God’s Battle Orders
Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 26, 2014
God’s Battle Orders
What is your role in the spiritual battle in this world? A lot of people have no idea there is a spiritual battle all around them every minute of every day. We don’t have enough people listening to God’s commands about the battle fronts to pass down orders the way they should be. The problem is, God is the only commander and chief, but too many people choose to fight their own battles. A lot of those battles are fought along the front lines of prophecy. Like it or not, the enemy knows how to use prophecy as a weapon and deception. The fact of the matter is, when people, particularly leaders are not following orders from God, those leaders are pawns in the hands of the enemy.
Let’s take a look at prophecy which can be divided into two major categories. The first and major portion of prophecies of course point to Jesus and His ministry. The majority of those prophecies have been fulfilled and are designed as a teaching tool. They are in fact one of the major weapons in God’s arsenal. But many people have mislabeled those weapons, changing them into something they were never intended to be. Those prophecies about Jesus serve a specific purpose, they tell us details about God’s plan of salvation. Where God’s plan originated, how it has been carried out, and what remains to be accomplished. All of those prophecies about Jesus call attention to our Savior and Messiah, and all the glory goes to Him. The second category of prophecies is minor compared to the first set, but the majority of attention is placed on them. Those are prophecies about this world. That’s it, two types of prophecies. One set about Jesus, the other about this world.
When we study God’s arsenal we find an interesting fact. Many people are familiar with the symbol of a sword representing God’s Word. The problem comes when people misapply that symbol. Let’s see how the Bible actually applied the meaning of God’s sword. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17 NLTse). We clearly see a sword represents God’s Word. But when we look at the texts it means much more. God zeroed in on a particular sword, the sword of the Spirit. This is far different than the way the world is using the symbol sword. Most modern day prophets and preachers look at that spiritual sword as a private weapon in their hands. It makes a big difference when you see God’s sword is in the Spirit’s hands.
Now that we’ve placed that spiritual sword back into the proper hands, we can look at the words Paul was referring to. Most preachers use that spiritual sword in relationship to those future prophecies about this world they love to preach about. But was that the context Paul referred to? What did Paul’s letter say the Spirit’s Word was about? And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20 NLTse). The Good News never referred to any sort of future prophecy about this world. The Good News always referred to Jesus and the plan of salvation.
Let’s look back to Paul’s introduction to this letter to see what he was teaching about. God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ–everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. (Ephesians 1:9-11 NLTse). Of course the mysterious plan Paul was writing about was refers to Jesus. Notice how that plan was supposed to bring everything together under the authority of Christ–everything in heaven and on earth. Has God’s plan brought everything together? You can see it has if your know God’s plan and are following it. I work with dozens of people from all kinds of denominations. Once we put aside man made doctrines and worldly views on prophecy, the result is a clear understanding of God’s plan and a unity the world cannot see or understand. It is a unity in Christ based on knowing Him and God’s plan of salvation. On the other hand, no one can deny the effects seen when man made doctrines and self made prophecies replaced God’s plan of salvation.
God’s spiritual sword is also found in Hebrews. For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:12-16 NLTse).
Once again we see that spiritual sword points to Jesus and His ministry. Hebrews shows how it points to Jesus’ ministry in Heaven. God’s sword does not point to prophecies about this world. Look at how the author of Hebrews established the context of this letter. Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3 NLTse). Once again the message is about Jesus. Then why do self proclaimed prophets misapply the symbol of God’s sword and use it to justify their obsessions on future prophecies about this world?
If you ever saw the movie, The Longest Day,” you’ll see how diversions are used in battle. The allies spent months setting up a series of diversions so when the real invasion took place, the Germans thought it was just another diversion. That’s when the allies invaded half a dozen beaches. At the same time dozens of air drops occurred at strategic locations. The allies also air dropped exploding dummies in locations to further confuse the enemy. It worked. All those diversions confused the enemy and the invasion was a success.
There is one major mistake self proclaimed prophets continually make. As we’ve seen, prophecy is intended to give all the glory to God and His Son. But wannabe prophets want to draw attention to themselves. One of their major tactics is to pick out a prophecy and pretend to come up with an interpretation. Most times that prophecy is vague and in fact points to many things and some prophecies point to more than one time frame. But self proclaimed prophets like to narrow it down to a single entity, a group or organization they claim fulfills the prophecy. Their first and major mistake of course is using the world to interpret scripture. They can’t see that doing this, they are continually drawing attention away from God’s Word and the voice of His Spirit, who is holding that sword. Those false prophets have become a pawn in the hands of the enemy. They have willingly become diversions for the enemy planning invasions in multiple areas at the same time. The enemy is good at learning from their mistakes as well as plans that worked in the past. Especially if those plans defeated them.
