THE LAST BATTLE
By Dan Luehrs
“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26 NKJV).
There have been many books written and movies made about the last battle mankind will ever have to face and when the story is over everyone lives happily ever after. When World War I ended it was to be the last Great War the earth was to experience, but as we know this did not happen. Although I can tell you that the Bible declares one last war that will end all wars! It will not come about by one country defeating the other or by a one person dying who is called, “the antichrist.” The last war will be fought over death and won!
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4 NKJV).
The sin nature that is in all of us, otherwise known as, the antichrist, the man of sin, and the flesh, which is alive in us, will be destroyed! Praise God! Death is sin, and sin is death, and because God has allowed sin in the earth He will one day eradicate it once and for all mankind. Oh, how I await that day! The scriptures say, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” The Bible does not say that the last enemy is a man or the so called antichrist, but that death came through Adam’s sin, which caused separation between man and God and God in the end at Armageddon will destroy sin in the flesh of man.
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:15-16 KJV).
Jesus in The Revelation repeats the same words that both Peter and Paul have already spoken in their epistles, "Behold, I come as a thief! Blessed is he that watcheth!" In other words, He who stays awake and does not live in sin, but keeps his garments of holiness from becoming spotted will defeat the enemy. For it only takes one stain to blemish a pure white garment. I once spilled some food on a whitish shirt and went to the store and those I spoke with looked at the spot on my shirt several times and I felt embarrassed and dirty. Jesus wants us to be clean in heart, mind, and action and not stand ashamed of how we have lived our lives on earth.
God gathers them together at a place called, "Armageddon, to the war of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:14 KJV). Before we can go any further we must understand that the natural always comes before the spiritual. So, we must look at what natural Armageddon is in the Old Testament and then, what it means to us in the spirit of the New Testament.
Armageddon in the Old Testament was a place where many decisive battles were won. It had several names: the valley of Megiddo, Plain of Esdraelon, and valley of Jezreel. This was where Gideon won his great battle with just three hundred men (God's number for supernatural deliverance). Gideon won by breaking clay pots (which represents our flesh) so that the light/glory would shine out and overcome the enemy. When our sinful flesh is taken away, the glory of Christ will shine through us and our enemy will quickly be defeated. King Saul died in these plains also. In scripture he represents (the man of the flesh,) while David represents the man of the Spirit. Our enemy the flesh will also be destroyed at spiritual Armageddon. King Josiah was also killed in these plains. He was one of Israel's greatest kings for having restored the Law of God in the land. Yet, in disobedience to the word of the Lord he went to battle at Armageddon and was killed (see 2 Chronicles 35:22). This is a prophetic warning to us, Even when God has anointed us greatly to do a work for Him, we cannot become presumptuous and prideful by doing our own thing. All works of the flesh will be destroyed at Armageddon! “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" (Revelation 16:17 NKJV). Just as Jesus said the work of redemption was finished at Calvary, so now at spiritual Armageddon it is spoken from the throne of God, “It is done!” The seventh and last judgement of God will be poured out on the unrepented.
We must determine the identity of the enemy that God is gathering to this battle. To answer this we must define who the enemy of God is that will be annihilated. The scriptures are very clear who this is, Babylon! "And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath" (Revelation 16:19 NAS). Spiritual Babylon is going to be destroyed by God Himself. This is the archenemy of God. Spiritual Babylon is none other than the "mind set on the works of the flesh." The rebellious carnal mind-immersed in, 1) deception 2) pride 3) the exaltation of Self 4) confusion 5) imaginations 6) babble 7) the accumulation of knowledge 8) sectarianism 9) religion 10) the religious system is Babylon! These ten carnal traits are competing for control in us everyday. Yes, he is called the man of sin, Saul, the antichrist in us, and the harlot that is opposing Christ (all these names are our carnal nature) will be destroyed at the spiritual battle of Armageddon (Christ's coming). It is a spiritual battle, not natural! We are to rejoice in the destruction of Babylon, "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her" (Revelation 18:20). If we continue to interpret the book of Revelation only in the natural, we cannot expect to grow spiritually. Revelation is first and foremost, a spiritual book revealing Jesus Christ as He comes in full power and glory in His holy ones.
Many people in the church read the book of Revelation as things happing in the natural and do not see the spiritual application of the man of sin in us being put to death, so the book is interpreted as natural. Armageddon in the New Testament is spiritual just as our salvation is. The Jews of Jesus day were looking for a natural king to come and save them, but God sent them a spiritual king that saved them from their sins. And the same is true today, the church is looking for God to kill all their enemies off but God is going to save them by destroying the man of sin that is controlling them by the power of His word!
