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It’s a Spiritual Battle, saidst the Lord!
 
2nd Corinthians 10:3-4 (v. 4)
 
This passage of scripture is translated as follows, according to the Strong’s Concordance: For the tools (especially offensive for war) and the armour of our military service and apostolic career (as one of hardship and danger) are not pertaining to the flesh or human bodies, but are powerful, capable, able, and possible because of and with the Supreme Divinity and Magistrate to the demolition, extinction, and destruction of a fortified prison, a castle guard, and a fortified watch. Fortified is through the idea of holding safely, while guard is like the changing of the guard, and a watch is like being watched by the adversary. The Bible declares, “The devil walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour”, 1st Peter 5:8.
 
When you are pulling down a stronghold, you may not be successful the first time. You may have to pull down and pull down again. For example: when a building is being torn down in the inner city and a wrecking ball is used, striking the building one time is not enough to tear the building down. The wreckers will have to hit the building multiple times to demolish it completely. The larger the building, the more times the wreckers have to strike the building to destroy it.
Strongholds in the Vines (3794 Gk.) is one word and it means: fortress (to make firm). So, what the Lord is saying is every situation you are in right now has nothing to do with people. It has nothing to do with people around you; it has nothing to do with your neighbor; it has nothing to do with your roommate; it has nothing to do with your spouse; and it has nothing to do with your landlord. It is about the adversary and his plan to bring you down. You are walking after the flesh, yet you are not warring after the flesh. We as Christians say we know this, but we do not carry ourselves like we know it. We fuss, fight, and argue with each other instead of dealing with the spirits that are coming out against us and God is saying the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, that means you cannot fight the adversary in your flesh. The Lord has given us specific tools to fight the adversary and if you don’t use those tools, but you use the fist or the mouth, you will not succeed at defeating your enemy because the warfare is not a carnal warfare. You all are in the military. When you come to the Lord, you sign up for his military and he equips you with specific tools for this battle. Those tools are our weapons that we use to fight.
 
Using our weapons is not our first inclination because we have been in the world for so long, we are used to fighting the way the world does. We set up plans and schemes on how we can defeat the very person sitting next to us, when they are not our enemy – they are just being used by the adversary. The adversary loves to come in with confusion. The Bible declares God is not the author of confusion, that’s how you know it’s the adversary and not the person. The main thing the enemy does is he stirs up miscommunications among the saints. We are walking in the flesh, but you have to have spiritual eyes to see that your battle is not after the flesh.
 
So the Lord gives us tools, weapons, and armour to fight on the offensive for war, not defensive. That means you don’t wait for something to happen to begin to fight. Usually, when the adversary comes knocking at your door, now you are ready to fight; however, it is too late to start fighting. You have to lay down prayers before something happens. The purpose of the prayer lines is to keep us on the offensive. Everything could be going great, yet you still need to be laying down prayers; that’s being offensive. Defensive is after something has happened and you jump up and now you are ready to get spiritual. It’s often too late; you are oftentimes already defeated because you were defenseless. The adversary has already taken over your house, taken over your spouse, taken over your children, taken your job, and messed up your health; now you are coming to God, “Oh Lord!” Now you are ready to fight. It’s a spiritual battle that we are in! We are in the military and these weapons are powerful to get the job done, capable to get the job done, able to get the job done, and possible to get the job done.
 
Again, strongholds in the Vines (3794 Gk.) is one word and it means: fortress (to make firm). It is used to symbolize those things in which mere human confidence is imposed. So the first thing the adversary has to do is destroy your confidence in the Lord. This is the shield of faith, your reliance upon Christ for salvation. He has to attack that area first so you won’t believe God anymore, you won’t trust God anymore. That’s one of his tactics. He comes at saints and takes their joy. One minute you are up, the next minute you are down, the next minute you are up, and the next minute you are almost to the ground. A stronghold in the MWCD is described as a fortified place; a place of security or survival; a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic. A fortified place is like a castle or an argument. Do you know how many people are holding on to their philosophies, their belief system for life – that’s their argument – and they will argue with you on a matter, up one end and down the other. “I’m right and you are wrong!” They have all these philosophies for life that do not line up with scripture, that’s their stronghold.
 
A stronghold is a place of security and survival. That’s your comfort zone – that thing the Lord is telling you to let go of is a stronghold because you will not let it go. You are comfortable there, you’re secure there. Again, a stronghold is a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic. This is the place dominated by a particular group and is not only the place where evil spirits or demons take up residence (in you or in your home) and dominate, it is the thing that is common for your culture, family, nationality, or gender to operate in. Every culture has strongholds that have been passed down from generation to generation by merely talking about it. Talking about the injustices of slavery is a great stronghold that several cultures are bound thereby.
 
