PAUL TOTHILL

When Kings Go To Battle

December 2, 2018

These notes from Paul Tothill are a version of his message preached at Gateway Church on 2/12/18. 

 

You can also listen to the message on the Gateway podcast (available on Apple Podcasts or any other device).

2 SAMUEL 11

 

In the Spring of the year, the time when Kings go to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

 

I want to speak about a very important topic today that will keep you empowered and purposeful, storing up for yourself present victories and eternal rewards in Christ as we fulfil the God-mission we have been re-awakened to. This is important, especially for those who received an impartation of the Holy Spirit last week and want to activate and realise the anointing they carry. Of course, we are anointed and empowered for a purpose.

 

Many of us sense we are in a sovereign God-opportunity in the timings of God in Australia, and frankly, beyond. We are in an hour where the Holy Spirit is re-awakening God’s Spirit people to God’s commission and His mission and to the spiritual battle that is at hand. There is a season of harvest and increase available if we understand our calling and develop our anointing. Like the Eden Commission given in the Garden, the Matthew 28:18 commission is given to the whole church, to everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus, to go into the whole world and make disciples of Jesus.

 

The commission is outworked from the victory that Jesus won at Calvary over Satan and principalities and powers and spirits of wickedness, as the Bible makes very clear.[1] This victory causes us to come into a place of spiritual authority and power over these spiritual forces that the Old Testament battles of God’s people against the nations under the authority of the corrupt Elohim and evil spirits point to.[2]

 

Ever since the Garden of Eden and until Jesus returns, God’s people have been and will be engaged in a cosmic spiritual battle for souls, cities and nations in the outworking of their commission. That is the very point of the letters to the churches and most of the theme of the Book of Revelation. But we should recognise who actually has all authority.

 

Jesus said to the church fathers: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always.

 

Jesus said to his disciples “Peace be with you. I am sending you as the Father has sent me”[3].

 

The church born of Jesus is mandated to carry delegated spiritual kingly and priestly authority in their life and into the world to be spiritually powerful and to continue the work that Jesus commenced and has established in heaven. We are meant to rule and reign in life, as Paul writes in Romans 5:17.

 

For if because of one man’s trespass death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

 

We reign in life by God’s grace received and developed by faith as we live as one with Christ empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit and prayerfully praising and obeying God’s word. The highest form of praise, worship and loyalty to Jesus is living by His words of life and fulfilling our commission.

 

In other words, we carry the mystery of Christ in us, as our new life, as we learned last week. In addition, we carry God’s exousia, His delegated kingly governmental authority as his vice-regents and the Spirit’s dunamis power for the purpose of destroying the works of the enemy through the witness of the Gospel, and transferring people out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light through salvation.

 

That through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places [4].

 

We must learn not only how to live from the new life within us but know how to exercise the delegated spiritual authority and the explosive power of the anointing God has given to us as His image bearers and His vice-regents to be His Gospel witnesses into the world.

 

 

A CLEAR PROPHETIC EMPHASIS

 

On Wednesday night, there were so many confirming words about the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a picture of Christ and His authority roaring once more over the world to establish His kingdom rule and reign that liberates nations and people from demonic strong holds and spiritual darkness we see manifesting in all kinds of evil. The “roar” is His governmental authority being released as a prophetic unction to us.

 

There are two complimenting facets of how Jesus is described in Scripture. He is both the lion of the tribe of Judah and the lamb of God. He is the sacrificial king who restores all nations to His loving and just rule and reign and relationship with God.

We all like this side of Jesus. But few contemplate the other side of Jesus when He moves as a roaring lion, as king, releasing His governmental realm and His justice. That is when holy reverence and awe starts to be released in the spiritual atmosphere.

 

We need to see that Jesus is not only the lamb of God but also the one who rides on the clouds - the Lord of Hosts, the Warrior King whose eyes are like fire as well as like doves. He is both loving and militant and a defender of those who call on His name, who hate evil and injustice. He is just and holy and cannot stand the effects of evil and injustice upon God’s creation. We only need to read the Psalms of David to understand that, and the consequences of Psalm 82 for those spiritual rulers in heaven who do evil and create evil instead of justice and peace.

 

Spiritual darkness and sin create veils over people’s minds and hearts. But the power of God through the word of the Spirit and the anointing we carry is powerful to pierce that darkness and set people, cities and nations free. We are being awakened to the power and authority we have been given to enter into the spiritual battle that is at hand.

 

THE NATURE OF THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE

 

Paul the apostle told the church at Corinth [5] “For though we walk in the flesh we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete."

 

Our wrestle is not against people (flesh and blood) but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places [6].

