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Aliens and Strangers in the World

August 12, 2013

Psalm 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

You won’t see very many pelican’s in the wilderness or many owls in the desert.  And such is the case with God’s very Elect.  This is a rewrite of a post I initially posted in 2010 when I was still blinded to the truth of salvation for all men.  I was seeing in the Scriptures explanations for many of the things I was experiencing as I  was being dragged out of Babylon and into the marvelous light of Christ.  I did not know what was happening at that time.  I hope it is an encouragement to the brethren who are learning to be joyous amidst increasing rejection and trials in our lives.

John 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you

When God decides to drag one out of Babylon and draw them near to Christ, there is nothing a weak vessel of clay can do.  It will happen, God will accomplish His chosen purposes.   Such disciples will find themselves increasingly at odds with the world and those that live in it.  As we begin to obey God and are chastened of him,  the world will truly come to hate us.  This is the cost of discipleship, this is the cost of finding your life, you will lose it and it will cost you everything.  What is a man to do?  Praise God, that is what.

1 Peter 4:12-13  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

What a great passage of Scripture this is from the Apostle Peter.  I praise God for this Scripture which explains what is going on in the lives of the chosen and faithful Elect of God.  It is not easy at times to rejoice in the midst of suffering and rejection of the world.  My flesh likes to be liked and wants to fit in with the crowd.  But it ain’t going to happen based on the will of God.    The passage of Scripture gets even better with the very next verse.

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

I believe these Scriptures now totally without any doubt.  I never had any real persecution until recently and that only when the true gospel was spoken for the first time from my mouth and believed in my heart.  Life since that spiritual healing has been nothing but a daily trial but it all has provided confirmation of the Scriptures and truth in God’s written word.  This in no way belittles the horrific persecution many Christians have even identifying with the name of Jesus.  I have several Chinese students living in my house now and places like that and in many Muslim dominated countries, being a Christian, a Babylonian one or a disciple indeed; all comes with a real risk of physical death which takes persecution to a whole new level.  The persecutions and the fiery trials like most of God’s living words will be foremost applicable inwardly, in the Spirit.   When God puts enmity between His chosen few and everyone else that is yet carnal, separation occurs.  This has been God’s plan from the beginning.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 

Gen 37:4  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 

And the plan and way of God has not changes as Paul tells us:

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

What may not seem joyful to the carnal mind is indeed a blessing when one can see with spiritual eyes.  I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere it seems.  But this should not surprise me or anyone that God has so blessed by choosing them and imparting His gift of faith.  I did not decide to feel this way,  it was something that came upon me as I was pulled out of my worldly focus.

ACTS 13:17  The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt AS STRANGERS in the land of Egypt. 

The children of God have all been chosen from the foundation of this world.  The little flock Jesus spoke about is the same as the Elect of God spoken of throughout the New Testament Epistles.  It is God who plucks us out of the world and lifts us up.  He exalts us in our appointed time and we had best get ready for the fireworks that will soon follow as ordained of the Lord.

Speaking before His death, Jesus Christ told Pilate and the Pharisees that He was not of this world.  The same goes for His true disciples.  While we live here in Egypt, likened unto living in the world, and await His return — we must face hostility from wicked men and the powers of darkness.   There is war going on between these dark forces and the true church (the woman) and the battles and skirmishes are intensifying.  These take place in our hearts,  it is a battle for the throne room that lives inside of us,  the very temples of the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make WAR with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ

Try to live a godly life in Christ Jesus and come out of the world and testify to the true gospel and you had better be ready for WAR. While I thought I understood this a year ago,  I have gotten a quick course of indoctrination of the hatred and persecution this true gospel will receive, especially from the religious crowd.  The Christian walk is not a leisurely stroll skipping down a lane filled with candy canes and lollipops.   The destroyers, the plunderers, the testers; aka the enemy has placed a big fat target on you.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul

We must overcome, the way is very narrow.  Without us putting on the weapons of the Lord Jesus we stand no chance against this enemy.  These weapons are given to the Elect by faith,  but we must put them on every day.  It is so easy to revert back to the flesh and engage in fleshly warfare which is a sure fired way to be defeated and exhausted and not bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  I got schooled on this yesterday in engaging in fleshly combat.  I am sorry for not holding up my end of the bargain.

I forget in the heat of the battle and hope you don’t forget.  Our battle is NEVER against flesh and blood,  it is against the powers of darkness that lives in and works through the carnal minds and flesh of unconverted men.   Victory is assured because Jesus Christ has already won the ultimate battle,  we just need to follow His foot steps and “get in on the victory”.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it

A recurring theme I am seeing in my fellowship with others is the frustration and suffering arising from the constant attacks for acting on their faith and separating from the world and testifying on the gospel truths that have been revealed.  How we respond is actually more important than the attacks themselves.  The attacks are promised to all that God chooses.  This is how He test our faith and refines us in this furnace of affliction.

ISA 48:10  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction

We need to be very careful as I have learned the enemy is always right there to rise up our flesh when we are attacked.  Of course it is human nature (carnal minded) to respond defensively, but this is the same nature we are told to put to death and walk in newness of the Spirit.  We have to operate in the divine nature and learn from our Master and follow His example.  Jesus never fought back in anger, revenge or retaliation.   His servants do not fight in the flesh either.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

The brethren must quit reacting in the flesh when these attacks come.  That is exactly what Satan wants.  The enemy will come to stir up the pot and get our flesh to come alive as by doing so,  our testimony will lose its power and we will lose our inner peace.  We must stay in the spirit, trust God and fight these battles in the heavenly places.  Pride and ego will always be resisted by the Spirit of God.

