THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF: THE LORD OF HOSTS
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
• Write the Key Verse from memory.
• Identify the spiritual forces of good.
• Identify personalities of the Trinity of God.
• Describe the nature of the Triune God.
• Explain the function of God the Father in spiritual warfare.
• Summarize the functions of Jesus Christ in spiritual warfare.
• Summarize the functions of the Holy Spirit in spiritual warfare.
KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
In Chapter One you learned of a great spiritual battle being waged between the forces of good and evil. This lesson and the next describe the spiritual forces of good. These include God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit, and angels. They are powerful spiritual forces which assist believers in warfare.
THE TRINITY OF GOD
There are many gods worshiped throughout the world, but there is only one true God. The Holy Bible contains the story of this true God. This one God revealed in three distinct personalities of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are described in the Bible in terms of their nature. When we speak of "nature" we mean basic qualities which describe God. These qualities are also known as "attributes" which means "characteristics."
The Bible reveals that God is…
God has a triune nature. This means He has three distinct personalities, yet He is one God:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
The three persons of the Trinity of God are called God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the
Holy Spirit. There are several Scriptures which confirm this triune nature of God. When Jesus
was being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, God spoke and the Holy Spirit
And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a
dove, and lighting upon Him:
And lo, a voice from Heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17)
Prior to returning to Heaven after His ministry on earth, Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit coming from God:
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.
The Apostle Peter spoke of the triune nature of God:
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified. (I Peter 4:14)
The Apostle Paul spoke of the Trinity in his writings:
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:2-3)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. (II Corinthians 13:14)
For through Him (the Son) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
The book of Acts also verifies the triune nature of God:
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He (Jesus) hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. (Acts 2:33)
The Trinity of God is eternal with no beginning and no ending:
Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. (Psalms 90:1-2)
And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God. (Genesis 21:33)
The eternal nature of God is best illustrated by a circle. The circle has no visible starting point or ending point, yet it exists:
God is a spirit. This means He is without flesh and blood and therefore invisible to the natural eyes of man:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
God is the sovereign (greatest) power in all the universe. Read Ephesians l and Romans 9.
This means God is present everywhere:
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth… (II Chronicles 16:9)
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)
Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou are there. (Psalms 139:7-8)
This means God knows all things:
…Thou knowest it altogether. (Psalms 139:4)
…God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (I John 3:20)
…But all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)
This means God is all powerful:
…I am the Almighty God… (Genesis 17:1)
…With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
…For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:6)
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Psalms 62:11)
God does not change His person, nature, purpose, or plans are concerned:
For I am the Lord, I change not… (Malachi 3:6)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)
God is sinless, absolutely pure:
…Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
God is fair and impartial in judgment:
…A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
God keeps His promises and is absolutely trustworthy.
…He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself. (II Timothy 2:13)
God is good, kind, and desires your welfare:
The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works. (Psalms 145:9)
God shows mercy to sinful mankind:
…The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Keeping mercy for thousands… (Exodus 34:6-7)
God shows undeserved kindness to sinful man:
…For I am gracious. (Exodus 22:27)
The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. (Psalms 145:8)
God is love:
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (I John 4:8)
God shows deep understanding and keen discernment.
The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. (Proverbs 3:19)
God is not subject to natural and human limitations. He is not subject to the limitations of space:
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven
and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee: how much less this house that I have builded? (I Kings 8:27)
He is not subject to the limitations of time:
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. (Exodus 15:18)
God the Father is the commander of the spiritual forces of good which oppose the spiritual forces of evil. This is His special function in the realm of spiritual warfare.
WHERE IS GOD?
You just learned God is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere in the universe. God’s throne is in a place called Heaven but He is also omnipresent.
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne and the
earth is my footstool… (Isaiah 66:1)
NAMES FOR GOD:
The Bible gives other names for God which reveal His ministry to you as you are engaged in this great spiritual conflict. The names for God include:
