Beloved Family… During the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Israel, three different neighboring people groups decided to unite their armies and send them to invade and destroy his nation. You may think: “So what else is new?… Isn’t some group or other always trying to destroy God’s people?” And the answer of course is: Yes, it’s true. God’s chosen Jewish and non-Jewish people always seem to end up in the crosshairs of one enemy or another.
But I want to draw your attention to the spiritual principle that is embedded within the historical account of how Jehoshaphat and his people responded to an apparently impossible quandary and hopeless frightening situation. In hindsight, we have the advantage of knowing more than the believers before us knew and had to work with. Nevertheless, they knew exactly how to react and what to do. So how much more can we learn from their example?
In our day, we have the glory and privilege of knowing, living with, and serving God’s Living Word made flesh! Our risen Lord actually lives within us at all times! And, if we remain alert and cooperative, and take advantage of the wisdom that our forebearers in the Faith passed on to us, the Lord is also able to reveal Himself and reach out to the world through us, at all times! This is the glory of having been chosen to serve as one of His personal Last Days disciples!
We can know for sure that through His Word made flesh, God has already crushed the head of the Serpent and removed any hope he has that his malevolent works might be able to prevail in the end. So, armed with this vitally important battlefield intelligence, we can know in advance that, regardless of what kinds of deceptive traps our enemies set before us, our Commander has already completely routed and overwhelmed them! And we can always operate with this granite-solid assurance of ultimate Triumph as we serve and fulfill our commissions as members of our Lord’s Last Days Invasion Force!
We have the honor and privilege of taking His Presence with us no matter where He deploys us! His invincible Light continues to come out of us to pierce and penetrate the Darkness of the enemy’s remaining strongholds on Earth. He relentlessly continues to bring more and more of the territory they still hold, back under His Dominion. But along the way, the enemy will keep trying to throw one ruse, illusion, false front and deceptive allurement after another, against us. Their ploys, threats and menacing postures will, on the surface, seem to be even more dire, dangerous, and seemingly hopeless than any of the situations Israel had to face in the past!
So, like Joshua, David, Jehoshaphat, and all the others who have gone before us, we too must be primed and prepped to react and respond exactly the way they responded. We too must know the solid Covenant Ground upon which God has placed His people. They knew God had committed Himself by blood oath to cover, shield, and protect His Covenant Family. So they immediately turned to God, and kept their eyes upon Him with laser-like intensity. And they waited upon Him with outrageous confidence, fully expecting Him to respond to the dire threats their enemies continually unleashed against them!
“Some came and reported to Jehoshaphat saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Aram, and are already in Hazazon-Tamar” (that is En-Gedi).
“Jehoshaphat was afraid SO HE RESOLVED TO SEEK ADONAI, and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Judah assembled to seek help from Adonai; indeed, they came from all the cities of Judah to seek Adonai.” (2 Chronicles 20:2-4 TLV. Emphasis added.)
Those Israelites felt fear at first, because they knew there was no natural human way they were equipped or prepared to face such a formidable and apparently overwhelming enemy force. But thanks to the everlasting Blood Covenant bond God had made with Israel, they strengthened themselves in the knowledge that they were covered by the protection of the sacrificial blood that sealed their Covenant with God forever. And therefore, no set of earthly disasters or natural impossibilities had the authority or power to derail or destroy God’s people! Even though the created resources they themselves had on hand paled in the face of what their demonically-manipulated enemies had to work with, nevertheless they had a compelling reason to respond in a way that differed entirely from the typical way in which people of this world react in similar situations.
Unbelieving people become intimidated in the face of such threats. And they despair and come apart at the seams because they don’t know or believe that our God has already routed the demonic forces that they still continue to believe and unwittingly serve! But the Commander we know and serve has most certainly already triumphed over all the evil and darkness that exists!
