In Mosaic Israel the whole nation was the Ekklesia of God and people of God of that day. The army of Israel was supposed to be the host [army] of the Eternal; and YHVH was the commander of the host [army] of God [the army of Israel].
Joshua 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord [YHVH] am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? 5:15 And the captain of the Lord‘s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
The Eternal was the captain of the host of Israel, and is often described as the “LORD of Hosts”: meaning the LORD or captain of God’s armies.
In the fight against the Canaanites; Israel as the people of God called out of Egypt, was a type of a spiritual Israel called out of the spiritual Egypt of bondage to sin: while the Canaanites were a type of sin, which is to be totally destroyed.
God used these people as an allegorical example for our instruction, yet he will raise up both physical Israel and the Canaanites in their time and they shall all have a chance to sincerely repent and enter into the spiritual Israel of the New Covenant.
The Eternal was captain over the armies of Mosaic Israel, fighting to destroy the wicked Canaanites as a type of extirpating and destroying sin from off the earth.
This an allegory that the Eternal as the Captain of our Salvation is going before his faithful to fight against sin for us, just as he went before Israel to fight the Canaanites whenever Israel was faithful and followed their Captain.
You will notice that when Israel faithfully followed the Eternal as they did all the days of Joshua, they never lost a battle, except when sin was among them. When they strayed from a zeal to keep the whole Word of God, they began to lose battles.
So it is with us; when we stray from zealously, enthusiastically, following our LORD; and turn to our own ways, or try to fight the battle on our own; we begin to lose the fight against sin and are overcome by it.
It is ONLY when we are faithful to obey and diligently follow the whole word of God; that the Captain of our Salvation will go before us to fight all sin and give us his gift of victory over our greatest enemy, Satan, sin and the wages of unrepented sin which is death.
In line with this allegory, the Captain of the LORD’s host gave Joshua some instructions at the beginning of his service, that are equally fitting for our spiritual battle against sin.
As Joshua was to keep the whole Word of God in the physical Mosaic sense; WE are to keep the whole Word of GOD in BOTH the physical Mosaic sense AND in all of its spirit and intent!
If we do that, then the Captain of our Salvation, will dwell in us and fight the battle against sin with us; and the Mighty Overcomer will give us the victory over sin; IF we will only follow His example and His lead!
This is the first of the principles of victory over sin; Absolute commitment and loyalty to the Captain of our Salvation; to follow the Lamb of God withersoever He goeth! Without any hint of compromise or of any hint of turning aside to the right or to the left!
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
This principle of warring against all sin; is to “Rely on God and Be Prepared!” To properly train for the fight, through learning and living by every Word of God!
This means that we are to study day and night! Study does not mean just reading the scriptures; It also means meditating and thinking about their meaning, while praying for understanding from God. It means to have our minds focused on the Word of God, its physical and spiritual meaning and how it applies to the situations that we encounter day by day.
Like a good soldier; we are to learn, learn, learn and then practice, practice, practice; until the lessons become our very nature!
A good soldier first learns Absolute Loyalty and Obedience unto death, to his Commander; and a good soldier of the LORD of Hosts [armies] in the battle against Satan and sin, is to be Absolutely Obedient and Loyal to the whole Word of our Mighty Commander, even unto death.
The next thing a good soldier learns is complete dedication to accomplishing any mission given to him. Regardless of the price or hazards, a good soldier will continue moving forward to accomplish his mission.
The same is true of the spiritual soldier; he is totally dedicated to his mission to overcome all sin; whatever the cost in trials or persecutions, in sickness or poverty; in every situation he marches on in the battle against Satan and sin; totally loyal to his LORD and to his mission to achieve complete victory over all sin and to become like his Father in heaven!
Brethren, religion is not some kind of social game! This is FOR REAL! It is a serious matter of life and death for eternity!
