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Fighting Spirit & Spiritual Warfare

Fighting Spirit & Spiritual Warfare

Bible Study from 02/12/2019

Summary

Join us as we learn lessons from American heroes and a military strategist that we can apply to our everyday Spiritual battles.

Transcript

All right.

We can go ahead and get started. Dad could you pray for us please.

Heavenly Father God, we want to come to you in prayer tonight Lord. You see the requests of the saints. God we know you have a listening ear to your saints. God we appreciate that. We ask Lord that you just help us in the Bible study tonight. Help us learn much God. We're here to learn. God we ask that you just might help Jacob. Lord just bless him in a special way. We appreciate [00:00:30] his efforts God. We will just thank you Lord. And we're expecting good things. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

I titled this A Fighting Spirit in a Spiritual Warfare. I guess you could either flip it A Spiritual Warfare and a Fighting Spirit. Either way you want to say it.

Proverbs 24:10 – If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

So that's the challenge right.

Now I'm going to talk about some history [00:01:00] from the beginning here. We were able to go to San Antonio and visit the Alamo and see a lot of different historical things and learn about that. So we're going to draw some parallels of the spirit of those people and how strong they were and how determined they were and how well we can take from that. And then also some items from some literature that we'll talk about in a moment. Anyway the first bit of this is gonna be a good bit of history and then we'll get into the meat [00:01:30] of it. So it'll be a probably 10 minutes of a foundation that will go from there.

The Alamo. Picture it at the top there. Right there. That's supposed to be Davy Crockett with his rifle raised and he's fighting the Mexican army as they're coming in and breaking down the door. We have no idea if it was like that. He did not die there. Just an interesting picture there. But it was from the Alamo. The siege started the 23rd [00:02:00] and then ended on March 6th. So it's about twelve or thirteen days.

Texas back then, of course, was part of Mexico. Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1824 and they came up with a constitution, a Federalist Constitution and is referred to as the Constitution of 1824. Pretty good. States have individual rights, political freedom for the press. An interesting part is that the religion for [00:02:30] Mexico was Roman Catholic and all of those are prohibited. And I believe even to come, you had to convert before they would let you in. So that was pretty interesting. You know America would never do that today. Interesting.

So you have the constitution of 1824 and life is pretty good in Mexico then enters Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and he has a quote here that I'm going to show you. “If I were [00:03:00] a god I would wish to be more.” So you're dealing with quite a character here. While he was elected to be the president of Mexico in 1833. He repealed the State Legislator in 1834 and repealed the Constitution in 1835. Essentially became a dictator. I guess we would call him the villain of the battle of the Alamo.

From an American perspective here's the heroes of the Alamo. Just [00:03:30] a few of them, three. We have David Crockett. He was born in 1786. And of course, he died in 1836. And what he said when he came to the Alamo is, “I have come to aid you all that I can in your noble cause”. He was born of course, in 1786, August 17th and he left home at 12 to trap and hunt. And from what I understand he left. He didn't go back home. He left. So [00:04:00] a pretty different time. And this is a funny quote he said and I imagine this is what he said when he was younger. “When a man can grin and fight or whip his weight and wildcats, what is the use of reading and writing?” A young man. You know I doubt he said that when he was older.

But what is interesting is he served in the Creek [00:04:30] Indian war and the war of 1812. From what I understand the war of 1812, it was towards the tail end of it because most of his time was in the Creek Indian war that was going on at the same time. But he served in both. He was appointed a county judge in 1817 so he probably learned how to read and write before then. Elected Lt Colonel in the Tennessee militia in 1818. And operated multiple businesses by 1819. He was elected to Congress representing [00:05:00] western Tennessee for three terms 1827 to 1835. And of course he was popular due to his marksmanship and shooting skills. There's so many books, there's movies and all kinds of stuff out there about him. I don't know how many are true. But you know that's how it goes, tall tales. Well he left for Texas when he lost the election for his fourth congressional term in 1835. If I remember right he did not get along with Andrew Jackson which was the president [00:05:30] back then and that's probably the reason why he lost his fourth term.

The next hero we'll talk about is James Bowie, Like the Bowie house at the campgrounds. Born in 1796 and died at the Alamo. What he said at the Alamo was, “we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy.” He [00:06:00] was born March 10th. He had a wild upbringing. In his youth he roped deer, trapped bears, broke wild mustangs and even rode alligators. So you'll find some pictures of him riding two alligators like water skis. He left home at 15, not twelve but a little older. Fifteen to float lumber to market with his brother. He [00:06:30] was a fearsome knife fighter. He held his reputation. The bowie knife I believe, he did not come up with it. I believe that was his family's trademark obviously. But I don't think that was his trademark. I could be wrong. But he was a fearsome knife fighter. Served in the War of 1812 while Davy Crockett was in the creek Indian war most of the time. He entered Texas in 1828 and married a Tejano woman from [00:07:00] a powerful family there. She died of cholera in 1833. The Tejanos were the Hispanic residents of the state of Texas. They are culturally descended from the original Spanish speaking settlers of Texas. And I don't know how to pronounce the other location or other northern Mexican states. So Tejanos have a role in the Alamo as well.

