THE CONQUERING PERSONALITY
THE CONQUERING PERSONALITY Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
The reason the earth remains in darkness is that the members of the Body of Christ are immature in the things of God. They have not had created in them the conquering personality. They speak of going to their eternal home in Heaven not realizing that God has given the world to them. They are not soldiers, they are sheep. We are living in an hour when Christ is ready to convert his sheep into soldiers. The "new creation" of the Kingdom of God is a conquering personality.
The purpose of ministry is to create the conquering personality. Ministry is temporary—a means to an end. The conquering personality is eternal.
THE CONQUERING PERSONALITY
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:7)
The "new creation" is the conquering personality.
When Joshua and the Israelites stood on the east bank of the Jordan River, as described in the first chapter of the Book of Joshua, they were preparing to invade the land of promise—their goal from the day they left Egypt.
We have described in other writings the new covenant fulfillment of the old covenant land of promise. The Christian fulfillment of Canaan of the Old Testament land of promise is "all things," especially the entire material creation. The Kingdom of God is the rule of God in Christ in the saints over all the works of God’s hands.
Before God permitted Joshua to go across Jordan, God spoke to him concerning the need for courage and for adhering strictly to the written Word of God.
Joshua had served under Moses for many years. Unlike Saul at a later date, Joshua was not plucked suddenly from the ranks of Israel and placed over the Lord’s people. He had served his apprenticeship. The Lord was satisfied that Joshua was ready to lead Israel.
The Lord needs people who are prepared to take the Kingdom.
The creation of God is in terrible bondage today. Only the Church, the Body of Christ, has the authority to release the creation. Christ remains seated at the right hand of God while His possession, the nations and the farthest reaches of the earth, agonizes in spiritual chains.
The blood of Jesus has purchased redemption for every human being who is willing to accept it. Satan and his demons have no authority over any individual who chooses to call on the name of Jesus.
The full price of redemption has been paid for two thousand years. Yet the earth gropes in spiritual blindness. What, then, is delaying the release of the material creation?
The reason the earth remains in darkness is that the members of the Body of Christ are immature in the things of God. They have not had created in them the conquering personality. They speak of going to their eternal home in Heaven, not realizing God has given the world to them. They are not soldiers, they are sheep. We are living in an hour when Christ will convert His sheep into soldiers.
To be a member of the Lord’s army, of the Body of Christ, requires more than a uniform. To be a coheir of Christ requires more than a title.
A license to practice medicine is much more than a uniform or a title. It is a testimony to the fact that the doctor has spent many years in rigorous training and now is able, through education and experience, to prescribe and treat various sicknesses and disorders.
When God testifies we are a coheir of Christ He is not giving to us "by grace" a uniform or a title. He is declaring that we shall be prepared by Himself, through education, experience, and the transformation of what we are, to rule the nations of the earth.
Many Christian people are saints in name only—by "uniform" and "title" only. The conquering personality has not been formed in them as yet.
Christ will not lead an army of believers who are warriors by title only. He will come against the rulers of the world at the head of an army of saints in whom the conquering personality has been formed.
No human being can become a warrior, a saint, a "mighty man of valor," by imputation (ascribed mightiness).
If going to Heaven to live forever were our goal it might be enough for us to make our statement of belief in Jesus. Because our goal is to be in union with God through the Lord Jesus, to be in union with one another, to fill the universe with the image of Jesus, and to rule all the works of God’s hands, it is not sufficient that we make our statement of belief in Christ. We also must follow the Holy Spirit every day of our life as He creates in us the conquering personality.
There are at least three major aspects of the conquering personality: faith, hope, and love. None of these three can be created by our fleshly attempts, although sometimes it is necessary that we, to the best of our human ability, act as though we possess them.
Faith, hope, and love are of God’s Personality (He is the greatest of all conquerors), and must be imparted to us by Him.
Faith is our conviction God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek him diligently. The opposite of faith is unbelief that God exists or that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Faith is our statement concerning God’s Character. Faith is different from mental belief, or acknowledgment of theological facts, in that faith always requires and results in action. We demonstrate and establish our faith by the things we think, say, and do. Apart from behavior there is no faith. Works are the life of faith. Faith without works is dead, being alone.
The position that we are justified (made acceptable to God) by faith alone, that works are not essential to our redemption, is not a balanced interpretation of the Apostle Paul. It may be a reaction against Catholic excesses.
The true saint is convinced that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, those who pursue the Lord with their thoughts, their words, and their actions.
Daniel, although highly placed in the government of Babylon revealed the strength of his faith by praying on his knees three times a day—even when it was against the law to do so (Daniel 6:10).
