May 23, 2014
This is a strange way to begin today, but let me begin by asking you a question. Why is it that we continue to put up with the physical attacks on our bodies? Why do we simply accept colds, flu, headaches, allergies, sinus attacks, muscle aches and pains that just seem to be prolonged when we really haven't done anything to stress or overtax our muscles and tendons?
Let me take this one more step. Why do we stand idly by and just say something like, "Oh, I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you," when we see leaders in the body of Christ under attack?
Now that I've got your attention, let me explain. Just about everyone who is involved in our weekly healing prayer calls has been under attack in some way or another. Dwain McKenzie is fighting with severe shoulder pains. George Robinson is continually being hit with either heart issues (despite the fact that just a couple months back the doctors told him his heart was "doing great!") or extreme shoulder and arm pains. Randy Ramhoff has been hit with a variety of issues, any of which serve to distract him (or attempt to distract) from his focus on our prayer calls.
Breaking away from our prayer calls, there's our prophetic brother in the Lord with White Dove Ministries in Alabama, Paul Keith Davis, who for some time has had to pull back from his travel schedule in ministry because of heart issues. Likewise, James Maloney (who is also a brother in prophetic ministry) has had ongoing attacks against him that have curtailed .
What I'm getting at here is that when folks are out on the frontline of ministry, they nearly always become the target of Satan's attacks. He is not happy with them because they are taking territory from him and repossessing spiritual land that he has held illegally.
It goes beyond that, however. All of us as believers are continually under attack from the Enemy in one way or another. The time has come for us to stand up and say, NO, YOU WILL NOT! As long as we tolerate or accept these attacks as "just something you have to put up with," we let Satan get away with things we don't have to. Jesus paid for our freedom from sickness, disease, infirmity, demonic control and everything that came with the curse! It's time for us to exercise the authority we have being "In Christ Jesus!"
That said, let me begin today's discussion (I'm playing catch-up after having been very late with last Friday's post) with the translation that I did in last week's Coffee Break from Romans 8:
"For those whom He [the Father] could foresee and know [their choices and decisions] beforehand, He also did ordain and determine to become jointly formed and fashioned into the image and likeness of His Son, so that He might be first begotten son among a multitude of brothers and sisters.
“Furthermore, those whom He ordained and determined [by virtue of knowing in advance their choices and decisions] He also called, beckoning them in their inner beings; and those whom He called, He also determined and declared to be innocent [rendering judgment of them beforehand]; and those whom He determined and declared to be innocent, He made glorious [magnifying them as He magnified His Son].
“What shall we say, then, regarding these facts? If God the Father be for us, having made these determinations on our behalf, who can possibly succeed in opposing and withstanding us?"(Romans 8:29-31, my translation with amplification)
This is where we are in Jesus Christ! Unless we appropriate that place, however, we live in unbelief, thinking that we somehow have to measure up to some kind of mystical and almost unattainable standard. The body of Christ has been so peppered with doctrines of unbelief that it is staggering. We've gone through centuries of measurement standards trying to become pleasing in His sight based on legalistic perceptions, all of which are rooted in the Fear of Evil.
We MUST come to the place of accepting that there is nothing we can do to become righteous in God's sight! I am righteous, folks, but NOT because I say so. I didn't make myself righteous. The Lord says I am righteous, and that righteousness comes by virtue of my being in Him! If the Lord says I am righteous, why -- pray tell -- do I try to add to what He has already done in, for, and through me?
Are my performances (and that's all they are: performances) going to improve on Jesus' suffering, the stripes He bore on my behalf, the crown of thorns He suffered as it was thrust through His scalp and skull, the mocking and belittlement He took from the religious people as He hung on the Cross, the indescribable torture his body took as nails were driven through His hands and feet, followed by being hung on the Cross and left to die slowly as the blood drained from His body, and -- finally -- dying and taking all of our sins, all of our iniquities (character flaws), all of our shortcomings, all of our diseases, and -- make sure you get this part of it! -- ALL of the legal authority that Satan had exercised over us as his slaves!
