The Lord Jesus Christ.Commander of the Heavenly Realm.

Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity. He has always existed as it says in scripture “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1: 8. He was at the creation of the world and saw it was good. “Then God said Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness.” Genesis 1: 26. The New Testament Apostle writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit “IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1: 1-3. and further John 1: 14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

We become children of God recognizing that we are sinners and accepting the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ by asking forgiveness for our sins and asking Him to be Lord of our Lives. In that instance we automatically become soldiers in His Army whether we like it or not. The Lord Jesus Christ leads His Army into battle. Victory has been assured but it was won at a cost. It was only at the Cross of Calvary when He lay down His life that Satan was finally defeated.

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Col 2:14-15.

The Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem in a stable, and He was both Man and God. He was sent by the Father so that the world of men could be rescued from sin and it's consequences, eternal damnation. John 3: 16-17,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

He came to set the captives free. As it says, “For this purpose was the Son of God made manifest, to destroy the works of the Devil.” 1 John 5: 8. But even before His birth 2,000 years ago He had made appearances on this earth. To the unconverted this is a mystery, maybe it is also to many Christians who do not make it a practice of studying the Word of God in detail.

Captain of the Lord’s Hosts.

In the Old Testament there is the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in what are called “Theopanies”. One such event is found in Joshua 5: 13-15.

“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? 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, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? 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.”

Here the Lord Jesus Christ comes as a warrior. “With sword drawn in His Hand.” Joshua recognizes Him as a soldier and asks on whose side is He on. When this Soldier identifies Himself as the Captain of the hosts of the Lord, Joshua falls down in worship. This was no ordinary angel as in Revelation 22: 8-9 where John fell down in worship and was told “see that thou doest not, for I am thy fellow servant…..worship God.” This was God manifested before Joshua.

Clearly this was God as this Angel did not rebuke Joshua for his worship. This was his Commander in Chief and Joshua inquired “what sayest my Lord unto his servant.” As Captian He commands hosts of angels into battle.

Christ is called the Captain of our salvation {Hebrews 2: 10} and Commander to the people in Isaiah 4: 4. As a further sign of His Divinity, the Captain told Joshua to take off his shoe as he was standing on holy ground. This also shows Joshua that as He was with Moses at the burning bush, {Exodus 3: 5} He will be with Joshua.

We see another event where the Lord revealed His power of war. Ezekiel asked the Lord to open the eyes of his servant when the young man thought all was lost in 2 Kings 6: 8-17.

“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”

As always, we who are soldiers for Christ are never outnumbered because God plus nothing is always victorious. It says in Psalm 91: 5-9.

“Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;”

The Angel of the Lord.

The pre-incarnate Jesus Christ appeared as The Angel of the Lord several times. Note the capitals denoting Deity. In Ex 23: 20. “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared”

God says He will send an Angel to the Israelites adding to beware of Him and obey His Voice. In V23 this Angel will go and cut off the tribes in opposition to the advancing Israelites. In Judges 6: 22 Gideon was talking to the Angel of the Lord and called Him “O Lord God.” Other scriptures that show the pre incarnate Christ as the Angel of the Lord or Theophany are as follows. Genesis 16: 7-14, 22: 11-18, 31: 11-13. Exodus 3:2-5, 14: 9. Numbers 22: 22-35. Joshua 5: 13-15. Judges 13: 2-25.

We know that Jesus Christ has always existed and sharred the glory with the Father in Heaven but when He came to earth He put aside this to become the servant of mankind. On a couple of occasions the glory that He had in Heaven was manifested on earth as a witness to His Diety. As it says in Colossians 2: 9,"For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

One instance was when He was transfigured on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 17: 1-6,

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

Many cults today say Jesus was just an angel however the highest angel Michael. If this were so how did He defeat Satan after 40 days in the wilderness without provisions. Satan is the highest fallen angel and Michael is the highest of Gods angels. The face off should have been a no contest. But Satan was put in his place and defeated by the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. " It is written."

WE know that Jesus referred to Himself as "I AM" in several places in the New Testament. He said "I AM the Way,the Truth and the Life, I Am the Bread of Life, I AM the True Vine, I Am the Door, I AM the Good Shepherd etc." But there is one particular instance that stands out. Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane about to be betrayed by Judas who arrived there with a detachment of troops, officers with lanterns, torches and weapons. John 18: 4-6,

"Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground."