A stronghold as a place of security and survival includes that part of your flesh and character that resorts to the old way you used to handle situations. Instead of walking in the Word of God, we resort back to how we used to be, that’s a stronghold. A stronghold is a fortress, it is made firm. If it is not of God and it is holding you back, it is a stronghold that must be demolished, extinguished, and destroyed. There are a lot of people today that God is calling out of ministries so he can do a new and greater work in them and through them and people are terrified of their family members and they will not leave and step out into what the Lord would have them to do. The Bible declares we should not fear man that can kill the body only, but fear him that is able to destroy the soul and body in hell, Matthew 10:28.
 
There are weapons which the Lord has given us to fight this spiritual battle. The armour of God is the key to our fighting strategy. Turn to Ephesians 6: 10-18 in your Bible. Apostle Paul said, “Take unto you the whole armour of God,” not some of it, all of it! If you have one piece missing, the adversary is coming for you in that area. What you need to know is the evil day is coming, none of us can avoid it; you cannot get around it. Everyone has their season. Evil (4190 Gk.) means hurtful, calamitous, ill, diseased, bad, and grievous. Day (2250 Gk.) in this passage of scripture means period, time, and years. That is the hurtful years; there will come a time in your life when you will have to deal with those hurtful things. There will be a period in your life when you will have to deal with calamity: storms hitting your homes or accidents. There will be a time when you will have to deal with illnesses and sicknesses, maybe not you but someone close to you that you love dearly. You will have to deal with bad times: deaths in the family or mounds of debt. You still have to believe God. Put your armour on so you will be able to stand in the evil day. Being a Christian does not mean life will be a bed of roses, a walk in the park, or a skip to the loo. I can hear some of you singing: “La la la la la - It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood.” No, being a Christian means you are going to have to go through something. The Lord will create situations for you, even when you are upright and correct (don’t add to that situation). Being upright and correct will not help you avoid the evil day, consider the book of Job in the Bible.
 
So, you need to know everyone will have their day. So you need to have on the armour of God to be able to stand when life comes at you, and life will happen to you. Another thing you need to know is once you put your armour on you won’t have to take it off. Armour (3833 Gk.) means panoply, something forming a protective covering. The armour of God has more to do with character than a piece of garment you wear, although you are actually wearing this garment and it is visible in the spirit realm. Your character, conduct, and your lifestyle of holiness and righteousness is a protective covering against the plan of the enemy. If you do not have a piece of your armour on, repentance is necessary to redress yourself in that area. Remember, you are not wrestling against flesh and blood. The battle you are in is spiritual, not carnal (not earthly). Again, since the battle is spiritual we have to fight with spiritual weapons.
 
Since our fight is spiritual, let’s see what we are actually fighting against according to Ephesians 6:12. Principalities(746 Gk.) means beginning [they initiate the plan of attack]; magistrates [know the laws of the Bible and the laws of God – they know our faults]; rule [MWCD: exert control, direction, or influence on, dominate]– principality spirits get people to do things by extreme pressure and extreme influence; the word principality is derived from principal which means chief, controlling authority. Principality spirits make up the plans; they are not imps. Some of you all are dealing with principalities. Think about this: the changing of the guard has to do with you increasing in authority in God. As you increase in authority in the Lord, the rank of demons and devils that are assigned to you go up in authority. When a person is supposed to go up in the Lord through promotions and they miss it, because they are not prepared, the guard changes anyway and many have difficulty fighting because they do not have the authority they should have to fight on that level - oftentimes and sometimes finally becoming overwhelmed and overtaken by the enemy.
 
Also, if a person gives their life to the Lord and they are already behind in authority because they ran from the Lord for years, it’s even worse. There is no time to play when one is playing catch up in God. It’s better to not be in that situation – get the authority the Lord has for you in due season. The changing of the guard is so serious that the principality plots to set up the changing of the guard on an individual and it delegates authority to lower ranking spirits to ensure the person won’t meet their calling or obtain the promotion the Lord has planned for them. When the adversary is successful in his plan the person ends up hurting themselves. The principality comes up with the plan to take us out because that is one less soldier, “Rambo,” to fight against the enemy’s kingdom. According to a principle outlined in Deuteronomy 32:30, if one can put a thousand to flight, two - ten thousand, three - one hundred thousand, four - a million, five – ten million, six - one hundred million, and so on, multiplying the base number by ten, how much damage can a group of “Rambo’s” do to the enemy’s kingdom? This number system is an indication of how many different types of spirits are fighting against any one person, any one ministry organization, and the Body of Christ as a whole. If one person can put a thousand different spirits to flight, that indicates that each saint is fighting against at least a thousand different spirits on their own, and at any given time.
 