“For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is Life and Peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Law (Torah) of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of Righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give Life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live! For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:5-17 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added)
So, dear ones, we have good reason to react to demonic opposition with calm, cool confidence and see through all of our enemy’s empty lies, bluffs, and deceptive traps! During the chaos, dangerous persecutions, and demonically-aroused attacks will surround us in the days to come. And it will appear to any earthly observer that we are sitting ducks… doomed to be overwhelmed and taken down. But, like Jehoshaphat, we too can know that even though, naturally speaking, it looks as though we’re doomed, the fact remains that because we too are united in an eternal Covenant Bond with Almighty God, then by faith, we can afford to see our situation as God sees it. In His sight and estimation, He has already placed us on the Resurrection side of the Cross upon which the Lamb of God made full justifying, sanctifying Redemptive Atonement in our name and on our behalf!
“Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Messiah in God. When Messiah, who is your Life, is revealed (to be abiding within you on Earth), then you also will be revealed with Him, (as He abides with His Father) in Glory!” (Colossians 3:1-4 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
In God’s eternal perspective, everything is already perfectly done, redeemed, and fully restored to meet His Specifications! And that includes you and me and anyone else who believes, repents, and relies upon His Living Word who is revealed in God’s written Word! And if we are drilled, trained, and fully imbued with the eternal assurance of these things, we can enter the field of conflict knowing, believing, and trusting that the Victory that is promised in God’s written Word is already ours! We’re equipped to see through the façade of the threatening messages our enemies keep trying to use to dismay us. Because we know and trust the Word of our God we don’t have to fall for what even our own eyes, ears, imaginations, limited perspectives, and volatile feelings will seem to be telling us! We can stand and hold our Covenant Ground and avoid being swept into the whirlpools of panic, dread, hopelessness and sense of sure defeat into which our demonic enemies will always be trying to entangle us.
When people do not know their God sufficiently, earthly appearances easily overwhelm them. Waves of terror, disorientation and despair engulf them and knock them off their emotional feet and spin them around and cast them into freefalls of hopeless despair. But if we know our God… thanks to our prior boot camp training, then even though circumstances may take us completely by surprise… nevertheless, that precious combat training will automatically kick in and take over (presupposing we followed directions while we were undergoing it and learned the intended lessons with sufficient repetition). Proper boot camp training, when taken in with sufficient repetition, wires in and encodes what is commonly called, ‘muscle memory’ into our innermost being. Muscle memory of the proper procedures and combat skills that the repetition wires into our brain and programs into the depths of our minds, enables us to see through the bluffs of the enemy, and to stand firm and defend the Covenant Ground God has entrusted to our care. Because we know our enemies are already defeated, we can afford to press on!
King David’s Faith, Yeshua’s Victory
David learned his ‘boot camp lessons ’ while he spent weeks and months in solitude, tending sheep in the lonely Judean wilderness. He repeatedly mulled over and absorbed what he had learned from God’s written Word. He feasted on God’s Presence and Truth and absorbed and digested God’s reassuring Blood Covenant guarantees until they became woven into the very fibers of his heart and soul. God’s Perfect, ever-reliable Lovingkindness became a part of his inner being. So when Holy Spirit moved him to face, resist, and run to confront the giant Goliath, and all of his future enemies, the precious ‘muscle memory’ David had stored within himself emerged from his subconscious mind and took immediate and effective action in the midst of the many dire emergencies that God entrusted to his obedient faith. And while he relied upon his Covenant God, Father delivered every enemy he faced into David’s faith-empowered hands.
And, by learning to do what David and Jehoshaphat did, we too can all be prepared to keep our wits about us and remain in proper formation… as a fully integrated unit that moves and performs as one person, just like a finely-tuned mechanism! By coming to know our God and the All-Sufficiency of His already finished works, we too will be able to do the right things at the right times, and prevail over our already-routed foes who have nothing but smoke and futile hologram-type deceptions to try to throw against us. Goliath, and all the other giants Israel had to face in David’s day, and the formidable forces of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir that were advancing against Israel in Jehoshaphat’s day, did not realize it, but they were already defeated and without hope because of the All-Sufficiency of the Covenant Work God had accomplished through His Word on Abraham’s behalf, long ago!
