Studies

Micah Part 9 – Adding to Knowledge

Micah Part 9

Adding to Knowledge

We have talked about diligence in the past few studies and we have learned how important our continued striving is towards our growth and ultimately our salvation. Those ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ, will be those who learned to stand and not fall when tested.

2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

The word diligence in modern English means a “careful and persistent work or effort”. Such is our walk of faith as it requires great care and persistent work on our part. No, we do not save ourselves but we do have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phi 2:12).

Natural plants and trees are either in the process of growing or else they are dying. So it is with us in the Body of Christ and in spiritual matters. Our stagnation towards maturity equals death.  We become partakers of His Holiness only by traversing this maturation process which requires us to keep moving and to add things to faith and to knowledge.

2Pe 1:3 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:

2Pe 1:4 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.

Knowledge of Christ is the beginning and as we grow we become spiritual adults.

2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We were shown this in an earlier study but it’s worth repeating. The process of salvation requires us to move and travail as the Lord commands us “to go into, get dominion (possess) over all the lands within His kingdom within us” (Luk 17:21).

Deu 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:

Deu 1:8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.

Knowledge/hearing only gets us so far along this journey. The doing part comes into play and is required of us by the Lord. The end of the journey as Peter’s words show is serving Christ with brotherly kindness and love (agape). The love of God differs from the world’s love as it requires obedience that can only come about by our enduring through the process of judgment.

2Jn 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

We ended last week with our children, referring to our maturing mind going again into captivity because of our continued self-righteous rebellion to the law of faith. We start this week in Chapter 2 which is where the hidden things of darkness, the idols in our fields begin to be rooted out even more as we go further into the land in order to possess it.

Mic 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.

Mic 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

Mic 2:3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

Mic 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.

Mic 2:5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.

Mic 2:6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.

This sequence brings to mind the rebuke of the Scribes and Pharisees who claim to be the leaders of God’s people but actually are oppressing them. It is not enough to speak truth, we must learn to do it.

Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Truth brings light to the darkness.  Over time the Word that is Jesus Christ shines on the darkness hidden in our hearts. Even with our new found knowledge of Truth, we are still devising inequity.  Even with the morning star arising within us, we have a long journey and a lot of growing yet to do. Many nations need to be conquered and many idols burned out.

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Jesus Christ is the morning star and in our fallen state of pride we get puffed up and live out these words of Micah as Lucifer, the fallen angel (Isa 14:12-13). Our proud religious beast was not left behind in some Babylonian church. This takes place progressively as we are judged abiding in the fire of Christ. An angel speaking words of fire to us will show us the judgment of the great whore within us and the beast that was, is not and yet is (Rev 17:7-8).

Mic 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power [H410] of their hand.

The power of our rebellious hand is the false god we worship in setting up and bowing down to the image of the beast within us. It is thru putting forth “our hand” of carnal flesh that we eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and as a consequence eventually become like gods (Gen 3:22). That partaking of life comes through death as we reap the wages of our sins in our day of judgment.  This is how and when we learn to add to our faith by living out the chastening grace of the Lord.

We can see the power of our hand is the power of the beast. The word translated “power” here in Micah 2:1 is really the Hebrew word for god.

Only 3 or 242 occurrences is it shown as power, the word really is god.

H410, ‘êl, ale

Total KJV Occurrences: 242

god, 224

mighty, 6

power, 3

Gen_31:29, Pro_3:27, Mic_2:1

god’s, 2

gods, 2

It is the power of the god (our image to the beast) we worship by the work of our hands that is the origins of our continued rebellion to the Lord. Our father the devil is where the power of this self-made god comes from.

Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

We live out these words having the Truth but not doing it in our stiff necked rebellion.

2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

It is only through the mercy of the Lord we can be snatched back from this deception. Few are given to endure in the fire and seek the safety of a multitude of counselors who are the watchmen of the flock. Without those safety nets darkness creeps in unawares.

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil; thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Mic 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.

“Knowledge is power” is a well-known adage in the business world. God’s people are indeed destroyed for lack of knowledge but the other side of the narrow way is where knowledge puffs up.  Given keys to the kingdom of God will bud our pride and lead to us doing violence to the Word.

Eze 7:10 Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.

Eze 7:11 Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.

