Chapter 8: Warriors

 

 

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Section  Title

1.

 

The God of War

2.

 

Slaves Become Kings

3.

 

Gilgal

4.

 

The Invasion of Canaan

5.

 

Failure In Battle

6.

 

The Internal War

7.

 

The Fellowship of Conquerors

 

The God of War

       All the creation struggles in the wisdom of war. Every animal eats something else, and for every growth, something has died. Wolves eat bunnies. Big fish eat little fish. Even plants grow in the decay of their ancestors. The heavens themselves rumble to the clash of armies, by the sagacity of God. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

       The noise of war has scorched every age, and hailed from every place. It is confederate with every hope and has conspired with every blessing. God invented war. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Every contest flows from his pleasure, while the earth turns to the tactical drama of God. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

       The grandeur of God is conceived in conflict and birthed in war. The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. The Master thrives on confrontation. He thrills to set battles in array. He delights in the terrified struggle for survival. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For him, the call to arms, the noise and smoke of battle, are their own rewards. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

       By the toil of war God reveals himself to man. Tumult is the tutor of personal strength, and strife the progenitor of spiritual understanding. These symptoms of war are the gift of God for your benefit. When God brings crisis to your hand, it is your secret passage to spiritual wealth. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.

       Your life is arrayed by the Master Strategist. He has ordained every struggle as a means to know him personally. This conflict is the incubator of your discernment, and the forebear of your wisdom. Where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. For this cause he has subjected you to the clash of battle, destroying families, businesses, and health. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.

       The revelation of God comes always disguised as the tearful confrontations of war, for in combat your enemies are slain. These enemies are your own carnal ignorance, selfishness, and death. My sword shall devour flesh. The carnality you were given in Eden is the enemy of God. It hates God, and bombards your spirit with self-destructive thoughts. Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places of idolatrous worship. Ezekiel 6:3 (Amplified). This adversary is destroyed by victory in the internal battles of emotional conflict that God brings to your life. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies.

       As you defeat your adversaries your spirit is matured, and by their demise you are made a conqueror. Only in the din of melee can your spirit become a champion. This is the pathway set before the Overcomers. By victory in battle your enemies are killed and your spirit matured- there is no other way. Therefore all the creation marches to the drums of war, that all might arise to greater spiritual wealth. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

       The warfare of earth is for your education and profit, and the tuition is expensive indeed. This high cost is being paid by your Heavenly Father, for he has accepted ultimate responsibility for all the destructions of earth. He has subjected even himself to the agonies of war. Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

       Now, while the afflictions of earth rage across the planet, God does not want peace in your life, for peace prohibits learning. For the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. God wants your day filled with the strivings of conflict, for this is the only environment that can produce warriors such as himself. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

       With the clatter and trappings of war comes the crash of men’s lives, at the direction of God. By his wisdom you have been thrust into battle, amidst excited shouts, cries of anguish, and the clash of closing forces. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

       Upon this frightening tumult rides the glorious hopes of God, that you might gain his skills, develop his character, and one day become what he is. When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Slaves Become Kings

       Once there was a family of slaves. Over time the family grew to a great multitude, serving all their lives in Egyptian captivity. In the sun baked desert they toiled each day to make bricks, which they then fashioned into pagan temples.

       In slavery this family produced the glorious constructions of Egypt. But they possessed nothing for themselves. They had no personal wealth, nothing to call their own. They had no control of their lives or destiny. Their decisions were those of a rat in a maze. These people were the children of Jacob-Israel, the Anglo-Saxon Celtic people of today. And these things are an allegory of the spirit realm.

       After two hundred and ten years in slavery, God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites. This salvation was achieved by the ten plagues, the last of which was Passover. Israel was released from Egyptian bondage by the supernatural workings of God. Traveling then to the northeast they came to the Wilderness of Sinai, and crossing this barren desert, soon arrived at the Jordan river.

       Across the Jordan lay the land of Canaan. Canaan was the glorious province that God had promised to Abraham as an everlasting possession. Arriving at its border, the Israelites dispatched twelve spies to search out the new realm. The spies returned in a fervent excitement, to proclaim the splendid bounties of the promised land. We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey.

       God told the Israelites to cross the Jordan river and seize the land of Canaan as their personal inheritance. But there was a major obstacle. Canaan was already populated by five nations of well-armed, warlike people. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea. Some of them were giants, and all lived in fortified cities. To possess the land of Canaan would require the terror and bloodshed of war. There we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

       The nation of Israel had been conceived in slavery. The Israelites had no concept of freedom, nor were they warriors. They had never fought a battle and had few weapons. Their personal traits of courage, endurance, and fortitude, lay dormant and undeveloped. They were a simple, frightened people, who lacked the skills and grit for war.

       Thus it was that when the spies returned from Canaan, ten of them recommended failure. We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. They were afraid to fight the Canaanites; they were faithless and cowardly. They did not believe God, but rather, succumbed to their own visible fears. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched. Clinging to self-preservation, they urged the Israelites to retreat from conflict, and from the promised inheritance of God. And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.

       Only two of the spies recommended the invasion of Canaan. They were Joshua and Caleb. They spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. By faith they could envision victory, in spite of the overwhelming foes. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us. Only these two had the potential for greatness. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. They believed God and their spirits yearned for triumph. Rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

       But rather than joining with Joshua and Caleb, the masses of Israel organized themselves into groups of fearful whiners. Crying for peace and safety, they denounced Joshua and Caleb. Pleading instead for tranquillity, they terminated their own inheritance. All the congregation bade stone them with stones.

       God was not amused. How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me? He was grieved over Israel’s display of carnal fear, and decided to give them just what they asked for. Would God we had died in this wilderness! God sentenced that whole generation of unbelieving cowards to die in the peaceful wilderness of Sinai.

       The ten fearful spies, God killed immediately. Those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.

       The rest of the people were condemned to their own fears. Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. These cowards lived out their days wandering in gloom, aimlessly awaiting their own deaths. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein. Of all the adults, only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to survive, to one day possess the inheritance of warriors. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD.

       During this time God did not entirely abandon Israel, nor withdraw his nurturing care. Though he had sentenced them to destruction, he still provided abundantly for their needs. They were given physical comforts and visible signs of his presence. They had the Tabernacle which housed the golden Ark of the Covenant. Over the Tabernacle stood a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night.