Next, Jesus took all that and dumped it at Satan's feet in Hell while He preached deliverance to the captives that were there. Then, Father raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand, imbued Him with that onoma that is above every onoma, restoring to Jesus that authority and place He had enjoyed previously with Father in the Heavenlies, and then bestowing upon Jesus all the authority, power, character and makeup that was in Father to begin with.
We're not done, yet, folks! Then the apostle Paul tells us that:
Ephesians 2:4-7 (NASB): "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."
As committed believers in Jesus Christ, living our lives in absolute pursuit of His receiving His inheritance in us and manifesting His Glory, THAT'S US, people! THAT'S US! We are seated with Christ Jesus in the Heavenlies! More than that, we are seated IN CHRIST!
It’s time for us to take on the nature of Spiritual Authority and talk about a hierarchy that exists in the spiritual realm. Just as there is a hierarchy that operates in the Kingdom of God, so also is there a hierarchy that operates and functions in the demonic.
Throughout the years I’ve seen many Christians who were afraid to take on the demonic realm because “Satan is almost as powerful as God.” Hogwash! Next to God, next to the Lord Jesus Christ, and next to every blood-bought believer in Christ, Satan and his realm is a virtual nothing! His power is absolutely time-limited, and he is running scared.
This is a study that will likely take several weeks, so let’s lay some foundations in our understanding of demonic hierarchy by looking at something Paul wrote:
Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (arché), against powers (exousia), against the rulers of the darkness of this world (kosmokrator), against spiritual wickedness (pneumatikos/poneria) in high places.
There is a clear hierarchy spelled out in this verse with four levels of Satan’s command-level. Let’s take a look at each of the words that occur in the Greek text.
Arché: A head or a chief; first; creator, initiator; it means a causal beginning or act; origin; Arché means: extremity or outermost point, rule, authority, dominion; the verb form (archoô) denotes being first, or to rule.
Exousia: Permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do anything; Exousia denotes executive power, while arché represents the delegated authority representing that power. Exousia means: it is allowed; one can; it is permitted; denying the presence of some hindrance.
Kosmokrator: Contraction of kosmos (order of world) and kratos (power or authority); this word is used almost exclusively to describe demonic powers which rule or hold authority over certain parts of the world, i.e., a lord of [certain or specific] darkness.
Pneumatikos/poneria: There are two forms of the word pneumatikos – both of which have the root (pneuma: for wind or spirit): the first form denoting a person under the influence or control of sin and its propensities; and the second describing a spiritual man or woman assisted by the Holy Spirit to perform supernatural acts. Pneumatikos is differentiated from psuchikos (soulishness, soulish control, soulish behavior).
The second word used in this Greek phrase is poneria, which is derived from poneros (a malicious person), and identifies one who is not only evil, but expresses his malice in such a way as to affect or influence or control the behavior and/or activities of others.
The Greek phrase utilizing these two words is usually translated “spiritual wickedness” (in [epouranios] high places), but that translation misses the fact that Paul is describing spiritual forces at work in [usually] political or governmental places, operating through individuals to maliciously alter their lives or their thoughts and activities in such a way as to prevent them from operating in, from and out of the Kingdom of God. How do these spiritual forces work?
A classic example would be Paul’s use of the phrase in his letter to Timothy (I Timothy 4:1), “giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,” thus causing the individual to be manipulated by these demonic forces into believing something contrary to the Word of God, and thus rendering them ineffective and impotent as believers in Christ.
The use of the Greek word epouranios in Ephesians 6:12 makes the translation “high places” somewhat misleading. This word is universally translated throughout the N.T. as “of the heavens” or “heavenly” places.
As an adjunct to this, we have had teaching during the past months and years dealing with the “first heaven, the second heaven and the third heaven,” often taking II Corinthians 12:2,4 out of context to paint an understanding of how or where demonic powers operate.
