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Spirit Food - August 2020

Coronavirus Biblical Information

 

Foundation Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-13

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles (or scheming) of the devil. 

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the (or this) darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 

Before any battle comes your way, God has already prepared the victory for you

In the midst of all the news surrounding the COVID-19 virus, let's not give in to the voice of fear that says we must isolate ourselves from the rest of society so that we don't get infected. 

If we are well, let’s come together as the church. During these times, it's important that we don’t stop coming to church, for there is great power and a corporate anointing present that cannot be replicated when we are at home. 

If you are under quarantine or have been advised to stay at home, it's wise to heed that advice during this period of time. However, we do not have to let fear dictate whether we gather as a church or not. 

THE ANSWER TO ALL OUR TROUBLES IS FOUND IN THE ELEMENTS OF THE GRAIN, THE WINE, AND THE OIL. 

In the natural, the oil is just oil. But God’s power comes upon it when we understand what it symbolizes—Jesus being crushed for us at the cross.

Olive oil is produced by crushing olive seeds. It is a picture of how our Lord Jesus was crushed for our iniquities. 

On the cross, He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). That divine exchange is the reason why as believers, we can enjoy blessings of peace and health in every area of our lives. 

The enemy wants to constrict our time and space, e.g. when it comes to the COVID-19 virus, people don’t want to leave their homes (constricted space).

But when we look at God’s example in the Temple of Solomon, the Lord wants to enlarge our space as we go up the chambers—from five cubits, to six cubits, to seven cubits. 

On the first floor chamber of Solomon’s temple, the grain, wine and the oil is stored. It represents the abundant provision that the Lord has already prepared for us ahead of time. 

The church should place a large emphasis on the grain and the wine (the Holy Communion).  Now, not only are we focusing on the grain and the wine, but on the oil as well.

Long before we find ourselves facing a challenge, God already knew what it would be and provided the way out for you. 

In Joel 2:23-25 it says:

23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you — The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.

24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 

25 ‘So I will restore to you the years that the  swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.’”
 

 “The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil” — The wheat (grain) and the new wine represents the Holy Communion, and the oil represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit that comes by the anointing oil. 

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” — Despite all the bad that may have happened, the Lord wants you to know that He Himself will restore to you all that you have lost. 

Even when the world experiences devastation, the Lord will not allow it to touch us. 

In times of famine for the world, we are called to be rivers of blessing for others around us.

OUR WALK WITH GOD IS PURELY BY FAITH, AND NOT BY SIGHT. 

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  Everything you can see is temporal, but the things we cannot see are eternal.  The Lord wants us to be more conscious of the eternal realm than the physical realm. 

The devil always plays catch up to the plans of God. What God initiates, the devil reacts to. 

The things of the devil are loud and conspicuous, but the way God demonstrates His power is not through fanfare, but in a quiet manner. His workings are quiet but powerful.

God is not the one who sends pestilences (or disease). He’s the one who has prepared the way out for you. 

An example of the devil playing catch up is when God prophesied the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus.

Back-story: When Jesus came into the world, He came quietly.  But once the devil knew that the Messiah was born, He reacted by using King Herod to kill all the baby boys under the age of two.  Everyone only saw the massacre, no one saw that the Savior had been born. 

If you cannot discern what God is doing in your life, look at the area in which the devil is trying to attack you in, e.g. if you are being attacked in your body, it means that God has released a fresh infusion of health, strength, and renewal of youth into your body. 

Once you realize that it is just an attack, you can rejoice, knowing that the Lord has begun something amazing in your life!

Round-the-clock protection surrounds you like a shield when you place your faith in the Lord

The anointing oil is powerful, for it is yoke-breaking, disease-removing, protection-giving, and filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit!  It even has the power to cause demons to flee whenever and wherever you apply the oil!

Today, we are talking about shields in the Bible—a picture of protection.

Allow me to expound on the story of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon

Back-story: Rehoboam rose to reign over Israel at the age of sixteen. Though he was a good king at first, he strayed after choosing not to listen to wise counsel. As a result, the kingdom was split into two.  Though Rehoboam repented and walked with the Lord for a few years, he soon forsook the Lord once again. Under the law, God allowed Rehoboam to be handed into the hands of Shishak, the king of Egypt at that time. Shishak came against Rehoboam and took away all the treasures that were in the Temple of Solomon. 

This is documented in 1 Kings 14:25-28: “It happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. And he took away the treasures of the king’s house; he took away everything. He also took away all the gold shields that Solomon had made.  Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the doorway of the king’s house. And whenever the king entered the house of the Lord, the guards carried them, then brought them back into the guardroom.”
 

“He also took away all the gold shields that Solomon had made” — One of the treasures that were taken away were the 300 gold shields that Solomon had made.  In the Bible, the number “300” represents victory.  Shields represent the protection that God has given us from all attacks of the enemy. 

“Then King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place” — To keep up appearances, Rehoboam replaced the gold shields with bronze shields. 

If there’s no gold shield for reference, a bronze shield can easily be mistaken for a gold shield.

In Ephesians 6, we learn about the armor of God that includes a shield:

In Ephesians 6:16, it says: “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
 

“taking the shield of faith … quench all the fiery darts” — When you have the shield of faith, you will be able to quench not just one or two, but all of the fiery darts that the enemy throws at you. 

The Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) describes the shield this way:

“Above all, having taken up the shield of the faith, in which ye shall be able all the fiery darts of the evil one to quench,”
 

“The shield of the faith” — In the Greek, the word “faith” is preceded by the definite article “the.” 

Whenever the Bible says “the faith,” it’s not referring to the type of faith that trusts God for healing or a miracle. Whenever you see “the faith,” it’s referring to the righteousness of faith.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21 says: The righteousness of faith—the belief that we are righteous because of Jesus finished work — acts as a shield of protection for us.