       They had Moses as their charismatic leader, together with the Levitical Law and a gaggle of reassuring priests. Each morning manna fell from heaven to feed them. Quail flew into their camp to provide meat. Their clothes did not wear out. A large rock followed their wanderings, from which flowed a river of fresh water. And they were healed of physical malady, merely by gazing upon a brass snake nailed to a stick.

       But these fearful seekers of comfort were still slaves. They possessed nothing, and they passed their days awaiting their own deaths. Though God provided well for their physical needs, he had withdrawn their inheritance. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.

       After all the fearful were dead, God raised up Joshua to lead the younger Israelites into Canaan. Under his guidance the new generation of Israel conquered the promised land and possessed it. About 2.3 million Israelites had originally left Egypt. But of the adults, only Joshua and Caleb ever possessed the promised land. These two were clad with the courage for battle. They wanted to kill the Canaanites. Only warriors of this caliber are fit to possess anything. None of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.

       All these events occurred physically to real people. But these things are also an allegory of the spirit realm. Egypt represents the slavery of Adamic carnality. The Wilderness represents the “Salvation” of Organized Christianity. Canaan symbolizes Sonship, the permanent inheritance reserved for the spiritually begotten Sons of God.

       All men are born into Egyptian bondage, as slaves to their carnal nature. Daily they toil for the endless cravings of the flesh and their labor is consumed in self-gratification.

       Men are born without the knowledge of God. They are ruled instead by the Satanic carnal mind, a cruel and callused master. As Pharaoh, this mind delights in death and will rest only when the soul is defiled and the body drops. The lives of unregenerate mortals soon become scarred from the whips of their own carnality. They are servants of sin, captives of evil, and enslaved by Satanic desire. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

       But as they grow, some people are called away from carnal sin and are separated unto Jesus Christ. He becomes their Passover lamb, and by his sacrifice their Adamic failure is forgiven. This is the wonderful message of Salvation. By this knowledge, God leads men out of the bondage of carnal servitude (Egypt), and into the wilderness of Organized Christianity.

       In Organized Christianity, God provides all things that you require for a good and happy life. Like the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai, whatever you need, you have only to ask. A new house, a better job, healing, spiritual experiences, physical manifestations, entertainment, the Ten Commandments, comfort, fellowship, provision, protection, peace, safety, manna, quail, water from rocks- and all this is the state of spiritual death.

       In the Wilderness of Organized Christianity, you possess nothing- no life, no wisdom, no power, no understanding, no love, no knowledge. Though you may dabble with some of these attributes in a very limited fashion, still, they are only gifts. They are on loan to you. They can be taken from you in a moment. From him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

       God brings men to the wilderness of Organized Christianity, only as a preparation for war. There they are equipped for the invasion of Canaan. They learn the difference between good and evil. They discover the plan of God. They see that God is faithful to his promises, and they begin to discern that his power is unlimited.

       The Wilderness was not intended to be a final resting place. It is not a destination. While you stay in the wilderness of Organized Christianity, lounging in the comforts of earth, you will remain spiritually dead.

       But God does not intend for you to live in peaceful servitude. We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. He intends for you to invade Canaan. He brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.

       Canaan represents Sonship, a new habitation in the spirit realm. This is a state of being, far beyond the Salvation of the nominal church. Canaan is the dwellingplace of the spiritually begotten Sons of God. It is the “Kingdom of God,” wherein your spirit attains to incorruption and immortality. Those who dwell there possess the character and capacity of their Heavenly Father. As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

       The spiritual excellence of Canaan is the possession that God intends for you, but it can only be acquired in battle. It is only by the struggles of war that slaves are made kings. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.

       To conquer Canaan and gain the inheritance of Sonship you need only to kill the Canaanites. The five Canaanite nations represent your five senses. Your five senses spawn the cravings for slavery and idolatry. There is no end to their errant demands, they are giants that can never be satisfied. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

       While these miscreants make cruel taskmasters, they are ruled by a still worse tyrant, the carnal mind. The Satanic carnal mind of man is the lowest form of animal life on earth. Thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go. Only the mind of man is capable of perversion, blasphemy, and rebellion against God. This mind is the breeding ground of fear, doubt, and disbelief. The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

       The lusty five senses of the physical body, and the Satanic carnal mind, are the two curses of Eden. The destruction of these adversaries is the war that God has provided for your spiritual perfection.

       Most of the Christians who come out of Egypt will be content to die in the peaceful servitude of the Wilderness. They will enjoy the physical blessings of God, but will never possess the source. They know of the Canaanites, the giants who dwell in fortified cities, with their armored instruments of war. But they have no stomach for battle.

       They prefer instead to remain as slaves, cared for by a benevolent master. They are satisfied to live in peace, to dwell in plenty, but are without the steel of courage, vision, and strength, that would transform them into Sons. The thought of war makes them queasy. Thus they choose servitude instead of kingship, welfare instead of wealth.

       These limp whining proselytes of Organized Christianity will possess nothing in the spirit realm. They are slain already by the fear, doubt, and disbelief, that dwells in their own carnality. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

       Like the twelve spies of Israel, only a few of those who leave Egypt will be allowed to glimpse the glories of Canaan. Of those few who see it, only a remnant will have ears to hear, spiritual eyes to see, and a heart to believe that it can be attained. These will observe and consider the possibilities of a new spiritual habitation, something far beyond the experience of mortals. Their veins will pulse with the vision of Joshua and the courage of Caleb. Their hearts will yearn for something more, and be drawn by the tantalizing glimmer of a permanent spiritual inheritance.

       If these qualities stride in your spirit, you are called to a rare and higher road. This road leads to the greatest of celestial battles. This ultimate war is for the conquest of Canaan. This supreme contest offers a prize of glittering opulence, a prize above all others- a spiritual possession in the firstborn company of the Sons of God. By your endurance shall ye gain your lives for a possession. Luke 21: 18, 19 (Emphasized).

Gilgal

       After forty years, Commander Joshua led the Israelites out of the Wilderness. As they began to march, the Ark of the Covenant preceded the people by two thousand cubits. The priests that carried the Ark walked directly toward the flooding Jordan river. But as they approached, the water was miraculously parted by the power of God, and all the people crossed over on dry land.

       The invasion of Canaan appears to be suicide every step of the way. And in fact it is. It is suicide for your cursed Adamic nature. It is the end of your own selfish desires. The battle for Canaan is the death of “my will,” and the birth of “thy will be done.”

