The Head Of The Church
Brother David Owens recently preached in Farmington, Missouri on knowing our assignment, our authority, and our anointing in the spiritual warfare. His texts were taken from I Samuel 17:54 and II Samuel 5:6, 7;
I Samuel 17:54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
II Samuel 5:6, 7 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
Brother Owens preached that David knew his assignment to take Jerusalem, knew his authority to take Jerusalem, and knew his anointing. Several nights later Brother Owens added a fourth item for the spiritual warfare, to know your connection. Joshua had Moses, Elisha had Elijah, Paul had Barnabus, in bringing each one to their calling. We will come back to this connection, but while it was the assignment and authority of David to take Jerusalem, his taking the head of Goliath to Jerusalem was a much larger prophecy in the spiritual warfare. King David’s subsequent taking of Jerusalem was necessary preparation in and for the spiritual warfare that was to come. Jerusalem had to be taken for Jesus to fulfill all prophecy there. In Matthew (27:33), Mark (15:22), and John (19:17) each of the gospels records that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, the place of a skull. Only Luke 23:33 uses another term, Calvary. How many of you know that the word interpreted Calvary comes from the Greek word kranion, literally meaning skull? The placing of the head of the defeated Philistine (who had defied the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel) at Jerusalem prophesied of the spiritual victory Jesus would win at that specific location over the devil, who also defied the Lord of hosts!
As you begin to understand the prophecy of the spiritual warfare, go back and read the gospel accounts of Jesus death on the cross, and receive spiritually, not just historically, the knowledge of the warfare (Matthew 27:50 – 54): how the veil of the temple was rent in twain, how the earth did quake, and the rocks rent, how the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, … and appeared unto many. From Mark 15:33 and Luke 23:44 you can note the darkness over all the land from the sixth to the ninth hour. Receive a greater understanding spiritually of how the centurion and those with him could fear, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. All of these things are declarations of the warfare being fought and of the spiritual victory being won!
Do not stop here, or let this limit the depth of your understanding of the significance of the placing of the head of Goliath at Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus Christ is to be both the head of man (I Corinthians 11:3… the head of every man is Christ) and the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23… and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.) First consider the course and mind that we have all had in the past;
Ephesians 2:2, 3 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
In that former mind and walk we were lead by our own head, by the lusts of our flesh, and by the enemy, and we also defied the Lord of hosts in this spiritual warfare. The enemy filled us with lust, hatred, selfishness, concupiscence, and idolatry in defying God through us. How often the enemy invades and we are not fighting, or have passively allowed the lust and wickedness. You have no sufficiency of yourself in this battle. The Philistines had sent out Goliath as their champion, the biggest, strongest, and best warrior. We must allow Jesus to be our sufficiency, our deliverer, and our savior; to be for us our champion; the biggest, strongest, and best that we know Him to be in our lives. We have explored the omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, and love of Almighty God, and we know, If God be for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) Are we walking with Him so that we can let Him go before us in our spiritual battles?
At each point of serving self, by our lust, by our selfishness, by our wickedness, we defied God, the Lord of hosts. Who do you want for your champion, your flesh or the Lord Jesus? David picked up five smooth stones as he prepared to fight Goliath, and many have said that was a lack of faith, but scripture records that there were four other sons of the giant in the Philistines ranks (II Samuel 21:15 – 22, I Chronicles 20:4 – 8). David was prepared in the physical warfare for each of them. Realize that after you allow Jesus to defeat your Goliath, the enemy will figuratively send a fleshly Ishbibenob, or a Saph, or a Lahmi, or a six-fingered son of the giant to try to defy God and again be your head. Be vigilant, and hear only your true Head, the Lord Jesus, in the warfare that continues. There is a call to everyone, and especially the professing Christian, that we must give up the physical head of this flesh for the spiritual head Christ Jesus.
There is no selfishness, no lust, and no wickedness in having His mind. That spiritual warfare won at Calvary by Jesus was in mercy to us;
Ephesians 2:4 – 7 But God, who is rich in his mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
We have known that we have been quickened to salvation, but looking closely at these scriptures begin to understand and receive that through Christ Jesus there are exceeding riches of his grace available to us beyond salvation in his kindness toward us. Grace can allow us to escape the corruption of this lust of mind and flesh. There is no lust in Jesus, and he hath called us to glory and virtue. If Jesus is truly and fully your head you have exceeding great and precious promises, and may escape the corruption and partake of the divine nature;
II Peter 1:2 – 4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We and the church today are living far short of the exceeding great and precious promises of God because we have not given Him full reign in our lives; with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We cannot fully partake of the divine nature because we have not escaped the corruption. Consider additional scriptures that declare him to be the head, and the fullness of that authority;
Colossians 1:18, 19 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;
In a natural body the arms and legs do not have their own head or mind, but obey the one head of the body: Christ became the head of the church that in all things he might have the preeminence. We are not to stay in or revert to our own ways or thinking, but allow him to have the preeminence in all things.
God will frequently give natural or physical examples with a spiritual parallel for our edification or understanding (For instance, Jesus as the Head, or ye are the salt of the earth, or as a grain of mustard seed). In our physical bodies they speak of chemical reactions and synapses, and the head then sending an electrical impulse through the nervous system to tell the leg, or hand, or finger to move or perform some function. That impulse is not random, but is a specific message with directions of how to move, which parts to move, how far, and how fast. There is nothing audible about that electrical impulse, but the body hears that message better, clearer, and much faster than we would a text or an e-mail, and the body obeys. Is that electrical impulse intangible? It is clearly seen in each and every movement of every one of our bodies. If that impulse cannot reach the body part, then that part of the body is immobile or paralyzed, and the lack of movement is also clearly seen.