Now that we have a basic understanding of God’s arsenal and some of the tactics the enemy uses to take our attention off God’s plans, let’s take a look at one of the events unfolding in the world in front of our eyes. We can be assured God is always giving orders, putting His troops in the right place at the right time. If we knew how to listen and follow orders, we wouldn’t see half the problems we see now. But here is an example showing how no one listened.
I see a lot of people posting a lot of information about Syria these days. Of course when you see that much information it becomes difficult to determine what’s true and what’s not true. Of course the only place to get the truth is to look into God’s Word, and let His Spirit divide truth from error. Most of what you are going to read on the Internet pertaining to Syria links Syria to radical Islam. Some people are calling Syria the birth place of Islam, which is false. Arabia is the birth place of Islam. False prophets are trying to apply a number of symbols to Syria. As usual some are close and have a little truth while other are so far off they are ridiculous. How do we separate all that error from truth? The only way is to get back into God’s Word and learn a little about the history and the original symbol. It makes sense to understand the original symbol before jumping around to other symbols which may, or in most cases, does not apply. What does the Bible say about Syria? One of the first verses Syria is found in actually teaches a basic Bible Study rule. Look at the different translations.
2 Samuel 8:11-12 NLTse King David dedicated all these gifts to the LORD, as he did with the silver and gold from the other nations he had defeated– (12) from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and Amalek–and from Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
2 Samuel 8:12 KJV Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.
I ran across this by accident. Well for me it was by accident. I’ll admit I’m not smart enough to find something like this on my own. So bear with me. This is a little new for me. Let’s just let God’s Spirit cut through this with His sword. One translation used EDOM, while another used SYRIA. Why? I don’t know. Once we look at the original translation with Strong’s numbers it gets even more confusing.
2 Samuel 8:12 KJV+ Of Syria,H4480 H758 and of Moab,H4480 H4124 and of the childrenH4480 H1121 of Ammon,H5983 and of the Philistines,H4480 H6430 and of Amalek,H4480 H6002 and of the spoilH4480 H7998 of Hadadezer,H1909 sonH1121 of Rehob,H7340 kingH4428 of Zobah.H6678
; min minny minney; min, min-nee’, min-nay’
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses: – above, after, among, at, because of, by (reason of), from (among), in, X neither, X nor, (out) of, over, since, X then, through, X whether, with.
; ‘aram; arawm’
From the same as H759; the highland; Aram or Syria, and its inhabitants; also the name of a son of Shem, a grandson of Nahor, and of an Israelite: – Aram, Mesopotamia, Syria, Syrians.
; ‘armon; ar-mone’
From an unused root (meaning to be elevated); a citadel (from its height): – castle, palace. Compare H2038.
Genesis 10:22-23 NLTse The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. (23) The descendants of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
As we can see, according to the Concordance, the word could have been translated as either Syria or Aram. How did Edom make it into a translation? I have no idea. But let’s see what lessons this taught us. Syria and Aram are the same country. So to get a complete picture, we’ll have to search both. There is still the chance we’ll miss something because one translation used the name EDOM. The most important lesson is, God’s Spirit pointed out this problem. So I am sure God’s Spirit has a major role in pointing us in the right direction and keeping us on course. One more point. Syria is also identified by its capital Damascus. This is common throughout the Bible for a number of countries. It is something to keep us on our toes. Now a little back ground on Syria to fill us in on its history so we can understand a portion of what Syria represents.
1 Kings 10:29 KJ2000 And a chariot was imported from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty: and so to all the kings of the Hittites, and to the kings of Syria, did they export them by their merchants.
Syria purchased weapons from Egypt. This also showed a relationship between Syria and Egypt, another country with symbolic meaning.
1 Kings 11:24-25 KJ2000 (24) And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt there, and reigned in Damascus. (25) And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.
This shows Damascus is Syria’s capital as well as showing how Syria was Israel’s adversary.
1 Kings 15:18-19 KJ2000 (18) Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, (19) There is a treaty between me and you, and between my father and your father: behold, I have sent unto you a present of silver and gold; come and break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.
This showed how Syria could be bought. This is one of Syria’s most interesting features. Syria seemed to be the world’s symbol for a mercenary army where they offered their military services to the highest bidder. We see that in Syria today.
1 Kings 19:15-18 KJ2000 (15) And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when you come, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: (16) And Jehu the son of Nimshi shall you anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shall you anoint to be prophet in your place. (17) And it shall come to pass, that he that escapes the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and he that escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. (18) Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.
