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Spiritual Warfare – Know Your Enemy

I’m continuing to look at the conflict between Adam and the devil.  It’s recorded in the title deed to earth (Revelation 6:1-2).  In my last post, we saw that the objective of the enemy was to take peace from the earth.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”  Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.  Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other.  To him was given a large sword.
Revelation 6:3-4

As I’ve said previously, red is the color of sin.  Sin is missing the mark of God’s perfect will.  This is the enemy’s mode of transportation.  Questioning God’s will is the way he does things.  That’s his way of fighting the war and we need to be ready for it.

The Scripture tells us that he has some weaponry.  It’s a large sword.  Throughout the Bible, we find that words are a sword.

Please understand that the enemy’s sword is NOT living and active.  It’s not the sword of the spirit.  It has no authority behind it to pull down strongholds.

All the enemy starts with is a large sword – big words.  All he has is words.  No power, no authority, just talk.  On the surface, it doesn’t sound like he has much to work with.

As a matter of fact, when you compare it with what Adam was given, spiritual bow and arrows, the devil should have no hope of victory.  Adam has the authority of God to shut down the enemy before he even gets started.

Think about it.  We have a contest between two warriors.  One has a bow and arrows.  The other is approaching from the distance with only a sword.  Who would you expect to come out on top?

Personally, I would put my money on the archer every time.  However, a quick look at Genesis, chapter 3, will show that things don’t always turn out as they should.

Adam foolishly let the enemy get close enough to use his words.  The Scripture makes it clear that Adam was with Eve when the enemy attacked (Genesis 3:6).  Yet during the entire exchange, he kept his bow out of sight.

The enemy went to work questioning God’s Word and will for mankind.

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:2-5

At that moment, through Adam, mankind succumbed to the enemy’s lies.  We’ve been caught in the consequences of that act ever since.

Know your enemy.  Understand his way of attacking.  We’ve been given life and victory in Christ.  Don’t let him convince you otherwise.

If the devil can convince you that the blessings of God are not for you, then he can steal your peace and everything else that goes with it.  Find out what God says about you and meditate on that.  It will give you the strength you need to walk in victory.

Question: What lies has the enemy used to try and stop you from receiving God’s best?

©2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2019 in Spiritual Warfare, Word of God

 

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Spiritual Warfare – A Strong Start

As I said in my last post, I’m beginning a series on the spiritual battle that we find ourselves in.  There are a number of things that we misunderstand about it.  Hopefully, I can help to clear up some of these issues.

To start this subject, I want to take us through the history of spiritual warfare, as recorded in Scripture.  To do that, I’m going to look at some verses that people don’t normally associate with this topic.  I just ask you to stick with me; it will become clear as we go along.

The first place I want to take you is to the throne room scene in Heaven.  In the book of Revelation, we see Christ (the Lamb) taking up a scroll that’s sealed with seven seals.  That’s found in Revelation, chapter 5.

I believe that this scroll is the title deed to planet earth.  Christ is given it as a call for Him to return as King since He paid for it with His blood on the cross.

As with any deed, it should record the major events of the property in question.  It would contain the owners, liens, and rights of way that have been enforced during its history.  The deed to earth is no exception.

That being said, in Revelation, chapter 6, we see the Lord breaking these seals and opening the scroll.  What’s recorded on it is very important to our discussion.

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals.  Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!”  I looked, and there before me was a white horse!  Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
Revelation 6:1-2

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of conjecture about this verse.  Some say that it’s talking about Christ, the church, or the devil.  Unfortunately, if you read the description carefully, you’ll find that none of these will match perfectly.

There is one person, however, that fits all the requirements of this verse.  Look at the description.

He carries a bow.  In the ancient world, that was the “first-strike” capability of any army.  The archers could do a lot of damage before the enemy even got close.

He was also given a crown.  That’s talking about God-given authority.  Along with that, he had a destiny to conquer something.  And don’t forget that he rides a white horse – that stands for purity.

With all of these descriptions, I think that the single most important fact is that he’s the first person listed on the title deed to the earth.  As far as I can see, there’s only one person this could be.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 1:27-28

Here we see the start of it all.  Adam is created perfect, pure, and righteous.  He has authority to rule and is commissioned to subdue, or conquer, the entire earth.  He’s to bring everything on earth under the rulership of God, the Creator.

As the first created human, he’s also in a unique position.  Because of his authority under God, he can protect the earth from any invader.  He has been given “first-strike capability.”

In Adam, the human race was given a strong start.  Things looked very promising.  There’s no enemy that could defeat God’s anointed ruler.  At least that’s what it looked like in the beginning.

In my next post, we’ll see how that turns out.

Question: How are we like Adam, with the authority God has given us in Christ?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Alive to God! #prayerinthespirit

Garden PathIn my last post I showed that God’s definition of death is an inability to communicate.  In the same way, Adam didn’t die according to our modern definition.  He died in God’s definition.