Abraham’s Obedience, Yeshua’s Victory
“Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing. My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed… ”
“… Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions. But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces.
On that day Adonai cut a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: the Kenite, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:13-21 TLV, Emphasis added)
And centuries later, God’s Living Word made flesh came to Earth to fulfill by His own atoning death, everything that His Father had revealed, commanded, and promised to Abraham and Israel, and anyone else that would repent and believe and trust God’s promised Messiah, Yeshua, the Son in whom the Father is well pleased.
“When some of those standing there heard it, they began saying, “This Man is calling for Elijah.” Right away one of them ran and took a sponge. He filled it with sour wine and put it on a stick, and was offering it to Yeshua to drink. But the rest were saying, “Leave Him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to save Him.” And Yeshua cried out again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the Temple (that had formerly separated humanity from direct contact with the Presence of God) was split in two, from top to bottom. And the earth quaked and rocks were split apart. And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the kedoshim who were sleeping were raised to life. And coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many!” (Matthew 27:47-53 TLV, Emphasis added)
Beloved, when we are firmly grounded and focused upon things that are truly God-given, and we imagine, think, and act and react accordingly, the massive repetition we’ve undergone enables us to ingest and absorb God’s Word into ourselves. And it will work from deep within us, training, drilling, disciplining and transforming us. The knowledge of our God that we’ve stored deep within us will cause the vitally important and necessary faith-based combat skills and instincts that God’s Word sowed into the subconscious part of our minds to immediately activate and ‘kick in’ when we’re in the midst of actual combat, carnage, destruction, chaos, confusion!
So even when we experience so much chaos that we’re stunned and mentally disoriented… that subconscious treasure trove of repeated correct practice that our hours of communing and abiding with God’s Perfect Presence wired into the fiber of our being, will enable us to instinctively know and abide with Him. And Holy Spirit will let us know what to do and how to do it to perfection. Thus, we’ll perform like well-prepared combat troops, reacting automatically and instinctively, without having to think about it. And our enemies will have no way of getting to us or overcoming the Lord who is always covering, supplying, guiding, and fighting for us.
Stephen’s Faith, Yeshua’s Victory
“When they heard these things, they became enraged and began gnashing their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Ruach ha-Kodesh, gazed into heaven and saw the Glory of God—and Yeshua standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
But they covered their ears; and crying out with a loud voice, they rushed at him with one impulse. Driving him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. They went on stoning Stephen as he was calling out, “Lord Yeshua, receive my spirit!” Then he fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” After he said this, he died (and entered God’s Glory in total triumph).” (Acts 7:54-60 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
This kind of preparatory ‘boot camp training’ equips us to remain focused on Holy Spirit’s nearness ‘when all the chips are on the table.’ And God’s Spirit enables us to remain so well focused on our main objectives, that even when things go wrong and force us to adjust, we’re able to make instantaneous adjustments and improvise as necessary. And we’re still able to maintain our God-assigned headings and fulfill our preassigned assignments despite what the enemy may do in his utter panic and desperation to try to derail us!
King Jehoshaphat’s Faith, Yeshua’s Victory
King Jehoshaphat had obviously gotten used to soaking his mind and heart in the Presence of His God, feeding upon and drinking in the rich substance contained in His written Word. And as He partook of the feast that is found in God’s Word, Holy Spirit led Him and the people into union with the Presence and Protection of the Present Reality and Finished Fulfillment and Triumph of God’s Living Creative Word! And because they turned to God and trusted and focused, and rested on and drew from Him, He covered them through the channel of their faith, and kept them safely rooted in and hidden, under the protection God was giving to them through His Living Word and Holy Spirit!