Good news for us. This showed how God was still in control of Syria no matter how far they thought they ran. God still decided who was in charge of Syria. This is one major detail most self proclaimed prophets leave out of their interpretations.
1 Kings 20:1-4 KJ2000 And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. (2) And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus says Ben-hadad, (3) Your silver and your gold is mine; your wives also and your children, even the fairest, are mine. (4) And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to your saying, I am yours, and all that I have.
This shows Syria’s attitude as well as their ability to get people to fight with them. This is another feature of Syria we see today in the news. It is pointing to a very easy fact to remember. Don’t ever underestimate our enemy….. physical and especially not spiritual enemies. See how Syria joined forces with a number of kings? It wasn’t just one king and country Samaria had to look out for. Some of their closest allies turned against them. I like this story because it teaches a very important aspect about God.
1 Kings 20:13 KJ2000 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus says the LORD, Have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
God saved Ahab and the whole city of Samaria. God saved Ahab twice. God even spoke directly to Ahab at least once. There are a ton of spiritual lessons in those stories. But you’ll never hear them from any of those false prophets. They don’t think there’s enough money in writing about God’s grace and how hard He works to reach people. This world is more interested in fairy tales, and whatever stories people can come up with. The more unbelievable those stories are, the more people pay to hear them. That’s just the way of the world. Like Ahab, they love to run away from God and do things their way.
1 Kings 20:22-25 NLTse Afterward the prophet said to King Ahab, “Get ready for another attack. Begin making plans now, for the king of Aram will come back next spring.” (23) After their defeat, Ben-hadad’s officers said to him, “The Israelite gods are gods of the hills; that is why they won. But we can beat them easily on the plains. (24) Only this time replace the kings with field commanders! (25) Recruit another army like the one you lost. Give us the same number of horses, chariots, and men, and we will fight against them on the plains. There’s no doubt that we will beat them.” So King Ben-hadad did as they suggested.
This is another reference to Syria’s use of mercenaries. When we apply this to events today, we can see the reference to a holy war between gods easily enough. But you have to look a little deeper to see the major god they claim gives them their power from — its money. The same thing is true today. The mercenaries we see fighting today are in it for the money.
2 Kings 5:1 NLTse The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the LORD had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.
Remember Aram and Syria are the same country. Here we see God’s concern. He is still reaching out to Syria by healing one of their most famous and successful generals.
2 Kings 12:17-18 NLTse About this time King Hazael of Aram went to war against Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. (18) King Joash collected all the sacred objects that Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, the previous kings of Judah, had dedicated, along with what he himself had dedicated. He sent them all to Hazael, along with all the gold in the treasuries of the LORD’s Temple and the royal palace. So Hazael called off his attack on Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 16:2-3 NLTse (2) Asa responded by removing the silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple of the LORD and the royal palace. He sent it to King Ben-hadad of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, along with this message: (3) “Let there be a treaty between you and me like the one between your father and my father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will leave me alone.”
Of course there is a symbolic meaning behind those funds that came from the temple. But to stay on course we’ll only look at the fact, the king was in charge of the temple funds, and so he was in charge of the temple. This shows us how deep government influence reaches.
Matthew 4:23-24 NLTse Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness. (24) News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon-possessed or epileptic or paralyzed–he healed them all.
Acts 15:22-23 NLTse Then the apostles and elders together with the whole church in Jerusalem chose delegates, and they sent them to Antioch of Syria with Paul and Barnabas to report on this decision. The men chosen were two of the church leaders–Judas (also called Barsabbas) and Silas. (23) This is the letter they took with them: “This letter is from the apostles and elders, your brothers in Jerusalem. It is written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings!
Acts 15:40-41 NLTse Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. (41) Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Acts 18:18 NLTse Paul stayed in Corinth for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved his head according to Jewish custom, marking the end of a vow. Then he set sail for Syria, taking Priscilla and Aquila with him.
When we get into the New Testament, we see Jesus’ influence reached into Syria. We also see how Jesus’ disciples went back and forth to Syria. This showed us Syria is a strategic location and target for the enemy in the spiritual battle for this world. When we review events in Syria over the past few years, Syria’s strategic importance becomes evident.
Not many people remember the civil war in Syria over the past few years. Nor will self proclaimed prophets mention that phase in world history. That teaches us a few lessons. Number one, it shows the inability for false prophets to accurately disclose, quote, and review history, even thought they claim to be experts. False prophets derive most of their interpretations from world history, so this is an example of God showing how foolish the wisdom of the world really is.
Someone put a collection of time lines showing what happened during Syria’s civil war online.
