By Angus Wootten and Ephraim Frank
In my article last week, Unleashing His Power in Your Mind and Spirit, I talked about things we could do to make this upcoming year more productive and to aid us in our spiritual walk. My primary point was that we need to take full advantage of the power of the Ruach. He can unleash goodness in our lives by bringing to our minds appropriate Scripture(s) that will help guide us as we seek to walk as Messiah Yeshua walked (1 John 2:6).
One way that the Ruach guides us is by reminding us of verses in the Word. If we have not read, seen or heard the Word we need to best handle our situation, then the Ruach will have a challenge in guiding us. So, our obvious course of action to take full advantage of Ruach’s power is to read, and/or listen to the entire Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, and in the order it was written. Like any book, the best way to read it in its entirety is from the beginning to the end.
In that article, I also recommended several reading plans. The one I have used over the years, and have embarked on again this year is: On a daily basis, I read three chapters of the First Covenant, three chapters of the New Covenant, one chapter of Proverbs, and one Psalm. In this way, in a year, you will have read the First Covenant once, the New Covenant twice, the Proverbs monthly, and the book of Psalms twice.
Embarking on a reading plan is a key step forward in our spiritual walk. Another giant step would be for us to “enlist in the Spiritual Army of Israel.” The importance of this step was recently brought out by my friend, Ephraim Frank, in his Weekly Letter. In it, he discusses the “military” aspect of our spiritual walk and more specifically on our “basic training.”
Ephraim is a long time friend and a fellow co-worker in Israel’s restoration. (See the recent Messianic Awakening Article, Return to the Land for more about Ephraim, his ministry in Israel, and his book, Return to the Land: An Ephraimites Journey Home.) Quite naturally, being a retired Colonel myself, and having served in the Infantry in Korea during that War, Ephraim’s letter really hit home with me – and I wanted to share it with you. The following is Ephraim’s Letter:
If we were to follow the literal procedure of boot camp, we would have to make it in time for the early morning formation, that is presenting ourselves before our Commander (Yeshua), Who takes a role call in which we have to acknowledge our presence before Him (“hi’neni”). “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Yah; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Psalm 5:3). “I rise before the dawning of the morning… I hope in Your word… that I may meditate on Your word” (Psalm 119:147-148).
In the camp the early morning run follows marching to the command of “right, left, right, left.” For us this means making the (doctrinal) adjustments that have to be made, until we are all in unison, simultaneously stepping on the same footing of truth. Being backed up by experiential knowledge, we can declare: “I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart” (Psalm 119:32). For ” those who wait on YHVH shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 – 41:1). Now we are able to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
When I served in the American army, little cadence ‘pep’ songs were sung over and over during the run. This was to drill into our mind and memory our corporate identity. Likewise, we too have to be inculcated, by a process of the renewal of the mind, with the idea that we are one body, one nation and have one identity.
However, coming to that point would not be possible if we were not to recognize the head and commander of the army – Yeshua HaMashiach. This fact, of course, would have to have been established already in the ‘induction center.’ But if per chance someone decides to challenge the authority of Yeshua as the head of the body and army, that person would be disqualified, not only from the army, but also from the kingdom, the land, and the people of Elohim, and of much more. “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14 emphasis added). Yeshua spoke these words in connection to being appropriately attired for a given occasion (a point which we will cover at a later stage).
The “called” and “chosen” are again referred to in the book of Revelation: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful” (17:14). Please note the one word which is added here – “faithful.” Further in Revelation we read: “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war” (19:11). Here is a description of our commander and chief. If the Head is “Faithful and True,” should not His body, His army, likewise display the same characteristics?
Establishing our identity as the “body of Messiah” and Yeshua as our head is of vital importance. “And He [the Father] put all things under His [Yeshua] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the congregation, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23)…”So we, being many, are one body in Messiah, and individually members of one another” (Romans 12:5). “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread [Yeshua]” (1 Corinthians 10:17). “Now you are the body of Messiah, and members individually” (Corinthians 12:27).
Yeshua’s life/blood is in every one of us, making each one a member of His body. By not discerning this fact we bring judgment upon ourselves, and that is why “many are sick, weak and asleep” (1 Corinthians 11:30). Being sick, weak or asleep renders one useless from participating in any army. This is equally true regarding the spiritual army which we have joined. Also, judging one another opens a door for the enemy to come in and hand us his weapons, so as to kill and destroy one another. Such a self-defeating army is fighting against itself, killing its own members (as we see, for example, these days in Lybia and Syria).
‘Basic training’ should prepare us to walk together in the unity of the Spirit of Holiness, having one mind. Our enemies, in the war mentioned in Revelation 17, also have one mind: “These [kings] are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast … These will make war with the Lamb”… (vs. 13-14). How much more should we be of one mind? David’s army provides us with an example: “All these men of war, who could keep ranks, came to Hebron with a whole [one] heart, to make David king over all Israel; and all the rest of Israel were of one mind to make David king” (1 Chronicles 12:38).
I would like to end today’s letter with Paul’s words to the body of Messiah in Rome and Corinth: “Now may the Elohim of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Messiah Yeshua, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the Elohim and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah… Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete/ perfect. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the Elohim of love and peace will be with you” (Romans 15:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:11).
We are engaged in some serious last-days spiritual warfare, and if you have not yet read the books, Israel Empowered By The Spirit, and The Voice – Hearing the Almighty, we heartily recommend that you read them at this time. The Father tells us that the things that need to happen in the end times, the things that we need to accomplish as members of His Army, will happen, “Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 2:9).
Read these two books and be empowered!
They are available this month in a January Special package.
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