THINE ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL
By Dan Luehrs
"The LORD says to my Lord: Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. The LORD will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of Thine enemies. Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Thy youth are to Thee as the dew" (Psalms 110:1-3).
This verse is probably one of the most important verses in the entire Bible that has to do with the coming of the Lord. Verse one is used one time in the Old Testament and six times in the New Testament. It must be fulfilled! Jesus quoted this verse, and three of the four gospels writers recorded it. In Acts 2:34-35, Peter also quoted this verse on the day of Pentecost and said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a fulfillment of this verse. Yet, many quote only Joel's prophecy and say that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, and it was. But we must not pass over this verse either. For if we are filled with the Spirit of God, we should be winning all of our battles and ruling over our enemies; like fear, doubt, lust, and anger. If we are going to be like Jesus in these times, our enemies must be under our feet. Jesus did not allow them to stop Him.
We must ask ourselves: if indeed we are living in such a day as Joel's army, are we being equipped with the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit? If we are, with these we will do warfare and win!
UNDER OUR FEET
Our enemy is going to be put under our feet. You might be asking yourself right now, "I thought Jesus already put the enemy under His feet?" He did!
"When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him" (Colossians 2:15).
But now we must overcome the enemy as He did. He is the head and we are His body, His feet on this earth. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth" (Isaiah 52:7). When is the last time you saw beautiful feet? We are His feet on earth; He is the head in heaven. When we bring forth the gospel and are living it, we are putting the enemy under His feet. When someone is under your feet, you are in full control over him!
In the book of Luke, chapter ten, Jesus sent His disciples out to preach the gospel and said unto them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning" (Luke 10:18). Why was Satan falling? Because the gospel was being preached and Satan and his demons were losing under the power of the gospel, for it is the power of God! Then Jesus says, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you" (Luke 10:19).
When the enemy is knocked out of the heavenlies (heaven means the place of spiritual authority) we are to tread upon him with our feet! Satan will rule in the heavenlies over us if we let him. But, when we begin to boldly speak forth the word of God, he must not only bow his knee, he will fall from heaven like lightning, for he knows the power of God's word. We must also learn the power of God's word. It is what created the universe and in fact, holds it all together. “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power…” (Hebrews 1:3).
UNTIL HIS ENEMIES ARE UNDER
"But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET" (Hebrews 10:13).
Did you know that Jesus is waiting and must sit at the Father's right hand until His enemies are under His feet. “Until” means, "up till the time set forth by the Father." Right now, God is using the enemy to purify us. If you will look at it in the positive light, the enemy is really doing you a favor by making you more like Jesus, when you don't quit under fire! When Man fell in the Garden of Eden, God told Satan that he would eat dust. What are we made of? Dust! Satan has every right to eat the flesh off of us when we choose to walk in it.
You know as well as I do, that God could put the devil in the lake of fire at any time He wants to, for it will only take one angel to do so. But, for now, God is using him to teach us how to war!
God is now stretching out His scepter to us; meaning, He is granting us power and spiritual authority in the heavenlies to rule over our enemies. Adam was granted such dominion over the garden, yet failed to seize the moment when the enemy deceived Eve. Let's not be found lazily sitting around just enjoying God's presence and forget that there is a war going on out there!
Many people have surrendered their gifts and callings to the enemy. When God pours out His Spirit upon us, as He has been doing in these last few years, it is not just for us to bask in His presence and say how good God is. No, it's to fight and take spiritual ground back from the enemy. Many of God's people have chosen not to fight and have camped on lesser ground when God wanted us to take His anointing and fight for more! The Lord said unto Joshua, "You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed" (Joshua 13:1).
Much of the ground that was taken back from the enemy in revival is now back in enemy hands. What do I mean by this? Very simply, when revival comes, we tend to throw out all our religious programs and nonsense. But when we think revival is over, we tend to go back to our old ways of doing things. God always wants us to keep marching forward! As someone has said so well, as Israel is now giving up land in the Middle East to have peace, so the Church is giving up land to have peace with her enemy. Why do we do this? Because it is easier to negotiate with the enemy than it is to fight him! When the first wave of revival hits a church, most people are for it. But, then, after awhile, many people want to go back to the old ways of having church services. They are comfortable with a form of religion, but one that has no power. When this takes place, the pastor has to make a big decision: "Do I follow the Spirit of the Lord, or what the people want me to do?"