This, of course, is all the Lord’s work in us so we can be chastened and learn the truth by these fiery trials.  The Lord brings wrath upon our merchandising old man in that we are appointed.

Eze 7:12 The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.

Spiritual violence is when we pervert and twist the Word for self-righteous gain. This is how we rob and oppress our neighbor including the man-child within us.

Pro 22:22 Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

Pro 22:23 For the LORD will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them.

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

It traces back to a covetous spirit and our merchandising the things of the Lord. We are that man that has all the flocks but still takes the one from the poor man having just one (2 Sam 12:4).  We have seen that those Jebusites dwell with us in Jerusalem to this very day. Profaning what is holy and ravening after prey by seeking dominion and exaltation, we seek after gain.   The Lord is using these occasions to further mature us.

Eze 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

Eze 22:27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

Seeing the prosperity of the wicked is indeed a carnal reasoning that tempts us as that appeals to the carnal mind.  When we seek that prosperity we are doing violence and oppressing our neighbor. We know that the field is the world so coveting the fields refers to loving this world and the things of this world which we are commanded not to do (1 Jo 2:15). Not coveting was integral to the Ten Commandments yet the law of Faith has a much higher standard. We shall not covet anything and need to learn to be content where the Lord has us.

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The lustful desires of the carnal mind and the love of this world causes us to twist and pervert the Word of God. As aspiring soldiers of Christ we are maturing and learn to be content with our wages and where the Lord has us.

Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Our wages are the gain or the reward we are given by the Lord. We are learning to be content in all things. Anything else is a prideful and lustful spirit within us that is contrary to faith.

Comparing and measuring ourselves against any man is very unwise and originates from our pride of life (2 Cor 10:12). True repentance leads to us being content with where the Lord has placed us in life. We cannot save ourselves or enter into the kingdom of God by our own strength and are told to wait on the Lord. The works of the law is our self-righteousness. The Lord does not need anything from us and it’s a carryover of our Babylonian idols that leads us to engage in violence as we seek to enter into the kingdom of our own initiative. Only the Spirit of the Lord through faith is able to work what is required to enter into the kingdom of God. Any other way is unbelief and what the “wine of violence” refers to.

Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

Pro 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

We learn via our maturing process that NO MAN can enter but only by living through the Lord’s judgments upon our carnal mind and sinful ways (Rev 15:8).  A mark of a maturing man is they are not coveting and are learning to be content with what they have and where they are in the Lord.

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Eph 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Mic 2:3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

The Lord is the one causing and sending forth all evil (Isa 45:7, Eph 2:11, Psa 78:49). The evil made manifest within included (Isa 63:17) and is used of the Lord for further refining of the impurities in our heavens and earth. Only the fine metals that represent the purity of the Word is remaining.

Mal 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

God’s elect are the sons of Levi who are being purified first now in this age. We are the worst harlots (Jam 4:4) because we know the truth and still don’t do it and this knowledge brings a higher standard of judgment (Luk 12:47). Here is a description of the son of Levi being judged.

Mal 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

This process of being scourged and humbled brings dominion over sin and is putting the beast in subjection to Christ. This process is teaching us the fear of the Lord as we learn that we cannot out sin the grace of God (Rom 5:20). It is what keeps us on the straight and narrow road, trembling at every word of the Lord (Phi 2:12).

Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Our stiff necked stubborn rebellious ways are coming to an end by the Lord stepping on the neck of our old man and religious beast.  Our rebellious beast becomes the footstool (Isa 66:1) as the Lord (Christ in us) takes his rightful place on the throne of our hearts. We learn the benefits of obedience and that our faith is rewarded with a promotion and even more trials to purge us. The Lord crushes Satan within us “is, was and will be” and destroys the pride of life by the baptism of fire that we live out in the Body of Christ. Our lake of fire is now and we are being taught patience in waiting for our deliverance.

Rom 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Mic 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away [H7728] he hath divided our fields.

The Lord will turn us into apostasy, losing our first love and away from the Christ our inheritance. This is the “turning away” caused of the Lord to chasten us and then bring us back learning true righteousness versus self-righteousness by the experience. Here is the same word translated “turning away” [H7728] as it is elsewhere used in the Old Testament showing once again the battle with the pride of life.

Jer 49:4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding [H7728] daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?

