This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
In the previous post, we looked at the Enemy's Method of Spiritual Warfare:
Spiritual Warfare is COMPLETELY made up of WORDS and SENTENCES.
A person's ability to successfully participate in Spiritual Warfare COMPLETELY depends on their FAITH (understanding and experience) with the WORDS and SENTENCES they use.
Today, we will look at more examples of people who participated in Spiritual Warfare.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE: DISCIPLES' EXAMPLES
When people speak of the Disciples, not much is usually stated about Philip. In the chapter where Philip witnessed to the Ethiopian, we see the following:
"5 And Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed unto them the Christ.
6 And the multitudes gave heed with one accord unto the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard, and saw the signs which he did.
7 For from many of those that had unclean spirits, they came out, crying with a loud voice: and many that were palsied, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was much joy in that city."
While the SPECIFIC words that Philip used weren't stated, we see the same general pattern: Philip SPOKE, they heard, signs were manifested (both unclean spirits and diseases were dealt with), and there was an emotional response (joy or fear).
In the next chapter of Acts, we see how Peter participated in Spiritual Warfare.
"36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
37 And it came to pass in those days, that she fell sick, and died: and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber.
38 And as Lydda was nigh unto Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men unto him, entreating him, Delay not to come on unto us.
39 And Peter arose and went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them."
Peter was called in to raise from the dead a woman whose works benefited many. It looked like Peter's faith was being built through understanding and experience. Peter was being convinced this was a worthy endeavor...
"40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down and prayed; and turning to the body, he said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up."
Peter said, "Tabitha arise". Simple and to the point. Peter stated a will for someone that couldn't state a will (because she was dead). Tabitha was the subject of the Statement. Notice also, this came after praying...which also required faith.
"41 And he gave her his hand, and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
42 And it became known throughout all Joppa: and many believed on the Lord."
Again, the story ended with the Lord being magnified...the benefit was NOT to Peter. This story was consistent with everything we saw Jesus do. However, it seems we are learning more about the role of faith.
There was a story earlier in Acts that involved Peter and John.
"1 Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man that was lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms."
The man stated his will for alms. He had faith he would receive something.
"4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him, with John, said, Look on us."
This Statement gets lost in most explanations of this passage. Peter and John FASTENED their eyes upon the man...they were focused. Then they said, "Look on us." They made a Statement for the man...which set up the key verse:
"5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something from them."
The man was showing FAITH. He expected to receive SOMETHING and his actions followed...he looked on them. Notice, Peter and John were "qualifying" the man for the healing...they were determining if he had enough faith to be healed.
"6 But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but what I have, that give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Peter made two Statements. The first Statement was a statement of his will. Peter was the subject and he was stating his will that he was going to give to the man something that was NOT Physical. This Statement was a statement of FAITH (understanding and experience). The second Statement was the Spiritual Warfare: stating a will for the man.
"7 And he took him by the right hand, and raised him up: and immediately his feet and his ankle-bones received strength.
8 And leaping up, he stood, and began to walk; and he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God."
The disciple demonstrated his faith by raising up the man. Also, Peter and John were on their way to prayer. The man who got healed went into the temple leaping and praising God!
"9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 and they took knowledge of him, that it was he that sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him."
People were filled with wonder and amazement...
We have seen several accounts of Jesus participating in Spiritual Warfare. In each instance, Jesus made a Statement. He stated a will for something that was unable to state a will or act apart from its nature.
In today's examples, the Disciples followed Jesus' example with what was said. However, in these examples we get a greater understanding of the role of FAITH...the understanding and experience that leads to actions.
Remember, Spiritual Warfare depends on a person's ability to use WORDS and SENTENCES...AND the person's understanding and experience with the WORDS and SENTENCES that are stated are also critical.
Tomorrow, we will look at examples involving Paul...