THE WORD, LIFE OR DEATH
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3 NKJV).
Logic tells us that if God can make the known universe by the power of His word, He can also destroy any part of it anytime that He wants too. The man of sin, the flesh that is alive and well in every human being will be destroyed by the power of His word because the word of God is the power of God! If you are a true believer you have been saved by God’s word and you are also being changed daily by that same word. If you are truly saved your life will show it because you are not living in willful sin but are trying to live a life that is pleasing to God by living in the likeness of His Son, Jesus. God could have made us like Jesus right after we were saved but He chose to let our minds be renewed by the power of His word if we will take the time to read, study, and apply it to our lives. Many people are not changed by the word because they do not take the time to know God through His presence and to get the revelation of His word.
What I am trying to say here is this; the man of sin is being done away with in the life of every true believer if they are being changed by the power of God’s word and Spirit NOW. Yet the enemy of our souls opposes us, but he too, will be taken out of the way by one single word from God when the angel will bind him up and throw him into the pit. Please hear me, by one word God can heal anyone, and by God’s word He will deliver mankind from the man of sin that is controlling them! It is only a matter of time, but be sure that it is coming very soon because Jesus said that one of the signs of His coming will be “the sign of Jonah.” Jonah preached the word with such power, the anointing on him was so strong that a large city repented and was set free from the power of sin and that same thing is about to happen at God’s Armageddon to multitudes of people all around the world. Then God’s word will feed them with the truth that they so long for but could not see or understand.
“But He answered and said, "It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 NAS).
How is it possible that we should be delivered and live by every word from God? When I think of what words are, just a meaningful sound or combination of sounds that is a language. So how can man live off that? What language does God speak anyway, English, Hebrew, or maybe German? God can speak and understand every language because He created them but when God wanted to speak to mankind He sent us His son, who is the Word! God’s word is not a written language or syllables to be spoken, but His Word is a person that came to demonstrate or communicate the heart of God. Words are pictures in our mind and when we think of the life of Jesus we are to picture how He lived out His life on earth and how we are to live ours.
Let’s say a person cannot read or let’s go a little bit farther, this person cannot see or hear either. Can he still receive the word of God? Of coarse! Because God, the Word, is alive and His life is to be experienced and revealed within us through the faith that God gives us. When someone reads the word of God and tries to comprehend it with their mind only it brings death to the hearers, but when we receive it into our heart through the power of the Holy Spirit it brings forth life into our spirit, mind, and body. We must recognize that we are first spiritual, then physical, but the word is spiritual so that it can give us life in all areas. God gave us His word because He wants us to know and understand Him; the scriptures give us understanding how we are to live pleasing to Him. Read the following verses and receive revelation about how desperately God wants us understand Him.
“And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding...” (Mark 12:33 NKJV)
“And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45 NKJV).
“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (1 Cor 14:20 NKJV).
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Eph 1:18 NKJV).
“Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Eph 4:18 NKJV).
I could write down many more verses but I think you get the idea that God really wants us to know Him with the understanding of our heart and not just with our head. When the revelation of Jesus Christ came into our heart we were saved and our understanding of God was no longer darken because our spiritual eyes were opened and the light of our understanding came, or being able to see spiritual things came into being. “For it is the God who commanded light (truth) to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge (understanding) of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6 NKJV). My daily prayer is that God would open the eyes of my understanding in the revelation of Jesus Christ so that I might know Him. I believe that our spirit inside of us is bigger than the universe itself and it is as big as God is. Why do I say this? Because when you use the Internet you are not just on one computer but you have access to the World Wide Web that reaches around the world. Well, so it is with God, when you are saved you are shares of the life of God and have access to all that He is! We can grow into all the likeness of Who He is, that is what Christianity is all about! “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4 NKJV). When Jesus came into our heart we became partakers of the divine nature of God and have the spiritual capacity to have the character of God, for that is what Jesus came to be an example of, the Father. As He is in the Father, so are we!