William B Travis. Was a young man. Born 1809 and died [00:07:30] 1836. “I'm determined to sustain myself as long as possible and to die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country. Victory or death.” We'll talk about what his role is. This came from a letter that he wrote during Santa Anna's siege of the Alamo. He addressed the letter to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world. That's where that quote comes from. Colonel Travis was the sole commander [00:08:00] of the Alamo after Jim Bowie became ill. He was what they call a Regular of the Texas Army. James Bowie arrived at the Alamo with 30 men on January 19th and then on February 3rd Travis arrived with 18 Regulars. They were strong men. And who is going to give up command. Well they made a compromise. Travis would take the Regulars and Bowie would still keep his militiamen. And so [00:08:30] they had two commanders. But Bowie became really sick during the siege of the Alamo. And they believe he was killed in his bed. When that was done was he shooting back? We don't know. They think he was but we don't know. So that's that quote is from that letter. He knew the Alamo would fall. There was less than two hundred defenders and between eighteen hundred and six thousand attackers. Can you imagine! [00:09:00] You know what's going gonna happen. And he's famous not only for his letters but there was a legend. We don't if he did this. But this could be true. He drew a line in the sand with a sword and he told his men to cross if they wish to fight. I'll go through a timeline on what day that was. Here is the timeline of the 23rd through the 6th of 1836.

Crockett arrived [00:09:30] at the Alamo on February 8th. Santa Anna arrives and raises red flag of no quarter. Travis answered with a cannon shot. So what that was, from what I understand, it was some sort of building across the way that they could see. And there goes that red flag. And that means you're all going to die. We're gonna kill everyone. No Quarter and Travis, well he answered with a cannon shot. You know even [00:10:00] though there were thousands he was saying, “Come and get it.”

But what was interesting and I don't have this in the slides, but there was a battle at Gonzalez and the Mexicans had given these Texans this cannon. It was a smaller cannon but this is kind of iconic from the whole Texas Revolution. The Mexicans wanted that back so they were coming. So the Texians as they were called, put together [00:10:30] a flag and they embroidered a cannon on there and “come and take it.” And they didn't let them have it. And so they fired at them and they didn't get that cannon.

February 24th Travis takes command from Bowie. He sends a messenger for reinforcements. The Alamo defenders fortified their position by digging trenches and constructing earthworks on February 26. [00:11:00] Santa Anna moves troops closer on the 29th. Can you can imagine being in the Alamo on those walls and seeing the enemy. How would we respond to that?

March 1st 32 reinforcements arrive. We're getting more people but still less than 200 by [00:11:30] the end of the battle. A cannon is fired at Santa Anna's headquarters. So they're still showing their spirit.

March 2nd Texas declares independence as the siege continues. These guys did not know that. They had no idea. Bowie was doing really well in Mexico under the old constitution. He married into that really rich family and he was doing very well. So probably a lot of them didn't want independence. They just wanted the old [00:12:00] constitution back.

But on March 2nd Texas declares independence, still not part of the United States. If I remember correctly they just declared independence from that dictator Santa Anna. March 4th Santa Anna's army trenches 200 yards from the Alamo. Getting even closer. Travis draws the line in the sand and all men but one cross. So can you imagine that? You see all [00:12:30] the enemy, thousands.

What happened to the one man who did not cross?

He did escape. The battle begins at 5:00 a.m. on March 6th and the last shot is fired at 6:30, 90 minutes. It's over.

So what can we learn from these people that defended the Alamo? I had a few thoughts and then we can open it up a little bit. Number one: their fighting spirit even [00:13:00] though the numbers of the enemy were overwhelming. They would not give up because they were fighting for something that they believed in and a cause greater than their own. We have a cause to fight for and we should share their fighting spirit. We should take that. And even if it looks overwhelming, even if it looks unbelievable with everything that's facing you, come and take it. You know the good part is that we're not fighting a battle like the Alamo where we're going to die. You know God's for us. Who [00:13:30] can be against us.

The second thought I had is young people can be leaders and inspire. Colonel Travis, the guy who did line in the sand, he was 26 years old. He was a young man and they had to accept his authority. Davy Crockett was in his 40’s, probably low 40’s. Somebody strong like him. All those older men. Travis was able [00:14:00] to lead them.

And the third is raising children. If Davy Crockett could leave at 12 what chores can we give our children? You know like what Brother Wilcoxon has been talking about. So I feel like times have changed. But you're only as tough as you want to be. Humans are extremely resilient. We don't give ourselves enough credit.

Any other thoughts about the defenders of the Alamo, [00:14:30] and what we could learn from them.

They had a cause and they stuck with it.