When Jesus uttered those words "I AM HE" He revealed His Diety and His Glory struck them and they fell to the ground. Inpetitous Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest. It is interesting in Matthew 26: 53, that Jesus could have called for twelve legions of angels should He have wanted a fight.

In the New Testament we see Jesus as the Lamb of God. He is meek and humble as a servant. Meekness is looked upon as weak today but in fact true meekness is strength harnesses and under control. It is a different Jesus Christ when He returns. He comes in fury to destroy the Antichrist and be victorious. Rev. 19 describes Him well.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19: 11-16.

This is a picture is of a warrior in full gallop descending upon His enemies with His army of holy angels following to make war on the beast and the Nations. It says in Revelation 19: 19 that the beast was captured and with him the false prophet who were thrown into the Lake of Fire and the rest were slain with the sword of Him who sat upon the horse.

This is our Commander; this is the One who will come will come from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first and then we who are alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. {1 Thessalonians 4: 16.} Oh what a wonderful day that will be for the Saints of God. But alas for those who oppose Him or have never known our Savior, what a dreadful day of woe for those who have never bowed the knee and confessed with their mouth that He is LORD.

Soldiers in Christ’s Army.

Whether you recognize it or not once you make a true commitment for the Kingdom of Christ you become a soldier in His Army and Satan will be out to get you. Before this commitment Jesus Christ was your enemy, you were in His enemy’s camp. Now your former Commander, the Devil, will harass and torment you unless you are prepared to learn the warfare and practice it daily. It is always an advantage to have some heroes of the faith to look up to for encouragement. The following verse does not endure itself to the fainthearted, but is a reality in this war that we fight for our Commander, Jesus Christ.

“You therefore MUST endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 2: 3.

“Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war” the old Hymn says, the problem today is that there are not too many soldiers prepared for the battle that constantly rages in the Heavenlies and around us in the atmosphere, and in the minds of unproctected believers. We are Christian soldiers but have very few training camps, least of all qualified Generals to teach and lead the troops into any skirmish let alone a full-scale war. Against us are amassed the hordes of enemy combatants.

We have examples in the Old Testament of great warriors for God. Joshua and David come instantly to mind. They were trained in warfare both in the physical and the spiritual realm, but most of all they were obedient to their Commander in Chief. They each had a moment of weakness but soon realized that to win they had to have the Lord God on their side. They could not win without His Strength. David said when facing the giant Goliath “the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

Many verses in Psalms speak of the Lord sending His arrows against the foes of David.

Psalm 7: 11-13 “God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, He will whet His sword; He hath bent His bow and made it ready. He hath also prepared for Him the instruments of death; He ordains His arrows against the persecutors.”

Psalm 18: 13-14. “The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest uttered His voice with hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, He sent out His arrows and scattered them; and He shot out lightning’s and discomfited them.”

Verse 39 of the same Psalm says “You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.”

Psalm 31: 2-3 says “be the rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress.”

Psalm 34: 7 says “The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”

Apostolic Warriors.

There are examples of those in the New Testament who fought the good fight also. All of the Apostles were front line troops. They not only had to contend with the spiritual warfare but also physical attacks from the leaders of the Temple. We know that John the Baptist was thrown into prison and finally beheaded for his battle hymn. “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness; make straight the way of the Lord.” John 1: 23. He spoke against the foes calling them “a brood of vipers”.

In Acts 5: 17-20 the Apostles were imprisoned but God sent an angel to set them free. Again in Acts 16: 16-34 Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned after Paul had cast out a spirit of divination in a woman who had followed them continually call out these are servants of the Most High God. Of course the owners of this fortuneteller were really upset, as they had lost their income. At midnight as Paul and Silas were singing and praying with their feet in stocks when there was an earthquake and all the doors flew open and their chains were loosed but they remained in the prison. So great was their testimony that the jailer and his household believed.

We know that the first martyr Stephen was on the front line, and so powerful was his preaching that all who sat on the Jewish council saw “his face as the face of an angel.” Acts 6: 15. He continued to use the scriptures to bring conviction on the Jews but they rejected the Holy Spirit because they were “stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears”. This so angered them because he was filled with the Holy Spirit that they stoned him to death.

The Apostles faced the demon-possessed people all the time in their ministry. The seventy-came back rejoicing that “even the demons obey us”. Luke 10: 17. But not long after their victory they were a failure when they could not cast out the deaf mute demon. They had to learn that “some come out only with fasting and prayer.” Mark 9: 29. Paul no doubt faced the most opposition for his faith and paid the penalty for his unwavering loyalty to Christ and the Gospel. His account of the hardship and affliction is documented in 2 Corinthians 11: 23-28.