From that point on God could no longer fellowship with Adam and Eve on the level He desired.

God wanted an interaction in the spirit, but this was no longer possible because of sin.  Therefore, to God, Adam and Eve were dead.  God could no longer communicate to them on the level of the spirit.  He would now have to use other means.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8

Notice the wording that’s used here.  The man and the wife heard the sound of God.  This is the first place in Scripture where it specifically says that God made a sound.

This is emphasized because Adam and Eve had never before heard with their ears, God making a sound.  Before that, they always communicated by the spirit.  This new experience inspired fear.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10

We can hear it from Adam’s own mouth.  The two things that caused fear in him were hearing God, and seeing his nakedness.  At that point, as a race of people, mankind was cut off from spiritual communication with God.

Please understand, our spirits are still active.  This is how mediums, witch doctors, and spiritists can communicate with familiar spirits.  They can still interact in the spiritual realm, they just don’t understand the dangers of this practice.

As far as communication with God is concerned, mankind’s spirits can not talk to God because of sin.  After the fall, God could only communicate to man by very limited means. God could speak bodily, through angels, a donkey, a voice, or by taking on flesh.  He could speak inwardly, directly to our mind.  He could also “move upon” someone, which literally means that He “put them on like clothes” and spoke through them.

This was the sad condition of the human race until Christ came on the scene.  He really was “God with us”.  The Gospels record the work He did for us on the cross.  Because of His death, burial, and resurrection we can now enter into a salvation that we could never experience in our own strength.

Now, if we receive His great gift, the Holy Spirit takes up residence on the inside of us.  This means that communication lines are open once again between us and the Lord.  According to God’s definition, we are now alive to Him.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Romans 8:10

It’s clear from Scripture that your spirit is now alive to God!!!

Question: How important to you, is the knowledge that God’s Holy Spirit lives in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Death – A God’s Eye View #prayerinthespirit

GravesIn my last post, I talked about the three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit.  Knowing all of this, let’s move on to an understanding of just how our spirit operates.  To do this we must go back to the beginning when man was first created.

There are a few basic things that I have no Scripture for, but I have to take on faith, knowing what the Word of God infers.  First, I believe what Jesus said – that God desires true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Second, I believe that God created Adam to be absolutely perfect and that in this perfect state Adam communicated with God the way God wanted him to.  Because of these two beliefs I infer that Adam, in his perfect state, did not communicate with God using his flesh.

All of the interaction between God and Adam took place in the realm of the spirit.  I also believe, if you will stick with me for a moment, that the Scripture will bear this out.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

When I read this passage, I see Adam hearing in his spirit the command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He was warned that if he did ever eat it he would surely, definitely, absolutely, DIE.  My problem was this – when Adam ate from the tree, he didn’t die.  At least he didn’t die according to our modern society’s concept of death.

What I found was that we don’t understand what God means when He uses the word death.  We usually only see it from the earthly standpoint.  Just because our body stops functioning does not constitute death to God.

We are told in the letter to the Romans to “Count yourself dead to sin” (Romans 6:11).  Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8)  This tells me that when my body stops working, I merely change residences.

To understand the events in the Garden, I need to know what God means when He uses the word death.  A careful study of the Word will prove that when God says that someone has died, it means that communication has stopped.  There is no longer any capability to interact with that person.

That’s why, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father said, “My son was dead, but now is alive.” (Luke 15:24)  The prodigal was not physically dead, but the father could not communicate with him.  So, to the father, he was dead.

Even among Christians we’re told not to grieve like the world that has no hope.  We understand that when we attend the funeral of a fellow believer, the parting is only temporary.  Why do Christians grieve?  Because of a temporary loss of fellowship.

This concept is important to our subject.  In my next post, I’ll apply it to Adam’s situation.

Question: How does this view of death explain sin’s affect upon us?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Healing 101 – Where Does Sickness Come From? #Christthehealer

MissIn my last post I showed that sickness is not a part of the curse and therefore, not authored by God.  If that’s the case, then where did sickness and disease come from?

Before the fall, Adam and Eve could not get sick or die.  Sickness and disease were never in God’s plan for mankind.

It didn’t come from Satan either.  He can’t create anything.  The enemy can only use sickness if it serves his purposes.

Where did sickness and disease come from?

Think about it – when Adam chose to walk the path of sin, all of creation fell from the perfection of God’s original plan.  Humans, plants, and animals all fell into imperfection (Missing the mark).  Sickness was birthed as a direct result of that fall.

It turns out that all disease can be fit into one of three categories:

1. Animal Attacks – All viruses and bacteria are microscopic animals.  God never intended for them to attack the human body.  But because of sin entering the world, they have missed the mark of God’s perfect will.

2. Genetic Imperfections – Many diseases are passed down from generation to generation.  They’re not a part of God’s original plan, but because our DNA is now imperfect, there are genetic sicknesses.