The one deserter didn't deter the rest of the fighting men. Also they were giving their whole life such as back in the dark ages of the people who were given a choice of quit serving Christ or die. These [00:15:00] were very similar but yet on the other hand we have the same choice to make every day. Every day the devil has a plan for us. And every day we have to be determined to stay true and faithful to the end.

Anyone else.

I like that. I think we can use that, come take it, against the devil. I [00:15:30] like the determination that I've always gotten from the historical context of these heroes. I look at them as being American heroes. And I think we need more of it. More need to hear this story.

I like II Timothy 4:7 - I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

They fought all the way to the end except for that one man. So they had the strength to go forward [00:16:00] and we need to have that same strength today.

It's interesting talking to people about different wars. I read a book recently and it was really kind of comparing people's mindsets from World War II to Vietnam. And I met on Saturday, a man who had fought in Vietnam and we were talking about the difference in how a lot of people who fought in Vietnam had no [00:16:30] idea what they were fighting for. And it was very confusing. There was a lot of protesting and I guess anxiety and all that went along with that war. It was because they didn't know what they were fighting for. And so the fact that we stay in tune with our purpose and our mission and what this is all about. It will help us to keep that focus and fight hard and know what we have to do, what we're fighting for and understand it has to be in our heart in order to fight [00:17:00] this way forward. They knew what they were fighting for, to the point that they were willing to die for it. We have to understand our cause. David understood his cause when he went up against Goliath. It may be that he couldn't understand why no one else did. Is there not a cause are we going to cower or serve God? So there's a big difference between knowing what you're fighting for and just being confused and protesting.

Now our [00:17:30] responsibility today is not to fight wars and fight a physical battle.

1 Corinthians 10:3 – 5: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to [00:18:00] the obedience of Christ;

I thought, they had 200 men and they're looking out over the walls. The enemy was five to ten times that strength. Can you imagine the thoughts that would have gone through their minds and how they would have had to cast down the thoughts of defeat and keep the prize? [00:18:30] Hey we're here. We're not leaving. We could laugh but we decide we're not going to go and we're not going to give in. I think there's a lot to learn about this Scripture right here. You know we have to cast down those kind of imaginations. You know we really need to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Otherwise you know we're not going to make it either. This is a good scripture.

I was just thinking that it takes mental discipline [00:19:00] and it makes me think of Sister Michele's lesson awhile back about everything is created in the mind first. That's the first creation. Then there's physical creation but this is similar to that. You have to discipline in your mind. You have to have vision. You have to know what you're fighting for and the outcome. At least that in their case [00:19:30] they desired an outcome of victory as far as the physical war there. But they also were fighting for principles that they deemed good and right and worthy.

And there a legend that Davy Crockett when he got there, during that siege he was encouraging the troops by playing the fiddle and there was another man who had another instrument. They said that [00:20:00] Santa Anna's troops heard that. They did and they didn't like it.

We feel that Christ had a perfect example of sanctification, laying his life on the altar. In a similar case here, these men must've known certainly that they were putting their all as we would say, on the altar for the cause.

Just a quick thought [00:20:30] here. Your lessons very inspiring. When I was in the reserves we had seven values. I thought they would go well with your lesson. Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. I would say these people had it. This comes to me, the greatest scripture in the Bible:

John 15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

And that ties along with 1st Corinthians 13:13.

1st Corinthians 13:13: And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

These men didn’t think of themselves. They thought of others to come. They knew they were gonna die. But they would die and a greater cause would come out of that. That's true love. Really good lesson.

[00:21:30] The other interesting historical point has to do with Mexico. They didn't have any military in Texas and so they claimed the territory as theirs but they didn't have anybody there. And that's why people were so upset when he tore up the constitution and started taxing them. And from what they said it was similar to 1776, taxation without representation. So that was one of the reasons behind the revolution. And Santa Anna came down in force [00:22:00] because he lost a really embarrassing battle. He didn't really lose it but somebody else did he. His quote “if I were God I would wish to be more.” He had a really high opinion of himself and he wanted to be like Napoleon. [00:22:30]

Next. Who’s this guy? The mailman? That’s you.

So we're gonna talk about how the enemy has a strategy for us. And there was another piece of literature that I'm gonna refer to from a gentleman from 5th century B.C. He was a Chinese military strategist, Sun Tzu and he had a book [00:23:00] that's attributed to him, The Art of War. And it's composed of 13 chapters of military strategy. So we're going to talk about how the devil can use some of those strategies from that book and then how we can counter those strategies.

The first thing is unguardedness. From the Art of War, “engage people with what they expect. It is what they're able to discern [00:23:30] and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response. Occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment that which they cannot anticipate.”

I Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

God has a plan for us but the devil does as well. The [00:24:00] devil may not get us on the first try, the 100th try, or even the 1,000th try. But he wants us to be distracted and unguarded so that he can cause us to fall.