The Christian who does his church duties, but whose principal energies and time are occupied with the acquiring of money and goods, is demonstrating he does not believe God will reward him if he seeks God. He is demonstrating his belief that money will reward him if he seeks money. He may profess faith in Christ but his faith is in money—in the things he can see and handle.
Our true faith, trust, and hope are revealed in our behavior, not in our mental acceptance of doctrine.
The conquering personality has not been developed in the individual who pursues money. He is useless as a member of the Lord’s army, the Body of Christ.
We show our faith by our obedience to the written Word of God and to the personal directions the Lord gives us. The true saint spends much time in the Word of God and is carefully and diligently obedient when the Lord speaks to Him. Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the other patriarchs showed their faith by their stern obedience to God.
The person who does not obey the written Word, or the Word of God to him personally, does not have saving faith. He may believe in the facts of the atonement and resurrection but he does not have a faith in God that will save him and transform him into the image of Christ. He is not convinced of the goodness and integrity of God’s Character. He is not rightly related to God. His is not a conquering personality.
Faith and obedience are associated with patience. There is no virtue more important in the Kingdom of God than that of patience (Revelation 1:9).
Patience is our willingness to persevere until God does for us what He has promised. Saints are made or destroyed in the realm of patience.
God has promised to us every good thing both in the spirit realm and the material realm. We must have patience so after we have done the will of God we may receive the promise.
It was God’s will that Abraham bring Isaac to manhood. Yet God asked for the life of Isaac. Why? To determine the degree of faith residing in Abraham’s character. Isaac was given back to Abraham after Abraham in his heart had slain him. God had promised Isaac to Abraham and God does not break His promises.
During His temptation Christ was denied His necessary food. He was denied His rightful rule over the kingdoms of the world. He was denied the freedom to move from the gable of the Temple of Herod. In one sense this is ridiculous. Why should Christ be denied His necessary food? Why should He be denied the ownership of the earth He Himself created? Why should He be confined to the gable of the Temple?
Our trials are just as "ridiculous." God has given us all things. No good thing will God withhold from him who walks uprightly. To man has been given dominion over all the works of God’s hands (Hebrews 2:8).
Here we are, the heirs and lords of all, worrying about our material survival, worrying whether or not we will have pleasure, or whether or not we will accomplish something of importance. In one sense it is ridiculous that we, the coheirs of Christ, should be concerned that God will accomplish in us the destiny He has assigned to man. In another sense it is not ridiculous. God has promised many things to us and the desire for these burns in us. God holds back our inheritance month after month, year after weary year. We pray for strength to endure. Still the waiting continues. Patience, patience, patience, the Kingdom and patience of Christ.
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)
We were promised a glorious resurrection but we yet are on the cross.
Jesus is not on the cross today. He has bread. The kingdoms of the world are His. He can come and go as far as the gable of the Temple is concerned.
Abraham has his Isaac. Job has his sons and daughters. The saints are in Paradise with the Lord.
We still are waiting—waiting for God’s promises to come true in our lives. Here is the crucible in which faith is developed. Faith is one of the cornerstones of the conquering personality. We always must await God’s time.
People are teaching today that if there is something we want we can get it—now. It is good to approach God with an attitude of hope, expectancy, and cheerfulness, believing in God’s goodness. However, the teaching of "get it now by faith" is not of God but of the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11).
The record of the Scriptures teaches us that the suffering of Christ always comes before the glory of Christ. We cannot reign until we suffer, and part of suffering has to do with patiently waiting for God to fulfill His promises to us.
"How long should I be prepared to wait?," one may ask.
"For the remainder of your life" is the answer. If you are not prepared to wait forever you will come down from the cross. You will choose an easier path. As soon as you do you may never regain your original position in the army of the Lord. God is seeking victorious saints, not weaklings who will give up when the way becomes rugged.
The promises are to him who conquers. He shall inherit all things and God will be His Father (Revelation 21:7).
Faith in God’s goodness and integrity is the victory that overcomes the world, for the world is ignorant of God’s Character and does not believe in Him. This is Satan’s work. Satan does not believe in God’s goodness and he has filled the world with his unbelief, rebellion, and pride.
A second cornerstone of the conquering personality is hope. Hope is our attitude toward life. The absence of hope is passivity and apathy. The opposite of hope is despair and fear. Hope is the expectation of good. Apathy is disinterest in future circumstances. Despair and fear are the expectation of evil. We are saved by hope (Romans 8:24), but fearfulness and timidity lead us into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).