May we all be good soldiers of the LORD of Hosts against Satan and all sin; following our LORD to total victory! Be Strong and Persevere for the battle belongs to the Great Overcomer the LORD of Hosts!
Though we may be battered in this world, let us be strongly encouraged; for we know that our redemption is very near:
Let us prepare for the fight, fully grounding ourselves on the Sound Doctrine of every Word of God, and internalizing the very nature of God; so that the temptation to sin is so repellent and vile to us, that we can reject it without another thought!
If any are rejected by their brethren – who presently lack the light that guides us – let us go forward in godliness, being courageous to set a shining example so that in their time they will see the light of God and turn to him with a whole heart!
Another principle of being a good soldier of the LORD is having the courage to acknowledge errors and to turn to do what is right, always. A good soldier knows that his mistakes [his example] could affect the lives of many others; so he rejoices for correction, and is quick to correct his errors. The spiritual soldier is to be quick to continually correct his faults and to learn and progress in his spiritual growth.
Each sin that is corrected is another victory in the war against Satan and sin; while each refusal to accept truth and to change for the better, is a lost battle in the war.
My dear friends, let us be strong to pursue the truth of God, and be full of a good courage to acknowledge error and follow our Commander and King of kings, to total victory against the Adversary and all sin!
How to Conquer Sin
Why are we tempted to sin? Because we think that the sin is pleasurable, and we love the pleasure of sin more than we love following the Word of God.
1. Love God the Father and Jesus Christ enough to DO WHAT THEY SAY, and to live by EVERY Word of God the Father (Mat 4:4). Make pleasing God our greatest pleasure and chief delight!
2. Learn to loathe as hideous filth, anything that comes between us, and God the Father and Christ.
3. When we are tempted by certain things, AVOID those things, and so avoid [flee] temptation.
4. Do not let our thoughts dwell on the temptation; but fill your mind with good things.
5. Do Bible studies into the sin that besets us, consider how evil and filthy it really is, behind its façade of pleasure. and understand that the wages of sin is SUFFERING and DEATH.
6. When you are tempted, do not think “Oh how I would like that,” but think about a field full of dead rotting bodies, or eating a pot of raw sewage; and equate that with the temptation to sin.
Think how you are offending and separating yourself from your Beloved Father and Christ.
Think on the consequences of your sin to yourself and to others. Stop and THINK before you act; and immediately, instantly; reject those things that separate us from our Beloved Father and espoused Husband!
7. Replace evil with good in your mind and concentrate on all the good things and benefits of godliness.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Overcoming sin is about what you love the most: God or the sin! and about putting the temptation to sin into its proper perspective of coming between us and God and of bringing eternal death, as opposed to the eternal life that our Beloved offers!
Once we have that established; we can proceed to overcome through the ultimate Overcomer dwelling in us! and we can employ the tools of overcoming:
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth [the knowledge of the whole word of God] , and having on the breastplate of righteousness [of keeping the whole word of God]
6:15 And your feet shod [walk and live the gospel of salvation and peace with God by being zealous to keep God’s word as Christ kept the Father’s word] with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith [believe an trust in our God, thereby quenching temptation], wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation [protect our minds with a knowledge of the salvation of God], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: [Destroy false teachings by the truth of the whole word of God.]
Pray without ceasing. Even when not praying verbally, have your minds set on the Word of God and sing godly songs and psalms carefully considering their meaning through the day. Meditate day and night on the meaning of every Word of God. And in so doing you will internalize the nature of God and cast out the temptation to sin!
6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
In our Bible Studies one thing is overwhelming clear: Whenever Israel followed God, they were victorious; and whenever they tried to fight the enemy their own way, while not being faithful to God, they were defeated.
This is also true in the spiritual sense, concerning the fight against sin. Satan is far smarter and stronger than we are; and whenever we try to fight sin on our own; we are guaranteed to fail!