I am indebted to E.W. Bullinger for his Greek commentary and lexicon as he draws strictly from the Word to clarify the difference between the first, second and third heaven.
The Greek word, ouranos, is a “one-size fits all” to describe the over-arching and all-embracing heaven beneath which is the earth and all that is therein. (Contrast this to our western thought and mindset which creates boundaries for different heavens.) The plural nominative form of ouranos is epouranios (heavenly) and defines that which is “of the heavenly (or spiritual) realm.”
Genesis 1:1 tells us: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Peter tells us (see II Peter 3:5,6) that “The heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; whereby the world (kosmos), that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”
What succeeded that heavens and earth is called (see II Peter 3:7) “The heavens and the earth which now are.” John now calls these (see Revelation 21:1) “the first heaven and the first earth,” that is to say, the former (see also verse 4)(I will explain this a bit better next week).
These are “kept in store, reserved unto fire.” In the day of the Lord “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and all the works therein shall be burned up.” Again in verse 12 he says, “The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved.”
What shall follow is called (see II Peter 3:13) “New heavens and a new earth;” and in Revelation 21:1, “A new heaven and a new earth.”
In Isaiah 65:17, God says, “Behold I create new heavens, and a new earth.” (See also Isaiah 51:16 and 66:22)
We thus have three heavens.
The first heaven is seen in II Peter 3:5, 6: “The heavens were of old and the earth.” Also: “The world that then was.”
The second heaven is seen in II Peter 3:7: “The heavens and the earth which now are.”
The third heaven, then, is first revealed in Isaiah 65:17: “The new heavens and the new earth.”
As Bullinger notes in his commentary, “The origin, causes and progress of these changes make up the whole subject matter of the Word of God.”
A great deal has been made of Paul’s comment in II Corinthians 12 about being “caught away into the third heaven,” and this statement has been taken out of the context of all the other scriptures. Our western mindset sets boundaries and tries to proscribe a lower heaven which reaches to a certain boundary, where a second heaven takes over; and from the limits of that second heaven to a third boundary line where the third heaven exists. There really is nothing in the Word anywhere that allows for this kind of interpretation.
Paradise was in the First heaven and earth (see Genesis 2). The earthly part “perished” with them at the flood, and therefore is absent in the Second. It appears again in the Third, with its Tree of Life (see Revelation 2:7, 22:1, 2, 14). To this “Third heaven” and “Paradise” Paul was caught away (see II Corinthians 12:2, 4), not “up”, in visions and revelations of the Lord.” (See II Corinthians 12:1) He was transported into the future!
It is, therefore, one “catching away” with a double revelation of the New heaven and the New Earth, the whole earth being then a “Paradise.”
In the light of this revelation we must – in Luke 23:43 – place the comma after the word “today,” which would be required according to the structure of the Greek phrasing (compare Luke 22:34 and Matthew 21:28 with Mark 14:30, Luke 4:21 and 19:9).
We’ve taken this look at the “first, second and third heaven” because it bears directly on Ephesians 6:12 and the spiritual authority that we have being seated in the Heavenlies in Christ Jesus. The last phrase in this verse says that we wrestle with “spiritual wickedness in heavenly places” or more accurately “in the heavens.”
I'm going to pause here for today and pick it up at this point next week. Without a doubt, my sharing today has been quite technical in terms of the Greek, and I'm sorry it is necessary to stop here because today's sharing is very incomplete. Bear with me. We'll complete this picture -- or at least this part of it -- next week.
Again, if you are in need of healing -- especially if you have some terminal disease or prognosis of a very short time to live from the doctors -- please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday or Wednesday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
Coffee Break articles are copyright by Regner A. Capener, but authorization for
reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in part, is granted
–provided proper attribution and this notice are included intact. Older Coffee
Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. Coffee Break
articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: Subscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to Unsubscribe@AnotherCoffeeBreak.com.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.