUNTAIN. God will raise teachers to bring in a new fear-of-God curriculum to counter this.
Mammon uses the love of money and greed of man to maintain its hold on this ECONOMY MOUNTAIN. Anyone who moves up this mountain must be purged of these. We cannot be under the influence of these spirits and expect to have victory over them.
See 2 Kings 7:1-2.
The seductive spirit called Jezebel will use compromise to twist the beautiful intentions of God in His creation of pleasure. To understand what happens on this MOUNTAIN OF CELEBRATION we must understand that God created music, arts and sex. All can bring pleasure when engaged in with the right boundaries that God has ordained. In His right hand are pleasures ever more, but the enemy wants us to be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
Baal uses rejection on the MOUNTAIN OF FAMILY and also all manner of perversions. God will, through His saints help create social systems so that the family unit is prioritised again.
False worship is widespread as we see the influence of this religious spirit from the MOUNTAIN OF RELIGION. Idolatry has taken the place of the true worship of the true God. The Holy Spirit is helping God"s people to model a life and ministry infused by Him.
Our invasion strategy will involve prayer and action. As the Lord enables us to understand what is going on spiritually and we also understand our calling to invade the mountains, we need to know how He wants us to operate in these matters. In prayers we wrestle, like Apostle Paul teaches, against the prevailing spirits and take our stand in authority against their operations in the lives of people. We also trust God for wisdom to participate with His plans to raise up people or institutions with a clear vision of establishing His Kingdom influence on these mountains. Skill development must be involved in our efforts. For example, skilful music, anointed by God will be a necessary tool to influence the mountain of celebration. To take the mountain of education, knowledge is a major key. So we see the need for skills, passion and anointing. This calls for the entire Body of Christ to wake up to their various callings, to do the will of the Lord and let His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
God bless you as you take your place in this army of the Lord.