That’s why the saints are supposed to being doing what they need to do to prepare themselves so they can train other people. The adversary does not desire for ministries to grow and get these principles down because every person that comes in and means business with the Lord will be able to put that many more evil forces to flight. Furthermore, if a person is called to a five-fold office and they are called to ATcicJ Ministries, knowing that they will reach their office in this ministry, the adversary will have principalities divert that person to a place where the music sounds good, or a place with a lot of people so they can hide their sin, or a place that has a nice building. He works on whatever it is that the person has spoken out of their mouth pertaining to what they like naturally in a ministry; and they never reach their five-fold office - and don’t know why; and some never get to know they are called to five-fold ministry, to actually tear down satan's kingdom! 
 
Powers (1849 Gk.) means delegated influence. They have authority delegated to them. The Rulers (2888 Gk.) of darkness (4655 Gk.) of this world (165 Gk.) means the world ruler, an epithet of satan - of shadiness and obscurity - of this age. So you are fighting against the rulers of darkness of this age. This generation is full of homosexuality, tattoo bearers, piercings, whoredom, greed, lust, and pride. These things are now condoned when at one time they were shunned. Spiritual (4152 Gk.) wickedness (4189 Gk.) in high (2032 Gk.) places (MWCD) means demonically (MWCD: one possessed by a spirit) and religious - malice and plots - above the sky and heavenly location. Your battle is not on earth, it’s not with your neighbor, and it’s not with the police, the judges, or your spiritual leader. Your battle is with spiritual wickedness in high places. One thing to be noted is spiritual wickedness translates to religious plots. People who are religious are very dangerous – dangerous to the Kingdom of God. Religious people don’t believe in the Holy Ghost or anything that seems out of the ordinary. People who are religious are fond of liturgy; they like routine, rites, and rituals. They can tell you what a man of God is supposed to look like (act like), and what a woman of God, what they call “first lady,” is supposed to look like (act like). Religious people speak a certain way: the “mand” of God. The word man now has a “d” on the end of it to make the speaker sound spiritual. Religious people have religious sayings to the point where people don’t even pay attention to what is being said because it has become so habitual. This is not a laughing matter because a lot of God’s children are missing God because they are religious. They cannot hear when the Lord is trying to deal with them or when the Lord is in a situation, etc. Religious people crucified Jesus Christ, the messiah.
 
The armour of God is one of the greatest weapons we have to fight this spiritual battle. The six elements of our armour are: a belt, breastplate, sandals, shield, helmet, and a sword. In essence, Ephesians 6: 14-17 declares – according to the Strong’s Concordance: Stand and invest yourself with clothing on the hip and gird it around and fasten your belt on twice with doctrine and profession of truth and stop lying. Have on the chest a corset to cover your trunk with equity of character. That is being free from bias or favoritism and deal fairly and equally with all concerned in every matter you encounter - not being a respecter of persons (MWCD).
 
Have your feet and the very principles you stand on dressed with the preparation; that is the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty (MWCD) where you will share the good message of prosperity, quietness, and rest. Take the door shaped, large shield of persuasion, moral conviction, with all reliance upon Christ for salvation and extinguish and cause to go out all the fiery missiles of the devil and sinners that kindle, ignite, and inflame anger, grief, and lust. Many times the enemy causes saints to have long lasting deep regrets. This is a form of a fiery dart. These darts or missiles, if you will, come to annihilate and destroy after locking in on its target from distant places. In addition, we must encircle the head with our defense and defender and use our knife, dirk, and the judicial punishment of the Holy Spirit and pray.
 
When you don’t have on one of the pieces of your armour, you have just missed it. You need all of your armour on because they work together. Now that you have your armour on you go into prayer and the Lord will hear you. In verse 18 of Ephesians 6 we are instructed to pray always. Praying (4336 Gk.) always (3842 Gk.) means pray to God, supplicate, worship, pray (earnestly for), make prayer – every when, at all times. The word every means being each in a series or succession and the word when means the time or occasion at or in which. In other words, prayer is your daily weapon; at all times and in each situation, attack, event, and circumstance. “With all prayer (4335 Gk.) and supplication(1162 Gk.) implies an oratory (chapel) or praying in a designated place with a “petition.” A petition in the MWCD is a formal written request made to an official person or organized body (as a court) or the Body of Christ and watching (69 Gk.) with all perseverance (4343 Gk.) is to be sleepless, keep awake with all persistency. Persistent means you are praying for a time longer than usual, and you are willing to lose sleep if necessary. When you are wearing your armour, prayer is your most powerful weapon because you are taking a matter to Jesus, who represents the high court. When we pray and allow the Lord to deal with a matter, he will not only resolve the matter, he will change our character and strengthen us so we will not be moved by life’s storms as we grow in him.
 