The Lord does not come into our heavens and earth to bring peace or unity. He is coming into our lives in clay vessels to bring about division coupled with fire (Luk 12.51). We learn to separate by first not separating and backsliding into sin and worldliness.  These are our teaching moments and how we learn righteousness from our heavenly Father.

2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The kingdom of our father the devil (e.g. our carnal mind), will collapse by having its fields divided against itself (Mat 12:25). This is a necessary lamentation in order for us to be delivered from our sins. Deeply rooted carnal strongholds (pride) are being brought to the light and being destroyed in the fire of the Lord’s jealousy for us by the judgment that is now on the house of God.

Lam 2:5 The Lord was like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel, He has swallowed up all her palaces; He has destroyed her strongholds, And has increased mourning and lamentation In the daughter of Judah.

Turning grace into lasciviousness, we cause our children to remain in captivity and in bondage to deeply rooted sins and ungodly thoughts.

Lam 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captives, But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.

Bringing the old man within us to our wits end is done by dividing the kingdom of Satan within us that leads to the taunting proverb spoken here in Micah and in Habakkuk.

Hab 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

And it is the Body of Christ, the remnant of the people who speak the words of fire that spoil the old man and carnal mindset within us.  Reaping what we sow, the spoiler within us is spoiled by the consuming fire of the Word.

Hab 2:8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

Our pride and inequities will separate us from God (Isa 59:2) for a season and the Lord who causes this will then bring us back to the Truth by the process of judgment.

Mic 2:5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord [H2256] by lot in the congregation of the LORD.

Rebellious children have no inheritance in the kingdom of God. What this is really saying in plain English is the old man will not be defended or propped up as we abide in the Body, where the fiery words of Jesus Christ judge us in the last days.

Joh 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

The OT stories of Israel are about the rebellious house of the Lord which is speaking about us His elect (1 Cor 10:11, 1 Pe 1:12). We hear and at first we do not hearken to His words.

Deu 9:23  Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.

Mat 21:30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Not hearkening to the voice of the Lord, spoken through His Body is having none to cast a cord in the congregation of the Lord. A three stranded cord is what ties us together and brings us into ONE MIND in Jesus Christ through the Spirit of God. The actual word for cord here in Micah is H2556. Here is how this Hebrew word was translated into English.

H2256, chebel / chêbel

Total KJV Occurrences: 62

cords, 12

Est_1:6, Job_36:8, Psa_140:5, Pro_5:22, Isa_5:18, Isa_33:20, Jer_38:6, Jer_38:11-13 (3), Eze_27:24, Hos_11:4

sorrows, 10

2Sa_22:6, Job_21:17, Psa_18:3-5 (3), Psa_116:3, Isa_13:8, Jer_13:21, Jer_49:24, Hos_13:13

line, 5

2Sa_8:2 (2), Psa_78:55, Amo_7:17, Zec_2:1

coast, 4

Jos_19:29, Zep_2:5-7 (3)

cord, 4

Jos_2:15, Job_41:1, Ecc_12:6, Mic_2:5

bands, 3

Psa_119:61, Zec_11:7, Zec_11:14

lot, 3

Deu_32:9, 1Ch_16:18, Psa_105:11

region, 3

Deu_3:4, Deu_3:13, 1Ki_4:13

ropes, 3

2Sa_17:13, 1Ki_20:31-32 (2)

company, 2

1Sa_10:5, 1Sa_10:10

lines, 2

2Sa_8:2, Psa_16:6

pangs, 2

Isa_26:17, Jer_22:23

portion, 2

Jos_17:14, Jos_19:9

portions, 2

Jos_17:5, Eze_47:13

country, 1

Deu_3:13-14 (2)

destruction, 1

Mic_2:10

pain, 1

Isa_66:7

snare, 1

Job_18:10

tacklings, 1

Isa_33:23

We see cords [H2556] primarily in the negative sense as the instruments that bind us in sin and pride.

Pro 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords [H2556] of his sins.

2Sa 22:6 The sorrows [H2556] of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me;

We see “Chebel” is often used as sorrows. It is even linked to birth pangs/sorrows as in these verses.

 Isa 26:17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs [H2556]; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.

We do not want to go through this process child bearing, it’s too painful.  Flesh wants to hear the Word rather than to do it by being dragged to keep His judgments. Flesh and the carnal mind are always seeking to save its life. Yet there is no other way.

Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Mic 2:6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.

Our flesh does not want to have the shame of its nakedness exposed. We would rather hear smooth things. We would rather heap upon ourselves teachers (our prideful beast included) who will tell us what our carnal mind wants to hear and take away our judgment or reproach.

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

As our judgment advances on the road to maturity, the rebellious nature within us is being cut off and will not able to claim any heritage with Christ. This comes about by us being taught the fear of the Lord by many scourging’s. Even with ears to hear and eyes to see, we are a natural rebellious house.

Eze 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.

Jer 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

Jer 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence..

An “already arrived” attitude in the congregation seeks to wrest away (remove) the judgment of the Lord and we become slothful and at ease in Zion (Amo 6:1).  Our carnal mind (flesh) does not want to hear or apply the fiery Word to our sins.  Knowledge is king instead of the doing at this time, until we are matured through many tribulations and chastening’s.  We want to hear only smooth things as “the people of the Lord”.

Isa 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

To move on to perfection we are learning to judge righteously.  We cannot neglect the commands to be watchmen over the flock and always examining our own faith.

We will complete Chapter 2 next week Lord willing and will see how the focus on the road to maturity is to teach us these harder things to do, to be the judges of Israel. The next few studies will build on this theme of judging. To become expert judges we need lots of experience now.

Mic 3:1 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

Sincere question and comments are welcome.  You can also email me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

FAQS

Beware Lasciviousness

boulder up hill

1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

Walking with the same mind of Jesus Christ is how we overcome and are getting beyond the fleshly pursuits listed here by Peter.  Once we are chosen to suffer by the Lord and brought into the Truth and abide in the fire of the Body of Christ; we are no longer supposed to be living our lives the way the Gentiles (our former self included) live.

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God

Those precious few given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God can easily forget these warnings.  We have many reminders to stir up the truth and admonish and exhort us to beware of becoming slothful and lazy with regards to our battle with worldly lusts.  This sinful way of living needs to be put behind us.

Eph 2:2 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:
Eph 2:3 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.

Becoming a doer of the word and not just a hearer requires work as we will see. Jesus Christ did not come and is not still coming so we can continue to live in sin. He comes to set the captives (all men) free from our bondage to sin.  That is the very essence of what salvation is all about.

All of the Lord’s people will struggle with sin to some degree all the days we live in these marred vessels of clay. However the promise of salvation is we are being saved from our sins.  This comes little by little as the Scriptures declare and for good reasons that is to keep us from thinking we d0 it by our own strength and initiative.

Deu 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

As we mature we must be able to look behind us and see progress being made as we are giving more and more dominion over sin. The Lord is surely long-suffering and this process takes far longer than we want in order to teach us patience.  Yet it is not a excuse to take a let’s eat, drink and be merry attitude.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

All things becoming new include our old behaviors passing away in the Aorist Greek tense as the word is, was and will be working in our lives.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.

Not seeing that progress should be a warning sign something is amiss.  We must examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith.  The grace of the Lord that scourges us and teaches us and ultimately causes us to obey the Lord (Eze 36:27) can be received in vain.

2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

We receive such grace in vain, when we do not learn from our mistakes and the chastening the Lord brings for our sins.  If we fail to learn the lessons, we are doomed to repeat them and this will impede moving on to be a mature man in Christ.  There is a fine line between claiming ourselves to be the chief of sinners (which we are apart from Christ working in us) and to receive the grace of the Lord in vain.  To sit back and say the Lord is making you sin is being lascivious if we are not careful.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The Lord sends us trials and delegates the tempting of our sinful flesh to the enemy in order to test our faith.  Those that fail get more trials and more grace until they get it.

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Knowing what real grace is is of utmost importance for our progress of being saved.  Grace is what scourges us and the resulting chastening is what teaches us to obey with time and repeated “lessons”.  We must learn that our every disobedience will result in our just reward from the Lord.

Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

Tit 2:12  chastening (training) us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Where sin increases, the suffering and chastening in the heat of His furnace increases.

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, (scourging and fiery) grace did much more abound:

Still we are naturally brute beasts (Ecc 3:18, Rom 7:24) and it takes our entire lives to be fully delivered and we only ever receive it in down payment form until we are given our new spiritual bodies. We all fall victim to lascivious spirits that keep us in bondage to sin.  We need to be reminded of this and our need to get up and to get back on the narrow road and learn what went wrong and make changes in our walk.  To win the war we must (be given to) start and continue in winning the battles against our fleshly desires.

