In Personal Growth

It has been well said throughout history and popularized in culture, “To the Victor Belongs the Spoils.” While usually this expression refers to military or political or business conquests or victories, it has also has applicability and relevance in the spiritual realm as well. For example, of Jesus, it was spoken by Isaiah the Prophet several thousand years ago:

“He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”  (Isa. 53:9-12, NIV).

Jesus is our example in all things, and He is still dividing the spoils of His epic, historic, mind-blowing, game-changing, death-defying, miraculous victory over Death and Hell on the cross of Calvary, and in His resurrection from the dead on the Third Day while lying wrapped in grave clothes in a sealed and guarded tomb. He plundered Satan and His kingdom of darkness and brought back the keys of Death and Hell so that you and I and all saints and kingdom citizens are no longer subject to the fear of death (Matt. 16:17-19; Rom. 6:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:12-28; Eph. 4:9-10; Phil. 3:7-11; Col. 2:9-15; Heb. 2:9-18; 1 Pet.3:18-22; Rev. 1:17-18). And who are the strong referred to in Isa. 53:12? I believe this refers to you and me today, and to all saints throughout history who have overcome by the word of their testimony, the blood of the Lamb, and their faith in Christ Jesus. Therefore, you and I should be receiving spoils and distributing plunder from both spiritual and natural wealth transfers (Prov. 13:22; Eccl. 2:26).

The Hebrew word for spoils is shalal, which means: a prey, spoil, plunder, booty (Strong’s Hebrew 7998).

Matt. 12:29 says, “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his possessions, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.” Similarly, Mark 3:27 says, “Indeed, no one can enter a strong man’s house to steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.” Luke 11:21-22 says, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are secure. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor on which the man relied, and then he divides up his plunder.” So the word plunder here is used both as a verb and a noun in the different gospels.  The verb form in Greek is diarpazó, meaning to plunder or rob thoroughly (Strong’s Greek 1283). The noun version in Greek is skulon, which means arms stripped from a foe, i.e. spoils (Strong’s Greek 4661).

Scripture says greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world, so we as children of God have authority to plunder Satan’s goods and carry them off as spoils. Just as James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were nicknamed the “sons of thunder,” so once in a conference the Holy Spirit had me prophecy over two men that they were “sons of plunder.” “Those who know their God shall be strong and do mighty exploits” (Dan. 11:32). So, in this year of 5777 Triple Crown Glory, focus your eyes upon Jesus, listen to the voice of Holy Spirit, read and study His word, be diligent to steward your influence in the Seven Mountains of Culture, and be an overcomer and a finisher so that God will also “give you a portion among the great,” and a crown of life and eternal weight of glory.

Eph. 5:15-17 says, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

And while we imitate Jesus, and follow His example, we should also heed admonition, instruction and exhortation from the true fathers and mothers in the faith, such as Paul the Apostle, who said:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable” (1 Cor. 9:24-25).

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things” (Phil. 3:12-15).

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but to all who crave His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

About the Author: Bruce Cook, Ph.D., is an ordained minister and a commissioned apostle and prophet and has significant experience in business consulting, fundraising, private equity investments, business development, marketing, corporate communications, branding, media relations, advertising, and higher education and is considered a leading authority on private equity, fundraising, publishing, corporate finance, marketplace ministry and philanthropy. He is a frequent speaker for conferences, seminars and workshops, resides in the Seattle, Washington area, and is married with two grown sons and two granddaughters. He is the Chairman & CEO of Inc., Kingdom House Publishing, and Kingdom Congressional International Alliance (KCIA). In addition, he is a director or trustee of WorkLife, The Glory House Ministries, Indigenous People’s Foundation, Family Church of Gig Harbor, and Kingdom Economic Yearly Summit (KEYS). In 2015 he received the Distinguished Leadership Award from I Change Nations and was designated an Honorary Ambassador by Golden Rule International.

Earlier in his career Cook was Research Coordinator for the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), where he was a member of the Private Markets team responsible for alternative asset investments totaling over $500 million per year, and in aggregate, several billion dollars. Prior to that he was Assistant Manager of the largest bank in Arkansas, Worthen Bank, now owned by Bank of America, responsible for $10M daily in transactions. Dr. Cook is an author, ordained minister, and contemporary Christian songwriter and producer. His CD’s include Songs in the Night (2003), Daddy’s in the House (2004) and Wealth of the Kingdom (co-producer, 2008); Seven Mountain Symphony: Transforming the 7 Mountains of Culture was a two-disc set released in 2009 (co-producer). He is the author of Partnering with the Prophetic (2011, 2014) and also completed a five-volume apostolic anthology titled Aligning with the Apostolic: An Anthology of Apostleship (2013), for which he served as General Editor and wrote Volume One. Several other books are currently in process dealing with finance, economics, and business.

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