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Colonel James Green, January 1986
Romans 8: 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
EVERYTHING HAS ITS ORIGIN AND SMALL BEGINNING. We are told not to despise the day of small beginnings. Adam probably never considered that the small kingdom Garden in Eden would centuries later blossom with God’s universal Kingdom on earth. Even King David, as he ruled Israel from his throne, really didn’t comprehend that someday Jesus Christ, working through an earthly body (the true Church), would rule the throne of the universe. Abraham, desiring one miracle son from God, turned into a nation of sons. There are many examples of small beginnings.
The same principle holds true in the developing of mature, manifested Christian soldiers, for this development has its small beginnings. It takes our cooperation with the Spirit of God for an overcoming army of believers to manifest the life and works of JESUS CHRIST. It takes skill and will.
GOD IS NOW DOING a very special thing in those of His people who are pressing on with Him with marked purposefulness. There is a sweeping and terrible battle raging for the throne of this world. A greater warfare has never been known. The enemy is marshaling all his power and all his puppets in vivid array. There is an urgent summons for the people of God to recognize the challenge. Who will take the government of the universe?
Unless men have spiritual discernment to see what is behind the present world situation, they will not rise to the challenge of the enemy. God’s sons are being prepared and called to take the kingdom now, in a spiritual way, in order that they may share the throne in the age to come.
The Father spent much time in preparing His Son for the work of the ministry. Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. He was developed in the spirit. But, this was not all that the Father had in mind. Jesus was one man, and could only be in one place at a time. The Father’s intention was for the Son to taste death for every man, and thru this He could bring many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2).
Jesus was human and He was divine. He had a will like you and I. He did not have sin. He could have walked independently of His Father by His own choosing, but He didn’t, for He knew His Father’s plan for man: to fill the universe with one new man, thus extending the heavenly rule and purpose of life everywhere. Through His (Jesus’) death, burial, and resurrection, He became the Captain of our salvation.
PERHAPS you do not know what a military captain does. Well, a captain in the army is a leader of companies, batteries, and troops. It is his job to insure that soldiers fight with skill, will, and teamwork. He is the one who delivers upon the enemy the combat power that the upper levels have put together.
Why all the explanation? Did not the Bible say that all things are put under the feet of our Captain? (Hebrews 2:8). Yes, but now we see not yet all things put under Him. By His death, He took death captive. By His coming to earth, He destroyed the works of the devil. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). But we still have the works of the devil going on. What did He mean?
Jesus conquered death and has all power over the enemy. Now He has invested this great power into another Body—-the Body of Christ, the true Church. This is a beautiful revelation, but that’s not all. There is coming a day when all creation, which has been waiting expectantly, shall receive His fullness (Romans 8). The birth of the New Testament Church had its small beginnings with its small workings. But greater things await us. A greater battle lies ahead. Oh, yes, we’ve had some tough battles in times past. The Church went through the dark ages; it’s going through the refining fire now. But this is for the development of God’s Army, reserved unto the end.
GOD HAS “put all things under his feet, and given him to be the head over all things to the church which is his body” (Ephesians 1:22). From God’s eternal viewpoint this is already accomplished. When members respond only to the Head, there will be a glorious harmony within the body and all shall come to the true measure of His mind, purpose, vision and Spirit.
So many Christians are waiting for a rapture to take them up and away . . . but God has other plans. He is going to have a perfected Body, a manifested Body, an obedient many-membered son that rules with DOMINION power. This brings me to the point of discussion. How much training will it take to develop this Body? Will we yield to the instructions of our instructor or will we do our own thing, hoping things will get better and the devil will go away? Remember, it is the new-creation man that has the task of putting Satan out of business, for he (Satan) still afflicts, torments, and kills Christians. It takes AGGRESSIVE ACTION to put the devil in his place. Wishing evil to vanish just won’t do the job.
Do we have a strong Body of believers today or not? Is this Body developed? Is it ruling or being ruled by self/Satan? I think that we need more and more training. I think that we need to get serious and sober up. I think that we are a LONG WAY from manifesting the light and glory of God. We fall short in ruling over the opposition of the enemy. We fall far short of a faith-walk with the Lord.
Just what is the ultimate purpose of all this military talk anyway? Have you not read Romans 8:19-22? This is more than dying, going into Heaven, and receiving our heavenly bodies. Did not Jesus conquer the devil? Did He not put death under foot? Shall not His corporate Body do the same?
Jesus could not deliver the great blessings and treasures of truth to us unless He first won the war against the evil one. Jesus spent much time casting out demons, healing the sick and diseased and preparing the Twelve for a new Kingdom, a new reign, a new way of life. He spent time training them to obey His commandments, stop sinning, and proclaim liberty to the captives. Through the death of Jesus, all humanity has a choice of freedom.
(1) His grace is demonstrated that we might be free from captivity, but this freedom is to be used for and unto His ultimate intention.
(2) God always asks that which is impossible to the natural man in order that His people will be dependent upon divine, spiritual resources.
(3) God designs all things to function properly under His control. He is not content to merely set us free, but longs to “turn our capacity”; that is, He longs to bring us back into His captivity.
(4) Man must either submit to God’s purpose or become captive to some other law. God’s plan will not allow us to live long in liberty apart from law.
(5) God’s pattern is not spurts of consecration and dedication, but a consistent walk leading into a continuous unfolding revelation of His plan and purpose.
If you are any kind of Christian at all, then you know that there is more to this walk than “naming it and claiming it”. There is more than material gain. There is growing up into perfection (Hebrews 6:1 and Ephesians 4:12-13). Perfection comes by opposition, not blessings upon the mountain tops. It is basically dependent upon the willingness of the individual to deal with his or her will in all situations: amidst the attacks of the enemy, in the tests/trials of refinement, and under the chastening hand of God in his or her life. This is what develops a Christian.
Before we can see the manifestation of the sons of God, there must be training and maintaining. There must be a constant abiding in Christ and out of self. There must be a working in and a working out. The Holy Spirit’s job, along with the five ministries mentioned in Ephesians four, is to develop soldiers and disciples, to produce a man/woman who is both able and willing. Remember, the Father expressed His life through the Son. Now, the Son wants to express His life through us. What a glorious day awaits us when we will be unveiled as was the Son! Jesus received the spirit of adoption at Jordan’s river. The Father was now ready to use this Son for the work of the ministry, to build a living temple wherein the Father could dwell in His fulness.
When there is no supreme goal or spiritual purpose, people generally concentrate on motion. Instead of working toward ultimate fulfillment of the Father’s intention, they keep changing their goals and call this progress. They do not know where they are going, but they are certainly on their way. Those who find no clear meaning or destiny in life really can never say they are making progress in the race. If there is no fixed course and destination, they can never measure whether they are getting to their goal or not. Life under such circumstances is boring and meaningless. Let us not be like the sculptor who was hacking and cutting away at a block of marble all day. When he was asked, “What are you making?” he said, “I really don’t know . . . I haven’t seen the plans.”
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