Matthew 25:13: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

It's a spiritual battle we don't have somebody who's trying to attack us physically. It's a spiritual battle so that's even more of a difficult [00:24:30] battle because it's like faith. It can't be seen. We experience things and we know God heals and we see physical manifestations of our faith but it's spiritual. So it's a little more difficult because we're physical.

We need to conduct our spiritual experience just as we would if we knew someone was out to kill us. How [00:25:00] careful would we be. What precautions would you take? Now they're selling backpacks for kids with body armor in them, all kinds of stuff. This is because of the age we live in. But what precautions would you take if you knew somebody was out to kill you. He is out to kill us. Our spiritual life.

Good time for an all-night prayer meeting.

Any thoughts on this?

This is [00:25:30] very much where we're at. Because it says we could engage people with what they expect. And our age is a lukewarm age. We see an age and it's like just everything's fine. You have food in the fridge. You have, the most part of us, have very predictable lives. You get up and you go to work every day. And so it settles them into predictable patterns of response and occupying their mind. So we're just living, [00:26:00] kind of floating because everything is right there. So if we're not staying sober and vigilant like you said, then the devil is waiting for that moment when you're properly lulled into unguardedness to bring that attack. And if we're not sober and we're not vigilant we're not anticipating that move. He's waiting for us to be kind of almost semi-conscious. Then here it comes. So it's really [00:26:30] good. We have to be on guard. Brother Brock always is that way in Sunday school, how we have to always be on guard. We have an enemy that we can never rely on.

I think about unguardedness, not being on guard all the time. Especially when you've been in the way for a long time. Been saved for a while. I think that is more prevalent because you're going through the routine of you coming to church [00:27:00] every Sunday, Wednesday, and doing all the things that you supposed to be doing. And that is giving the devil a chance to hit you. I mean you think “I'm OK.” But that's why it's so important for us to be on guard all the time. Because when you least expect it that's when he's gonna hit you. I think I have got the front covered, the back covered. Guess what, he's got behind. A way to get you. The [00:27:30] other thing is, I always say there's a weariness when people go through a battle, a long battle. It helps them to get off guard. Or discouragement can help people get off guard. There's certain things that will cause people to let down a little bit. And that's what we really have to be aware of.

Your point about long battles he has another talk that I didn't include in the video. He talked about, “No nation has benefited from a long battle.”

Revelation 6:9 [00:28:00] Not getting weary in well doing.

The next one is Confusion. The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy so that he cannot fathom our real intent.

1st Corinthians 14:33: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

And John 8:44.

John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

James 3:16: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

The devil is gonna try to confuse [00:29:00] us. At times we may not even realize the battle is coming from him. He might cause a problem between you and another saint. He might cause an issue there. Problems like these can cause us to lose sight of the real battle. And when we have a problem with a saint, we don't really think, “well the devils behind it.” We should think this but sometimes we don't think “well the devil is the one behind this. So we [00:29:30] just got to get it fixed. You know it's me and my Brother to fix it.” That's how we should think but sometimes we lose sight of that.

And in James 3:16.

James 3:16: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Sometimes people will do things that could offend us. But we just have to remember who's behind it because people can do some dumb things. I've done some dumb things. Everyone has done some dumb [00:30:00] things. “I wish I wouldn't have said that or done that.” And then it causes a problem and you have to go fix it with your Brother or your Sister. Well we have to remember as saints, we are Brothers and Sisters and who is behind this any way. Because the devil has a plan and that's part of his plan. Whether it was a dumb thing somebody said or someone who wasn't even saved did something horrible. You know its all part of his plan. So we have to keep our [00:30:30] focus and not become confused.

Any thoughts on that.

Based on what you said, we have to keep our thoughts right. Yes there are things happening within the church especially by those in our circle. Things are going to happen. It is so important for us to keep our thinking right. Because the devil's going to use every little thing that we see and blow it out of proportion. Take you to the movies. Maybe somebody [00:31:00] didn’t mean to do it. And that's what we’ve got to think. They didn't really mean to do it. If they were real saints, they wouldn't really mean to do it. So now just keep our thinking right. I think it's very key in keeping confusion out.

I really liked the tie in on the scripture on James 3:16 for where envying and strife is there is confusion and every evil work. And I really like that a lot. Anybody else have any other thoughts.

The [00:31:30] wrong spirit, envy and strife. Sanctification is key in thinking right and not allowing envy and strife to affect our thinking. If our thoughts are already clouded with envy and strife there's already problems. And that's a perfect place for the devil to get in and cause that confusion because we were allowing [00:32:00] ourselves to be affected by feelings that we shouldn't. I mean those aren't the right fruits.

I Corinthians 14:33: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

And obviously the best way to handle the devil is to rebuke him immediately. Don't even talk to him. Don't even let him have [00:32:30] the opportunity to cause confusion. Come and take it. You know. You're not getting this.