       The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes Jesus Christ. He led the way to Sonship, two thousand years before the rest of his firstborn brothers. Jesus Christ has already completed his conquest of Canaan. Now it is your turn. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.

       As the warriors of Israel walked from the Jordan river they entered the Promised Land. This was the first time that they had ever possessed anything, since the birth of their nation in Egypt. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you.

       To commemorate the spot, they rolled twelve great stones out from the midst of the river and arranged them in a circle. This magical place they called “Gilgal.” The word Gilgal means, “sacred circle or wheel,” in reference to these stones. It is the doorway to Canaan. Those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

       Gilgal is a very special place. It is the war camp of God. It is the headquarters for your invasion of Canaan. At Gilgal the counsel of God is forged into battle plans. These plans require three basic steps: circumcision, Passover, and a change of food. From this firebase you will carry the battle to your enemies. And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

       As you make camp at Gilgal, your first task is circumcision. For those who sojourn in the Wilderness, there is no circumcision required. All the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. But when the Israelites made camp at Gilgal, they circumcised all those who had been raised in the Wilderness. At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.

       So also, your bid for spiritual perfection begins with the circumcision of your heart. At Gilgal you will remove all the protection that shields your feelings. Your normal desires for self-preservation will be set aside. Your emotions will be stripped and left naked to the scrutinizing wisdom of God.

       There you will learn the absolute sovereignty of God over every seemingly accidental circumstance of good and evil. In difficult, painful situations, you will be given practice in disregarding the obvious, while acknowledging only God as the instigator behind every event.

       The understanding of God’s sovereignty will become a permanent possession of spiritual power for you. Like a knife it will cut away hard-heartedness, surgically joining your heart to God’s, in an immutable bond of trust. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Then you will be empowered to expose your family, your business, your life, and your destiny, to the beneficent plunder of your loving Heavenly Father.

       There is no pain required for the Christians who remain in the Wilderness of Organized Christianity. They remain spiritually feminine. Circumcision is only required for those who become spiritual males. Gilgal thus represents the spiritual conception of a new life. At Gilgal your spirit conceives to the life of Jesus Christ and you pass from feminine to masculine, from death unto life.

       Like a newly conceived embryo in a womb, Gilgal was Israel’s first tiny possession in the land of Canaan. So also, Gilgal represents the starting point for your acquisition of Sonship. At Gilgal you become a young male warrior- you need only then to grow up. This is accomplished as you slay the Canaanites and claim your spiritual inheritance. This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

       The second step at Gilgal is to keep the Passover. This was accomplished by the Israelites right after their circumcision. And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.

       The Passover in Egypt was called “The Lord’s Passover.” By the death of Jesus Christ your sins were forgiven and you entered into the Wilderness.

       But the Passover in Gilgal is different. At Gilgal you are in Canaan, battling for your own spiritual possessions. This time you are not just to eat the Passover sacrifice, you are to become the Passover sacrifice. When Passover occurs in you, your sins will not be merely forgiven, but eradicated, and you will become a new sinless being. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

       The spiritual gestation of the Sons of God requires that they become a living sacrifice. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. At Gilgal, the “good” things that God has given you will be toppled into painful confusion. Your humanity will be consumed in a kiln of cunning design. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

       Only a lamb without blemish is acceptable for this sacrifice. Is your marriage perfect? How about your children, or honor, or career, or health? These are the acceptable lambs for the Passover in Gilgal. Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering.

       The Passover in Egypt represented death to the Egyptians, and life to the firstborn of Israel. The same power that killed the one, delivered the other.

       So also, your sacrifice at Gilgal brings the death of your carnal nature, and life to your spirit. The sacrifice process though painful, is synonymous with resurrected life. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. When your heart is first exposed and then crushed by the love of God, you are reaching for immortality. Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. The power of self-sacrifice is the power for resurrection, they are one and the same. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

       This is the pathway to resurrection that Jesus Christ demonstrated. They shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. And now it is your turn. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.

       As you become a Passover sacrifice, God will rip out your selfish stony heart, and replace it with a new heart of agape-love. This process will embroil you in a great internal battle. Does God really love you? Is he really in control of good and evil? Why would he do this to you? Did you do something wrong?

       To win this war you will find that you have to enter a new, personal relationship with God. He will become the purpose behind your pain, and all for your benefit. This you will learn and declare, in the face of overwhelming visible evidence to the contrary. Each morning you will rise and begin again to kill your doubt. The day will be spent swinging your sword at your own disbelief. In the night will come fears and lying specters.

       This is a battleground of exquisite pain, wherein you will overcome every adversary that issues from Satanic carnality. And by this struggle your spirit will be changed. You will accomplish a gestation and complete your maturity. Soon you will be readied for spirit birth, overcoming even death itself.

       These battles are fierce and worthy of the greatest warriors who will ever exist. For this is the path to the first resurrection, which is reserved for the firstborn Sons of God. To get to know him, and the power of his resurrection and fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death, if by any means I may advance to the earlier resurrection, which is from among the dead. Philippians 3:10,11 (Emphasized).

       Why should you serve a God who demands your sacrifice? The answer is, because that is what he did to Jesus. O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Jesus Christ is the pattern for your spiritual maturity, and he established the universal standard for self-sacrifice. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Jesus did not do it all for you. Rather, he made it possible for you to follow in his steps. Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. If you do what Jesus did, you will come to the same reward. If you do not, you will die in the wilderness. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame.

       The third step at Gilgal is to change your food. When the Israelites entered Canaan at Gilgal, the manna, quail, and watering rock ceased. They began to eat a new food that they had never tasted before. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

       So also, as you begin to press your battle for spiritual possessions, the easy provision of the Wilderness will cease. No longer will you draw sustenance from the pride of life, temporal accomplishments, or earthly abundance. Your new spirit, and his new relationship to God, is fueled by a new spiritual food. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

       As an invading spiritual warrior you will eat only what you take from the enemy. Your strength and vitality of life will be found in the triumph of spiritual conquest. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.