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more -- in labors more abundant, in stripes beyond measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes less one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned; thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day adrift in the deep; in journeying often, in perils from waters, in perils from robbers, in perils from mine own countrymen, in perils from the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness.”

Paul the battle-scarred warrior was able to say in his valedictory “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. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me on that Day and not to me only, but unto all those also who love His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4: 6-8.

We know that only the Apostle John died of natural causes. The others were martyred because of their faith. This is a brief history of some of their recorded deaths.

1. The Apostle James beheaded by Herod. Acts 12: 2.

2. Matthew beheaded.

3. Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. He said that he was not worthy to die like his Lord.

4. James the brother of Jesus not a real apostle was thrown over a 100-foot cliff at the Temple Mount.

5. Bartholomew {Nathanael} was flayed to death with whips in Turkey.

6. Andrew was whipped by seven soldiers and tied on an X shaped Cross. Was heard to say that he desired this to happen and counted it a happy day. Preached to his torturers for two days until he died.

7. Thomas was speared to death in India.

8. Matthias was stoned and then beheaded.

9. Simon was killed refusing to sacrifice to a sun god.

10. Mark was dragged to pieces in Alexandria.

11. Philip was crucified after he converted a Roman consol’s wife to Christianity.

12. Apostle Paul was tortured and beheaded by Nero in Rome in AD 67.

What is remarkable is that they not only died for their faith, but the fact that their testimonies prove that they chose to die to this terrible way. No one would be willing to die this way for a lie. This is born out by the fact that thousands of Christians were martyred in the Roman arenas; fed to the wild beasts or used as human torches to light the way to the arenas. So up through the centuries there have always been those at the forefront of the battle against demonically inspired rulers who perished for their faith.

Some of the most vicious persecutions were under the watch of Emperor Trajan. Ignatius an early Christian wrote before his exit from this world “Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus! As he heard the lions roaring, he said. “I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.” (Foxes book of Martyr’s)

Reformation Warriors.

The Roman Catholic Church has been the main persecutor for many centuries ever since Martin Luther started the reformation. And we should not be surprised that this would happen for the Lord Himself said in John 16: 2-3.

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.”

Persecution of the reformers began with Luther and he would have surely died a martyr if he was not kidnapped by supporters and hidden in a castle where he changed identity and continued his work. Hundreds of his supporters were killed in the following years. Peter Waldo was a rich merchant in France who became a Christian. After finding the truth he sold all his possessions and began preaching. His followers memorized large portions of scripture and went out two by two preaching the Gospel. They lived in poverty not even wearing shoes; this was a total contrast to the Roman Bishops with their rich robes and jewelry.

They were forbidden to preach by Pope Alexander 111 in 1179 but Waldo quoted Acts 5: 29 “We ought obey God before Men.” Pope Lucius 111 excommunicated Waldo and his followers in 1184. Persecution continued until 1211 more than 80 followers were burned at the stake for their faith. The group then went underground into other countries but they were hunted, and in Italy alone 9,000 were killed and 12,000 imprisoned of which most died. The Waldensians survived and joined the ranks of the Protestant Reformation of 1600.

The infamous Inquisition of 1180 to 1230 took the Roman Catholic Church to new heights of savagery. All sorts of barbarous tortures were invented to draw confessions out of innocent persons. The persecution of any who stood against the Popes authority as Vicar of Christ continued even to the point of denying the common man the Word of God. William Tyndale was burnt at the stake for translating the Bible into common language. Even the poor were burned for just having in their possession a copy of his Bible. Wycliffe also was persecuted for his translation of the Bible into a language for the English people.

The History of the Monrovians also shows that they were persecuted for their faith. Their leader Count Zinzendorf opened a settlement in 1735 at Herrnhut to religious refugees who were persecuted by the Popes from Morovia of all sorts of differing views. All the settlers did agree on salvation through Jesus Christ, but this was not enough to keep peace (Kübler, 1865). About five years after the settlement begun, the camp underwent a spiritual revival where the settlers began to see their need for dependance on God as the utmost importance.

A touching story of two Monrovian elders upon hearing of the treatment of slaves in the West Indies decided to go there to preach the gospel. They were told by the Plantation owners that no preaching was allowed on their property. This did not deter these two men so they sold themselves into slavery on those plantations so the Word of God could come to the slaves. They were heard to shout as their ship moved away from the dock "May the Lamb of God be rewarded for His Suffering". It was the last time that their families heard from them.