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Sin no longer should be ruling in our mortal fleshly bodies.  As our faith grows and actions are added to our faith and we (Christ rising up in us) begin to gain victories little by little.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

This is a serious calling and a serious walk of faith that requires tremendous effort and endurance that the Lord will give us as we grow in faith.

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We tend to focus only on the positive and not the negative aspects of the Word of God. It is a two edged sword and we need not forget either side.  Who wants to talk about sin and the chastening we are given in return?  Who wants to talk about us falling away and becoming a reprobate?  No, our flesh wants to rest and take it easy thinking knowledge is what it is all about.  We speak often to one another of the Lord’s Sovereignty in ALL THINGS but much less frequently of the battles and lessons REQUIRED to overcome sin and walk out our faith. We can’t misuse the sovereignty of God and use it implicitly as an excuse for our continued sinful ways.  We need to beware of lascivious spirits and remember we do not inherit the promises until we have done the will of God.

Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

And what is that will?  We do not need to guess what it is.

1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from (spiritual ) fornication:

Our turning grace into lasciviousness is not something we are done with after we leave the physical Babylonian churches.  We need to beware of carrying this spirit even while we are in the truth today.  Jude was writing to us, the Body of Christ, when he penned these words.  We best beware of “those men”, especially our carnal deceitful hearts that creep in unawares with a lascivious spirit.  It’s what flesh loves to do.  Like Jude, we need to exhort one another to be diligent which means careful to contend for our faith.  It is this lazy spirit of sloth and lasciviousness that wants to use God’s sovereignty and the salvation promised to all men to avoid the need to strive and labor in our walk of faith.

Jud 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Jud 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can have all the truth we want but if we turn it into lasciviousness, we are denying the Lord and His Power within us.  Jude reminds us what happens if we do not move on to maturity and stop our progress of overcoming sin.

Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

It is a mistake to not be exhorting each other over this battle with sin. We are far too quick to just say it’s the Lord and go about our daily lives.  Battling and contending with this spirit is never ceasing until the day we physically die.

Heb 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Our learning comes by suffering and being chastised by our Lord.  But we cannot continue to pursue the same course.

Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

We know we must endure to the end and we do that by fighting, striving and working.  It is the last days and we are warned what happens in those days in each of us and this is what happens, we have a form of godliness but denying  the power of Christ in us (thru our unbelief) to change us.

2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Being cautious of pinning all of our sins on the Lord and using that to justify our continued bad behavior is how a lascivious spirit deceives us. Sure He is causing it but He is doing it to His people so we will learn to stop doing it.  We are fighting to lay hold of the life promised and flee from those things that defile us.

1Ti 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses

If we have issues with besetting sins, we need to be changing our behavior Lord willing to remove those things from our pathways.

Pro 22:3  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

At times we have humility but lack the fear that is so needed to bring us to obedience.

Pro 22:4  By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Guarding our hearts and the entry points into our life is required.  This is a serious matter requiring us to take ACTION.  Faith without these works are dead.

Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…

Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Contrary to the myths some apply to the Apostle Paul, he was not soft on sin, he warned every man and labored himself to the very end.

Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

We are to be putting off the old man and putting on the new man.  This takes diligent action on our part.

Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

This is working out our own salvation WITH FEAR and TREMBLING.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We will never attain perfection in this life but we must beware the ditch on the other side of this narrow road.  Our entire life is the works of the Lord’ hands and no matter what we do,  it’s the Lord doing it.  Yet we must beware a lascivious spirit leading us away from fear and trembling at the Word.  If we stop striving diligently we are falling short.

 Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

We will reap what we sow. If we continue to sow inequity to that disobedience (no matter what it is) we are also reaping.  We have heard these things before but we are not taking heed of these serious matters.

Heb 2:1  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things (i.e. strive and work) which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Heb 2:2  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

There are no free passes.  Grace is not a wink wink and no punishment.  Sin will be recompensed.

Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

So don’t get me wrong here and this is not intended to discourage anyone, but rather encourage you.  We don’t save ourselves but I hope to instill in all of us a renewed respect and fear of the Lord.  When we do sin and it is brought to our attention we need to respond in faith.  We have seen people taken right out of the truth who failed to heed this and came to believe we are not to fear the Lord or tremble at every word.  We need to take seriously our sins and disobedience. When we fall down, we must take action and get right back up, Lord willing of course.  Unless we are given of the Lord to progress, and this takes WORK, we are falling short of the goal.

Heb 4:1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

So we must work and strive together to make our calling and election sure.  We need to add to our faith and our knowledge the things Peter mentions.  This is the only way we are made partakers of His Divine nature (i.e. saved from our sins) and escape the lusts of this world.  We can’t sit back and continue doing the same old worldly things and expect a different result.  That is called insanity.  We are moving on to maturity if the Lord wills.  The end of the matter is our obedience and this comes by ADDING to our knowledge and to our faith. This is how the DOING part comes about.

2Pe 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2Pe 1:6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2Pe 1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE)

We are made whole with the Lord when we obey the commandments.  That is the end of the matter as it relates to what the Lord is doing with us, His pieces of clay.

Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole (duty) of man.

2Jn 1:6  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

2Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Once the salvation of all men becomes the new reality and we realize we were lied to all our lives, lasciviousness is a common trap our sinful flesh and deceitful carnal hearts will stimulate in our lives.  Why strive to obey the Lord since all men will be saved anyway?  But there are many reasons for such a thing, beyond this post to cover.  But one thing is for sure such an attitude is immature and there is no fear of the Lord in one’s eyes who thinks such a thought.  We all will learn and our continuing to learn that Jesus Christ is not a minister for sin.

Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

So we must be very careful for thoughts that make it okay to justify our continued living in sin.  We are indeed slaves to sins when we start out.  But we need to stop being slaves to sin and become slaves of righteousness if we are going to make the cut for the first resurrection.

Rom 6:18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Freedom is not free as the world likes to say and that is true in the spiritual sense as well.  There is a price to be paid (count the costs) and we work for our freedom from sin and that is by becoming slaves to righteousness.  We won’t eat and progress if we do not work for it ourselves. Without us being given the zeal to work, we won’t eat and thereby won’t grow in our faith and maturity.   A lazy spirit leads to lasciviousness and abusing the grace of the Lord.

2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

We learn this by being judged, yet if the behavior does not change, we are not learning and more grace is needed to work righteousness within us.  The sooner we get this done the sooner we can enter into rest.

Wisdom is the combination of KNOWLEDGE with understanding that comes with experience.  Fear of the Lord is necessary to move us on to be Holy as our Lord is Holy.  Until we get over our lasciviousness we are not progressing and need to be retaught basic oracles of the Lord including fear.

Pro 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Wisdom results from this fear and that is how we learn the lessons and become wiser and wiser with the trials and temptations we are continually given.

Isa 33:5  The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.

Isa 33:6  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

A lazy attitude will keep us from maturing and we will continue to learn over and over again the function of grace until we get it.  Under the law of true faith, Jesus is not a minister for sin, He will judge His people and this is how that works.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

We will learn obedience by the things we suffer and the sooner we learn it the better off we will be.

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

We learn to fear our physical fathers when our disobedience is punished and it is no different with our heavenly father.  In our day of abiding in the scourging grace we will learn to fear and we will be caused to stop our disobedience.

Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Lord’s people are fellow laborers who are striving daily to ensure and progress onward to maturity.  We like the Apostle Paul, continue to learn and appreciate more and more the warnings of keeping our sinful ways under subjection lest we be castaway despite knowing all the truths we know.

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The doing part is the hard part.  We have to walk out our faith and becoming a true example to others.  Otherwise we cannot be used for the Lord’s purposes now or for the Higher Calling in the ages to come.  If we don’t overcome we too, are becoming reprobates. We are proving our faith by passing the test and trials that are given to us.

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

We are warned about being deceived about this ongoing battle against sin.  Here are both John, Paul and Peter’s words written for our admonition.

1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

1Pe 1:13 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;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

It is those who overcome who will be given the Eight Promises of the Lord in the Book of Revelation.  Talk about a carrot, an incentive to strive and labor on this journey.  These promises are reserved only to those few that are being found faithful to the end.  Here are just the last three promises linked to overcoming (sin) that are cited.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Sincere questions or comments welcome. You can email me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.

Your Brother in Christ,  PETE