Faith and hope are related in that faith is the "substance of things hoped for." All the heroes of faith lived in the expectation of receiving good at the hands of God. They believed that their seeking would bring them to a better country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God (Hebrews 11:16).
It is important in spiritual warfare that we maintain an expectation of good. We must never allow Satan to persuade us to adopt an attitude of fear, of gloom, of pessimism. If we continue expecting the worst the worst may come upon us.
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. (Job 3:25)
When we insist on expecting evil we are saying something about God’s character. We are testifying that God wishes to do us harm or that He is unable to keep us from being harmed.
The world is filled with demonic darkness. Many things happen to us that can cause us to become pessimistic. We must arm ourselves with the determination to expect good at the hands of God. The promises of the Scriptures give us hope and joy but the world fills us with despair and fear.
Fearfulness, discouragement, and self-pity are powerful enemies of the saints. Our training period is prolonged and difficult and it is easy to believe that God wants us to suffer and is pleased when we suffer. Such is not the case. Our sufferings are to create the conquering personality in us so we can receive all the glory of the spiritual and material realms.
Fearfulness, discouragement, and self-pity must be removed from us. We must determine to put these attitudes away from us. God will help us when we seek His guidance and strength.
No one, including the Lord, will share our self-pity with us. We may hide from reality, taking refuge in our tears, but in so doing we only remove ourselves from the conquering army that is destined to take possession of the glorious inheritance promised to Christ and His saints.
We are always to rejoice in hope. Faith and hope go together. Faith and hope are related to courage. God has not given us the spirit of cowardice but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear caused the Israelites to displease God to such an extent He turned them back into the wilderness for thirty-eight years. Ten of the twelve spies returned with a testimony of the strength of the enemy rather than of the richness of the land and the faithfulness of God. The Hebrews wept in despair and fear. They throw aside their hope in the Lord. In doing so they provoked the Lord to great anger.
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. (Numbers 14:34)
Paul has commanded us to meditate on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report. If we will do this we shall be filled with hope in the goodness of God. Our consistent hope will increase our faith and joy in the Lord. Such an attitude is pleasing to the Lord.
The soldier who is filled with despair and fear will lose the battle. Hope is necessary for the conquering personality.
We always anchor our hope in God’s Word, especially in the written Word but also in the promises the Lord has made to us personally. The true Christian hope is not based on the idea that positive thinking leads to constructive and pleasurable results. The Christian hope is based on the Word of God. It is based on what is true, solid, and unshakable.
The Lord Jesus was able to endure the cross because of His hope for the true, solid, and unshakable joy that was set before Him.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)
Faith and hope are pillars of the conquering personality. However, the most important pillar is Divine love.
As we have said, faith, hope, and love do not spring from the human personality, they are part of God’s Personality. They are supernatural even though they are applied to human circumstances. Faith, hope, and love come to us from Heaven. Only when they are of Divine origin are these three virtues strong enough to overcome the evil in the world.
Love is the manner in which we relate to God’s creatures. The absence of love is indifference toward others. The opposite of love is hatred.
Love varies in degree, ranging from a kindly attitude all the way to the fiery Divine passion that creates life and brings oneness with God. Kindness is a sister of love. Kindness is our integrity in doing good to others whether or not we love them.
Beyond doubt, love is the mightiest power in the universe. There is no other force in existence that approaches love in power, in wisdom, or in acceptability to God.
God is love and always prefers love as a relationship, except in the case of sin and rebellion against His will.
The rulers of the world govern by force. All they can do is control the bodies of people. On occasion, God rules by force. The ultimate rule of the Kingdom of God is by love, for only love can control the heart of a person. Christ and His saints will govern God’s creatures in love.
The final revelation of Christ in the Scriptures is not the Lion, the Word, the Savior, the Lord, Christ. He is all these. But His holiest revelation of Himself is as the Lamb, as the gentle, loving Lamb. This is what God the Father prefers.
The eternal love of God conquers all evil, endures and hope all things, and always is directed by the Lord. Love flows through us toward those whom God desires to bring into oneness with Himself.
God spoke to Joshua concerning courage, faith, and obedience to the Word. In preparing him to lead Israel across Jordan the Lord did not command Joshua to show love toward anyone.
Under the old covenant the enemies of the elect were other human beings, such as the Canaanites. Under the new covenant the enemies of the elect are wicked spirits, not people. The old covenant did not include the casting out of demons. Under the new covenant, casting out demons is the first sign to follow the believer. The casting out of devils is the coming of the Kingdom of God.