       As a flower grows with its roots in decay, so also your spirit will bloom from the destruction of your own carnality. The fears you have killed will become your nourishment. The carcasses of slain doubts will be heaped around you, as provision for even more ambitious sorties. Neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us. The victorious power of spiritual overcoming will flourish within you, blossoming into wisdom, power, and resurrected life. And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

       The three battles of Gilgal are for provision (new food), protection (circumcision), and possession (sacrifice). These battles are the same as Satan’s three temptations of Jesus, which also occurred at Gilgal, right after his baptism in the Jordan river. And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan.

       Gilgal represents spiritual conception and the beginning of spiritual gestation. As you range outward from Gilgal you will begin to possess the Promised Land of Sonship.

       In your conquest of Canaan you will be fighting the war for your own personal spiritual maturity. As you succeed in circumcision, become a sacrifice, and draw your new food from the heavens, your spirit will grow into a spiritually begotten Son of God. By this process you will destroy the power of carnal darkness in your life, and obtain your promised inheritance in the Begotten Realm.

       With these three steps completed, Israel entered into a new relationship to God. Moses had met God as a burning bush, and subsequently led the Israelites out of Egypt. But the ministry of Joshua required a much more personal revelation. Joshua was to lead Israel in the conquest of Canaan. Therefore, Joshua met God as a warrior, with his weapons drawn at the ready. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

       This supernatural manifestation represents the new relationship to God that is required for those who will press on into Sonship. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship.

       Those who meet God at Gilgal will come to know him in a way that cannot possibly be understood by those who remain behind in the Wilderness. The courageous few at Gilgal will enter into the unveiled personal knowledge of their Heavenly Father. They who travel to this new destination will see him as he truly is, and find that they have become like him.

       Only twice in the entire Bible was there a divine visitation to man, where the site was called holy and the man was commanded to remove his shoes. The first time was when Yahweh appeared unto Moses as a fire. Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. The second time was when Yahweh appeared unto Joshua with a sword. And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

       Taken together, these two occurrences make up the flaming sword of Eden, which pointed the way to the Tree of Life. The fire of Sinai and the sword of Gilgal are like a secret treasure map. They are signposts that mark the route from Egyptian slavery, through the Wilderness, to the conquest of Canaan. These beacons illuminate your path to spiritual immortality. If you follow them you will come to a possession in the Promised Land of Sonship. And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

       When you first meet God, as a fire in the Wilderness of Sinai, you are nothing like him. You are a sinner and he is a burning bush. Like an unending blaze he is magical and wonderful, yet the bush is not consumed. In the Wilderness the fire of God is a radiance that convicts the carnal nature, but cannot change it. The flames give light and heat, but the carnal nature is not consumed. The Ten Commandments give evidence to your failure, but they cannot correct your behavior. With the message of “Salvation,” Organized Christianity can rail against lawlessness and distract your carnality, but it cannot eradicate either.

       The fire in the Wilderness of Sinai is supposed to be only your first stop on the stellar road that leads from the Tree of Death to the Tree of Life. Your deliverance from sin is like a rest stop along a highway. There, in the Wilderness, you are to be refreshed and instructed for your continuing journey. In the warmth of Sinai you may revel for a time in the benevolent bounty of God’s nurturing care. But you must not stay there, lest the bones of your disbelief be found bleaching in the desert sun. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

       As your brief Wilderness preparation ends, the trumpet will sound the call to arms. God is on the move. You are led to the Jordan river and miraculously baptized a second time. This is spiritual conception. This experience brings you to Gilgal. There your heart is circumcised, left bare and unprotected. You partake of a second Passover, but this time you are the sacrifice. The manna of the Wilderness ceases, and then you taste for the first time in your life, the sweet meat of your own spiritual victory.

       Then you will meet God face-to-face. He stands like a man, with a sword drawn in his hand. He is your personal escort to conquest. When you meet him this time, you are like him. He is a warrior with a sword, and so are you. You have become what he is. Now born-ones of God we are. ... We know absolutely that whenever it is made visible, like ones to Him we shall be, because we shall see Him just as He is. 1 John 3:2 (Wuest).

       The fire and sword are secret pieces to God’s puzzle, showing the way to the Tree of Life. From Egypt, to Sinai, to Gilgal, is the little known path of God, the narrow way that leads from poverty, to the promised land of spiritual treasure. This is the path of slaves who become kings. This is the road less traveled, to the birth of a spiritual Son of God in you.

       When you get tired of empty religious games, God will lead you to the invasion of Canaan. This campaign is launched from Gilgal. Gilgal is the secret entrance into the spirit realm- it is the portal to God. It is like a tiny rip in the fabric of time and space, where you can slip through to another dimension, to war for the treasures of eternity.

       All spiritual maturity begins at Gilgal. Every foray for spiritual substance hails from this magical place. It is the command post for spiritual conquest. It is the war camp of God. One day you will finally meet your Heavenly Father with a sword drawn in his hand. When that happens, look down. For the first time in your life, you are standing in Canaan. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

The Invasion of Canaan

       Long before Abraham, God planted and nurtured five nations in the land of Canaan. These became the Canaanites. Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

       The Canaanites were bred for a special purpose, to become the future foes of Israel. God prepared the Canaanites as living fodder, to be sacrificed in the course of training Israel’s warriors. The Canaanites were established, only so that Israel could kill them. Slaying the Canaanites was an exercise that the Israelites required for their personal maturity. Thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods.

       During their invasion of Canaan, Israel destroyed the Canaanites. As a result, the Israelites grew strong and obtained their inheritance, the promised land. Battling the Canaanites was essential to their personal development. Canaanite foes were so important, God made certain that some of them were left alive, for the training of future generations of Israelite warriors. These are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan. That the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war.

       The invasion of Canaan is a physical allegory of the spiritual battles that you must fight. Canaan is a land of spiritual warfare, ordained before you were born.

       In the garden of Eden, God placed two curses upon the fallen Adamic nature. By these your spirit was made subject to physical desires, and your mind was corrupted to bring forth Satanic rebellion. Now your cursed body and mind tyrannically gorge on the gratification of their five senses. The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.

       The five nations of the Canaanites symbolize your five senses. God prepared the Canaanites as a fearsome obstacle to the advancing armies of Israel. So also, God gave you five physical senses as an obstacle to your spiritual growth.

       Like the Canaanites, God has provided your five senses as live targets, specifically so that you can kill them. Their destruction is represented by the five wounds that Jesus Christ received on the cross. Like Jesus Christ, it is the task of each spiritual warrior to subdue his own five senses and eradicate the curses of Eden from his life. By this battle your spirit will grow strong. As you slay these Canaanite adversaries you will come to spiritual maturity and acquire the celestial inheritance promised to the Sons of God. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

       When Jesus Christ met the woman at the well she had been serving six different men. For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. These are the five senses and their Satanic boss, the carnal mind.

