A TUTORIAL ON EFFECTIVE SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Teaching, Training & Commissioning
Matthew 4:12-17 “Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI,
BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—
“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT,
AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH,
UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
This is, by far, the shortest sermon Jesus ever preached. This is not meant to be just a recapitulation of Scriptures, nor is it meant to be just a commentary.
We, as Jesus’ disciples, find, contained within these words, the path Jesus carefully laid out for us ‘to walk therein’.
This is the path of His Authority and of His Works.
- The path of health and healing,
- The path of purpose and of Kingdom conquest.
- This is the path that leads us to the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
- This is the path leading to the healing of the nations where there will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and we, His bond-servants, will serve Him, and we will see His face, and His name will be on our foreheads and there will no longer be any night; and we will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine us; and we will reign forever and ever.
A quick study of a few of the words Jesus used in Matthew 4:17, will give us additional insight and understanding, when He said ”From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
The word “Began”, from Strong’s Concordance #757, “archo”, means to rule over or to reign over; to be chief, to lead and to rule. This word tells us that Jesus time was at hand, to rule and reign over the physical and spiritual world. This is vitally important, as you will see a little later. We need to remember this.
The word “Preach”, from Strong’s Bible Concordance #2784, “kerusso”, means to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; The word used here is a word of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed; this is something which has already been done, first in the Spiritual realm, then, to be manifest in the natural world. It is not a general statement nor is it a request. It is a prophetic command.
Jesus, in effect, is binding on earth what has already been bound in heaven.
Jesus then astounds his disciples when He says, in Matthew 6:18, “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”
He goes on to teach about “binding and loosing” in Matthew 16:19, saying, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
In these verses, Jesus is speaking directly to the apostle Peter and indirectly to the other apostles, (and subsequently, to future disciples). Jesus’ words meant that Peter, and all of His future disciples, would have the right to enter the kingdom, and that through Jesus’, would have general authority symbolized by the possession of the keys, and that preaching the gospel would be the means of opening the kingdom of heaven to all believers and shutting it against unbelievers.
The book of Acts shows us this process at work. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, found in Acts 2:14-40, Peter opened the door of the kingdom for the first time.
The expressions “bind” and “loose” were common to Jewish legal phraseology, meaning to declare something forbidden or to declare it, allowed.
This is IMPORTANT as we are seeing what Jesus says about the Authority of the Kingdom and who may enter and what we, as his disciples, are commanded to do in His Name.
As we move forward in our preparation and training, let’s please remember: It is Jesus who grants His Authority to whom He chooses; It is Jesus who does His Works through His yielded servants; it is nothing we do of ourselves. And, that with such a great authority granted to His disciples, there comes even greater responsibility for our obedience to Him and His Words.
Your Brother and Friend,
(Please remember to click the blue italicized links in each chapter, in order to get the important details on these Bible teachings)
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(The previous episode can be found at “The Testing of the Baptism of Fire”)
(Please also notice, you can listen by podcast as you read along. You can pause the audio in order to click the links for details and references which are necessary for the entire teaching)