Truth is about understanding and its tool of trade is teaching. Allegiance is about relationships and its tool of trade is witness. Power is about freedom and its tool of trade is spiritual warfare.
Truth encounters is where the mind is exercised and the will is challenged. It provides the context and can interpret when the other encounters are taking place. Jesus used His power demonstrations in the context of teaching HIs disciples.
Allegiance encounters involve the exercise of the will in regards to commitment and obedience and would be the most important of three encounters. The fruit of the Spirit are cultivated here, especially love toward God and people. This is about turning away from the love and commitment to the world that is under control of the evil one to God who loved the world and gave Himself for it. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we become more like Him, conforming to the image of Christ.
Power encounters focus on freedom from the enemy’s captivity. Satan is the blinder, restricter, hinderer, crippler – the enemy who attempts to keep people from allegiance to God and truth.
Our missionary witness needs to use all three encounters together, not separately. People need freedom from the enemy to open their minds to receive and understand truth and to release their wills so they can commit themselves to God. Please note – they can’t understand and apply Christian truth, nor can they exercise power without a continuing commitment to God.
Beyond our own Christian growth lies our witness. At the end of His ministry, Jesus taught much about His relationship to His followers and theirs to each other as well as about the authority and power He would give them. He carefully related power and authority to witness.
He told the disciples to wait for spiritual power before they embarked on witness, just as Jesus Himself had waited to be empowered at His own baptism. We are not fully equipped to witness without the freedom-bringing, truth-revealing power of the Holy Spirit.
Because Satan is a master at deceit and counterfeiting, we must encounter or confront him, rather than simply ignore him. And we know as we confront him that greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world and we thank God that —
He disarmed[a] the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it. – Colossians 2:15
But we are still at war and we are commanded to put on armour and fight —
Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our[a] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:11-12
So, although we know how this war will end, many battles remain and we need to know our enemy and how to fight him.