       Like an organized crime syndicate, these Mafiosos sit in the temple of God and believe that they are God. These gangsters proliferate a life of lascivious excess. Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Their garments are tailored of human pride. They feed on unbridled cravings for physical sensation and group approval. Like drug lords they energize the Adamic addiction to good and evil, and delight in the ensuing death. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

       The five senses and their boss, like mobsters, have created the blind and deaf concepts of God that have become the assassins of true Christianity. These killers are the self-willed and sensual doctrines taught in the modern church. The desires and deeds of carnality, along with these doctrinal henchmen, are the Canaanites who inhabit your land. These hoodlums are the curses of Eden. Kill them, and you will inherit a spiritual kingdom of unimaginable wealth. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

       The five senses are also symbolized by the five giants of Canaan, the sons of Anak. Daily these Philistine giants swagger through your life, taunting your spirit. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. If you would overcome them you must be like young David, who was fueled with the fire of spiritual conquest. I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

       Like David you must have the heart of a king, and give no quarter to egotistical Philistines. As David slew Goliath, you must slay your own five senses. David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead. After Goliath, David’s men killed the four remaining giants. In like fashion, your spirit must conquer your own five senses, killing any cravings for immoral or extravagant sensual gratification. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

       When Joshua invaded Canaan, the five Canaanite kings joined forces and conspired against Israel. Dispatching from Gilgal, the warriors of Israel attacked the five confederated armies and destroyed them. The LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities.

       But the five kings themselves escaped from the battle and hid in a cave. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua dragged these kings from their earthen hole and required his captains to stamp the kings faces into the dust. Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings.

       Like these kings, your own five senses hide in your earthen Adamic body. There they incubate their unlawful and excessive desires for the things of the world. As an invading warrior you must root them out and subdue them. When you have pinned these sensual desires to the ground, and held them immobile for a sufficient time, God himself will destroy them. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.

       The invasion of Canaan is a lifetime of spiritual warfare. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. In this campaign the instructions of God are quite clear. Thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them. You are commanded to destroy your carnal mind, and terminate the lust of your five senses. There can be no compromise. But every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.

       Along with these, fear and disbelief must be dragged from your heart and killed without mercy. Resentment and blame must be slain and replaced with forgiveness. You must completely eradicate your own selfishness and self-preservation. At every juncture, mortify your carnal mind’s appetite for evil, and those cunning, enslaving desires that would make you their servant. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

       As you begin your conquest of the promised land you must first go to Jesus Christ, and ask him for a seed from his resurrected spirit life. Next ask your Heavenly Father for the Holy Spirit, that he might come and abide in you.

       Then start the attack by ceasing your actions and deeds that are evil or unprofitable. Do not yield to desires for behavior that violates the Ten Commandments. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. Terminate your weaknesses and indulgences. Command your mind to turn to the living God. Start doing the right thing, at all times. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

       Bring your actions and priorities into alignment with God’s word. Spend more time reading your Bible than watching television. Pray for divine counsel and help. Strive to increase your knowledge of God’s true plan. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Begin to feed on faith. Turn from worldly goals, and fix your hope on Sonship. These are the first battles, and also the easiest. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Get your hands clean, you sinners. Get your hearts purified, you double-minded. James 4:8 (Williams).

       After you have dispensed with your own evil deeds, then turn your attention to your thoughts. Your carnal mind is enmity to God. Every desire of mortal man is an abomination. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. You must slay your own carnal mind, destroying its works, throwing down its temples, and discarding its wealth. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. You must cleanse your mind, then control it, chaining your thoughts to your spiritual hopes. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

       This is your war. It is an internal struggle against the Satanic carnal mind, and its five nefarious henchmen. By a once-for-all act, and at once, put to death your members which are upon the earth. Colossians 3:5 (Wuest).

       Having cleaned up your mind, now turn away from worldly concepts of success. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Abandon the desire for wealth or earthly splendor- these can bear no lasting fruit. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Rein in these unkempt desires, spurring instead the gallant steeds of spiritual wealth and personal communion with God. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

       Now circumcise your heart and learn the sovereignty of God. Enthrone your Heavenly Father as the commander of your life, conveying to him the scepter of perfect control over every happenstance. Force your faith to see that every accidental event was actually planned by God. The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord. Even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by him. Proverbs 16:33 (Amplified).

       Search until you find that every action in creation is orchestrated and energized by God. A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. This will require a great battle within you, but you must press on. You must allow your faith to encompass the unimaginable, to see all things as flowing from the hidden wisdom of God. According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

       Spiritual death belongs only to those who suffer calamity, and then cannot see God in control of it. By faith you must face apparent failure, and in tears declare that the incident is God’s love for you. This is the supernatural strength of a warrior Son. Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.

       Next surrender your self-preservation and make yourself a living sacrifice. Cast off revenge. Give no audience to self-pity or hurt. This death of self-will is the final gateway to immortality. Not my will, but thine, be done.

       Surrender unto self-sacrifice is the only path to glory, honor, power, love, or anything of value in the spirit realm. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Canaan is conquered only by those who are willing to sacrifice their earthly desires, in order to gain their spiritual dreams. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. This is the process that transforms slaves into warriors, servants into Sons, and prisoners into kings. And they loved not their lives unto the death.

       With these things installed in your heart, start giving, regardless of the circumstances. Let the battle rage to give your time, resources, and energies, to an unseen God. Hold nothing back, but give it all. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Give compassion and mercy to those around you. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. Turn to your greatest nemesis and drown it with forgiveness. Give those things first, that are most difficult. If you kill these giants, you can have their land. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

       Canaan is smoke, fury, the tumult of war, crashing swords, and the cries of battle. It is a world of heartache and tears, a place of anguish wherein writhe the dying vanities of Adamic thinking. By these struggles your chains are loosed, your overlords destroyed, and your inheritance gained. If you want spiritual maturity, it is available at the end of your sword. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.

       Only by internal combat will you ever feel the relaxation of death’s icy fingers, relinquishing its grip on your spirit. By warfare you can be free. You can possess the land of Canaan, the spiritual inheritance of God that is promised to the Overcomers. I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. This inheritance is a new habitation in the Begotten Realm of the Sons of God. Walk before me, and be thou perfect ... and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.