The Word of Almighty God has been preserved today by those men and women mentioned and the other countless thousands of martyrs whose blood ran freely for their faith. They laid down their lives so that we may be enriched by the scriptures. Where would the Church of Christ be today without their sacrifice? We know that there are still many martyrs today; men and women in Communist countries; missionaries taking the Word to China where the government suppresses true Christianity but allows Government sponsored Churches which are but a sham. They are without the power of the Holy Spirit and exist to show the world that China has religious tolerance.

We are probably living in the Last Days; persecution is beginning in our country. The Word of God has been removed from our schools; no prayer is allowed; cults are given equal opportunity in a supposedly Christian country. Army Chaplains are not allowed to pray in the name of Jesus Christ with our soldiers who are wounded. Our President pretends to be Christian but says, America is no longer a Christian nation. It is a Muslim nation, it is a Hindu nation, and it is a Buddhist nation. He bows to Saudi Kings and Japanese Emperors.

Already concentration camps are built to contain those who will not conform to the One World Government. Those of us who know these things must stand and be counted; we must get out there and preach the Gospel to a perishing people lest their blood be on our hands. How can we fight? How can we succeed? We cannot without the power and protection of our God. He has supplied us with the equipment; just as the early Apostles had to fight the enemy to advance the early Church, we too must take up our weapons of war against an invisible foe if we are to win souls for Christ.

We as Christians may have to face death in our own lifetime, or prepare our children for it. Just as the martyrs before have had the courage given to them by the Holy Spirit, we too must rely on Him as our Comforter and Helper. The Apostle Paul was in dire circumstances that he wrote in 2 Corinthians 1: 8-11.

“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: but we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”

As move onto the next forward we will see that the Lord does prepare the way and the means to be able not only to resist the enemy but also to advance upon his territory and win back souls taken captive. Without knowledge of this warfare the Christian will be ineffective and be of no match for the ruthless enemy opposing us at every turn.

Ranks in the Lord’s Army.

The New Recruit.

This is the man or woman, boy or girl who has just given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ; They have change from the camp of darkness controlled by Satan to the camp of light with the Lord Jesus Christ, but have they totally escaped from Satan’s snare. Today many emotional appeals go forth from the pulpits or the stages of mega Churches. The audience is wound up by music loud enough and repetitive to deafen and deaden the strongest mind. There is a new gospel being preached on many fronts. It is the easy gospel of the seeker friendly Churches. This is made up of saying a prayer after the spirit of emotionalism has been at work. After the commitment the candidate is given a Bible and you are in the Kingdom. It is a new world church gospel; do not upset the gathering with talk of sin, hell and damnation just let us be one with God.

I wonder how many of these new recruits will even make it to Boot Camp before falling by the wayside. I am reminded of the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13: 3-9 with their explanation in Chapter 13: 18-23. This is where the Word falls on varying grades of soil. Many seeds fall by the wayside and are wasted and I am sure some recruits are among those. They hear the Word but do not understand the message and Satan snatches them back; they really did not make a true commitment.

Some of these recruits gladly accept their salvation with much excitement but it has fallen on stony ground in their heart for there is no room in their heart for the Word to take root. They hang in with pretence of being fed but soon the temptations of the old lifestyle wither the joy and they stumble and fall away. I believe 90% of these conversions are made on impulse and since the power of Christ is not resident in their life it is easy for the Devil to draw them back into his snare.

The recruit who hears the Word in the midst of thorns or in his usual environment does not make an effort to remove himself and of course the world and its deceitfulness choke the life out of the Word and he has no fruit to show as a reward. Praise be to God that there is fruit for the Sower. The Word does fall on good ground and bring forth a rich yield. This fertile ground may have been prepared by a relative or friend praying sometimes for years for their soul to be saved. This is warfare in the Heavenlies against the wicked hosts of darkness holding them captive.

I know myself; I was on the bottom of the prayer list in my Church. I was such a reprobate that no one thought I would be or could be saved. Thank God for His mercy and grace and the faithful prayers of friends and family. I was saved and like the parable says the Word was on fertile ground and I grew quickly as a Christian.

Only these recruits will complete the basic training at Boot Camp. They will be trained in the weaponry that they can use against the enemy and they will study the strength and deceptions of their adversary. There is one huge problem today. Where are the Boot Camps? Where are the officers that can pass on their battle secrets? Most of these battle scarred veterans have passed on to glory and are receiving their crowns for a job well done. Where is the true Church of Jesus Christ today? There are many who make the pretence but where there should be the shout of victories won on the battlefield there is but a whimper of resignation and the waving of the white flag.