The 300 gold shields that Solomon made are a picture of the shield of the faith found in Ephesians 6.

The significance of gold, silver, and bronze:

  1. Gold is a symbol of divine righteousness. 

  2. Silver is a symbol of redemption. 

  3. Bronze is a symbol of judgment. 

 

In reference to Rehoboam’s story and the significance of the three elements: Rehoboam’s decision to replace gold shields with bronze ones speaks of the situation in the church today.  Many believers have given up divine righteousness (and with it, their protection), and replaced it with self-righteousness (which only results in judgment).

The essence of the Gospel is the gift of righteousness from God. 

Though the law which demanded righteousness from man was first

given by God, it was not given for man to fulfill and please God.  Rather, it was to show man how much we fell short of God’s glory and cause us to recognize our need for His grace.  In His grace, He sent Jesus to the cross for us which has allowed us to receive the good that we do not deserve. 

Without the law coming first, we would not have been able to appreciate grace. 

Grace is all about God supplying to us.

You can pray the prayer of protection in Psalm 91, take the Holy Communion, and apply the anointing oil, but if you do those things with the mindset of trying to get right with God, you are not receiving God’s grace.  You are under demand, not supply, and those gifts just become religious acts. 

However, when you do pray the prayer of protection in Psalm 91, take the Holy Communion, and apply the anointing oil with the sense that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, power is supplied into your life.

The moment we are born into this world, we are creatures of sin because of Adam’s sin. Sin brings in disease, sickness, tragedy, and ultimately, death.  But that was never God’s idea. Though God is our Heavenly Father who loves us, he is also a holy God, which is why in order to redeem us, He had to send His Son to die on the cross for us. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) - “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
 

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” — When Jesus died on the cross for us, He took all our sins upon Himself. 

“that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” — We who knew no righteousness became righteous with the righteousness of God in Christ.

Man may not know how to even attempt to reason the basis on which God can forgive our sins, but God had the answer from before time began. It is the cross of Jesus Christ.  At the cross, the divine exchange happened. 

Jesus paid for all our guilt, unrighteousness, and sins, and that is why God has the righteous foundation to judge us as righteous through the finished work of His Son. 

Christ took your guilt at the cross, so that today, you can claim His righteousness as your own.  His righteousness is a gift, it can’t be earned. It is by grace, not by your own works. 

When you know your righteous standing in Christ, you can stand with boldness against the enemy

Coming back to the story of King Shishak who attacked King Rehoboam

“Shishak” means “greedy of fine linen.” 

In the Bible, linen is a picture of righteousness.

The enemy is always trying to steal your sense of divine righteousness.

Divine righteousness as a gift is yours the moment you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, and is a gift that the devil can never take away or undo. But he can try to steal your confidence in it. He can try to steal your sense of being right with God.

He does this by attacking your mind with thoughts of condemnation, guilt, shame, and also thoughts of self-righteousness and pride in your own works.

When it comes to sin, there is no sin that can ever make you lose your righteous standing in Christ, nor any sin that God cannot forgive. 

Why is that so? Jesus is greater than any sin. 

When you have Jesus in your life, no sin can overpower you or remove Jesus from the throne of your life—and He cannot be moved for He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Once you are saved, you are saved forever.

Not only does knowing this free our conscience, but it frees us from the power of sin so that we are not trapped in sinful lifestyles.

God’s heart is to see us enjoying all the good things that He has intended for us. 

God once commanded King Saul to destroy all the Amalekites, but Saul didn’t. In the end, it was an Amalekite who killed King Saul. 

The Hebrew word “amal” from “Amalekite” means “grievous, burdensome labor.”

It is a picture of self-righteousness which strives to earn favor with God.  

If we don’t kill our self-righteousness, our self-righteousness will take us down.

The Lord has ordained us to live lives of rest, and not of burdensome labor, trying to please Him.

NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER. 

Our basis of using the anointing oil is that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. 

When you are established in His righteousness, no weapon formed against you can ever prosper. 

Weapons might be formed, like the COVID-19 virus, but God has promised us that it cannot prosper against us! That is why you need not worry about going out of the house during these times, for you are protected against the evil one. 

When you declare that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, good works are the result of it.  They are an unconscious outflow because you know that you are already righteous.

God is pleased when you go to Him in prayer and declare that you are righteous through the finished work of His Son, not by pleading and begging for your blessing. 

When you acknowledge your righteous standing in Christ, you become a blessing magnet. 

The Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness:

In Romans 4:13 (NKJV) it says: “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
 

“The promise that he would be the heir of the world” — We are all heirs of this same promise that God made to Abraham, for we are Abraham’s seed spiritually. To be the heir of the world means that we will have peace, wisdom, lack for nothing, and walk closely with God. 

“through the righteousness of faith” — The promise did not come through obeying or keeping the law (bronze — judgment), but through the righteousness of faith! 

In Isaiah 24:18 (NKJV) it says: “And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit, And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare; For the windows from on high are open,
And the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
 

“he who flees from the noise of the fear” — God is telling us not to fear, or do things out of fear because the result is always bad. You end up in a tight space.

THE RIGHTEOUS ARE AS BOLD AS A LION. 

God wants us to be in a place where we are bold and confident in Him. He doesn’t want us cowering in fear, even when situations look dire.

Just like how David ran toward Goliath in the name of the Lord and killed the giant, today, the Lord wants us to be bold and courageous in the face of our own giants, knowing that we, the Lord’s righteous ones, can never have any evil plans prosper against us. 

Listen to what God has to say, not what people of the world might be saying. 

I encourage you to keep Jesus at the center of your lives and to always depend on our righteousness in Him and not our own self-righteousness, for that is what brings true humility.  And God always gives more grace to the humble.

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