This is the Way Walk in It: Poised for Victory

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This is the Way Walk in It

Poised for Victory

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This is the Way Walk in It: Poised for Victory

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You come to a screeching halt in your mental tracks, right where you are, and slowly devour every facet of that literary jewel. You might call it a showstopper—better still, a life changer! Often the wisdom of the ages carries shades of the profound.

Such was the case when I read a book titled In the Name of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy. The book goes into detail about 16 specific generals who made a difference in expanding Rome from a village on the Tiber to a world power.

Many of us who study history and are familiar with the iron will of the Roman army are acquainted with the tenacity of its soldiers to never surrender. They were always ready to fight by maintaining their legendary order. If they didn't win today, they would be ready to battle another day that would bring the ultimate victory.

When you understand the extraordinary heart of the ordinary Roman, you begin to understand why this empire lasted for 500 years. Consider and compare the fact that American dominance in the post—World War II era is already under assault after a mere 60 years.

Pinpointing essential qualities of leadership

This book points out that it was not simply the heart of the legionnaire that contributed to success, but the expected and inherent qualities of Roman leadership. Together, the heart of the soldier and the movements of the general created the whole equation that added up to victory.

This is best summed up by a quote from Onasander, a first-century Greek observer, who discerned and shared the essential elements that composed an effective Roman general.

He summed it up this way: "The duty of a general is to ride by the ranks on horseback, show himself to those in danger, praise the brave, threaten the cowardly, encourage the lazy, fill up gaps, transpose a unit if necessary, bring aid to the wearied, anticipate the crisis, the hour and the outcome."

For over 500 years such personal leadership enabled Rome to always be poised for victory and thus rule the known world.

The Captain of our salvation

I recognized how this phenomenal list of the qualities of a mere man at the helm of a Roman army pointed to an even more incredible example of leadership possessed by Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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). The story of the Scriptures and the fullness of all prophecy are about an incredibly breathtaking victory that establishes the Kingdom of God on this earth and is brought about by the armies of Jesus Christ—the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
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).

Let's remember that the book of Revelation is a dynamic statement of the victory of the Kingdom of God over the vanquished forces of Satan. This prophetic book, describing battlefield accounts of the future, is specifically communicated and understood by those who follow this Captain of salvation.

It is the culmination of a biblical thread of confrontation that begins in Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
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with the prophesied struggle of the seed of the serpent against the Seed of the woman (Christ). The book of Revelation fills in the blanks left by the declaration of Enoch: "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all" (Jude 14-15).

"He put all things under His feet"

Let's ask ourselves, why has God appointed Christ to be the Captain of our salvation and placed such confidence in Him that "He put all things under His feet" (Ephesians 1:22 Ephesians 1:22And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
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)? Let's consider Onasander's elements of leadership and elevate those same principles to the divine leadership chosen of God.

Onasander describes how a general "was to ride by horseback and show himself to those in danger." He was to be front and center in the midst of those asked to sacrifice for Caesar and the empire.

It is noteworthy that Revelation opens up with a loud voice, as of a trumpet, declaring, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last" (Revelation 1:11 Revelation 1:11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia; to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.
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). The apostle John recognizes the voice that speaks to him as "One like the Son of Man" speaking from "the midst of the seven lampstands" (Revelation 1:11-13 Revelation 1:11-13 [11] Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia; to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea. [12] And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; [13] And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle.
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). It is here that we find Christ, the Captain of our salvation, establishing His position "front and center" before His followers.

"I know your works, your labor, your patience"

Onasander goes on to describe how a general "praises the brave, threatens the cowardly and encourages the lazy." Christ, the Captain of our salvation, has done so mightily.

Revelation 2 and 3 take on new meaning when we consider how Christ reviews, encourages and admonishes those in His spiritual ranks. What is more encouraging than Christ's words to the church in Ephesus? "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary" (Revelation 2:2-3 Revelation 2:2-3 [2] I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: [3] And have borne, and have patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted.
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).