The Regular Soldier.

A soldier must have discipline and spiritual awareness if he is to survive and do battle against the wicked enemy. The days are fast coming when our troops will not be prepared and will fall in battle having been deceived by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. {1 Timothy 4: 1.} The regular soldier has been given the manual of training and he must study it carefully and know it thoroughly so he can be effective in the army. He can rely to some extent on his superiors for information but the manual {the Bible} says “study to show{ yourself} approved of by God.” 2 Timothy 2: 15. The soldier in the Lord’s army must attend regular Church and Bible studies to be grounded in the faith. He must also be dedicated to private study and be in his prayer closet daily. He is also to be a good example to the new convert as a respected member of the body of Christ. A good soldier will display the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5: 22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

I remember in my early days as a Christian I had several mentors who were either missionaries or were involved in deliverance, they were in the front line warfare against Satan and his demons. I learned quickly under their authority and teaching and came to recognize that I too needed to be “strong in the Lord and the power of His Might.” Ephesians 6: 10, or I would be bmortally wounded by the flaming darts of the evil one.

Special Forces.

These are highly trained and skilful soldiers. Usually they have been in the army for several years and have seen and participated in many battles and skirmishes with the enemy. They have a sound knowledge of their weapons and armor. They are trained in many techniques of combat. They in fact are the frontline troops or commandos who often go behind enemy lines to rescue captives help by the enemy. They also reconnoiter the enemy strength and numbers and report back to Headquarters. Their loyalty to their Commander in Chief is without question and they would gladly lay down their life for Him or one of His children. They know that “their weapons of war are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down spiritual strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10: 4

Christian soldiers especially the ones who are in direct contact with the enemy know where their strength lies. The battle is already won by Christ where He defeated the principalities and powers at the Cross “and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” This He did when He rose from the dead. The passage in Ephesians 1: 19-21 says

“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:”

But better yet for the soldier, he too sits in Heavenly places according to Ephesians 2: 4-6.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”

The power and authority of the Christian soldier to fight Satan and his army of demons comes from our position in Christ Jesus. Christ has made His enemies His footstool so we in turn can put our foot on the head of Satan. But we had better have a strong faith and a consecrated life as we go up against this powerful foe. We must respect the power of Satan but not be fearful because we in our humanness are no match for even the weakest demon. It is only with the power of Christ that we can conquer and overcome.

I remember dealing with the demon Lefra that I mentioned earlier. He was a powerful Prince ruler and when in manifestation would stride around the room telling us to bow down to him. We in the team asked for higher angels and he would laugh and say “look at them flee.” After much prayer and intercession with others Lefra finally said “The Lord Jesus Christ; He chained me.” We broke out in praise and thankfulness that the battle was won. It was not our victory, but the Lords.

The Retired Soldier.

This old warrior has been through the thick of it when he was younger. I am sure he has the battle scars to prove it. He can remember particular incidents in his army history when the enemy had him pinned down for weeks, but he can also remember the triumphant charge up the slope of despair, over the strewn bodies of other soldiers and the planting of the flag of victory over the enemy fortress. But aah! That was long ago when he was in his prime; leave it to the young ones now. He sees that the teaching of the art of spiritual warfare is not like it used to be; in fact it is hardly taught at all today. What is taught is in the classroom? No actual hand to hand combat to hone the skills. But they will manage somehow; it’s not his worry. OR IS IT?

I believe a good soldier never retires in Christ’s army. He fights the good fight until his last gasp. He passes on his knowledge to other soldiers so that the teachings and strategies of warfare are never lost. That is the shame of the Christian teaching establishments today. It is lost! No lectures on the demonic hosts of wickedness; no lectures on the Christian Armor; no teaching on the power of the believer to do deliverance to set the captives free. One of the signs that is recorded in Mark 16: 17 is “they will cast out demons in My Name.”

I speak to any retired, or just tired soldiers reading this. You are a valuable asset for the Kingdom of God. Do not leave your knowledge fade away with the coming years. You can still be active in the war, you can pray from your bed, you can intercede for those troops in the front lines; you can encourage the young ones with your stories of your lifetime of warfare. Do not give up the fight because the Devil will not give up fighting you until you die.

The Army Reserve.