Because of the fear of man and the fear of his future, sometimes the pastor will side with the people, rather than obey God. If we, as leaders, do not have a close relationship with the Lord, we will easily side with people whom we can see; much like King Saul did when Samuel told him to wait for him to make the sacrifice. Saul ended up doing it his own way and lost everything in the end.
"But Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you" (1 Samuel 13:11,14).
This is an awesome test that we all must pass. Will we obey God, or man? The apostles were put to this same test by the religious leaders of their day, and they said, "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). (Until we pass this crucial test, God cannot bring us into our destiny that He has planned for us.) He cannot trust us with true spiritual authority. Some pastors would say, "If I obey God, the people will leave me, and take their check books with them!" This is the primary reason for their disobedience: GREED and love of their REPUTATION if people left! Yes, God will find some Davidic leadership that will have a heart after Him and who will obey His every desire. "For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25).
Jesus will put all His enemies under His feet through the Church, which is His body on the earth. The question is, "Will you be a part of this through your obedience to God's will, or will you be like King Saul and have your ruler-ship taken from you and given to another? I believe this very thing has happened numerous times over the centuries because people would not pay the price of obedience. A great future lies ahead for the obedient. "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10 KJV).
JESUS IS COMING IN HIS SAINTS
A great last battle must be fought. Your decision now will determine whose side you will be on. Now is the time of preparation, for we have no time to waste! The men of sin, (the sons of Satan) are about to be revealed in the earth, just as the sons of God are to be revealed at the same time. "For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God" (Romans 8:19). God’s creation on earth and in heaven eagerly awaits this day. In the coming glory of God, everything shall be brought into the place of freedom.
In II Thessalonians, Paul had to write about the coming of the Lord, because people were saying that Jesus had already come in His glory. So he tells us plainly what that day will be like:
"For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven (Lit. at the revelation of Jesus from heaven) with His mighty angels (messengers) in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed for our testimony to you was believed. To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power" (2 Thessalonians 1:6-11).
Very clearly Paul is telling us, by revelation, what His coming is going to be like. First, He is revealing Himself in His saints and they are going to be like flames of fire. (He is making His ministers flames of fire.) The word "angels" could be translated, “messengers.” I believe it could be both saints and angels. For He is not coming alone, but with His saints in great power. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (Jude 1:14-15 KJV). "So that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints" (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
Jesus will be glorified in His saints. It does not say angels, but His saints, you and I! Hallelujah, what a glorious future we have before us! Then, Paul prays that we might be counted worthy of this high calling. For the glory which is in us, is going to come out of us. The whole world is going to see it. Jesus is going to be revealed through us to a hurting and dying world!
Second, He is going to bring judgment to the earth through His saints. "And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). "Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels?"... (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Much of the Church has cut itself short of what the Lord has planned for them to do. Somehow people think we are going to sit in the clouds playing harps for eternity and that each one of us will sit in our own mansion. There is much, much, more than this!
THE MAN OF SIN REVEALED
In this last battle that is going to be fought, the revealed sons of God will be doing battle with the word of the Lord against the revealed sons of Satan. II Thessalonians, chapters one and two, deal with this issue. "And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming" (or His presence) (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
This man of sin is now being revealed in the earth, as never before, through ungodliness. People are truly going from bad to worse, through the ungodliness of movies, the television, Internet, music, and printed material. People are being taught to sin through these mediums and God shall judge them all as teachers of unrighteousness.
I was at someone's house and they were watching their favorite talk show on TV. The garbage that was coming out of their mouth on this show was making me sick. The Lord spoke to me and said, "These talk show hosts shall be judged as teachers, for they are teachers of wickedness!" This goes for all people that are involved in any type of mass media productions, for it is teaching the masses either to sin, or to walk in righteousness. "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1).
This blatant sin of teaching lawlessness is causing many to backslide within the Church, as Jesus said it would. "And because lawlessness (or sin) is increased, most people's love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12). Satan is not after worldly people that he already has. He is using the mass media to get Christians to fall into sin.