No matter how we struggle on our own with temptation and sin, we fail and continually slip to do the thing that we are struggling with. Paul presents the answer in Romans 8 where he says that we must walk [live] in the spirit, and the flesh must be brought into submission to the spirit of God to overcome sin. 1 John 2:6 also says that we are to walk [live as Christ walks [lives]
How to be fully victorious over sin
The solution is to follow Christ and be zealous to live by every Word of God; then Christ the Overcomer, will dwell in us through the Spirit of God; and will go before us to give us the victory over sin; IF we will only follow him!
What I am talking about is making a fully dedicated commitment to go and sin no more, and then to seek the help of our Mighty Overcomer in our struggle with sin.
We cannot overcome Satan on our own; We need the full power of Jesus Christ in us to overcome; but with the Ultimate Overcomer dwelling in us: Full Victory over sin is assured!
Consider that in our youth we were totally committed to our spouse, in such passionate love that we had eyes for no other! If we have the same passionate love for Christ and the whole word of God; the struggle against sin would be so much easier because nothing would be a temptation to sin against and offend our LORD.
The very first point is the real depth of our commitment to Christ and every Word of God. You see, it is a mater of loving our LORD and God’s Word, MORE than we love the pleasures of sin.
2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
3:5 Having a form [An appearance of godliness but no substance like the church of God today] of godliness, but denying the power thereof [Not accepting the authority of scripture to obey it, and therefore lacking any power to overcome.]: from such turn away.
When we call the Sabbath holy and proceed to habitually pollute it, when we pollute God’s High Days by buying in restaurants, and by observing days as God’s days, which are not sanctified by scripture but on the dates which we chose. When we idolize men, exalting their word above the Word of God and are full of many self justified sins; how is it that we expect to overcome other sins?
Brethren, we struggle with some sins and cannot overcome, lacking the power of the Holy Spirit; because we are committed to our idols of men and corporate entities, and are NOT committed to passionately love the whole word of God!
Today we are full of sin and have rejected the Word of God for our own false traditions, and then we complain that we have no power to overcome and must struggle with personal issues!
The very first means to overcome sin; is to learn and live by every Word of God and repudiate our idols and our sins; and follow on to sin no more zealously learning, keeping every Word of God !
Only then will Christ go before us to cleanse us and give us victory over sin! We struggle with sin and cannot overcome, because we love the pleasures of sin more than we love the word of God. Therefore we find ourselves tempted to sin, and seeing sin as pleasurable we fall to temptation, because we are not fully committed to the word of God.
We ask and receive not, because we are not pleasing to God!
Let me be absolutely clear; if we show your contempt for the Word of God by buying in restaurants on Sabbath or High Days; and exalt the false words and false traditions of men above the Word of God; We have quenched God’s Spirit and the power to overcome sin will leave us.
The very first thing that is needed to be victorious in a personal struggle over sin; is to sincerely repent of all our many sins, and to adamantly and passionately commit ourselves to turn from ALL SIN; and to zealously learn, keep and teach the whole Word of God; and to follow our Mighty Overcomer, who will give us the victory!
Then ASK for, and use the spirit of power, that God the Father gives to all those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). Only then will Christ empower us to overcome, for the breaking of one point of the law is the breaking of the whole law.
Today’s Ekklesia is full of sin and the brethren exalt their idols and teach to tolerate sin for the sake of organizational unity; and then they wonder why they have no power!
The truly converted have little struggle with sin, for they depend on their God to deliver them and simply reject all temptation as an offense against their Beloved.
Our relationship with our Mighty One is supposed to be one of intense intimate passionate love; always longing to be held in his protective loving arms and never being tempted to do anything to displease him. To overcome sin, we must start with a proper relationship with our Glorious espoused Husband!
If we would only put our trust in our Mighty One who killed the first born of Egypt and parted the sea; we could reject any temptation to sin, as unthinkable!
See The Seven Pillars of Wisdom series, to study how to acquire the godly wisdom and strength to live a virtuous life.