 

Whether we recognise it or not, we are born again into a cosmic spiritual battle for people and nations. Our commission and calling is located in that battle. Whilst we do not become pre-occupied with the demonic spiritual realm for reasons I will explain, we must be aware that it does exist and we should become skilled in our use of the weapons of our warfare to keep ourselves free and empowered, and to set others free and empowered, as we step into our God mission and calling.

 

We do have spiritual opponents working against us, trying to seduce us, intimidate us and destroy us. Many believers have unfortunately become victims of the spiritual battle because they don’t want to think such a reality exists after the Cross. That is a very serious mistake. Nor do they engage in the mission God has called them into. That is the error of the Tower of Babel. When it is time for Kings to go to battle led by the Presence of God, and we choose instead to stay home on our couch and on the roof tops, we will fight yet another far less obvious battle on our own as King David experienced and we will learn from today.

 

Scripture tells us the church’s spiritual opponents are spirits or demons that are bound to the earthly realm and move around under the spiritual authority of corrupted Elohim, or divine sons of God previously part of God’s divine council, as referred to in Psalm 82 and known as the bulls of Bashan in Psalm 22.

 

They partner with Satan who has elevated himself to be as god over them, and is the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air. He seeks to influence the hearts and mind of humanity through his spiritual influence and tactics to create various systems that function through people who worship him or are loyal to him both knowingly and unwittingly, to have humanity turn away from God and come under his power, his authority and his agenda. This is not new. And it continues to be played out. This is the way in which the Bible describes the interaction between nations and their gods and Israel.

 

Let me read from the Apocryphal Book 1 Enoch that underpins Paul’s understanding and teaching to the church on spiritual authorities and powers.

 

In speaking of the giants of Genesis 6 who were produced from the spirits and flesh, these “shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling … And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble; they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against women, because they have proceeded from them." [7]

 

Jesus dealt with this very reality when he delivered the man in the tombs, setting him free and in his right mind [8]. So will we. Similarly, Paul dealt with the principality that was attached to the spirit of divination moving through a slave girl in Philippi. [9]

 

The spirit of this age is continually working against God’s people, those who follow Jesus and God’s mandate to liberate and restore nations.[10] Its goal, according to Scripture, is to get people to surrender their delegated Christ authority to Satan’s authority through various intimidating or seducing spirits or temptations that Paul and Scripture identifies. They keep intimidating God’s Spirit people and getting them to get their eyes off God, who they are in Christ and what God has called them into as co-labourers. This is not new.

 

In short, Satan wants to tempt them to sin against God and harm others. Sin primarily is not trusting God at His word and trusting in Him living for themselves as their own god. But what people don’t know about sin, which Jesus died for and delivered us from, is the sin of not fulfilling their mission for which they are called by God. Yes, it is the continuing plan of the enemy to snare you in the sin of not fulfilling your calling and God’s mission for your life. His primary weapon is fear and getting you to live for yourself, and if it were possible, to get you to stay at home when a call to fulfil our mission is at hand. He will influence through the spirit of apathy.

 

When Esau did not value his birth right as a first-born son and a double portion inheritance, he gave that right away by his own apathy and deception of his younger brother. He was apathetic about its importance and the future it would establish in his life. That loss once realised enraged him and a spirit of anger and death went down the generational line and is realised in the constant battle between the Amalekites and Israel and them taking possession of the promised land. We spoke about that some weeks ago.

 

The way that the enemy, represented by the Amalekites, was defeated was corporate prayer and lifting up God’s governmental or kingly authority over the people and corresponding faith actions in the valley. I spoke about that recently. The spirit of apathy is something that works against the believers and the world alike. It is a spirit that is inconsistent with the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ and our anointing properly understood and applied energises us. It lights a fire in our spirit.

 

Similarly, the spirit of fear is a spirit that intimidates us and prevents us from recognising who we are and whose we are in Christ and what we are actually called to do as the church into the world.

 

However, because of Christ and His victory, we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. Self-control is an ability to govern our own life, to be powerful over the enemy and his ways leading to sin and carry God’s empowering presence, his love and His powerful anointing into every context.

 

An example of how the spirit of fear works is of course Elijah’s encounter with Jezebel as described in 1 Kings 16-19. We have the King of Israel, Ahab. Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all the other kings before him. He took to himself a wife, Jezebel who was the daughter of the King of Sidonians and went and served Baal and worshipped him. Ahab turns from worshipping God to worshipping Baal which creates a double-minded people. The prophets and priests connected to Jezebel were prophesying from and sacrificing to Baal. Very loosely but in effect, Baal is the same as worshiping Satan. Baal worship in various forms continues today, yet few in the church recognise it or understand the spiritual battle for people cities and nations that continues because of that influence.