"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come (the coming of the Lord) unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The apostasy must come first before Jesus appears. This means there must be a defection from the truth in the Church, as the Apostle Paul said so well in 2 Timothy 3:1-7:
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
This revealed man of sin exalts himself above everything, including God Himself! Isn't that what is happening with people today? They’re building their bodies and trying to look twenty years younger, like they will never die? This is a "tuck this" and "stuff that" generation!
THE TEMPLE MUST BE REBUILT?
"Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
Many Bible teachers use this verse to say that the temple must be rebuilt in Jerusalem and the Anti-Christ will sit in it and rule from there. I do not declare to know everything there is to know about the end times, but I am learning, as God opens these verses to me. Who would ever be foolish enough to say they know how everything is going to work out, when we don't even know how today will end?
There are two types of temples, one built with stones and another with flesh! "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you" (1 Corinthians 6:19)? "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews therefore said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days? But He was speaking of the temple of His body" (John 2:19-21). I believe Paul is not talking about a physical temple here, but the temple of our heart. This is where the man of sin is showing off and displaying self as God! The one who is in control of his destiny.
The man of sin will be revealed in his time according to 2 Thessalonians 2:6. This is much like when Jesus came to earth the first time in the flesh. "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son..." (Galatians 4:4). Now is the time when God will allow evil to take its course and become fully-grown so that it, too, can be harvested. The good and the bad seed must grow up together until the end. As Jesus said so well in Matthew 13:38, "And the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one." Then the lawless one and sin shall be ripped out. Some people think the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the earth, but that is only foolishness. For if the Holy Spirit is taken out, everything would die. When Jesus prayed for His disciples to the Father saying, "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one" (John 17:15). The wicked shall be taken out of the earth, not the righteous ones, for they shall inherit the earth! In Matthew 24:39-41, Jesus tells us that the wicked shall be taken away just as in the days of Noah. The righteous were left to inherit the earth. The lawless one will be revealed in the lives of the wicked and the Lord shall slay them with the power of His Word.
Revelation chapter fourteen is very clear on this. Jesus will put in His sickle to reap the good harvest. Then, after this, shall the wicked be reaped also. I believe we have been in the end time harvest for almost ten years already, for more people are being saved now than ever in history. Praise God!
ANGELS BATTLED BEFORE US
God has created man and angels with a free will, and we must be tested to see if we will be true to our Creator or not. People wonder why God would allow such testing to come to Adam and Eve. It's very simple: would they obey at all times, even under the greatest of pressures?
God also created the angels to choose right from wrong and they had to be tested like us. But with all testing comes promotion.
"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (Revelation 12:7-9).
Some people put the fulfillment of this verse at some time in future events, and I believe this is true. However, I believe this could be a dual prophecy, as King David was speaking of himself in the book of Psalms, while also prophesying of Jesus. We know from Ezekiel, chapter 28 and Isaiah, chapter 14 that Satan was created as the anointed cherub until unrighteousness was found in his heart. But he wasn't cast out of heaven until God used him to test the rest of the angels.
When the Bible speaks of war in heaven, what do you think of as a heavenly war? What are the weapons they used? Swords, guns, or maybe some high tech laser beams? No, it was fought with words and deception, much like what is now happening on earth, except the angels won the war and so will we in God's time! "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). Do you see it? When Satan and his angels fell into sin, they wanted to overthrow God, but God threw them out! Now they are coming after Christians to defeat the plan of God for the ages. But God is using them to His advantage to purify the saints. I do not know how Michael and his angels overcame the enemy, but I do know how we are to do it.
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death" (Revelation 12:11).
We defeat the enemy when we turn from our sins and are washed with the blood of Jesus, by asking Him to forgive us of our sins and to be the Lord (Boss) of our lives. Then, our words and actions must become godly. It's how we speak to others that proves what's in our hearts; good or bad fruit. If we are watching things on TV and listening to music that is not Christ-exalting, our mind and conversation will be corrupt. But if we will take the time to get God’s word in our heart, it will then come out of our mouth, as it did when Jesus overcame the enemy in the wilderness. We will succeed in this war if we use God’s battle plan.