That's really good because we can take our example from Genesis. When Eve, when she began to listen and talk, we quickly saw what happened. Her thinking got all messed up. We know she started doing something she knew was wrong. So “I think it was OK to do this.” Just like that, she sinned. If it happened to her, we're no different than her. So [00:33:00] we can take that. It’s good thought. When the devil comes, if we listen to him, now we're one step closer to disobeying God, causing sin.

Yes we had a gentleman at my previous work. He was FBI agent and he gave us a brief on, I think the subject was Social Engineering. And those people, well they have to lie. That's not good. But some people are social manipulators. They know how to get on your good side [00:33:30] and they know how to get what they want out of you. Like “Oh wow, you're from that state too. Man I grew up there.” And they didn’t grow up there. And then there's whole studies on how this stuff works. Yes there's whole studies on that. And he was an author. His first name is Robin. I don't remember his last name but he was an author on this subject, [00:34:00] How to Get Along With Anyone. But the point is that the devil is the king of social manipulation. He knows how we're made, our everything. He knows how to push our buttons. And so we have these people who are professionals and do that. But he is the king, the master of it. He's the king of that. [00:34:30]

Sister Carol said “he's not going to die and he's going to be around forever so he has lots of experience.”

The next one is chaos. In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity. So think about that from a battle perspective. [00:35:00] Imagine the Israelites or Sampson. Hundreds of men around him in his a job. Chaos. Yet in chaos there's opportunity.

So I think General Mattis taught “before you engage your weapon engage your brain.” That's where, I don't know if you would agree Brother. But would you agree that the mind is a big part of even physical warfare.

Yes. You're actually right. [00:35:30] Actually the SEAL training is 90 percent mental.

It's a sort of endurance you have in your mind if you believe you could overcome. Many times you can do more than you think you can do. The SEAL training consists of muscle failure. So you go beyond the pain. You go until you actually collapse. And they told you when you got there, “We won’t make you leave, you'll quit on your own. As long as you don't quit you will stay here and pass. So there's that mentality as long as you don't quit you'll pass this training. Six [00:36:00] months long. Very hard. Very few pass. That's all in the mind.

In the midst of chaos there is also opportunity.

I Corinthians 9:24 - 26: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that you may obtain. And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one they beat at the air:

You're not going to be very effective. Samson wouldn't be very effective if he was beating the air with his jawbone. You know wouldn't work. It just wouldn't work.

I Corinthians 9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: unless that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The thought is that we have to have order in our lives and I'm talking to myself. We have to have order. We have to have a set discipline in our lives. We have to have order. We need to establish a routine that includes daily devotions. If our lives are in a state of constant chaos we'll become weak and we will fall to lukewarmness.

Revelation 3:16: We all know this. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity for the devil to work. Any thoughts.

There's two sides to that. In the midst of chaos there's opportunity for devil work but, also in the midst of chaos there's opportunity for God to work or for God to be glorified.

[00:38:00] That’s right.

There's two types of chaos. First the chaos that we can create ourselves. Like you said, not keeping our life in order. And then there's also chaos that the devil can create trying to trip us up like Brother Charlie said. In the chaos that we don't create, God can work in any situation. I’m not saying that He can’t. But when you bring problems yourself it's a different situation. I mean [00:38:30] we should not be setting our own self up for failure. When the devil brings us problems, God's gonna take care of us. We are setting ourselves up for failure when we don't keep our life right.

There's the scripture that talks about if we have a fault and it's our own fault, there's no glory in that. But if there's something that comes up and it's not our fault God can get glory from that. Any other thoughts?

That scripture is really good and made me think of the next one. Revelation 3:17 the very next one, I think is right [00:39:00] for our age we're all talking about. I’ll read this really quick, want to watch your time.

Revelation 3:17 - Because thou sayest, I am rich, and we are living in a rich land today, increased with goods, we all have plenty of goods, and have in need of nothing. That's the problem. Need Him for nothing. I don't need to pray today because I'm okay. I don't need to be on time for church or whatever the need may be. And knowest not. No longer know your condition. That thou art wretched, miserable, and poor, and blind and naked. Many people [00:39:30] today when we go knock on doors, they have a need for nothing. “I don't need to come to church. I watch it on TV already. I’m already ok.” Many times we hear “I'm good. I'm good.” Good in what way? So it's sad that need of nothing spirit has got a lot of people. They don't see their spiritual condition. Brother Charlie likes to ask people what the greatest commandment. And very few today, sad to say, don't know what the greatest commandment is. Maybe love your neighbor. But what's the great commandment. They don't know they should love God [00:40:00] with their whole heart, mind, body, and strength. Which is sad. Yet they claim to be a Christian. That’s the sadness of this age.

A few strategies for us from the Art of War. Here's a few items that we can use. I guess the headline for this is, Know Yourself and Know Your Enemy. There are three points. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. [00:40:30] If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

So my point here is we can't win spiritual battles through our strength alone. You know I think that humans were a lot tougher than we give ourselves credit for. But we can't [00:41:00] win that spiritual battle on our own. We have to take time to self-inspect, meditate on our performance in the battle, and strategize. Think about what the devil has been trying to work on me. How has he been attacking me? How he's been trying to kill me? Think of it like that. If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of 100 battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy. We can know the enemy. So that part is [00:41:30] good. We just got to get in the Scriptures.