2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh

I have many things to learn here still; and writing this is going to help me call to mind in my battle preparations for the next skirmish.  We have to fight but we cannot fight in the flesh.  We can no longer afford to ignore the devil and his schemes that come before us to test our hearts.  Our flesh response needs to become a NON RESPONSE.  Another words we need to get to the point where our flesh is dead and does not fight back and argue these things with those who do not yet have eyes to see.  If we stay in the Spirit, God says we will win over the hearts of many, if we trust Him, wait on Him and let Him perform the work.  He is the opener of all eyes, it is not us.

Worldly Contrast

Peter tells of the reaction our coming out of Babylon will invoke for those around us whose minds remain on worldly things and trusting in the power of the flesh.  As many of you know,  it is near impossible to explain what is going on to your critics.  The carnal mind cannot receive these deep things of God.

1 Peter 4:3-5 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

Those that have been called out of the world by the great mercy of the Lord know that we all used to do the very same things those still engaged with the carnal minded and worldly wisdom focus.  Not a single one of us figured it out on our own.  It was and is all a gift of revelation from God by His divine choice which is the grace of God.  Before grace appeared and our eyes were opened,  we walked, talked and acted worldly in our former ignorance when we ourselves did not know God.  But now that we know God,  we no longer want to do them in our hearts.  Peter explained.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy

Look at the words Peter used to describe what he called a flood of dissipations in the opening verse.  His short list included:  lewdness, lusts,  drunkenness, revelries,  drinking parties,  abominable and idolatries, which is a wide range of worldly behaviors.   Most of these things are held in high esteem and practiced by those still living in the world.   Even many religious and professing Christians practice these very same things with the result being there is no distinction between them and the true unbelieving of the world.   Sure there may be less external evidence (smoking, drinking and cussing),  but inside the hearts there can be many idols and lusts for the things the world craves.  The things that truly defile us are what live in our hearts and we speak out in our words.  Galatians 5:22 contains an excellent listing of the fruits of the flesh and the carnal mind.  When walking in the flesh the things we speak will often begin with the words I, ME or MY.  In the conversation about the end times,  Jesus gave us some wise words.

Luke 21:34 Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap

Before I came to know and believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in directing all of a man’s steps and even creating evil and the wicked for the day of doom,  I worried a lot about things.  I could fake it really good on the outside but inside death and worry was still working thru me.  I had not yet received the gift of faith and the healing that only comes to God’s elect in their appointed times.  I truly believe these verse and all that it means when we extrapolate it out to all that occurs on this earth and in our very lives.

Matthew 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

But we are worth far more than sparrows such that this following verse is also totally believable to those in the true faith.

Proverbs 16:9  A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps

If we fail to walk in the spirit believing in the power of God and remain yet carnal we will not be sober and alert for the voice of the shepherd to lead us.  We must not fall asleep and allow the thief to come and reenter our houses.  There are a flood of worldly ddissipations and carnal distractions that compete for our attention every day. 

 Evil and wickedness, much of it now accepted as common every day lifestyle  is competing for our minds and attention every day.  Images, sounds, TV, commercials, friends, and the very demons that roam this earth are constantly putting thoughts to our minds which can entice us into sin and the ways of the world.  These thoughts all appeal to our personal gratification.  It is all about us and what can be done for I, ME or MY flesh.  These are the very thoughts we must take captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:5 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

When we stop pursuing these worldly things the world you know will think you are very strange.  The new person that you now are in Christ Jesus will not be understood by them unless they also have been blessed by God’s mercy and have received the revelation of this gospel by grace.  I believe this is why those who have come out of Babylon are yearning for fellowship with like-minded brethren.  It is very encouraging to know that we are not along albeit we are few.  There is yet a remnant saved by grace in all generations.

Romans 11:4-6 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.

I thank God for bringing me members of HIS BODY that provide edification and encouragement.  We do need to stick together and walk in unity of the ONE true faith with the ONE Spirit we have been given.  Know that if division comes,  we need to be very careful and not be deceived by those who flatter for the sake of selfish ambition.

In making the transition from Babylon my flesh has taken a beating.  It hurt me very much and frustrated me even more to be rejected initially and then to have the glory of this gospel of good news shunned and scoffed at by those of the false circumcision.  But we will learn to glory in this rejection and know that these events are a good sign of our salvation and the workings of God.

Philippians 1:27-28 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;  28in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

It is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer shame for the namesake of Jesus and this good news gospel.  I am still getting over being called strange and being accused of being mentally ill or having a demon.  The very same things happened to Jesus and all that walked before us and we can take comfort in those examples.  Through Christ we will overcome the world!  Let’s stick together, we must whether we be present with one another or not,  we must stay as One Spirit.

I see some things coming in my life and the Lord is preparing me to give an account and defend this gospel in front of modern-day councils.  I take to heart the words of the Apostles that went before us.

ACTS 5:41  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name

This walk can be a lonely walk at times.  Those are not just cliches, they are are promise from the Lord Himself.  We truly are strangers in this world and will never fit in with the crowd.  These words bring me comfort to face the growing rejection and scorn coming towards me.

John 15:18-20   If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.   If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.   Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you*; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Whatever the Lord has in store for us know that the blessing we have received by this gift of faith will come with a cost and cross to be carried.  I pray that all of us will be given the grace to endure these sufferings and the work of Christ will work richly in our hearts and every purpose of His will may come to pass to the glory of God.

We are the salt of this earth.  Chosen by God, as the winnowing fan in His hand and sent to speak His word that is a fire.  May we stay the course, be encouraged in our faith and strengthened by our fellowship and not lose our saltiness and the unique attributes that God has given to each of us individually.

Luke 14:34-35  “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Sincere comments or questions can be sent to peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Your brother in Christ,   Pete

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