3. Mistreatment of the Body – It’s a fact that alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, gluttony, and sexual sins can cause or pass along many deadly diseases.  It’s beyond question that these actions miss the mark of how God wants us to treat our bodies.  There are also things that we do to hurt our bodies that we don’t even know we’re doing.

It’s clear that all sickness misses the mark of God’s perfect health.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

How perfect is God?  Does He get sick?  That may seem like a preposterous question, but if He can’t be touched by sickness, why would He ever want us to be sick?  It was never a part of His plan for creation.

Sickness and disease came upon the earth as a part of the total package of sin.  When Adam chose to miss the mark of God’s glory, he embraced all that sin had to offer.  We usually only think about the evil side of sin – things like adultery, lies, and murder.  Remember, Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil!

God created Adam perfect.  He had a perfect memory.  His DNA was perfect.  Everything about him was perfect.  The “sin package” changed all that.  Now, because of the “sin nature”, we forget things, get sick, and do evil, as well as a host of other symptoms.

Sickness is a part of the sin package.

BE CAREFUL!  I did not say that every sickness is caused by some sin committed by the person.  The disciples thought that and were rebuked by Jesus.  Sickness and disease are not caused by the sins we commit, but are a manifestation of the sin nature that Adam embraced.

As I close this post, let me summarize.  Sickness was not given as a part of the curse.  Rather it entered the world through sin.  Now mankind has inherited the tendency to “miss the mark” of the perfect health that God had created Adam to enjoy.

In my next post we will begin to look at the association between sickness and sin throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Question: What happens when we want to keep part of the sin package (like greed) and get rid of other parts (like sickness)?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Healing

 

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Healing 101 – Sickness and the Curse #ChristtheHealer

VirusHealing is a “Hot Topic” in the body of Christ today.  Many are seeking to be healed of a variety of sicknesses and diseases. There are healing revivals, healing seminars, and healing schools around the country, yet only a fraction are being healed.

There are many conflicting messages being taught:

“God wants everybody healed.”

“It’s God’s will to keep some people sick.”

“You can’t know if it’s God’s will to heal you or not.”

“If you’re not healed, it’s because you lack the faith.”

What’s the truth?

The Scripture is clear in its teaching on healing.  Hopefully, this new series will provide you with simple, clear, and easy to understand principles from the Word of God.

Before we can truly grasp God’s purpose in healing, we must first have a basic understanding of sickness.  Sad to say, but most Christians are ignorant of the true nature of sickness.  I’ll start by giving you a God’s eye view of sickness and disease.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…
Romans 5:12

To understand sickness, we must go back to the beginning when sin entered the world through Adam.

What is sin?  The words we translate as sin in both the Old and New Testaments mean to miss the mark.  Sin misses the mark of God’s glory.  According to the above verse, death is the penalty for missing the mark (sinning).

Adam missed the mark of God’s perfect will for him.  It was through Adam that the tendency to sin, and the resulting death penalty was transferred to the human race.  Here’s the curse was pronounced against us in the Garden of Eden…

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16

The word pains, in this verse, literally means intense labor.  The curse against the woman was that her reproduction process would be labor intensive.

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Genesis 3:17-19

The words painful toil in this verse is the same Hebrew word pains found in verse 16.  Adam would produce food through labor intensive work.  The curse, therefore, was that for man and woman, the very things that they were created to do, would only be accomplished through painful toil.

There’s one thing that’s obviously absent from the curse.  In spite of anything taught to the contrary, Scripture is clear – sickness was NOT a part of the curse!!!  God was not the author of sickness.

In my next post, I’ll show where sickness actually comes from.

Question: What are your views on divine healing?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Healing

 

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Walking With God

What is God’s greatest call on your life?  What does He want you to do more than anything else?

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

This is probably one of the most important concepts for any Christian to understand.  It is God’s greatest desire for His people.  It’s for them to come into relationship with Him.  It’s not just about going to Him when we need help, but to simply spend time with Him – to walk with the Lord.

If you read the beginning of Genesis you will find that God walked regularly with Adam before the fall.  Great men of faith, like Enoch, Abraham, and Moses walked with God.  That’s His desire for us as well.

Walking with someone assumes certain things.  It means that you have agreed to go in the same direction.  You’re also going the same speed.  In order for this to happen in the spiritual, we need to spend time with the Lord to get to know His heart.  What direction is He going, and how quickly?

There is another key word in this verse – humbly.  I am not the one setting the pace for this walk.  I must yield my will to His.  It’s unfortunate that so much of our time in prayer is spent trying to get God to walk in our direction and at our speed.  No wonder there are so many frustrated Christians.  We must learn that it’s God’s plan that’s important.  I must pick up His plan if I want to succeed in this life.

Take the time today to humble yourself before God.  Lay your plans at His feet.  Let the Lord know that you’re willing to let Him set the pace for your life.  Then you can go forward in the security that your destination is the one that God has planned out for you.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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