“At that time Yeshua (God’s Living Word made flesh) said in response, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and of Earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and discerning and revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was pleasing to You.
All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son (the Living Word) except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son (the Living Word) and anyone to whom the Son (the Living Word) chooses to reveal Him.
COME TO ME, ALL WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST! Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’ For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“Then Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the House of Adonai in front of the new courtyard and said:
“Adonai, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and Might are in Your (WORD’S) Hand and no one can stand against You! Are You not our God who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and gave it to the descendants of Your friend Abraham forever? They settled in it and built You a Temple there for Your Name saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us—the sword of judgment, pestilence or famine—we will stand before this House and before You—for Your Name is in this House—and cry to You in our distress and You will hear and deliver us.’
“Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir—whose land You did not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt, instead they turned aside from them and did not destroy them—now behold, how they repay us by coming to drive us out of Your possession that You gave us as an inheritance. Our God, will You not execute judgment on them? FOR WE HAVE NO POWER TO FACE THIS GREAT MULTITUDE THAT IS ATTACKING US. WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO—BUT OUR EYES ARE ON YOU!” (2 Chronicles 20:5-12 TLV, Emphasis added)
So the king led his people in a prayer that was solidly rooted in and based upon the Blood Covenant Truth and Reality that God had revealed and given to them in His Torah… which is the written Word of God. And, because they stood firm and maintained their focus upon the Perfect Presence of their God, Holy Spirit covered them all the while and enabled them to maintain their position and hold onto the unilateral Abrahamic Blood Covenant Ground that He had already given to them.
And the obedience of their faith in God’s Infinite Nature and Perfect airtight Trustworthiness led them into the embrace of His Living Creative Word, who is the Author, Protector, and validating Fulfiller of the authentic Word-based faith with which all of the Word’s authentic disciples are equipped! The Truth was, and always will be, that our Heavenly Father’s Infinitely Perfect Word has already routed and destroyed the works, ploys, and aspirations of our enemies, even before they arrive on the scene!
Jehoshaphat and his people believed God (as much as they knew of Him). And through the obedience of their faith, they continued to abide under the shadow of the wings of His Living Word who was right there to cover and accompany and provide whatever they would need to face and survive any dire emergency that would come against them.
“Then in the midst of the congregation, the Ruach Adonai (the spirit who reveals God’s Living word) came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, and he said:
“Listen all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat. Thus Adonai says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be dismayed because of this great multitude, FOR THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S! Tomorrow go down against them as they come up the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. YOU WILL NOT FIGHT IN THIS BATTLE. Take your positions, stand and SEE THE SALVATION (Yeshua) OF ADONAI WITH YOU, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or be dismayed. Tomorrow go out to face them, for (the Living Fulfilling Living Word of) ADONAI IS WITH YOU!’”
Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Adonai to worship Adonai. Levites, from the sons of Kohath and the sons of Korah, stood up to praise Adonai, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.” (2 Chronicles 20:14-19 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“When Judah came to the lookout in the wilderness and looked for the multitude, behold, only corpses were lying on the ground—no one had escaped. When Jehoshaphat and his people went to take the plunder, they found an abundance of goods, clothing and precious articles, which they pillaged, more than they could carry away. For three days they were taking the plunder because there was so much.” (2 Chronicles 20:24-25 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
Living With Eyes Fixed On Yeshua, Our Victory
Unlike many who came before them, these Israelites remained aligned with the written Word of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus they remained united to God’s Living Word as well! And He was free to cover, protect, and elevate them over their enemies. But now, we have the glory and privilege of having that same Living Word actually living, abiding, and working within us at all times! We are one with Him on every level beloved! So what can mere creatures do to us in light of this awesome New Covenant Reality?
“Now before faith came, we were being guarded under Torah—bound together until the coming faith (in Messiah Yeshua) would be revealed. (See Deuteronomy 18:15-19)
Therefore the (written) Torah became our guardian TO LEAD US TO MESSIAH, SO THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE RIGHT BASED ON TRUSTING (IN THE LIVING TORAH HIMSELF)!