 

Elijah prophesies a drought. He hid, then in the timing of God he needed to confront Ahab again. God was now going to bring rain to the land. A revival if you will. In that process Jezebel’s priests and prophets needed to be dealt with and the people had to stop wavering between who they were worshipping and serving. This was a people under God, his holy nation, but under Jezebel’s influence they were also worshipping Baal. We know Elijah called down fire upon the sacrifice. We know judgment came upon the prophets of Baal.

 

But in response to this powerful judgment the demonic spirit of Jezebel came upon Elijah. Great victories sometimes come with a counter-spiritual response. The spiritual powers only have the authority we give them. What seems ironic, is that Elijah forgot how to win. The spirit of Jezebel wants to destroy our faith through fear. Under the spirit of fear, he forgot the power of God, and the power of prayer. He was intimidated. He forgot the power of his spiritual weapons and he ran away towards Mt. Horeb feeling self-righteous - he was "the only one doing the right thing" - and wanting to die. Such is the power of the spirit of Jezebel.

 

As Paul alludes to, the battle is often to spiritually influence the mind through our thoughts, to intimidate us. Sometimes, as Paul teaches, our best response is to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might, putting on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.[11]

 

The first effect of the spirit of Jezebel is the spirit of fear. It then creates a spirit of confusion, a spirit of manipulation, a spirit of abandonment or isolation, a spirit of self-righteousness and spiritual religious superiority, leading to a spirit of “death” to name but a few. Elijah experienced all of these things as he ran away from his last victory into the hands of God and went into the cave where God passed by. Through intimacy in the hidden place with God, and God reminding Elijah of the truth of things, God delivered him and set him back on course to raise up Elisha. He went back the way he had come - completely free, delivered and empowered.

 

The presence of God and reminding ourselves of His truth is powerful to destroying the spirit of Jezebel. We need to establish our kingly anointing because it was Jehu who dealt with her. The spirit of Jezebel always needs an Ahab.

 

We need to recognise how the enemy uses these spiritual influences to try to trap us and give agreement to them. At the same time, we have the power to defeat them well before they take hold if we recognise what is happening.

 

If we consider Nehemiah, he was confronted with the spirit of false accusation and a mocking spirit in an attempt for him to stop God’s work. We know the story of Nehemiah. He was a cup bearer to the King. Cupbearers did more than test the food and wine! They were in the inner counsel of the King and it was a prestigious, trusted role. When Nehemiah gets the vision to rebuild the wall, the whole of the people build together. Because of the threats to the work, they need to build with both the trowel and the spear. They not only had to build, they had to protect the work from attack. So, Nehemiah taught them how to build and defend the work and the breaches in the wall.

 

At first, Sanballat and his friends made fun of the work telling them how pathetic and hopeless they were and the work would fail. Sound familiar? Sanballat was working by a mocking spirit not of God. Others joined in the jeering and mocking. Sound familiar? How did Nehemiah deal with the situation? He prayed a governmental prayer of authority!

 

He did not retaliate or even give their words any weight. He asked God to deal with the situation. When Sanballat heard that Nehemiah was continuing with the work regardless, they plotted against them. Their battle plan was confusion. The answer was prayer and fulfilling their work. Nehemiah held to God’s vision and encouraged the people in it. The fight was not just for themselves but for each other and the generations. Nehemiah like Elijah knew the power of prayer and the faithfulness of God to show himself strong and powerful and to do justice on their behalf.

 

Then the last weapon of the enemy was false accusation against Nehemiah. Nehemiah said to Sanballat, in effect, he was too busy getting on with God’s work to answer or respond to their nonsense and false allegations. He ignored them. These are wonderful clues for us to learn from in the context of our own calling today and what are weapons of warfare are to use as we build and go out into our mission.

 

The people of God are called to build what God is building and to carry that work and responsibility together into the world. We need to learn how to carry the trowel and the spear and build and defend our work together. There is indeed strength in numbers. We see that when everyone participates and shoulders their responsibility in what God builds and knows how to overcome the strategies of the spirit of this age and the Prince of the Air, God can do amazing things in us and through us.  In fact, we are anointed by God for that very purpose. To do amazing exploits of faith by the power of the indwelling presence of God and our anointing.

 

We are to build by the Spirit of God and using the word of God as both the trowel and the spear, to build and protect the work God is doing in us, amongst us, and through us for the sake of the spiritual release and protection of the city.