But the third point, if you neither know the enemy or yourself you will succumb in every battle. Another point if you don't know yourself. I think a lot of young people are like this and they grow up and they don't think. Because our lives are so fast paced, they don't take time to think. They truly don't know their selves.

Psalms 139:23 - 24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and [00:42:00] know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

It was Psalms 139:23 through 24.

God will mold us into what we should be. All of us have rough edges and stuff we need to work on. I'm not talking about sin. Just human rough edges. We need to be more patient. We can always be more patient. Maybe you're a little [00:42:30] sharp with your wife. I'm not talking yelling and screaming, that's different. But maybe you're a little sharp. God’s going to check you for that. That's a rough edge. God needs to mold us but we have to know ourselves. We have to take time to think about ourselves and how we're performing in the battle.

We're going to say, whenever God points out something about ourselves, instead of just being defensive, we need to think about what he's trying to tell us. It's easy to be defensive but it's harder [00:43:00] to obey what light He is trying to put on your path.

And the first question I would ask considering these three points. What does it mean to know your enemy or the devil. What does that mean. Just looking for input on that.

To know your enemy is to know who's after you. Not only because you know this is a life, a [00:43:30] fight of life or death. So right. It's important to know who's trying to take my life. And know everything he can do to do that. So I'm going all the way back to what you said right before that and they battled chaos because see it's gonna take some discipline for us not to get to this point. If we doing the [00:44:00] right things that we supposed to do every day, it’s going to solve that. We will know our enemy. If we're reading and praying the Bible will tell us who our enemy is. And through praying God's going to show us who our enemy is. And we'll know who our enemy is. So it's gonna take some discipline to do that. So yes it's so important to know who our enemy is and what he can do to us.

I think it's very important every morning, as we start our day out, to pray. Pray that God [00:44:30] will help us be quick to discern the devil and quick to rebuke him and stand against him. Right from the very first part of the day is when we need to do that.

So how do we put into context then to know yourself? I touched on it a bit. What do you guys think? Know yourself.

I think to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Again, that one scripture, I think it was in Psalms, that you already quoted [00:45:00] that you're asking God to search you. And when he shows you some things that you need to measure up on, that’s your weakness. So it's our responsibility as saints, to gird up our loins. That's how we can know ourselves. And if we just sit around and don't ever do anything about it. Well we're number three down here. You know neither the enemy nor yourself. And will succumb in every battle. We [00:45:30] certainly don't want to do that.

I have two thoughts. One is humility, knowing that we are nothing without God. So that will keep our dependence on God instead of getting lifted up in ourselves. And then Sister Betty said, I always get confused if it’s 1st Peter or 2nd Peter. I think its 1st Peter 2:9. She said you need to know who you are.

1st Peter 2:9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;

And when [00:46:00] we remember who we are in that sense, as God's property, God's peculiar people. We belong to God. We are royalty. I always put that in my and my thoughts. If you go to England and you study royalty, they don't act like commoners. There's a distinction between who we are. So if we just think about who we are, in that sense. We are God’s, we were bought with a price. We are His property. And [00:46:30] knowing that, we won't feel so vulnerable to the devil and we won't feel so like “oh how is this going to work out” in all that confusion and chaos that brings by not knowing who we are. I belong to God. Greater is He better than he that is in the world. If our mind is full of that it brings the confidence of who we really are.

Something else about knowing yourself. Some of us are more laid back. I'm [00:47:00] a more laid back personality. There's a quote and it says: “you can't control what happens to you but you can control how you can react.” Even the world knows that. Probably a lot of them don't know it by the way they act in traffic and all that. They don't practice it. A good quote. We should do that. But that's part of knowing yourself. [00:47:30] God will mold us and he'll start to teach us eventually, that you don't have to get all excited about things. You can temper that. You can calm that. I can help you. You just have to let me. So that's part of it, I think, knowing yourself and how God can actually help you in everyday life. Any thoughts on that

I thought about knowing your enemy.

II Corinthians. 2:11: Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Because we're not ignorant of his devices. We know that he's got all kinds of tricks in his bag and that God has equipped us with the armor. We can stand against the wiles of the devil. By studying the word, that prepares us and gives [00:48:30] us insight as to what to expect.

The only way we're going to serve him and overcome the devil and all our battles is by God's grace and the only way we're going to get God's grace is in.