Some of those details include information showing what was happening to Christians in Syria at the time as well as how groups leading the protests asked Christians for help and leadership. During that time a call went out of Syria for help. First the call went out to world leaders. Most of them didn’t want to get involved saying it was better off to stay out of Syria and let them solve their own problems. Once Christians got involved, they asked some major churches to get involved. There was a small amount of humanitarian help provided, but as usual the bulk of the answer from those churches was, “we’ll pray for you.” Well if they prayed, did they listen for orders from God’s Spirit? Or were they too busy thinking of ways to make money off Syria’s civil war? Look back at how church leaders ignored a series of events. Syria fought for independence as well as Egypt and other counties on the Middle East which went largely ignored. God opened windows of opportunity, but no one listened. They looked at the situation and said it was too hard. Christians are a minority in those countries and didn’t offer the promise of payback on funds required to gain a foothold in Syria and those other countries. But today the promises of fame, fortune, and popularity makes Syria interesting again. Not an interest in helping people there, but making a ton of money every time they find texts they can use to produce another DVD, write another book, or preach another sermon.
If those false prophets took time to look at the Bible they would have seen how strategic Syria is and how God sent His disciples in there and of course had plans to send them there again. God wanted to work His plan of reaching out to individuals. But that is a plan this media driven world can’t understand. God’s plan doesn’t fit in with common plans so they decided to ignore it. Will God open another window or was that the last chance? It could be.
News today showed what the results were. Because the door God opened in Syria was ignored, a few radical fighters are causing all kinds of problems and getting larger everyday. Now we see Iran joining forces with Iraq and a few other local counties. World leaders are cheering them on like some kind of savior when their power is as deceptive as those chariots from Egypt. Its safe to say, based on history, the world is looking in the wrong direction again. If you have doubts about that spiritual battle and how the enemy is fighting it, look at the news from Africa.
Look at the Ebola out break in Africa, another war front in the spiritual war. We see a few of God’s soldiers on the battle front and we’re seeing how hard the enemy is hitting them. Then we see a few of those warriors returning home for treatment. What happened? People complained. People created another deception to call attention away from the spiritual message. Read the news. There are all kinds of different stains of the Ebola virus. Satan does this all the time. He can’t create but he can manipulate. And he has been hard at work trying to stay ahead of science and the blessing they receive when they do listen to God’s directions. I wonder what could be accomplished if a few people of faith would step in and ask Jesus to heal them they way He healed people, and gave the gift of healing to His disciples back in the day when people believed and preached the right message.
We’re in a battle and most people don’t know what side their on. Most of those false prophets are causing more harm than good. And the churches aren’t much better by adding their own distractions. Some preachers want to make the battles over doctrines. Some of those doctrines make no sense at all – not in the belief and doctrine itself, but in the way they are used as a weapon to cause division, mistrust, confusion, and are nothing more than a major distraction and waste of time. We have too many preachers with no idea how to take orders from God. They are on their own personal conquests making the day or worship, what to eat, how to dress, who should be a prophet or preacher, and a host of other stupid subjects their battle grounds. Then we have the peace-peace preachers making a stand. Their plan is to dig a foxhole and sit out the war. They are the worst at using worldly prophecies to waste time and energy. I can tell you from experience, most of those preachers went to school with their mind set on never doing an honest day of work. They get a degree and expect people to follow them like they are some sort of appointed entity between their followers they rely on for an income and God. Those preachers are the worst date setters who throw their followers off balance by insisting time and time again, we don’t know the exact date Jesus will return. It takes a 4 year degree to preach that? Some of the distractions they preach are things like, we don’t have a thing to worry about until we see this group join that group. Another popular deception is waiting to see a specific law passed or another religious group make a major come back. Where in God’s Word does it tell us to sit in a fox hole until we see some event take place? Isn’t that telling people to take orders from world events?
I am tired of seeing false prophets and shepherds misleading people. When are they going to realize God doesn’t have ranks in His army? When are they gong to realize we have ONE LEADER, Jesus Christ!!! When are they going to start preaching that? When are they going to begin living that? When are they going to gain the ability to teach people how to listen to God’s Spirit and take action when we get orders in God’s battles?
While Jesus is reaching out to save people, false prophets are working to condemn them. The world is running after those false prophets. They’ve been able to convince world leaders, Syria and other countries are not worth worrying about even when God opens doors. How long is the world going to keep listening to those false prophets while ignoring God’s Spirit. It’s not an accident the Hebrew word for Syria means a part of. All those false prophecies about Syria are only a part of the truth. The only way to know all the truth is to learn from God’s Spirit and wait until He is ready to reveal all the truth. No human, no matter how wise they claim to be is able to pry information away from God’s Spirit before its time.