Caesarea Phillipi, where Yeshua (Jesus) revealed himself as Messiah to His disciples, was home to the Temple of Pan, a place so demonic that many of the rituals performed there are too horrible to mention in a daily devotion…
Joshua son of Nun had been commissioned by Moses to bring Israel into the Promised Land. He was a leader and a general. Having spied out the land and returned with the other 11 spies, he was fully aware of the impending battle and the ferocity of the enemy.There were giants in the land. Having miraculously crossed over the Jordan with all the people and 40,000 armed soldiers, Joshua sensed deeply his responsibility to protect and lead Israel to victory and the inheritance God had promised them.
Doesn't it seem like just when we get that much needed breakthrough, suddenly the enemy comes to attack? In this passage we read how the Philistines heard that David was anointed King and quickly assembled together to seek and destroy him. And what does David do? Does he become fearful? No. Does he hide? No! David goes out to meet them!
As the threat of war looms on the horizon in Israel, I'm all the more reminded that we in the Body of Messiah are already at war spiritually. Constantly contending in our minds, we battle over thoughts and emotions which flow through them. The enemy often attacks by bringing up issues from our past. Failures, regrets, wounds, and traumas all have the potential to drag us down into doubt, darkness and despair. Our tremendous challenge is not to respond to these memories with old destructive thought patterns. Our victory lies in responding to these thoughts and feelings with the mind of Messiah as new creations in Him.
Anyone who has traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland has probably seen the Edinburgh castle. It is a tower of seemingly insurmountable strength. However, long ago that castle was attacked and seized.
Epraphras is not a name you hear much of. He was a member of the church in Colosse, and obviously a dear saint in the Lord. We know that he suffered imprisonment with Paul at one time. But the thing that really impresses me about this saint is what Paul wrote about him– he always labored fervently in prayer!
Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer. "Captain, give me a gun!" he shouted. "This fight ain't got any rear!"
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev used to tell of a time when there was a wave of petty theft in the Soviet Union. To curtail this, the authorities put guards up around the factories. At a timber-works in Leningrad, one guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came Pyotr Petrovich with a wheelbarrow containing a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. "All right, Petrovich," said the guard, "What have you got there?" "Oh, just sawdust and shavings," Petrovich replied. "Come on," the guard said, "I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out." ….
This is a powerful passage which believers must claim! The Greek for the word "heaven", "oo-ran-os", implies not only heaven, but also eternity. The enemy was removed from the eternal places, and his power is only temporary in this world. Our power does not come from this temporary world, but from eternity, from the eternal throne of God.
It must have been amazing to watch David amassing men around himself until it was like the army of God — Yeshua (Jesus) is doing exactly the same thing in our days. The difference is the kinds of battles we're fighting. David and his men engaged in physical warfare against bands of raiders; Philistines and local Canaanite tribes. We are in a spiritual war against "…principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." [Eph: 6:12]
As David grew in stature those who stood by him increased in number, devoting themselves to fight with him. Though it was a time of adversity for David, and a time of warfare, he found that there were many willing to join their lives to his; "…a brother is born for adversity"; and "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother". Again we note that David's anointing and his character made him a friend to many…and many became his loyal friends.
As we continue our study of the men who followed David, let's look at their boldness — the boldness of lions! We also need this boldness in the face of the enemy who is "like a lion", himself….a roaring lion. While it is true that the devil received a fatal wound at Calvary, he is still roaming, dangerous, and seeking whom he may devour. We need to stand bold as a lion against him, for we have the "lion of Judah" [Revelation 5:5] as our Captain, ready to defend us. And greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
As we continue our study of the men who followed David, another characteristic was their ability to war.They learned how to battle with both the right hand and the left hand for hurling stones. If you have ever thrown a ball, you know that you can aim effectively with your dominant hand — but try it with the opposite hand — it's far more difficult to throw accurately. But the men that followed David learned to throw with both arms effectively! It must have taken months of training to develop such skill.
When David was a fugitive from Saul, the men who followed him recognized his rightful place as King of Israel, and they developed a deep loyalty to him, this little band. As we read yesterday, these men were transformed from distress, debt, and discontentment [1 Sam. 22:1-2] into becoming mighty men of war. Having joined David, they quickly realized that they were joining a conflict.
When David was anointed king over Israel, he didn’t take his place at the throne immediately. He had to wait, and bide his time, until Saul was removed from power, before arriving at his destined place as King. Like His father David, Yeshua (Jesus) was received as Israel's king/messiah at the triumphal entry, (often called "Palm Sunday"), and then, "anointed" King of the Jews, ironically receiving His true title from the Romans, while hanging on a cross. But He is still waiting to reveal His identity as King on earth, during the Millenial reign when His kingdom will replace the kingdoms of this world at His second advent. [Rev. 11:15].
The Hebrew expression in this verse from Isaiah is rich with meaning. The root "nus" (from the expression "raise up a standard") is related to or sounds like numerous words which mean "sign", "miracle", "to drive away", "to flee", "cause to disappear", "a waving flag". This abundance of meanings in Isaiah's poetic style reveals the multiple dimensions of God's revelation; in this case, the way he deals with evil. The assertion in this word is that the Spirit of YHVH will be powerfully activated when evil comes.
Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of […]
In 1917, the Ottoman Empire controlled the city of Aqaba which seemed impregnable to any attack. Behind the city in every direction was a vast desert, and overlooking the city's harbor were huge naval guns protecting it against any enemy attack from the sea.
As most of you know, we've been on a speaking tour throughout the United States during the past month, and have been preaching throughout the country in the midst of flu season. This past weekend the flu finally broke down my immunity and seriously knocked me out. But after a few days of battling, I'm starting to feel better. Influenza is a nasty virus that has the ability to replicate extremely quickly and once it establishes a foothold, rapidly gains a stronghold within the body. You may guess where I'm going with this personal illustration.
After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."