 

God’s Spirit shows us how to understand and apply God’s powerful words as authority in our life to destroy the works of the enemy and give us faith and hope. God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, shows us how to pray and He is the one who shows us how to destroy all the works of the enemy by applying the victorious reality of Jesus and the power of the Gospel to our life and into our context. The safest way we can be spiritually powerful is doing what God has called us to do and with those who God has called us to do it with.

 

The anointing released in the Awakening Australia time, the shift that so many are sensing, is to awaken them into the battle because that is actually what we have been called to do. God has to first awaken us to our mission so he can bring revival to a land. Mission and revival work hand in hand. Your anointing as God’s grace is to empower you do what God has called you to do. God is waking the church up: It’s time for the kings to go to battle! God has prepared a battle for us to win! And His presence will go with us. God is sounding the shofars!

 

How do we go to battle? How do we take ground? Well we have already seen the power of unity, a clear vision and purpose. We come together. That is the first thing we do and it is the first thing Satan and spiritual darkness will attack. Both Satan and God know the power of unity and people being together in one heart and one mind. Secondly, together, we use the weapons of our warfare to build together which will cause us in turn to go together and advance together.

 

Our first most powerful weapon is thanksgiving and praise. Complaining and criticising, gossiping and slander is the weapon of Satan to destroy our vision and our faith. We have to be aware of, and spiritually discern, what belongs to the Spirit of God and what belongs to the spirit of the world and our own insecurities. 

 

We enter into God’s courts, being conscious of His presence with thanksgiving and praise. We activate His empowering presence and shift our focus and thoughts toward Him. We magnify His name which is His person and His governmental realm as the King into the atmosphere. (We wait on him which means to twirl or entwine ourselves with Him as being one with Him). And when we do that together the King inhabits the praise of His people. A governmental realm is released that goes before us and surrounds us and radiates from us. We never go to spiritual battle without our King and Praise in front of us or without the presence of God leading us and with us. In fact, if we consider 2 Samuel 11:11 the ark of the presence of God was with Israel in the booths in the fields of the battle. Judah armed with the Ark of the Covenant and praise led Israel into battle. Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”

 

Secondly, we come together as one in prayer. There is a dynamic of corporate prayer that we cannot achieve alone. These prayers are releasing the decrees and judgments of Heaven by prophetic declaration so that they may be established. We are powerful when we are together in prayer.

 

It concerns me how many believers do not value prayer, and why people do not want to be found in a corporate prayer meeting establishing the Kingdom and destroying the works of the enemy together. This is what followers of Jesus do. It is the very thing we are anointed to do. Our meetings are necessary to win the battle. We don’t have them to fill a space in the week. We have them because they are fundamental to our establishing the government of His peace, His dominion, His strength and might and His rest for our assignments and commission. God’s Spirit people are meant to change the spiritual atmospheres of a region, not come under it.

 

When we put God’s words in our mouth through the Spirit of revelation and prophesy we are declaring that which is in heaven on earth. Like Elijah we keep meditating on it, praying it through and declaring it until it is formed. We step into being what we are called to be, God’s legislating assembly that has been given the keys of heaven to “loose” on earth what is already “loosed” in heaven and bind on earth what is already bound in heaven.

 

These prayers are powerful because the Holy Spirit is leading us in prayer. They are God’s words so they carry His authority that has the power to pull down and build up and establish. Praying God’s words by faith are more powerful than you realise. We declare God’s words back to Him just as Abraham and Moses and David learnt to do. Look at the prayers of Elijah. Look what James says:

 

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed fervently that it might not rain and then for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit.[12]

 

Third, we declare all the promises of God that are already "yes" in Jesus. They are now, present and available. For all the promises of God are “yes” and “completed” to which we give the amen in Christ Jesus. We start using God’s promises as the now faith word into our situation. This includes God’s prophetic promises in our life. We do battle with the prophetic words God has given us.

 

Fourth, we remember the testimonies of God of Scripture and our own life. Testimonies of Jesus are the Spirit of prophecy. We announce them, we declare them and we remind ourselves that God is faithful and He is mighty in battle. I repeat. We remember the prophetic words over our life and we do battle with them. We declare them, and let them become a weapon against every word the dark spiritual world tries to influence us with to work against us. Remember words only become powerful when we agree with them and let them shape our lives.

 

Fifth, we live as we pray trusting God will do exactly what He said He would do and has done. We live full of the Spirit according to the word of God as power into every life situation. We take the double-edged sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and we learn how to use it. It is powerful. It pierces, breaks things open and establishes. We become mobilised in obedience with the power of the Gospel, and the mystery of Christ within us, not just as individuals but as a Spirit people.