James 4:6: But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

And:

I Peter 5:5: Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Another thing I was thinking about is along the [00:49:00] lines of what you were saying. If you know when you're tired or you get grumpy or you know certain situations you find yourself in and you know how you react, pay attention to your reactions. Pay attention to how you feel. You know if you see someone in need and you don't want to help them. Sometimes you force yourself to do things. Then the prayer should be “I don't want to have this battle. I want my heart to be generous. [00:49:30] I shouldn't feel like this or whatever it is.” Ask God. Go pray about it. Go to prayer when you see those things in yourself. I'm just making up stuff. Why is this hard or whatever it is? I know from my personal experience things that I've prayed for God to help me in those areas, He always does. That’s fortifying. Then you know as you go through your spiritual experience now you fortify yourself in that area, [00:50:00] the devil can't have that in-road any more.

Just a quick thought. Think of Solomon. This is a very good lesson. Solomon was a king who had a dream from God and he didn't think of himself and just ruled his first year.

I King 3: 7 – 9: And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a [00:50:30] little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore, thy servant an understanding heart to judge that people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

I thought this was really good. He didn't ask for any anything for himself. He was asking how to help the people. As you read on God was pleased with that speech. In the same way, when we don't ask for ourselves and ask how we can be a help to others. That should be our prayer, how can I help someone else. [00:51:00] When we think that way we'll be in a greater position to overcome these battles. Many times when we get weak we start thinking of ourselves. “How am I gonna overcome this?” Instead of how to help someone else. We need to change in our thinking.

A huge part of this also, is mindset. Because you can approach salvation with a negative mindset and you're not going to make it. So a part of it is, if you're a negative type person you know in the first place, you have to change that. [00:51:30] Think about the scripture that talks about, if somebody wants a prayer answered but they're a kind of going both ways, they're not going to receive anything of the Lord. They're not going to receive anything. So we have to acclimate our mindset correctly because we're fighting a battle. If we're negative we're shooting ourselves in the foot.

But I'm just thinking that sometimes when you see people get saved, [00:52:00] that should change your mindset automatically. I mean you can be negative all the time but I think once you get saved, there should be a big change in the mindset. Because now I've got somebody to take my problems to. Someone is on my side. That whole outlook should be different. Now we're on the winning side. It's a big difference.

[00:52:30] Then the challenge is keeping that. Because salvation won't change our personality. We won't do the things we used to do. But we still have certain parts of our personality or all of it. Whatever you would say. I don't know I haven't studied that so I can't say a hundred percent, fifty percent or whatever. But we still have our personality.

We're still human. So we have things that will try to creep up on us. We got to make sure [00:53:00] that we keep a positive outlook. We keep that.

I think God lets us go through things or even puts us in places to expose ourselves to ourselves to show us who we are. And so that we can do something about it.

Brother Jim said that's what he did to Job.

[00:53:30] And I think about John your son, Brother John. I know, I've talked to him. I know he took time to think as a young person and that's why he's still here today. Because he took time. He's encouraging.

Violently attack. Giving ourselves. Giving brother a spiritual warfare. That's [00:54:00] right. Come and take it. Talk to the hand. What do the five fingers saying to the face? “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night. And when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” So I don't know about the first part but the second part [00:54:30] we can definitely apply. If you've ever seen a dog attack another animal, it's very violent. They are all over it. They are shaking it. They are trying to destroy it. When the devil tries to attack us we need to respond violently and immediately to rebuke him. We should not listen to the enemy. Our spiritual lives are at stake. He's out to kill us. Why would you talk to somebody who's out to kill you? When threatened by the enemy [00:55:00] the defenders of the Alamo responded with a show of force. They didn't beg for their lives. That flag went up. They fired that cannon. Come and get it.

Ephesians 6:13 - 17: Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, [00:55:30] and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Any thoughts on falling like a thunderbolt.

Matthew 11:12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

We need to have zeal and have a passion for God.

We were in some training at my prior command and it was active shooter training. And so it was just a brief. It wasn't any simulation or anything. But they said you’ve got to think about what you could use. If you're from Texas [00:56:30] those belt buckles are pretty big. But they said you've got to be violent. That's the last resort if you're ever in that situation. There's hide or run. But if he's coming in the room, you can't just say, “don't do that. You can't come in here.” You can't be limp wrist. You've got to fight him. You've got to violently attack. You've got to violently respond. [00:57:00] So that's the same way we have to be with the devil. We have to violently attack. Violently respond when he comes to us. He's out to kill us and we have to think about that and just keep that in our minds. Remember that. Any other thoughts on that.

I visualize that Thunderbolt falling and the sound its making. Pretty scary. I like that thought. I mean really we've got to clear our [00:57:30] mind right out. When the enemy attacks, we've got to get rid of him. The sooner the better.

Sister Michelle.

Jesus told Peter, “Get thee behind me.” When we think about that, sometimes the face is a person. It could be a friend. And you know what I'm saying. But if the enemy is trying to work through people, through situations, you have to be a thunderbolt [00:58:00] Just be like, “I'm not going to let this situation, let this person get me.”

And another thought to that, is that we shouldn't let things linger. Take care of it. Knock it out. Because he's trying to kill us.

