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Dear Partner,

The Old Testament is loaded with "types and shadows" of the New Covenant which was made available after the cross of Jesus Christ. For example, it is easy to see that when Israel was under bondage to Pharaoh for 430 years, that is a type and shadow of mankind being slaves to sin under a hard taskmaster. Pharaoh is a type and shadow of Satan. Think of the babies born to Israel during that time period. They were born in bondage, not through any fault of their own. That is the perfect type and shadow of mankind being born with a nature to sin, even though they didn't cause their own fall like Adam did. Paul explains all of this when he writes:

Rom 5:12-14  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

The nation of Israel could not break free on its own. Mankind cannot be free from the sin nature through self-effort. God sent a single man, a deliverer named Moses, to set Israel free from Pharaoh. God worked signs and wonders through this one man until enough pressure was finally placed upon Pharaoh to let the people go. It wasn't through any good "works" of the Israeli people themselves that caused them to be free. No, it was through the works of a solitary man that the people were set free from bondage. That is a perfect type and shadow of the Deliverer God sent for all of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus did all of the work, not us. He alone paid the penalty for man's sin, was raised from the dead, and was then seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. When Moses stretched forth his rod and the Red Sea split in two, all Israel had to do in order to be free was follow Moses out of Egypt. Jesus says to us, if you want to be free from the bondage of sin, "Come and follow Me. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed."

The Promised Land of the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the Abundant Life that Jesus intends for us to possess. Just like there were strongholds that had to be conquered in the Promised Land in order for Israel to fully posses it, there are strongholds of wrong thinking and wrong believing that have to be torn down in order for us to fully possess the Abundant Life. Paul refers to this process when he says,

2 Cor 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

I well remember those early days when I was first born again. When the new nature, the very nature of Christ, entered into me there was instant warfare against the strongholds that had held me in bondage my whole life. It was as if the nature of Christ had entered into the "land of Gary" like the "Lion of the tribe of Judah." Many strongholds came down in a matter of weeks. Some of them were strongholds of alcohol abuse, pornography, nightclubs, and many more. The nature of Christ was doing a magnificent job of driving the enemies out of the land so Gary could enjoy the Abundant Life of freedom that God wanted me to live. But notice this warning that God gave Israel through Moses before they entered into the Promised Land:

Num 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

God wanted them to be completely free, not partially free. Notice the words I underlined in that verse, " those which ye let remain ". If we are not completely free, it is because there are certain strongholds, habits, and desires that WE CHOOSE TO LET REMAIN in our life. It's not that we don't have the power to be free. We are choosing not to be free by refusing to use the "weapons which are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

That was really hard for me to accept because even though there was so much radical change in my life during those first few weeks of being born again, there were some habits and personality traits that it did not seem I had the power to be free from. My "experience" said I was not free, but the bible kept saying I was. For example:

Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

There it is. Chapter and verse telling me plainly that as a believer, I am dead to sin. Yet I, like most Christians I know, still battled with certain habits and character flaws that were certainly not very "Christ-like." I had to face up to the fact that it was ME who was allowing these enemies to remain in my land and sure enough just like God said through Moses all those centuries ago they have been like pricks in my eyes and thorns in my side all of these years, to vex me in the Abundant Life Jesus wants me to enjoy.

I had to face the truth and not hide from it anymore. I began again to take up those supernatural weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Sure enough, "Old Things" have begun to be defeated now. Things that I had carried so long that even I thought I would never be free. One stronghold that I had for 42 years has fallen like the walls of Jericho and I've been walking free of it for a year and half as of this writing. I encourage you to break out of complacency and go to war against any enemies that are remaining in your land. Jesus paid the price for us to be free completely free!

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter

 

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