1. Jehovah: Which means Lord. The Bible combines this word with other names for God:
Jehovah-Rapha: "The Lord that healeth" Exodus 15:26
Jehovah-Nissi: "The Lord our banner" Exodus 17:8-15
Jehovah-Shalom: "The Lord our peace" Judges 6:24
Jehovah-Ra’ah: "The Lord my shepherd" Psalms 23:1
Jehovah-Tsidkenu: "The Lord our righteousness" Jeremiah 23:6
Jehovah-Jireh: "The Lord who provides" Genesis 22:14
Jehovah-Shammah: "The Lord is there" Ezekiel 48:35
2. Elohim: Means God and is used wherever the creative power of God is implied.
3. Father: Acts 17:28; John 1:12-13
4. Adonai: Means Lord or Master: Exodus 23:17; Isaiah 10:16,33
5. El: This is often used in combination with other words for God:
El Shaddai: "The God who is sufficient for the needs of His People" Exodus 6:3
Elolam: "The everlasting God" Genesis 21:33
El Elyon: "Most high God who is exalted above other so called gods" Genesis 14:18,22
6. Yahweh: In the Hebrew language in which the Old Testament was written, the word
"Yahweh" means God. This word is combined with other words to reveal more about the
character of God. God is called:
Yahweh Jireh: "The Lord provides" Genesis 22:14
Yahweh Nissi: "The Lord is my banner" Exodus 17:15
Yahweh Shalom: "The Lord is peace" Judges 6:24
Yahweh Sabbaoth: "The Lord of Hosts" I Samuel 1:3
Yahweh Maccaddeshcem: "The Lord thy Sanctifier" Exodus 31:13
Yahweh Tsidkenu: "The Lord our righteousness" Jeremiah 23:6
Yahweh Shammah: "The Lord is there" Ezekiel 48:35
Yahweh Elohim Israel: "The Lord God of Israel" Judges 5:3
Quadosh Israel: "The Holy One Of Israel" Isaiah 1:4
7. The Lord Of Hosts: In the Biblical record, these different names of God were used
when requesting God to move in a specific way on behalf of His people. For example,
the name Jehovah-Rapham meaning "the Lord that healeth," was used when seeking healing.
The specific name of God which should be used in spiritual warfare is "Yahweh
Sabbaoth" which is translated "the Lord of hosts" in the King James version of the Bible. When you call upon that name in warfare, the battle is the Lord’s and all the hosts of Heaven come to your aid.
GOD THE SON, JESUS CHRIST
God the Son, Jesus Christ, combines the divine and the human natures in one union. God the Father sent Jesus Christ to earth in human form while yet retaining His divine nature.
Jesus was sent by God to earth so man could be pardoned from sin:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
The story of Jesus is recorded in the Bible in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books provide a detailed record of the birth, life, death, resurrection, teachings, and ministry of Jesus Christ.
As part of the plan of God, Jesus came to earth in human form, ministered among men, died for the sins of man, was resurrected from the dead, and commissioned His followers to bear the Gospel to the nations of the world.
WHERE IS JESUS?
Following His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to many people, commissioned His
followers, and then returned to Heaven. But remember…even though He is in Heaven He is still omnipresent…His presence is everywhere.
The special functions of Jesus in relation to spiritual warfare include the following:
1. Redeeming man from sin: It is through the death of Jesus Christ that you are freed from
the bondage of sin in which the enemy has ensnared you:
...for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage… (II Peter 2:19)
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
2. Authority over the forces of evil: You will study this in detail later in this course. The
death of Jesus not only freed mankind from sin, but also resulted in triumph over the
forces of evil. Because of this, you have authority over the enemy:
Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)
3. Destroying the works of the Devil:
…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil. (I John 3:8)
4. Intercession for believers: In Heaven Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father
interceding for believers engaged in spiritual warfare. This means He is talking to the Father on your behalf:
…It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)
THE NAMES OF JESUS:
The name "Jesus" means "Savior or deliverer" (Matthew 1:21). The name "Christ" means "the anointed one" (John 4:25- 26). Additional names given Jesus Christ in the Bible include the
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is part of the triune nature of God, but the Holy Spirit also has an individual
personality. The subject of the Holy Spirit is so vast that an entire course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit" is offered by Harvestime International Institute. This course is
recommended for more detailed study of the Holy Spirit.
PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit:
Has a mind:
And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit… (Romans 8:27)
Searches out the human mind:
But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (I Corinthians 2:10)
Has a will:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. (I Corinthians 12:11)
The will of the Holy Spirit guides believers by denying permission for certain actions:
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:6-7)
The will of the Holy Spirit also guides believers by granting permission:
And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into
Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them. (Acts 16:10)
Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8:29)
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of
the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans
The Holy Spirit intercedes (prays to God) on behalf of believers:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should
pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (spoken). (Romans 8:26)
From this list of personality traits you can immediately recognize the important functions of the Holy Spirit in spiritual warfare. The Holy Spirit guides your warfare. He reveals spiritual things that cannot be known naturally. The Holy Spirit speaks the will and words of God to you. He also intercedes for you as you are engaged in spiritual battles.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
There is a spiritual experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit which involves the sign of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2) and the evidence of power to become an effective witness of the Gospel (Acts 1:8).
To wage successful spiritual warfare, it is important for you to experience the baptism of the Spirit. This is the source of power for spiritual battles. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is discussed in the course "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit.”
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Holy Spirit gives special spiritual gifts to believers. These gifts are discussed in detail in the course on the Holy Spirit. The main references listing the gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
I Corinthians 12:1-31
I Peter 4:7-11
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary to equip the believer for combat against the forces of evil. The gifts of the Holy Spirit include the following:
Special gifts to equip God’s people:
Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers.