The third one is probably the hardest of all, “DYING TO SELF!” We are not to love our own lives even unto death. Our love for Jesus and His Kingdom must be greater then self-love, for we must be willing to follow the Lamb wherever He may lead us. I can guarantee you it will be to the place of death to self. John 12:24 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." We can bear no lasting fruit in His Kingdom apart from Him working through us. When things look like they’re dead and lifeless is when God’s power kicks in, for He is the resurrection and the life. It wasn't until Sarah's womb was dead that God resurrected it. When Joseph and David's dreams of being great leaders were dead, God brought them to life again. This is the nature of our God. Never quit until God says it's over!
WE WILL WIN THE WAR
"And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations..." (Revelation 19:15).
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Hebrews 4:12 KJV).
By the power of His word we shall win the war! We must know in our heart the power of God's word. The devil is not afraid of you, he is afraid of Jesus, who is The Word in you! If you are using it against him, as Jesus spoke the word against him in the wilderness, you cannot fail! But you must possess it in your heart. Just one word from Jesus could destroy everything we see. This is what the enemy knows and fears. He wants to keep us from really understanding the power of God's spoken word. We can, and will, be overcome, if we have no faith in it. Having faith in the Word means to speak it forth, for it is the power of God unto salvation and deliverance from everything.
God will grant His Church such great authority in these days that fire will proceed out of their mouths and devour their enemies. If we want to be granted such power and authority in these last days, we must be very careful how we speak in our everyday life.
THE POWER OF HIS WORD
Hebrews 1:3 says, He "upholds all things by the word of His power." When you got up this morning did you worry about the sun coming up, or the earth staying in orbit? No! Because it is all upheld by the power of His word. If we can get this in our heart, we will be set free from much worry and fear.
One day, I was sitting in a church service and read Hebrews 11:3: "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." Then the Lord spoke to me and said, "Why is it that when I spoke to creation it obeyed my word. But, when I speak to man, he questions me?" Because of our unbelief and the traditions of men, we have made the word of God to have no effect in our lives. We cannot enter into God's best with unbelief in our hearts! We will miss God in the coming days if we do not obey Him in all that He says for us to do, even when it is different from our traditions. Our own reasoning will led us into direct conflict to what God is trying to do. When the children of Israel were to take the Promised Land, they said, "We’re grasshoppers in their sight!" When Jesus told Peter to cast his net out for a catch, Peter questioned Him saying, "Lord we fished all night and caught nothing!" But when he obeyed, he caught a great catch. God offends our mind to reveal our heart! It's either obedience or disobedience.
Obedience is only learned through the things that we suffer. It's when things get tough on us and we want to rebel and do our own thing apart from what God wants us to do. When we obey Him against our own will is when we pass the test. When God called us to move down to Florida, I thought I was going to travel and do evangelistic work until the Lord said, "Start your new work in this area." Don't you know I wanted to do my own thing that I had planned? I had to die to self in order to do His work first. "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety (reverently submitted to God’s will). Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered" (Hebrews 5:7-8). This was when Jesus was in the garden and laid down His will for the will of the Father. "Not My will, but thine!" If He was tested in such a way, shall we not be?
True faith is obedience to the known will of God. Faith is not going out and saying, “I'm going to believe God for this or that,” it's hearing from God first on the matter and then believing Him to do it. Look at the people in the Great Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. It says over and over, by faith, by faith, by faith they obeyed God and God rewarded their obedience. We must live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. "It is written, One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
An angel told Mary, the mother of Jesus, that she, as a virgin, was going to have a baby. How was this possible? This had never been done before! Who could believe for such a thing? If we believe that God created the heavens and earth, why is this, or anything else, so difficult to believe? Then, the angel said, "No spoken word of God will be impossible!" Do we really believe this? Mary did not argue with the angel through whom God spoke. She said, "Be it unto me even as thou has spoken" (Luke 1:38). This took true faith to believe God's word. It's our unbelief that says this can't be possible! It's our traditions that say, "this never happened before and can't happen!" If we're going to go where God is calling us in His Spirit today, we have to shake off this sin of unbelief.
When I first got saved, I had to unlearn some things that the Lutheran church had taught me that were not biblical. Some people have a hard time receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, because they were taught against it by their denominations. God is about to do something new again in the Church, and we Pentecostals that are set in our ways are going to miss it, if we do not seek Him with all our hearts. This is a pattern throughout church history: people in the previous move of God do not usually go on with Him in the next. Why? Because of pride; thinking they have received all that God has for them. We must humble ourselves before each other and find out what God is doing through each movement.