       God is not going to give his treasures to creatures of lesser stature. Only the Sons who are born in his image will inherit his wealth. These Sons are the warriors who conquer Canaan. Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Failure In Battle

       Spiritual warfare is ruthless survival; it is kill or be killed. Your enemies are the curses of Eden, unholy desire, and unbelief. These are vengeful rancorous brigands. They must be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars.

       If you should fail to kill these adversaries, they will attack you and shackle your life with the despotic cruelty of the fallen Adamic nature. They shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. In numbing complacency your spiritual vision will be snuffed out by a warm blanket of fleshly wants. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: but were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. Those who fail to slay their carnality will remain captives in their own dungeon of sensual desire, for a lifetime fed with spiritual oppression and death. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.

       Failure in battle is caused by leaving your enemies alive, by treaty, by cowardice, by hiring mercenaries, by repose, and by chronic tranquillity. These devices are well illustrated in Israel’s actions as they possessed the land of Canaan. Any of these will attend your failure. Here is how it can happen.

1.    Leaving Your Enemies Alive.

       Failure in battle is always caused by leaving your enemies alive. This was the case with Achan, when he kept the gold and garments of Jericho. I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent. Achan failed to kill his carnal cravings. Instead, his lust conceived into actions, which then procured the death of their master. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters ... and all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire.

       If Achan had slain his internal foes they would not have been around to destroy him at Jericho. While you covet your enemy’s possessions, he continues to live in your heart. You must not participate in the lust for the things of the world, nor in the earthly frenzy to mollify the five senses. These cravings are not to be appeased, but eradicated.

2.    Treaty With The Enemy.

       Your enemies are masters of deception. Selfishness, lust, and doubt, are subversives that operate by stealth. Armed with “justifications,” these liars arrange for safe harbor in your thoughts. This deceit was experienced by Joshua, as he was tricked into an alliance with the treacherous Gibeonites. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.

       Surreptitiously your enemies come, with plausible justifications, seeking to negotiate a treaty with your spirit. “We live far away,” is the lie that makes you think they are harmless. “He has it coming,” is the excuse that gives succor to spite. “He brought this upon himself,” is the pretense that forestalls forgiveness. “I deserve this indulgence,” is the excess that justifies willful sin.

       By these and their siblings, a compact is made with the enemies you came to kill. Your warfare against these foes then ceases, along with your own spiritual hope. And Joshua made peace with them [the Gibeonites], and made a league with them, to let them live.

       Worse yet, these adversaries will one day be attacked by some warrior of greater resolve than yourself. And then by your own treaty, you will find yourself defending the enemies you were supposed to have slain. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us.

       Show no mercy to the Canaanites. Do not allow accusation, ill will, lust, or worldly addiction to live in your heart. You must destroy your justifications for selfishness, malice, prideful desire, and self-pity. These alliances will be fatal for you, eventually costing your own blood to defend them.

3.    Cowardice.

       As the battles of God loom into your life, betimes you will yearn for earlier days. In retreating from pain, you might look to the leeks and garlics of your former peace.

       But this was the error of wilderness Israel. Having escaped Egypt, they refused to enter the conflicts of Canaan. These pacifists were the enemies of God. All this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.

       Warriors that won’t fight, will die in shame, consumed by their own fear and temporal desire. “I don’t want to confront this problem,” is not the sentiment of a professional warrior, but that of Satanic self-preservation.

       There is no shame to those who die in battle. Shame is only the companion of cowardice. If you cling to worldly peace and carnal pride, you will waste your life and lose the promised land. Do not be afraid. Do not refuse this battle. When you find yourself plotting a truce, pick up your weapons and charge the enemy. No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

4.    Hiring Mercenaries.

       After many years living in the bounty of Canaan, the Israelites once again lost their taste for battle. At Gilgal, the same spot that had been the hub of invasion, the cowards of later generations sued for peace. Once again they shrank from the warfare that God had ordained.

       Confronting the God who had saved them, these patsies demanded a human king to fight their battles for them. Nay, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. Their sniveling resulted in the appointment of Saul. And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the LORD.

       The people wanted Saul for a surrogate warrior. He was hired as a mercenary. But God has ordained battle as the process that produces Sonship within individuals. Seeking to avoid this battle, is the rejection of God and his plan. Accordingly, God was not pleased. Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more.

       In trusting Saul to do their fighting for them, the people were disarmed. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul. Your spiritual maturity can be gained only by your own sword. The Israelites abdicated this responsibility, and so came to be governed by evil. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

       The employment of mercenaries is “vicarious warfare.” Vicarious warriors are hirelings, concerned with their own self-aggrandizing programs. These are the preachers, denominations, and rituals of Organized Christianity. Like Saul, they have been hired to kill the Canaanites for their congregation. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

>      But hirelings work for money and prestige. They are unconcerned with personal obedience, and care even less for your spiritual wealth. <SPAN class=" normaltext"> Instead, they flutter over group dynamics, to the contradiction of God. Like Saul, they will leave your enemies alive. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them.

       Trusting in a church is your own death warrant. There is no pastor or group of people that can terminate the Canaanites that dwell in you. Thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek. And the enemies they spare, are the ones that will eventually kill you. And he [Saul] said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He [Saul] said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me.

 

  5.    Repose.

       King David was a great warrior. By the design of God, battle was his forte. Accordingly, David’s greatest failure came when he sought his ease. After a long restful winter, David should have been at battle with all Israel, destroying the enemies of God. And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon. But instead, David sought the repose of peaceful distraction. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

       David should have been at war with his men, not pussyfooting around the palace. This desire for leisure brought David to defeat. David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. If David had been camped with the armies of Israel, he would not have come to failure. And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her.

       So also, God has called you to be a warrior. If you succumb to lenient idleness, God will send you far more fierce and terrifying adversaries. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

       Warriors that won’t fight, will come to ruin. You must be vigilant, valiant, and ever-ready to slay the enemies that creep from your own mind.