Human enemies can be conquered by the violence and hatred of war. Spiritual adversaries cannot be conquered by violence and hatred. Satan is full of violence and hatred. He is the personification of violence and hatred. Satan cannot be overcome by violence and hatred. Satan does not cast out Satan.
Wicked spirits can be cast out only by the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God will work only where there is love. As we are filled with the love of God and are motivated by the Lord’s love, which always is seeking to bring God’s creatures into oneness with Himself, the Spirit of God will dwell in us in His awesome power. Then will the demons be cast out. Then will evil be conquered by good.
The Christian or the Christian assembly that is filled with hatred and strife has already been defeated by Satan. Where there is hatred and division there can be no overcoming of the enemy. The enemy already has been victorious.
Love is essential to the conquering personality.
Our conduct as human beings is governed by the development in us of faith, hope, and love. If we would be righteous, holy, and obedient to God we must be strong in faith, strong in hope, and strong in love. Otherwise we will fail in some crucial area of behavior.
Apart from faith, hope, and love we cannot gain our inheritance as the brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our land of promise, our goal, is the possession of all things.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
Inheriting all things through the Lord Jesus Christ depends on the maturing in us of faith, hope, and love. These are of the image of Christ, the image of God concerning which our Creator spoke in the beginning (Genesis 1:26).
The elect have been predestined to be changed into the image of Christ. Our inheritance depends on our being changed into the image of Christ. We cannot be in union with God, we cannot be in union with others of our kind, we cannot bear the Divinely ordained fruit, which is the reproduction of God’s image, and we cannot exercise dominion over the material creation, until we have been created in the image of God.
The healthy spiritual personality is filled with God’s faith, God’s hope, and God’s love.
The sick spiritual personality is filled with unbelief, fear and hate. The sick spiritual personality is egocentric, preoccupied with concern over its own welfare.
The sick spiritual personality cannot obtain union with God or a wholesome, permanent union with other human beings. The sick spiritual personality cannot reproduce God’s image. It is sterile.
Because it is self-centered and willful, the sick spiritual personality cannot be given the authority and power reserved for man.
The sick, defeated spiritual personality, being deficient in faith, hope, and love, is not able to await God’s time. It frantically rushes forward to grasp things—things that would have come to it when it and they were mature. Now it clutches to itself what is not ripe, not fully formed. Because it partakes before God’s time of what would have brought life and joy in its season, the sick personality becomes even sicker.
Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before God’s appointed time, before God was ready to enable them to choose between good and evil and to embrace the good and reject the evil. We must eat of the tree of life and grow in Divine Life before we are able to judge good and evil.
The defeated personality brings confusion and destruction into Paradise. It grows increasingly incapacitated until it no longer is able to respond to God’s love, to the power that flows from God to receive His creatures and bring them into union with Himself.
Adam and Eve were not strongly developed in faith, in hope, or in love. They had no strong conviction or knowledge concerning God’s Character. They had no opportunity to test the trustworthiness of God’s Word.
They possessed everything, and so their ability to expect good (to hope), while in the midst of evil and frustration, had not been tested. Their ability to love had not been tried in the arena of hatred, perversity, and bitterness.
Satan went directly to the woman and raised doubts concerning God’s Character. The spiritually defenseless woman succumbed to temptation. At this point, unbelief, fear, hatred, and self-centeredness—that worst of all poisons—began to enter mankind. In Adam all died.
The receiving of our inheritance depends on our ability to await God’s will in all matters great and small. Our ability and willingness to wait on the Lord’s will depends on the development in us of faith, hope, and love.
Adam and Eve would have been given eternal life, and the knowledge of good and evil as well, if they had waited for the Lord’s time.
The greatest enemy of God in the universe is self-will, self-centeredness. The self-willed, self-centered person brings confusion and strife everywhere he goes, whether or not he makes a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Only the faith, hope, and love that are in God can deliver us from the poisonous self-centeredness and self-love with which Satan has injected mankind. If we ask God to do so, in Jesus’ name, He will bring us out of our limitations and into the broad streams of His incorruptible resurrection Life.
We must be prepared to share the sufferings of Christ. Suffering is required if we would be delivered from sin, rebellion, and self-centeredness. As we are filled with Christ’s resurrection life we are able to share Christ’s sufferings. As we share Christ sufferings we grow in His resurrection Life and learn to live yet more fully in Christ’s incorruptible Life.
The more Divine faith, hope, and love that are in us the more we are able to receive eternal, incorruptible resurrection life in every aspect of our personality. Through the power of eternal life we are able to conquer all things.
When we conquer all things we can receive all things, and God will be our God and we will be God’s sons.