In the spiritual the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the body, and with the spiritual impulse or message sent to the body there is also grace sent from the Head to call, equip, and enable us to the task or purpose we are called to. The church is paralyzed to the spiritual gifts today because we have stopped hearing, receiving, understanding, or obeying the impulse and the necessary grace that is freely sent from the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result we see the same lack of movement as in the natural body part that is paralyzed.
The world hates the name of Jesus, and that is filthiness of the flesh (II Corinthians 7:1). But if you are not allowing Jesus to be the Head, and you are failing to give Him the preeminence in all things that He might enable you, it is filthiness of the spirit noted in that same verse! Repent and allow Jesus to establish you in Him. This preeminence is not only in those things which are before, but also in those things which are behind: what things of your past are you keeping and not committing to Jesus? The apostle Paul was convinced that Jesus is able to keep everything we will commit to Him;
I Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Do you have a problem with lust? You must recognize and give it up to be delivered from it. Commit it unto Him, for you will not conquer it yourself. Are you holding onto sins because you do not want to give them up? Sin when it is finished will bring death (James 1:15). We must give Jesus the preeminence in all things, for in him should all fullness dwell.
The natural body has five senses, and four of them are fully in the head (sight, hearing, smell, taste). The fifth, the sense of touch, originates at or upon the rest of the body: will you touch someone for Jesus? But even with the natural sense of touch the receptors are in the head! While you can do the spiritual touching, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the body, receives the information and determines what has been felt, what is happening, and what is needed. We should also begin to recognize that if we perceive any concupiscence, inordinate affection, lust, or desire in our senses that it is the head of our flesh trying to again take over the senses and take the preeminence back. Our sufficiency to overcome this is only in God.
Paul is lead later in Colossians to clarify and expound on this preeminence of Jesus, warning against philosophy, deceit, tradition, or the basic principles of men;
Colossians 2:8, 9 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
We cannot find the fullness of the Godhead without being in Him. The phrase “any man” in the above scripture includes yourself first and foremost, since your own mind, flesh, and lust may be your most deceptive and controlling distraction or failure. It is for that reason that Paul is lead to again declare Him to be the head, and speak of spiritual circumcision and baptism;
Colossians 2:10 – 12 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
In putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, we will have spiritually cut off the head of our defying flesh, and given Him preeminence! In verses 13 through 17 Paul then declares the freedom in the blessing and overcoming Christ provides, and then he warns again of having the wrong head;
Colossians 2:18, 19 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
There are pride and personal exaltation in being lead by our fleshly mind that will not allow us to receive the increase of God that is possible when He is the Head. Being vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind speaks of trusting self and flesh. Trusting self or flesh may be our greatest difficulty in overcoming the flesh. We must learn to trust God first, foremost, and completely to defeat our lust and mind. It is only with His mind that we can fully receive the blessing, multiplying, exceeding great and precious promises, increase, and anointing of God.
Let us look at the physical example to better understand the spiritual promises. Aaron received the anointing oil as part of the process to hallow the high priest;
Exodus 29:6, 7 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
This anointing oil ran down the body of Aaron, as noted by the Psalmist;
Psalm 133:2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
When you become part of the body with Jesus fully the Head, you are then able to operate in the spiritual anointing of Jesus;
Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him.
There are two distinct anointings here: anointed with the Holy Ghost, and power; we will consider these further as we consider the grace of God. For the initial consideration of this scripture, if you are in Him, and He is your Head, His anointing will flow to the extent of the body. If you have not made Him the head you are not part of the body. The full anointing will not run down the body to the skirts of the garments: you will place yourself outside the control and reign of God, and will not have the same depth of His being with you. Do you desire to walk in the anointing of Jesus? Then He must be your Head!
Scripture also gives a comparison as if the church was a building, and Jesus is the head of the corner;
Psalm 118:22, 23 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This declaration that Jesus is the head of the corner is so important that it is repeated in scripture at Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, 11, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and I Peter 2:7. Why is this so important? Because there is no other foundation;
I Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
After declaring Him the head of the corner in Acts 4:11, the exclusivity of His position is declared;
Acts 4:11, 12 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus is the only foundation, the only way to the Father, your salvation is only in Him, and He must be your Head if you will be part of the body. We said we would talk about the fourth part of Brother Owens’ sermons, our connection. While God can use an individual to facilitate His will, our connection must be to the Head, Christ Jesus;
Ephesians 4:15, 16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
In order for the impulse from the head to reach our hand and fingers it must travel through the neck, the shoulder, and the arm: does that make the arm a head? Of course not, but all the parts of the body are necessary for the whole to fully work as God intends. While we know that Barnabus was sent to Tarsus to get Paul; who sent him? Barnabus was the connection, but the connection was to the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ! If we are fully part of the body of Jesus, He will supply, He will fit and join together, He will enable as with how the joints work in our natural body, He will work effectually in every part, and He will make our increase in the body always in His love! Let His grace be sufficient for you! We need to gain a greater understanding of the necessary grace for our working through the Head.