“But now that (the Living Fulfillment of true) faith has come, we are no longer under a (created) guardian. For you are all sons of God through trusting in Messiah Yeshua (who is the Living UNCREATED Word of God Himself)! For all of you who were immersed in Messiah have clothed (enfolded) yourselves with Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the (original and eternal unilateral Blood Covenant) Promise!” (Galatians 3:23-29 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“After these things the (Living) Word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying, “DO NOT FEAR ABRAM, I AM YOUR SHIELD, YOUR VERY GREAT REWARD!” (Genesis 15:1 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
Do you see how beautiful and wise it is for God’s people to keep their eyes on God’s written and Living Word, especially when they’re inundated with dire earthly temporary threats to their safety and wellbeing? Jehoshaphat led his people under the absolutely proper God-given Shelter and Protection Zone that God’s Word had sworn to be for them, and whoever else would also believe and trust in Him. They obeyed God’s written Word that, through Moses, had warned all Israel that God would send to them one who would be even greater than Moses one day. And they believed God… as much as it was in their power to do so at that time. They trusted God’s Word and believed everything God revealed and promised. And that included God’s promise to send them a Messiah-Redeemer, a Savior and Covenant Champion:
“Adonai said to me, ‘They have done well in what they have spoken. I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him.Now whoever does not listen to My words that this prophet speaks in My Name, I Myself will call him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:17-19 TLV, Emphasis added)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate! For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, ‘Baruch ha-ba b’shem Adonai. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37-39 TLV)
Beloved, our Messiah’s Last Days disciples must know that we’ve been given the very same absolute Covenant Assurance to operate from that which Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, David, Jehoshaphat and all the others had! And if we train ourselves to practice trusting in and cooperating with God like they did, we too will be able to respond to and overcome any dire threat and danger we will have to face. The same reflexive response that rose up out of those faithful ones who went before us will also come out of us, as we too rely 100% on the airtight Faithfulness, Invincibility and Lovingkindness of our God. The Perfection contained in His Eternally Finished Works of Creation, Redemption, and Restoration has already been paid for, and given to us, and all of it is waiting for us to train ourselves to take hold of it… and own it!
“But now, thus says Adonai—the One who created you, O Jacob, the One who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, or through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flame burn you.
For I am Adonai your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My eyes, honored, because I love you, I WILL GIVE A MAN IN EXCHANGE FOR YOU, and other peoples for your life.
Do not fear, for I am with you…” (Isaiah 43:1-5a TLV)
Thanks to Yeshua our Messiah, and His Perfect Finished Works that were done on our behalf and in our name, the entire human race now has His invitation to come under God’s Covenant Covering! No matter what does, or does not happen on Earth in the days to come… and regardless of how many desperate and terrified demonic hordes we will have to face and oppose… what held true for God’s people in the past, will all the more hold true for us, now, and in the finalizing future! The precious All-Authoritative Blood of the Word of God is our Everlasting Protection, and the Lamb who shed that Covenant Blood in order to seal us into it, is our Eternal Covenant Covering… yesterday, today, and forever!
“Loved ones, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. You know the Ruach Elohim by this—every spirit that acknowledges that Messiah Yeshua has come in human flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Yeshua is not from God. This is the spirit of the anti-messiah, which you have heard is coming and now is already in the world. You are from God, children, and you have overcome them, because GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN YOU THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD! They are from the world, so they speak from the world and the world listens to them. We are from God; whoever knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:1-6 TLV, Emphasis added)
Be at peace beloved… fear not… we’re already abiding with our risen Lord… on the Resurrection side of human history! We’re already eternally covered by the Absolute Authority of the Lord’s Precious Covenant Blood. So… no matter what happens up ahead in this dimension of time and space… His Victory is already ours… for all of Eternity!