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the (rhema) word of God" (Romans 10:17). The word that God has revealed or made real to you is the very thing that brings true faith and grace to fulfill what God has called you to do. For the power resides in the seed from the word of God, not ourselves. Jesus said that the word is a seed that grows in our heart, with some growing to maturity, while the enemy steals other seeds away. The seed is Jesus, Himself, and we must grow into His likeness if we are ever going to become mature.
Again, how did Mary become pregnant? By believing the word spoken to her; it became part of her. "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord" (Luke 1:45). With Jesus' word being like a seed, (how it grows nobody knows) we just receive it by faith and it goes to work in us. It's a mystery! Once she received the word, she just had to nurture it. She did not have to go back and have faith in the word, because her faith graduated into trust! Trusting God is believing that He will do what He has promised. We must believe that He is faithful, trustworthy and ever true to His promises. "That you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12). When Peter walked on the water, it was not the water that kept him up, it was the one word Jesus spoke to him, "COME!" That’s all it will ever take, if we truly believe.
THE POWER OF DOUBT
In Luke, chapter one, the angel, Gabriel, reveals God's plan to Zacharias as he is doing his priestly service in the Temple. Gabriel tells him that his wife is going to have a baby in her old age. But apparently, he questions the angel in unbelief and says, "How shall I know this?" In other words, "Give me a sign that I'm really hearing from God!" "And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their proper time" (Luke 1:19-20).
Now get a hold of what the Scripture is saying here. We have two people in one chapter that the angel Gabriel visits. One is an older, seasoned priest and the other is a girl, perhaps as young as thirteen years old. Who believed the angel’s words? The young girl! This speaks volumes to me, because many times, God has to get the nobodies and the uneducated to believe Him for something. The old order has a hard time believing God's promises. Jesus did not pick His disciples from the local seminary, but those who were teachable, fishermen, tax collectors.
In fact, God made Zacharias unable to speak, so that he could not speak death to the seed of God's word that the angel had just planted! How many times do we speak death to the prophetic words that God has spoken over us when we say, “That could never come to pass for me?” The fulfillment of His prophetic word is not based on you and me, but in Him alone, and that’s all we need. "Then the LORD said to me, "You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it" (Jeremiah 1:12). When we doubt His word and speak against it, we are spiritually aborting God's plan for our lives because of our lack of faith in the power of God's word.
BELIEVE THE WORD OF THE LORD!
The Bible uses this type of phrase 256 times. "The word of the Lord came unto me saying..." Read a few of these accounts to strengthen your faith in His word.
"After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great" (Genesis 15:1).
How did Abraham go forward against such great odds as living in a foreign land with enemies all around him? The word of the Lord!
"Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you" (Joshua 8:8).
How did Joshua take the Promised Land? By the word of the Lord!
So David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?" And the LORD said to David, "Go and attack the Philistines, and deliver Keilah" (1 Samuel 23:2).
How did David conquer his enemies? By the word of the Lord!
"And the word of the LORD came to him Elijah, saying, "Go away from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. And it shall be that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan" (1 King 17:2-5).
How did Elijah live? By the word of the Lord!
I could go on and on with these, but I think you get the message. We must be very careful with what we are doing with our lives. Many people are fearful in how they are going to survive these last days with the economic crisis on the horizon. It’s very important for us to follow the word of the Lord for our lives, if we desire to make it through. It's not how great we are in ourselves, but our obedience to Him! Even if we should succeed outside of the will of the Lord, it shall crumble like powder before us on Judgment Day. If we are going to do anything for the Lord, we must wait on the Lord and do it only when He says so.
THE TWO WITNESSES
"And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth" (Revelation 11:3-4).
These verses have always been a great controversy for the Church. Some are saying these two witnesses are Moses and Elijah or Enoch. I believe it's neither! I believe these verses are telling us that great power is coming to the faithful in the Church; to those who have learned to be obedient to the word of the Lord. When Jesus told His disciples that they would be His witnesses throughout the world, was He just speaking of them? No, He was speaking of all Christians that would receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
To understand these two witnesses let us look first at the two olive trees spoken of here. This phrase is only used one other time in all of Scripture and it will give us the understanding that we need. It’s found in Zechariah 4:2-5,12-14:
"And he said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it; also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side. So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, No, my lord. ...What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves? So he answered me saying, "Do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord. Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth."