Please hear me in this, we are partakers of God’s DNA! When we read books or listen to sermons that touch our heart they are imprinted, copied, or downloaded into us. The writer or speakers words are now a part of our spiritual and physical make up. In a way they have become apart of us! Have you ever heard the saying, “Even though he is dead he still speaks through his writings?” Paul the apostle calls us his epistles. Meaning, his words are written within our heart for all people to see God’s word lived through our life. “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Cor 3:2-3 NKJV). We are changed by the words that we read and listen to, this is why Jesus said take heed to what you listen to (See Mark 4:24). Now imagine the power of God’s word written in our heart and how it changes us from being carnally minded to one of being spiritually minded. Our thoughts and worldview are different from none believers because we are being changed as we allow the word to change us. If people would take all sinful junk out of their life, like worldly; TV, movies, Internet, and books and get the truth of God’s word in, than our homes and cities would be changed. But we have an enemy that has tried to take away the word of God from people since the Dark Ages; many people have died over the centuries to get the word of God into the hands of the common people. Still to this day, governments try to keep the word from their people because the devil knows that freedom will come to all that hear and understand it.
Most people pay no attention to feeding or caring for their spirit-man with the word of God and only care for the outer-man that they can see and feel. They wonder why they are not doing very well and have to rely on counselors and drugs to help them through their day. Some people would say that we don’t have a spirit-man to care for. But let me ask you something, where do you hurt when you are rejected from others, in your mind or heart? This alone proves that there is something deep inside of us that we need to give some attention too. If people would take some time with God in quietness and feed on Him, who is spirit, He would give them life within from His spirit who brings the word of God to life in us so then they could see and understand the things of God. Jesus is the word that becomes bread to our spirit when received by faith.
Now that we have an understanding on what the word is let us look at the words that come out of our mouth, but originate in our heart. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” The words that we speak have power to create life or death in others that hear us. They are powerful! “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov 18:21 NKJV). Words from others can either give us a good or bad day. Words from adults to children can form their life into being productive, positive citizens, or our words will tear them down to be unproductive.
When I was a child my dad said some positive things to me while I was working on my motorcycle and it gave me the confidence to do better next time. When my second son Caleb was young he was smaller than all the other boys were and I could tell that he felt intimidated by them and I spoke words of affirmation to him that his size did not matter but that he was smart and he could do anything. And you know what? He now thinks he can!
Words become food to our heart and mind and they give us strength even as natural food fortifies our bodies. You are what you think! I am a son of God and have to remind myself of it even when I don’t feel or act like one. Never the less God has already said that I am in His word and that my friend is enough affirmation that I will ever need to hear because every word from God is life and truth. I simply must just believe it by faith!
SEEKING TO KNOW AND PLEASE HIM
"Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-9 NAS).
We can spend our time seeking many things and will find what we are seeking for if we persist at it long enough. So why not seek God and find Him and become like Him in the process.
Our spiritual Armageddon is going on right now if we like it or not! Either we are becoming more like Jesus through the power of God’s word or we are not, the choice is up to us, you are as close to God today as you want to be. What you do with you time is up to you but I can tell you that you do not have time to waist for you have been given only so many rides around the sun. When death comes and you stand before God how will you give account for all the time that you have wasted? Take time to spend with God and getting to know Him through His word and being made into His likeness. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NAS). We cannot seek the kingdom second or third, but first! Then He will add all things to us, such as His likeness and kingdom.
GOING FROM GLORY TO GLORY
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18 KJV).
We who love Jesus Christ with all our hearts cannot wait until He comes to make us into His likeness and glory. For this alone is the blessed hope of the gospel! But just how will this take place? Will our change take place in an instant like many of us have been taught or will it happen, little by little over time? There are several verses in the Bible that tells us that He is coming to change us from corruptible flesh to the incorruptible likeness of God. Changed from a fleshly body to a spiritual body that does not decay or have sinful tendencies.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Phil 3:20-21 NKJV).
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:16-18 NKJV).
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor 15:51-52 NKJV).
These are all very well known verses about Christ’s imminent return in us, but I find one problem with the churches theology about the coming of Jesus. Their teaching says that all Christians will have a spiritual body like Jesus and instantly will have His character to sit on the throne with Him. Yes, we will have His likeness of a spiritual body, but only the overcoming Christian’s will have that right to sit on the throne with Him! All believers will be changed, but not all will rule and reign with Him. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev 3:21 NKJV). Many are called but few are chosen! This is why the Bible says that we are to put on Christ and have our minds renewed each day in the word of God. My friend it is from glory to glory that we are being changed not one big leap! So if you are not investing your time by waiting in God’s presence each day and growing in Him you are just spinning your wheels and are going no place! Does not nature teach us all these things? We just like Jesus had to grow from a baby into adult hood. Hear this, Jesus had to grow into Jesus. The Bible says that, “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40 NKJV). Jesus grew in body and spirit until He was in the likeness of His Father and then He was shown to the nation, but not until then! And we too must grow into all of His likeness. “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ” (Eph 4:15 NKJV).