 

Finally, we impact our sphere of influence by faith actions. The sphere of influence God has given us an anointing and authority for to establish the witness of the gospel and His government of peace. We go out from our prayer mountain knowing the word and the Spirit have all worked together to meet us in our moment of faith action. That is how Jesus lived.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KINGS DON’T GO TO WAR

 

Now David was a mighty warrior king, a shadow and type of Jesus. He was a shepherd boy, a worshipper of God, a man after God’s own heart and whose throne God would establish eternally. David was known for his conquests in battle. He raised up a group of misfits in Adullum’s cave and developed them into mighty warriors who knew how to use the sword in both hands. David was indeed the worshipping warrior king.

 

But when it was time for him to go to war, to do what God had anointed him to do, and be where the presence of God was, to be where God was moving, he decided to stay home. He positioned himself in isolation and as we will see spiritual vulnerability that brought him into another battle he did not recognise as he dropped his guard. This is the most devious scheme of the enemy, to keep you isolated and away from the presence and purposes of God for your life. To keep you on the couch and worse still on the roof top instead of in the battle where God is moving.

 

Today there is a prophetic warning resounding from the Lord to the church. This is not the hour for staying home and being alone on your couch. Some need to get off the rooftops! This is a time that kings are going to battle for people and nations and the church needs to move together as one.

 

Let’s see what happened to David when he stayed home instead of going to battle.

 

It happened late one afternoon when David arose from his couch, and was walking on the roof of the King’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman.

 

David got some feedback, but knowing it was another man’s wife he still continued driven by the spirit of lust in his heart. The wife of a man in his own army who was indeed at battle where David should have been. It becomes obvious the safest place you can be is with the Presence of God in the battle – Why? Because there is another battle that goes on behind the battle that we become drawn into by our isolation that is even more dangerous and seductive.  

 

The story goes on. He called Bathsheba to him and he slept with her and she fell pregnant. But worse than that he now tried to cover up his sin. This in turn, led him to bring Bathsheba’s faithful husband back from the battle. From doing what God had called him to do for the sake of covering his sin.

 

Uriah was so faithful to David that he slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of the lord, despite being invited to go home and be with Bathsheba his wife. Uriah in his loyalty knew it was a time of battle, not a time for comfort, and was willing to be ready for the king’s orders. He remained faithful to David. He could not go home and enjoy himself while the presence of God and the armies of Israel where in the fields and in battle. For Uriah to do so was unthinkable. It was unconscionable! It would be treason! I tell you God is looking for Uriah’s in this hour.

 

Despite that loyalty, David set Uriah up to be killed. This is unthinkable but this is the power of sin - it veils our heart that we become driven by its desires. David knew better but he had dropped his guard during a time of battle. He was at home and not where God was moving and he was called to be.

 

CONCLUSION

 

We must re-awaken to our mission. We must awaken to the delegated spiritual authority and power we have been given and start to use it, heading in to the battle that is at hand. The way you destroy the work of the enemy is to live from the grace of the indwelling presence of God and the anointing of God to obey God and do the exact opposite of what the spirit of this age is leading you to do - do what God has anointed you to do and live what He has empowered you by His grace to live. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. That is where you rule and reign, as I drew your attention to earlier.

 

Overcomers don’t give in to the very enemy that is trying to destroy them and others through them. You are anointed and empowered to overcome apathy, fear, intimidation, false accusations and spiritual temptations including lust and impurity and so on. Little children, John says, “you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”[13]  You are called to destroy, not agree with, the spirit of Jezebel and her horde. They are just spirits trying to disempower you and give yourself to their power by your agreement so they can harm you and harm others. Agree with the Holy Spirit and God’s words towards you and you will be powerful over the enemy.

 

This is a season where God is releasing an anointing for Kings to go to war. He is releasing a new level of governmental anointing, and He is ramping up His governmental authority to deal with evil and injustice to liberate people, cities and nations. We, every one of us who follow Jesus, have been anointed for such a time as this!

 

REFERENCES

 

 

[1] Both Psalm 22 and 82 should be read together in this regard.

 

[2] Psalm 82

 

[3] John 20:21

 

[4] Ephesians 3:10 This has direct reference to the fulfilment of Psalm 82.

 

 

[5] 2 Corinthians 10:3

 

[6] Ephesians 6:10

 

[7] The Book of Enoch 15:8

 

[8] Mark 5:1

 

[9] Acts 16:16

 

[10] Revelation 12:17

 

[11] Ephesians 5:10

 

[12] James 5:16-18

 

[13] 1 John 4:4

 

 

 

 

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