Likewise, Christ's evaluation of the church of Thyatira is telling: "Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants... I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds...I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works" (Revelation 2:20-23 Revelation 2:20-23 [20] Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. [21] And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. [22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. [23] And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give to every one of you according to your works.
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).

Christ doesn't miss a beat, miss a heart or miss one communication with His followers. He deals with the spiritually lazy as He reprimands the church at Laodicea: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot" (Revelation 3:15 Revelation 3:15I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.
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).

In other words, Wake up! Get with it! You have been called to battle against Satan, yourself and the spirit of this age.

Just as Onasander wrote, our spiritual Champion-in-chief, Jesus the Christ, "fills up the gaps, transposes units when necessary and brings aid to the weary"—to those who have been called and chosen to be in His ranks.

Battles of antiquity did not start or end with a sudden clash of arms. Often the soldiers would have to stand in place all day long as their leaders probed for the strengths or weaknesses of the enemy line. Just imagine the physical, emotional and psychological trauma placed on the frontline soldier!

As frontline soldiers waging spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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), our spiritual Commander knows we can't stand alone. He promises to fully supply and put into play incredible spiritual resources that grant us ability to move beyond our fears by supplying a spirit "of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7 2 Timothy 1:7For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
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).

Yes, He gives us power to stand, love to help others stand in the gap with us and wisdom "from above" (James 3:15-17 James 3:15-17 [15] This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. [16] For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. [17] But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
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) to wage battle another day. He proclaims to all who will hear, "But those who wait on the Lord 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 Isaiah 40:31But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
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).

"The hour of His judgment has come"

Lastly Onasander placed the following charge upon the would-be effective commander: He must "anticipate the crisis, the hour and the outcome."

What a blessing that you and I have such a spiritual Champion shaping the battlefield! He not only created time, but also is the master of timing. Jesus clearly stated in the Olivet Prophecy that timing is critical: "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:22 Matthew 24:22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
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).

Yes, time is critical. Yes, He will know and act in the hour that has been determined by God the Father (Matthew 24:36 Matthew 24:36But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
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).

It is fascinating to see the precision of God's ultimate plunge into the great confrontation between the forces of righteousness and the forces of evil mentioned in the book of Revelation. It all surrounds the mention of "the hour." Notice Revelation 14:7 Revelation 14:7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
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: "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come." Yes, He will strike precisely when needed!

Notice the victorious results in Revelation 18:17-19 Revelation 18:17-19 [17] For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, [18] And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like to this great city! [19] And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
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: "For in one hour such great riches came to nothing...Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate."

God knows the moment. We just need to be sure we know God.

Leaning forward!

I think you can see now why Onasander's commentary from 2,000 years ago stopped me in my tracks, opened my eyes and, more importantly, opened my heart. I realize that we join the frontlines of those in the book of Revelation who cry, "How long, O Lord...?" (Revelation 6:10 Revelation 6:10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
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).

I fully appreciate that some of the matters and conditions of this world that we have to discuss on the pages of this magazine can be challenging, overwhelming and seemingly unsolvable. Some of the prophecies and scriptures we ask you to wade through to prepare you for future times can simply seem like slogging through muddy waters.

Just remember at the end of the day and the end of the Book, there is only one horse left standing in John's writings. It is the steed of the fifth Horseman of Revelation—not those of the other four horsemen of the Apocalypse (Revelation 6). We see the fifth Horseman, personifying ageless qualities of leadership that allow us to be poised for victory and always, yes always, leaning forward. We see Christ riding by the ranks of heaven on horseback and leading us toward triumph!

Consider Revelation 19:11-14 Revelation 19:11-14 [11] And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. [12] His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. [13] And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. [14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
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: "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...and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven...followed Him on white horses."

Perhaps there is no better match for the clarion call found in Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
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of "this is the way, walk in it" than the voice of the One sitting on the white horse, who embodies perfect leadership, exhorting us to "follow Me" (John 21:19 John 21:19This spoke he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he said to him, Follow me.
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).