In the last installment I shared that whether or not you were being commissioned as an apostle or by apostolic leadership, you were being sent on assignment to invade enemy territory. Rome called their generals “apostles” and they were sent to establish beachheads and sieges around cities. They accomplished this by cutting off food, water and communication to and from the city. The size and reputation of the Roman army instilled fear among the cities’ leaders and inhabitants. After the city was conquered Rome sent governors, also called apostles, so that they could teach the people the “Roman way” and change the culture of the city to prevent rebellion against Rome.
My desire is to look at Ephesians 3:8-12 in the New American Standard version, clarify the meaning of some words and state the lessons for establishing a beachhead in the territory you are assigned to, even before you going there.
Ephesians 3:8-12 – “(8) to me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, (9) and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; (10) in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. (11) This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, (12) in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.”
Some key words and their meanings:
– verse (8)
- grace – a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ; favor
- preach – announce
- unfathomable – incomprehensible
- riches – wealth, abundance – spiritually or materially.
– verse (9)
- bring to light – illuminate, make evident, reveal
- mystery – counsels or truths of God revealed in the Gospel
- ages – cycles of time
- hidden – concealed
– verse (10) – (the verse of primary focus)
- manifold – much varied; many and diverse expressions
- wisdom of God – insight, skill, intelligence (of God)
- through – on account of, for the sake of, because of
- church – body of believers
- rulers – magistrates, rulers
- authorities – powers, authorities, influences
- in the heavenly places – sphere of spiritual activity, either of good or evil
– verse (11)
- in accordance – down from; according to; by way of from a higher plane to a lower plane
- eternal – an age or cycle of time; the presented age as contrasted with a future age
- purpose – predetermination; a setting forth in advance
- carried out in – acted out or caused by
- Christ Jesus – the Anointed one
– verse (12)
- boldness – freedom, confidence especially in speech
- confident – confidence, trust, reliance
- access – approach, admission
- through – because of by reason of
- faith – belief, trust, confidence
- in Him – Jesus Christ.
Now, let’s reiterate the passage with the definition of the words in mind:
- (8) – We have been given the gift of announcing the incomprehensible spiritual and material wealth of Jesus Christ
- (9) – We are, as stewards, to bring to light the details of the truths and counsels revealed by God, which were concealed by God for cycles of time
- (10) – In order that the many and diverse expressions of the insight and intelligence of God, in light of what happened before, might now be made known by the body of believers – His Church. These details are being made known (reminding them) to the rulers, powers, authorities and influences in the heavenly places, the sphere where spiritual activity occurs, whether good or evil
- (11) – This is being done from a higher plane to a lower plane, in this present age, because of what has been predetermined and caused by Jesus Christ (e.g. – We are seated with Him in heavenly places; we have been given His power and authority; we shall do greater things than He did).
- (12) – In whom we have freedom and confidence, especially in speech (preaching, teaching, binding and loosing, etc.), because we have access through belief and trust in Jesus Christ.
So what does this have to do with establishing a beachhead? Beachheads were established for several reasons: to strike fear in the hearts of city leaders and people that were going to be conquered – it was a show of force; to establish a stronghold from which the attacking army could advance, possess and take control of the rest of the land. In order to do this they usually had to declare war on their adversaries and conquer them.
Now let’s do a short review of our position.
- In the beginning God created Adam and Eve in His image and blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth; and subdue it (bring it into bondage, dominate it); and rule over it (ref. Genesis 1:27-28). Adam and Eve sinned and were separated from God and this prevented them from accomplishing their task.
- Now fast forward to the time of Noah. God found Noah a righteous man, blameless in his time, and he walked with God (ref. Genesis 6:9). The earth was flooded and every living creature, except Noah; his wife; his sons and their wives; and every creature on the ark, was destroyed. God made a covenant with Noah in which He reaffirmed the responsibility to repopulate the whole earth and that the animal kingdom was subjected to man (ref. Genesis 9:1-7). The original mandate to dominate the whole world was still unable to be accomplished.
- Now fast forward again. We all know the story of Jesus from His birth to his ascension. He came to provide forgiveness and freedom from our sins; to provide righteousness in Him; to fill us with His Holy Spirit to maintain and mature us as sons and daughters; to develop His character (image and likeness) in us; to build His Church; to extend the Kingdom of God on earth, etc.. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He was crowned as King as He sat at the right hand of God (ref. Psalm 110:1-3; Acts 2:22-36). He was enthroned as both Lord (master, exercising His full ownership rights) and Christ ( anointed, Messiah). He was given all authority in Heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has been reigning over the Kingdom of God for almost 2000 years. He has been building His Church (His Body) and advancing His Kingdom by using the Church to accomplish this. He declared the gates of hell would not overpower His Church (Matthew 16:18). He has given us, the Church, the commission to go into the world to make disciples of all nations. By doing this and teaching the disciples to observe what He has commanded us, the culture of these nations will change and thus the Kingdom will be ever-advancing (ref. Matthew 28:19-20). Therefore the original mandate to be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth; to subdue it; and rule over it, is now being accomplished through His Church as we are directed by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and His Holy Spirit.
Christ is victor over all: sin, death, sickness, poverty and etc.. He accomplished what He purposed to do – reconcile us to God (ref. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) and to destroy the works of the devil (ref. 1 John 3:8). The devil is a defeated foe. The only weapons he has are lies and deceit. We do what Jesus commands us to do from a place of victory.
Establishing a beachhead is a task that we will be notifying the rulers, powers, authorities and influences in the heavenly places that “WE ARE COMING!” We have been commanded by Jesus to go and take possession of this territory. We don’t have to war against you because you are already defeated. We are coming to enforce what Jesus has already accomplished. We will accomplish what God has commanded us to do. We will take possession because all you have is lies and deceit. We have the Holy Spirit; we have the truth of the Word of God; we have people praying for us; and we have God’s ministering angels to care for us and to do battle with the demons in the lives of the people God has sent us to announce the good news of salvation and the good news that the Kingdom of God has arrived.
The fact that God is sending us and others to this territory is striking fear in the enemies because they are destined to lose their hold on peoples’ lives and possession of their territory. The enemy knows if we are obedient and believe the Word of God, they will be defeated and cast out.
Establishing the spiritual beachhead in the “now”, before we arrive, is striking fear. The Lord’s ministering angels will be battling the demons because the Lord has dispatched them and let them know we are coming.
We are coming to see people saved, healed, delivered, prospering and to teach them the Word of God so they can mature and then go and teach others. We are coming to see the culture of this territory changed and His Kingdom established. ‘WE ARE COMING”!