6.    Chronic Tranquillity.

       Those who have been successful in avoiding combat are today spiritually stunted or dead. As a warrior, Solomon represents this silver spoon of failure. Solomon lived in peace and plenty. He did not war to achieve his greatness. His kingdom was a gift, not a possession acquired in battle. I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

       But tranquillity is the parent of failure. Without hardships, warriors cannot be developed, and this was the case with Solomon. Not possessing the individual strength that is acquired in combat, Solomon was later slain by idolatry. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God. Placid abundance is the desire of mortals, but it is lethal to the Sons of God. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, ... I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

       Warfare is a necessity for spiritual maturity. Every permanent possession in the spirit realm is acquired in battle. If you spare your enemy or run from your battles, you will fail. Only the warriors who attack their enemies and overcome them, will ever be found worthy to walk upon the walls of spiritual greatness.

The Internal War

       Today, every Christian is faced with two battles. There is the external war against evil men, and there is the internal war against your own carnal nature.

       The external war is the battle of good versus evil. The internal war is the battle of life versus death. The external war is a physical battle of works; but the internal war is a spiritual battle of faith. Victory in external battles can make a temporary improvement in the living conditions of earth. But victory in the internal war can make you an immortal spirit being, born in the image of God.

       Sadly, most Christians today are blind to the internal war. Instead they have seized on external battles, leaving their carnality to flourish while denying their own spiritual inheritance.

       The eyes of a man look always outward. They can see the trouble with everyone else, but seldom look into their own heart. Men thus scurry about, building organizations to combat all the evil deeds of other men. But these builders themselves remain servants of their own selfishness, pride, and unbelief. Though their failings may not be so obvious, they are prisoners of the same carnal nature as those men they seek to tame. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

       The carnal mind is addicted to the external, visible war of good versus evil. This mind will merrily condemn every visible evil deed, while justifying its own self-exaltation and wrath. It is far easier to accuse a man of visible evil, than to kill the disguised carnality in your own heart. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

       The external war of good & evil grows on the Tree of Death. This visible war is vain and unproductive because its results are temporal, and its victors remain spiritually dead. Throwing yourself into this fight may be a “good work,” but it can never clothe you with immortality- you’re still eating from the wrong tree. Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

       The war for spiritual maturity is not found in the headlines. It does not come in the mail, nor is it mentioned on the evening news. The war for your own spiritual treasure is silent and internal. It is the battle to rid yourself of the cursed Adamic nature.

       In this battle your living spirit must conquer your death doomed body, terminating its evil actions, eradicating lusty desires, limiting the five senses, giving, forgiving, and directing every thought into the will of God. This is the battle for the transformation of character. This is the only battle that can make you a living being, and the result of this victory is eternal.

       God commands you to take up arms. Not against the works of others. Not against Satan. Not against liberals, or governments, or any external evil. God is in perfect control of all these things and they obey his every whim. God commands you to take up arms against yourself. The battle for Sonship is found in the mirror. You are to kill the Canaanites who are blocking your possession of Canaan. This battle is won as evil is eradicated from within you, not from the world around you. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

       Now what about your own selfishness? Have you yet given your life for a friend? Are you kind to the unthankful? Have you returned love and forgiveness for malignant rejection? Have you immovably placed your trust in the hidden wisdom of God, even though he slay you? Have you forsaken your earthly goals to follow his revelation? Have you demolished bitterness and fear? Do you ever doubt God’s love and motives? Do you believe that every earthly event is birthed in his wisdom?

       These are the battles that you must win to apprehend your own spiritual maturity and life. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Press your battle to emulate Jesus Christ. How narrow the gate, and difficult the path, that leads to life! and they are few who find it! Matthew 7:14 (Fenton).

       Evil doers are not the enemies of your spirit. They are but fuel in the furnace that refines spiritual gold. There is no physical or external enemy on this earth that can prevent your spiritual growth. Your only true enemies are the ignorance, licentiousness, and arrogance that arise from inside you. There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. Only these are able to derail your spiritual maturity, and frustrate your inheritance in God. Do not shrink in fear from those who kill the body, for they are not able to kill the soul. Matthew 10:28 (Fenton).

       If you should slay every external evil, but leave your cursed Adamic nature intact, you have lost everything. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? There is no avail to external battles, if after they are won, you have retained the curses of Eden. If ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

       Be not beguiled. Chasing evil in the newspapers will never birth in you the righteousness, immortality, or power of a Son of God. This treasure comes only as your own sword is applied against your own carnal nature.

       The external war against other men’s evil is called “ministry.” But ministry is in no way related to spiritual maturity. “Ministry” is what God does through you, but “maturity” is what God does to you. You can have a wonderful ministry and still remain a spiritual infant. Even Balaam’s ass had a ministry.

       If you wish to one day have a true ministry, then first turn your sights on yourself. Strive to achieve your own spiritual perfection. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Every Christian would like to rid evil from the earth. But only those who have first put on the Mind of Christ will ever be called upon to accomplish this. Having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

       While it is important to reprove evil works, you must not become enslaved to the war against evil in other men. Over time this addiction will become detrimental to your own spiritual growth. If you become focused on external battles, your mind will become a breeding ground for accusation, anger, revenge, conniving, railing, and even greed. These emotions will fester to become as damaging in you, as they are in the people you are opposing. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

       Beside this, while your energies are funneled into hating the world’s evil doers, you are despising the wisdom of God’s actions. Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? ... Thou [God] hast planted them, yea, they have taken root. And no evil is greater than denying his sovereignty. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.

       The war against external evils is a circular track that goes nowhere. As a catheter of spiritual life this struggle will drain away your understanding, leaving you without the energy or notion to deal with your own self-centeredness, self-righteousness, and self-preservation.

       The battle for internal spiritual maturity is the war that no one wants to fight, for this is the cross, and from the offense of the cross most draw back. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

       As the death of self looms into view even the valiant shriek and run. But those who would gain a heavenly crown must be given to this singular purpose. They must not be found conscripted to the wrong battle. As masters of strategy they must press the battle first, for their own internal strength. Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

       Jesus Christ never signed a petition or attended a political rally. Rather, he looked to his own crucifixion. It is treachery to draw the warriors of Christ into lesser struggles. For victory over external evils, carries only a temporal prize. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.

       Men were evil before you were born, and men will be evil after you are gone. The evil of other men is not the point. Your attaining unto spiritual life is the only issue of earth.

       The denominations of Organized Christianity have taken up the wrong battle. They are mesmerized in the fight against an external devil, liberal politics, and the vices of man. If you are against these things, good for you. But this stand will not bring you to spiritual maturity or immortality.