The day of His coming, and the day of our manifesting His glory is now upon us to arise and shine, do you have the maturity of Jesus (the fruit of the Spirit, the anointing) within you to display it to a hurting world? Do you have your oil flask filled to the rim by staying in His presence or are you wasting your time like the foolish virgins? Our time of manifesting the glory of God has come; whom we are spiritually inside is about to come forth to the outside for all men to see what great things God has hidden in us. The more time we spend with Him, the more we will become like Him as we behold His face we are being changed into that same glory, because what we behold we become!
Enoch was a man born as we were and yet God took him to heaven before he died, why? Because Enoch learn how to please God! Enoch grew closer to God than any man who ever lived after the fall because he fell in love with God and His presence. I can hear Enoch saying to Adam, “Grampa tell me again about how you once walked with God in the garden, in the cool of the day, and what was it like to sense His glory all the time that He was walking and talking with you!” As Adam was talking about his relationship with God Enoch was cultivating a great desire to know God more and more until one day God revealed Himself to Enoch and he ran after God with all of his heart and pleased the Lord, then the Lord took Him. The church says that Enoch is a type of being caught up to the Lord, and he is, but what they forget is that Enoch walked with God for three hundred years and pleased Him! The truth and example that we should learn from Enoch is, he sought God everyday until he grew into the likeness of Jesus and then he was taken. How much of that do we hear taught in the churches? The name Enoch means to, “initiate or to start something.” Enoch’s life story is shouting to us, seek God with your whole heart and be changed into the likeness of Jesus!
Please understand that God had to take Enoch from the earth because if He did not, God would have been a liar. How is that you ask? Because God told Adam, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17(NKJV). No person has ever lived one thousand years because God said; “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” With the Lord one day is as a thousand years and no person has ever made it that far, but we who are overcomers will! “And they (the overcomers) lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev 20:4-5 NKJV). We will be the ones that break the curse of Adam’s one thousand-year bearer when we sit with Jesus in His throne to rule and reign and take back the dominion the Adam lost in the fall.
“By faith Enoch was conveyed to another place (namely, heaven), with the result that he did not see death, and he was not found because God had conveyed him to another place (heaven). For before his removal (from heaven to earth), he had witness borne (to Him), that testimony still being on record, to the effect that he pleased God. Now, without faith it is impossible to please Him at all. For he who comes to God must of the necessity in the nature of the case believe that He exists, that He also becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out” (Heb 11:5-6 Wuest).
What Enoch found out about God is that He rewards those who seek Him with their whole heart and He gives them His nature in the process of time. We are going from glory to glory if we are seeking Him with our whole heart because our seeking God is what pleases Him most! When things get done in the spirit realm God does not just snap His finger and they are done, no the Bible says that they are built, line upon line. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isa 28:10 KJV). This is how we are change into the same image of Jesus Christ; it is a process and a price that we must be willing to pay over our lifetime!
The man of sin that lives in each one of us is either dying daily or is being given new life by our obedience to the sinful nature. Our Armageddon is taking place today within, the battle rages in our flesh and the sooner we surrender, the sooner the war will be over so that Jesus can come to the forefront and manifest His glory through us. If you can see this as truth in your spirit than this truth is yours to run with and to be changed into His likeness and glory. Praise God! There are two powerful being out to kill us. Satan wants us dead physically and God wants the man of sin dead in us. By losing this war with God we win in the end! “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20-21 NKJV). Paul was not living His own life and purpose for himself, but Jesus was living through Paul’s body because Paul learned to die daily to his own will. Demon spirits want people to yield their body to them so that they can have their destructive ways through them, but Jesus wants our spirit, soul, and body so that He can live His life in and through us to bless mankind! That is, He wants us to have His inner thoughts and vision so that He might live His full life in us if we will only die to self and get out of the way, so that His life can flow like a river through us. This is your purpose, this is what Christianity is all about, the life of Jesus flowing through us to give us vision and a purpose for living and being filled with all the fullness of God and knowing the width, length, depth, and height of the love of Christ. Than we will be that church without spot or wrinkle! “That He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph 5:27 NKJV). Our high calling and purpose for living in happiness is found in a life yielded to Jesus, this alone my friend will give you true joy to live life as God meant it to be! Amen and amen!
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