Just like He told Peter, “Satan wants to sift you. He wants to sift you as wheat.” If we see the enemy as he really is. I mean, we've got to really see him as he [00:58:30] really is. Who is that enemy and what is he trying to do. He's trying to destroy me. So it's either my life or his. So that's what makes it come down like a thunderbolt. And immediately.

All this extra stuff is just stuff. If we're trying to go to the end, we can't get caught up with this stuff and it happens. It’s just stuff that happens. It is part of it. God has a plan but the devil [00:59:00] does too.

If you play around with the enemy. Guess what! You’re gonna get burned.

That was great. Be swift or be sift. Very good. He came up with that a few minutes ago. I saw him laughing. That's [00:59:30] great.

Well here we are in our day today. There's no battle. There’s this pretty landscapes. I don't know where that is I couldn't find out.

And the thing about that is that we're not fighting. [01:00:00] We don't have to fight at the Alamo. You know there are people who go fight wars. We don't have to do that.

We are in our everyday lives and for the most part life is good. You know money sometimes is tight or whatever and afflictions or whatever, but for the most part life is good. We're blessed. But we're still in a battle. But this is what distracts us, just everyday life. Not saying it's always like this, but it's [01:00:30] good. That's all I have. So does anybody else have any other thoughts?

My mind just keeps going back to the beginning of the lesson when you talked about those men. The three men that you presented. What was it about their character that they loved their country? They had such a deep love that they were willing to die for their country. [01:01:00] You don't hardly see that anymore. A lot of people are against the government. They don't support the president. It's all about them. It's a very selfish mentality. And that's the only thing I could come to, is that there's this warfare and we can't be selfish. Because we're not only fighting for ourselves. We're fighting for the next generations. As Brother Wilcoxon said we owe a lot to the generations that have already gone by. They fought to uphold truth and to preserve the Bible. What people went through for the Bible. What [01:01:30] those Saints went through in the dark ages. It's not just about us. They were fighting for us too. And we have people behind us to fight for. The world. We're trying to win the lost. We have to see the cause as worthy. It can't be “this is not fun for me. This is not comfortable for me.” You can't be selfish. There has to be a selfless part of us that can see the greater cause. I feel that was one of my greatest takeaways from this [01:02:00] lesson, that mentality. Because even what they fought for was not as great as what we have by any means. And so if they could do it for that for, we should be able to do it for our salvation.

Really good thoughts. And my mind goes back to Cuba before communism came in. I heard it was preached. A message that came down and warned that people to really start praying and they just laughed it off. [01:02:30] It'll never happen. Communism came. Same thing in the dark ages before Catholicism really got set up. Everything was calm. Everything was going fine. Christianity was the state religion. There was persecution for some. But it was starting to go away. And today we live in America where it's easy to say, “Well we got a great yeah.” Yet look around you see socialism creeping in. So as a warning to us, it could happen to us if we don't keep praying. But we really need to increase our prayers. Get [01:03:00] fervent and not allow the sleepy age just like a frog in water. We all know the story. You slowly heat the water up. He never jumps out. That's what could happened to us. We could fall asleep right until the battle and not even know what's going on.

Thank the Lord.

Don't you think that those guys were like visionaries. I mean they had to have a vision. Of something greater. My [01:03:30] mind kept going back to the heroes of faith. They saw way down the road. It didn't happen for them but they saw it down the road and they lost their lives for it.

And like I said March 2nd the siege for independence, they didn’t know. It is greater. You got to have a vision.

Any ending thoughts here.

Brother Nathan would you dismiss us in prayer please.

We thank you again Lord. Just to be in the Bible Study tonight Lord. We appreciate Brother Jacob taking time to prepare the lesson. We know it takes time to make slides and prepare the thoughts. And we [01:04:30] thank you how it blessed us all. Increased our faith. Lord we don't want to get lackadaisical in this day and age. Lord it's easy to see it. It's also easy to lose it Lord. So we pray each one of us, will take it Lord and be more. Not just a hearer Lord but to be a doer, as you said in James. We want to take it what is preached and take it to heart and then live it out Lord. You see tomorrow night’s service. It will be here before we know it.. Lord we want to come in with fresh zeal from this Bible Study, Lord. Be encouraged, [01:05:00] strengthened, Lord, that we can see the victory up ahead. Lord if we continue to sow Lord we will reap. Lord we will reap what we sow. Lord, we thank you again how you bless this night. Lord, give us safety on the road tonight, Lord and bring us back Lord tomorrow. We'll give you all the thanks. In Jesus name amen.

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to listen to this Bible study and also I'd like to invite you to our services. Our church is located at 8823 [01:05:30] Rixlew Lane. On Sunday, we have Sunday school at 10:00 a.m. Our Sunday morning service starts at 11:00. We have Sunday evening service at 6:00 p.m. and we have Wednesday prayer meeting at 7 p.m. We also have young people services normally every Friday at 7 p.m. Again, I would like to thank you and hope that you'll come for a visit.