       This was the mistake made by the Zealots at the time of Jesus. They wished only to restore their physical nation as a happy place wherein they could remain spiritually dead, but comfortable. Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? They could not see a spiritual goal, nor would they fight an internal battle.

       Both Barabbas and Judas were members of this movement. Both were readily accepted by the prevailing church structure, and both were traitors to spiritual maturity. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

       The gold of everlasting life is refined in an inferno of earthly evil. You cannot blow this fire out. And if you could, you would only extinguish your own chance for spiritual perfection. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

       Those who will not turn the sword on their own carnality will remain spiritually dead. Some of these become the progenitors of evil deeds; the others become the captives of organized religion. Leave them both to your Father’s wisdom, but you strike to the inner battle for spiritual conquest. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

The Fellowship of Conquerors

       The greatest warrior of all time is Jesus Christ. Jesus recognized only the sovereignty of his Father over every action that touched his life, while discounting every visible evidence to the contrary. Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

       Jesus fought an internal battle, to bring his life into compliance with his Father’s plan. Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. He destroyed self-preservation and loved not his life unto death. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

       Jesus was betrayed by his own countrymen and murdered by a foreign occupational army. But his response to these atrocities was unconditional forgiveness. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. By these internal battles Jesus became an Overcomer and killed the curses of Eden in his own life. He overcame every internal enemy, but left the Romans firmly established as the rulers of conquered Israel.

       Jesus Christ is the archetype of the perfect warrior. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. If you follow his example, you will come to the same reward. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

       Paul is another medallion of spiritual soldiering. Paul had Roman citizenship, a superb education, and community standing. He was a leader of men, a Benjamite and a Pharisee. He had most of the treasures for which carnal men seek all the days of their lives. And all these Paul gladly traded away for spiritual maturity. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. ... That I may win Christ, and be found in him.

       Do not think this was easy. Paul had human passions like you. His victory was hard won- it was the bloody conquest of a fierce warrior. In perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. Paul saw a spiritual goal, and an internal battle. If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. His enemies were fear, doubt, and disbelief, and these he destroyed in his own life. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat.

       By this warfare Paul dethroned the self-preservation of his own carnal mind, and obtained his spiritual hopes. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. He followed the formula demonstrated by Jesus Christ, and so came to the same reward. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, ... and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

       Ruth was a mighty warrior. She could well have pursued earthly comfort among her own people, but chose instead to follow her faith in God. For whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die. She refused to heed her normal desires for sensual gratification, preferring rather to strike them down. Thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

       Ruth was a widow who faced lonely, internal battles. She warred against self-pity, doubt, and adversity. She made many difficult decisions to destroy selfishness, and these became the substance of her virtue. Now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. Ruth perfected her heart in lovingkindness, and this victory is counted as spiritual perfection. For thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons.

       Joseph’s brothers were a misguided lot. For envy they sold him as a slave to a foreign land. When they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

       For years Joseph toiled with specters of worthlessness, and fought the assassins of fear that came haunting each night. He warred against hate and revenge, while rotting away his youth in an alien dungeon.

       But these battles produced a spiritual warrior of supreme stature. Joseph eradicated the deceitful justifications of Satanic evil that inhabited his own carnal mind. He denied the evidence of physical betrayal, even prison, calling them both the wisdom of God. As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

       In the solitude of his hidden war, Joseph won a diadem of spiritual possession. Let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. By this inner conquest he became a warrior like his Father, and gained the double portion blessing reserved for the firstborn Sons of God. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

       There were two harlots that argued for possession of a child. It seemed the king’s judgment was simply to kill the boy. The king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

       Imagine the ardent inner conflict of the true mother as she was pierced with this agony. This mother’s love demanded that she surrender her son to a lying murderous whore, in order to save his life. This true mother displayed courage seldom seen in mortals. She was a mighty warrior, who was about to became a savior.

       In a battle intense, she silenced self-preservation and gave away everything she ever wanted. Her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. By this inner victory she won her son back as a possession, with the king’s protection and blessing. Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. By the surrender of self-centered desire, you can join the ranks of saviors, who become the Sons of God.

       There was a harlot who fell at Jesus’ feet and washed them with her tears. Consider the phantoms that this woman fought, alone in her thoughts. She was besieged by the condemnation of physical failure, and assaulted by the hecklers of hell. And though her accusers spoke truth, she still sought out Jesus Christ. A woman in the city, which was a sinner.

       This woman declared war on her own evil and her attendant fears. In a battle of self-confrontation she faced what she was and resolved to change. Then, in a Herculean feat, she attacked her own doubt, arguing within herself that she too could still be included in the righteousness that comes by faith. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears. Through a conflict of internal anguish this former failure emerged as a destroyer of disbelief. And by this victory she came into an everlasting spiritual possession. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. ... Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

       Those who become the Sons of God are the greatest warriors in existence. Like Eleazar and his three companions, they will face the most superlative foes ever devised by their Father, while the rest of the Christians run for cover. Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away.

       These warriors have a fortitude that is alien to mortals. By this they shall garner for themselves victory, in their quest for the supernatural. He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword. All the creation will one day feed from their triumph. And the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. But these warriors themselves will gain a personal possession in the Begotten Realm. Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.

       Every new Christian comes to Jesus with the support and nurture of the shepherd’s staff. But as a Christian matures, this pastoral scene must be gravely altered. For the Sons of God are not sheep, but shepherds themselves. They are the slayers of wolves. They do not seek protection, but victory. They are not women and children, they are warriors, arising from obscurity as they are engulfed in conflict. These shall one day be revealed as the deliverers and saviors of earth. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks.

       The medals of mastery can be earned only in the heat of battle. Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Warriors need enemies. Great warriors need great enemies. And the most powerful adversaries in existence are the fallen carnal mind of man, and the lust of his five senses. These are the curses of Eden. When you destroy these Satanic evils in your own life, you will stand in the fellowship of conquerors. And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force as a precious prize. A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought for with most ardent zeal and intense exertion. Matthew 11:12 (Amplified).

       When the dust finally settles, the captains of war will have become the Sons of God. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD. They will have put every enemy under their feet and joined the ruling coalition of the Body of Christ. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.

       When these warriors reach this destination, they will deserve to be there. For this inheritance is not a gift, but a possession, taken with their sword in the heat of battle, at the direction of God. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

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