What Zechariah saw was fresh oil flowing into pipes from two olive trees into a holding bowl above a lampstand. From the bowl there were seven little pipes flowing into each lamp, so that their flame would never go out, being fueled with fresh oil flowing from the trees.
The literal meaning for the two anointed ones is; "sons of fresh oil!" Jesus is called the Christ or "the Anointed One." He is one of the two trees. Then who is the other? We are called Christians, that is, Christ's-Ones, or "the anointed-ones." The Apostle John said, "And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you..." (1 John 2:27). We are anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit for the same reason Jesus was, that we might give it away to others as He freely gives us! Freely we have received, freely we must give it away. The anointing is what gives life to the Church.
When Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was saying you are the Anointed One with power from God on high! Jesus, Himself, said He was the Anointed One in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor…” Jesus then replied to Peter. “…Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it”(Matthew 16:18). Jesus is saying that upon this rock of truth, “that I am the Anointed One, and with this authority My church shall be built and nothing can overpower my anointing!” For too long the Church has been doing things without the anointing power of God! That is all about to change with the sons of fresh oil coming to the forefront.
It is also interesting to note here that, the words “anointed ones,” is the same root word for Benjamin, "ben, bane" (meaning; a son as a builder of the family name). Through the anointing, God shall build the family name. It’s the anointing that destroys the yoke of bondage in peoples' lives and remove their burdens. (See Isaiah 10:27). I do not believe that this is a coincidence, but given to us so that we might understand our times and calling better; that we might bring the glory of the Lord into all lands.
TWO IN HUMILITY AND UNITY
The two witnesses were clothed in sackcloth; this speaks of their humility. We know that Jesus was the most humble man ever to walk the earth. Now, His witnesses must have His same likeness in order to walk in His power. In the past few years, God has been doing a great stripping of His people that are going to be anointed with great power. He is stripping them of their pride and fruitfulness, so that they will not be tempted to take the glory that only belongs to Him. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time" (1 Peter 5:6).
Two is also the number of witness. To have true unity, one must humble himself before the other. This is how lasting marriages work. In John, chapter 17, Jesus prayed that we might be one with each other and that we might be one with Him. Such unity is hard to comprehend. Never the less, it shall come to pass.
"FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:31-32).
There will be a people in such unity with Jesus that He will grant them even greater power than He used upon this earth. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father" (John 14:12). We have yet to see this power in the Church, but be assured, it is coming!
THE COMING OF ELIJAH
Many believe that Elijah is one of the two witnesses because he called fire down from heaven. The Scriptures also say that he must return. What they fail to see is that Elijah has come already and he will still come again.
This was a great stumbling block for many of the Jews, because they were waiting for Elijah to come before the Messiah came. Jesus said in Matthew 17:12, "But I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished..." John the Baptist was that man. But was he really Elijah? No! But he came in the spirit and power of Elijah.
"And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).
If God took one person to call one nation to repentance, how many more people would it take today to prepare the way of the Lord before the whole world? Many! This is why Jesus said, "... Elijah is coming and will restore all things" (Matthew 17:11). The spirit and power of Elijah will be upon the end time Church before the coming of the Lord. He loves people so very much that He will not leave them without a powerful witness before He comes again.
LIKEN UNTO HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION
"And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them" (Revelation 11:7).
These two witnesses will be killed when they have finished their prophesying. Whether this is a physical death or death to self is yet to know for sure. When Jesus died on the cross He said, "It is finished!" Before the Apostle Paul died, he said, "I have finished my course!" No army could take their lives. God kept them by His power, as He does ours. Then why must these witnesses be killed? They shall be likened unto His death, for as much as they lived for His glory and power, so they shall also be raised as He was.
"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Romans 6:5).
These witnesses shall also be raised from the dead in three and a half days just like He was; then they shall be caught up unto the clouds just as He was. The true rapture shall take place right before the world's eyes! "And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them" (Revelation 11:12).
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