This might have changed a bit over the past few years but once they were weekend warriors. Left home for the weekend, changed out of civvies into uniform; grabbed a rifle out of the armory and paraded around the square looking like a regular soldier. They have all the show of the real soldier, the combat uniform, the boots and the rifle but they are only allowed to fire blanks. Occasionally they go to the rifle range to shoot live ammo but only at dummies. No one ever gets hurt, least of all the enemy. They are content to let the regular soldier get dirty and cop all the enemy fire.

These reservists are in all the Churches, they sit in the pews and get the privileges of a good message, the Bible study, and after Church fellowship but never become members or apply for positions in the Church to aid or assist the body as a whole. They are somewhat selfish and are often loners never participating in evangelism or outreach. Only a direct command from the Commander in Chief can wake up this soldier and stir him to act with the body of believers in this war.

The POW’s.

It happens in every war. The good strong soldier sometimes succumbs to overwhelming odds and is taken captive by the enemy. Maybe he got separated from his buddies amongst the shellfire and hail of bullets; maybe he ran out of ammunition or was cut off from his supply line. Now he is imprisoned without his weapons or armor; rendered ineffective for his Commander until the end of the war or until someone rescues him from prison.

There are many of our Christian soldiers imprisoned by Satan. He has gradually snuck up upon them with his evil demons dressed to deceive. Little by little the soldier is robbed of his discernment until he is trapped like a fly in a spider web. Maybe he forgot to review the latest newsletter advising him of the cunning of the foe and the newest device used to deceive; maybe he got slack in his devotions and prayer life. You know seven days without prayer makes one weak.

I was once a POW; in my early teenage years I was active in the local Methodist Church as a Youth leader, I taught Sunday school, and sang in the choir. I became disillusioned with My Pastor whom I admired greatly when it was revealed that he was having an affair with a young woman in the youth group. I fell in with some local lads and soon was out drinking and fornicating with them. The well-established trap from the Devil; Fast cars, fast women and alcohol were my downfall for many years. How I look back in sorrow now at wasted years for the Kingdom; how I wish I could make up the time that was lost.

Medics.

These Guys and Gals are real heroes. In the heat of battle they duck and weave in and out of the trenches caring for the casualties of this war. Bullets whistle past them, mortar rounds explode around them. They take their duty very seriously. In the spiritual conflict between the forces of good and the forces of evil they carry out the wounded; they patch them up and watch and wait while praying for their recovery.

They are over worked because the casualties are coming in far too often. The soldiers are not being prepared for this conflict; they do not know the strength or the subtlety of their enemy. This comes from the very top ranking officers in the war room. The intelligence officers have been deceived; they have been led astray by the cunning of the opposition.

Where did this deception take place? It took place in the training camps. The Bible Seminaries, the Christian Universities are comparable to Boot Camp in the Army of the USA. Little by little the truth about the weapons of war that have been provided for the soldier is lost in a multitude of paperwork. The demonic strategies used by the enemy have not been updated and therefore mostly irrelevant to today’s war. The Devil has become a media barron. He controls movie script writers, movie actors and directors. He has an entrance into every home on the planet through TV, DVD, playstation, and of course the Computer. Every Christian homes is a target, more time is spent sitting on our bums instead on our knees in prayer.

The training manual the Holy Word of God has been replaced by self-help and feel good books based on humanism and the New Age. Now the old solid Hymns that were scripture in song have been thrown out. Now rock bands thump out the voodoo beat and repetitive hypnotic choruses that take the seeker friendly congregation into swaying, jumping up and down, falling in the isles, laughing hysterically, babbling in tongues, barking like dogs, howling like wolves, in an irreverent display. Today’s service does not glorify the Lord God but gives place to the Devil and his seducing spirits who rub their hands together with glee at the opportunities presented to enter and wound more of God’s children.

No wonder that the medics are over worked and far extended. Deliverance counselors are the medics; they are the only ones who are equipped with the First Aid to patch up these wounded. They remove the garbage that has allowed the wounds to fester; the fiery darts of the enemy are also removed and the cuts covered by the Oil of the Holy Spirit. This brings soothing relief, comfort for the torn spirit. The thorns in the side are commanded to depart for the pit and release is obtained. This is often a long process as the battleground could have been in past generations and strongholds have been allowed to grow within.

But it is worth being persistent because these soldiers once rehabilitated often hear the calling to become medics themselves and in doing so become very proficient in their work. They have been there and done it. No better qualifications for this work for the Army of the Lord Jesus Christ than a rough and tough road to victory.