Speaking gifts to explain God’s truth:
Prophecy, teaching, exhortation, word of wisdom, word of knowledge.
Serving gifts to enable God’s work:
Serving, helps, leadership, administration, giving, showing mercy, discerning of spirits, faith, hospitality.
Sign gifts to establish God’s authority:
Tongues, interpretation, miracles, healings.
FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Holy Spirit also develops spiritual fruit in the life of the believer. The "fruit of the Holy Spirit" refers to the nature of the Spirit revealed in the life of the believer, spiritual qualities which should be evident in the lives of all Christians.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for power. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is for character in the life of a believer. If you do not develop Christlike character traits then you will become a victim of the forces of evil. Spiritual fruit is evidence of spiritual maturity. Like fruit in the natural world, it is a product which is the result of the process of life.
There are two types of spiritual fruit. There is the spiritual fruit of reproduction:
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain…
There is also the inner fruit of Christlike qualities. These qualities are completely opposite of the fleshly nature of man:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such
things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-23)
Although the power of the flesh was defeated at the cross, as a believer you experience this only to the degree that you practice faith in the finished work of Jesus. Therefore, to be effective in denying the power of the sinful nature of the flesh, it is necessary that you develop or "put on" the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
WHERE IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Jesus promised His followers that upon His return to Heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to earth to comfort them:
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)
One of the main functions of the Holy Spirit is to direct attention to Jesus Christ:
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will sent unto you from the
Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me (John 15:26)
God the Holy Spirit, in spirit form and invisible to the natural eyes of man, is in the world today. He is active in convicting men of sin, drawing men to Jesus Christ, equipping believers with power for spiritual warfare, guiding them, and testifying of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit ministers in many other ways in the world. These are discussed in detail in the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit."
SENSITIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Holy Spirit has a sensitive nature. This means He has feelings that can be affected by the
actions of man. Because of the sensitive nature of the Holy Spirit the Bible warns that we should not lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4), resist the Spirit (Acts 7:51), quench the Spirit (I
Thessalonians 5:19), grieve the Spirit (Psalms 78:40 and Ephesians 4:30), insult the Spirit
(Hebrews 6:4-6), blaspheme the Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32), or vex the Spirit (Isaiah 63:10).
These actions are discussed in detail in the Harvestime International Institute course on "The
Ministry Of The Holy Spirit."
It is important that you do not offend the sensitive nature of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is offended by your actions He will withdraw His presence. You cannot wage effective spiritual warfare without the power of the Holy Spirit.
TITLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
There are several titles used in the Bible to describe the Holy Spirit. A title is a descriptive phrase which explains a person’s position and/or function. It is important that you know the function of the Holy Spirit as you enter spiritual warfare. Look up the following references in your Bible to study the titles given the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called:
The Spirit of God: I Corinthians 3:16
The Spirit of Christ: Romans 8:9
The Eternal Spirit: Hebrews 9:14
The Spirit of Truth: John 16:13
The Spirit of Grace: Hebrews 10:29
The Spirit of Life: Romans 8:2
The Spirit of Glory: I Peter 4:14
The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation: Ephesians 1:17
The Comforter: John 14:26
The Spirit of Promise: Acts 1:4-5
The Spirit of Holiness: Romans 1:4
The Spirit of Faith: II Corinthians 4:13
The Spirit of Adoption: Romans 8:15
EMBLEMS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
The Bible uses several emblems to represent the Holy Spirit. An emblem represents something. It is a symbol which has a special meaning. Look up the following references in your Bible. They each use emblems which represent the Holy Spirit:
The dove: John 1:32, Song Of Solomon 6:9
Oil: Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38; Hebrews 1:9
Water: John 7:37-39; Isaiah 44:3
A seal: Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; II Corinthians 1:22
Wind: John 3:8; Acts 2:1-2
Fire: Exodus 3:2; 13:21; Leviticus 9:24; Acts 2:3
The meaning of each of these emblems of the Holy Spirit is explained in the course on the
"Ministry Of The Holy Spirit."
In this chapter you learned of the Triune nature of God and studied about God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. With their combined functions in the realm of spiritual warfare they are a powerful force of good in the universe.
But it is not enough just to recognize that the spiritual forces of good exist. The Bible says:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. (James 2:19)
The spiritual forces of evil believe in God and are fearful of Him, but they are still evil. To
simply believe in God is not enough. You must acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. You
must accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your sin, repent, ask forgiveness, and become a new creature in Christ.
You have not yet completed your study of the spiritual forces of good. The next chapter
concerns a mighty host of spirit beings known as angels and describes their function in spiritual warfare.