Remember, as you are wearing your armour, be led by the Lord concerning your day to day living. Be mindful not to get caught up in situations that would displease the Lord and jeopardize having on one of the pieces of your armour. Be in the mindset that you have to be able to get a prayer though at all times.
 
In Acts 10:30-31, fasting (3552 Gk.) means to be sick (by implying a diseased appetite). When you stop eating food the body starts to shut down and prepares for starvation because it is programmed to “think” something is wrong – this is being sick. Fasting also means hanker, which is to have a strong, persistent desire - for your prayer to be answered. Sometimes you can pray continuously for something and nothing moves, yet when you add fasting to your prayers, the heavens shake. A diseased appetite is when normal eating habits cease. Fasting is simply to abstain from foods (MWCD). It is done to strengthen the power of your prayers. Fasting gets the Lord’s attention, as Cornelius (Acts 10) was able to do. Fasting lets the Lord know you are serious. Again, having on your armour, praying, and fasting are powerful weapons against the adversary’s kingdom. When one of the three is lacking, the power and strength of your prayers are weakened, and not in or by the same measure. For instance, not having on your armour nullifies your prayers completely; whereas not adding a fast to your prayers may cause you to be overtaken or outnumbered by the enemy; and prayer alone is not as powerful as prayer and fasting. Jesus said, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”Matthew 17:21. Some people fast, yet don’t pray, so that there is no power in that fast because there is no prayer or consecration to go alone with the fast. The Lord’s Kingdom thrives (MWCD: grow vigorously, flourish, to gain in wealth or possessions, to prosper, to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of certain circumstances) on sacrifice because Jesus Christ sacrificed for us, so fasting regularly to strengthen your spirit man, weaken your flesh, and strengthen your prayers is required. Fasting along with your prayers can keep you alive when you are under attack, yet you have to have a made up mind – Don’t let your God be your belly, Philippians 3:19!
 
Another weapon against the enemy, while wearing your armour is praise, 2nd Chronicles 20:22. We don’t sing praise and worship songs just so we can look cute and sound good; it’s warfare. God set up an ambushment against Judah’s enemies through singing. Who wins a battle by singing praise to the Lord? The Lord! The Lord God caused Judah’s enemies to turn on and slay and destroy one another. Praise is a powerful weapon against the enemy and has the ability to give you great joy on top of it defeating your enemies. Praise is not about you sounding good either; if it is sincere, God will receive it and act on your behalf.
 
Finally, the Lord gave us the gifts of the Spirit in 1st Corinthians 12:4-11 as weapons to be used against the enemy’s kingdom. The gifts of the Spirit will allow us to know spiritual things that are hidden to the natural eye. That’s why it’s important to have the Holy Ghost, because you cannot have these gifts without the Holy Ghost. These are gifts of the Spirit, and not something you are born with. The gifts allow us to see the enemy’s plan in advance and destroy it, 1st John 3:8c-d – this keeps us in an offensive position concerning the enemy. The gifts of the Spirit will allow us to encourage the brethren by prophecy, even sometimes giving warnings to people concerning the enemy’s plan to attack their very existence. A lot of saints see prophecy in the wrong light, especially if they do not receive a warm and fuzzy word from the Lord. It’s not bad if someone tells you the enemy desires to kill you – whether it’s because of your sin or righteousness. Be glad to know so you can do something about it. Foil the enemy’s plan instead of getting angry with the vessel. It’s the love of God that compels us to come to you and tell you what the Lord is saying or what the enemy is planning.
 
Healing is another gift that is a weapon. Many times the enemy comes in and afflicts someone with a deadly illness or disease, and someone with the gift of healing in that area is able to reverse what the adversary sought to do concerning that person. Many people die of illnesses and sicknesses in the church and they don’t have to. God has given the Body of Christ wonderful gifts of healing as a weapon against the enemy’s kingdom. A lot of lives could be saved; a lot of people get healed by the Lord Jesus Christ of cancer, AIDS, brain tumors, and all manner of sicknesses in ATcicJ Ministries. People even have loved ones brought back from the dead; many are brought back from the depths of hell. Faith is another gift. We have been given three measures of faith, for we do go from faith to faith (Romans 1:17): the measure of faith which is dealt to every man (Romans 12:3), the shield of faith which is given to believers (Ephesians 6:16) and the gift of faith which is given to some when they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 12:9)s plan for your life. Amen! God Bless You!
 
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. John 4:22
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