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Habakkuk Part 2 – Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

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Why Do the Wicked Prosper?

Key Verses:  Hab 1:12 – 2:1

In part 1, Habakkuk complains to the Lord why he was having to live in an environment with evil and inequity.  This complaint is our complaint and applies primarily inwardly in the kingdom of God within us, but also outwardly in a world that lies in darkness which is waxing worse and worse (2Ti 3:13) as the time of the Lord’s outward second coming draws nearer.  The Lord answered Habakkuk’s “complaint” and made it clear that it was the Lord who was causing and sending forth the evil and inequity for His purposes.

Hab 1:5  Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Hab 1:6  For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs.

That answer was a confirming witness to what is found scores of other places in the Bible but which the carnal mind and orthodox Christianity vehemently rejects to this day.

Lam 3:38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

The Word of God is clear that the Lord is in orchestrating everything in existence and that includes even causing evil and causing us to err from His commandments (Isa 63:17).

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Knowing the truth but unable to perform, is the torment we all must endure (Rev 14:10) by first being overcome by the beast before we are given to flip the script as Christ rises in our day of judgment.  It will take time for us to mature in our ability to bear the trials and die daily with the Lord, losing our old way of life to find the new one in Christ.  Flipping the script is our patience.

Rev 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Now Habakkuk’s questions the Lord’s promise of salvation and why this evil seemingly runs unchallenged and ensnares all men in its nets.

Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 

Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 

Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore, they rejoice and are glad. 

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? 

The essence of Habakkuk’s complaint, which is also our complaint in our immaturity; is why doesn’t the Lord just get it over with?  Why is this requiring a lengthy process of us seeing and enduring evil within ourselves and without?  The Scriptures tell us of the Lord’s character and what He hates; yet these very things are what comprises the evil experience we are now faced with living.  This time is needed to humble us so we can then be exalted and put into service.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Ecc 1:13 CLV I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens, it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

All of God’s people (His Elect), Habakkuk in type and shadow, ask these same four questions as we are maturing and being taught to eat the strong meat (trials and suffering) of the Word.  Our first question shows a mindset that does not understand the Lord’s plan for remaking all things.

Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 

New spiritual life comes only through death (Joh 12:24, Mat 16:25).  The cost of saving our life is losing our life and that is a cost none of us is willing to pay which requires all men to be dragged to the real Jesus Christ (Joh 6:44).  Habakkuk does not want to suffer. Whose flesh does?  We see a better way that would have the Lord quickly disposing of these heathen nations that are causing all this evil.  Drinking this cup of wrath and enduring this time of tribulation is designed to build our faith and have us trust ONLY in the Lord.  We will come to know that only the Lord is pulling us through and that salvation is His Promise and work and is none of ourselves.

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

The crux of this question is we don’t want to suffer and bear the affliction of carrying a cross and dying daily.  We do not see the need for our own further judgment and heavy trials even as we turn grace into lasciviousness.  We like Job, will be feeling righteous about ourselves and our knowledge and the good works we do; not knowing our taking any credit is the epitome of self-righteousness and makes them filthy rags to the Lord (Isa 64:6).  That’s why we must die.

Job 27:5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.
Job 27:6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

We do not easily see ourselves as the antichrist and the chief of sinners, which is what we must come to see before we run to the mountains that are The Christ (Mat 24:15-16).  Such is the purpose of the devouring army sent to God’s own people.  We, like Job, see the wickedness out there but are not able to see it looking in the mirror.  A day comes when we will see it.

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Luk 21:20  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

The Lord hates the man of the flesh and has ordained a time for every man where He would raise up the old man in order to show his power by the resulting destruction of that old man.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

We all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ in the times appointed.  We first think we have suffered enough and have no need of any more judgment.  We are so readily pointing out sin and evil in others not inspecting or examining our own walk primarily.

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Like Habakkuk, we are learning an essential lesson of the process of being saved.  The Lord raises up evil from within our own spiritual house, to bring the occasion for judgment and the pouring out of the grace that chastens and ultimately saves us from our sins.

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

Psa 34:19 Many are the [“ra” – evils] afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

The Lord’s purpose was to bring life through death as each lump of clay goes through a transformation by the process of judgment (Rom 9:21).

Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 

Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

We experience both the vanity of being marred and by destruction (judgment) of our flesh we are delivered into the heavenly realm in Christ.  It is this hope of what is to come that is saving us (Rom 8:24).

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

When the wicked bear rule which is the situation Habakkuk and we find ourselves in when ensnared in bondage (captured by the Chaldean), we mourn.

Pro 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Here is Habakkuk’s second question to the Lord regarding the prosperity of the wicked.

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 

Habakkuk questions show he still holds to a very Babylonish and carnal view of the Lord.  The Lord of the immature is the Lord who only is responsible for the good but not the bad and certainly not the evil.  God’s box of “all things” continually gets wider and deeper the more we abide in this fire within the house of God upon whom judgment is now fallen. Habakkuk’s box is now a small box that comes from an immature mindset.  The box and our understanding of the Lord will expand as we learn to engage in the warfare with our enemies.  This is how all men come to know the Lord and develop His mind.

Eze 7:4  And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Eze 7:5  Thus saith the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.

Eze 7:6  An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.

We ask like Job and then move on to understand the mature response of the Psalmist.

Job 21:7 Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?

Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

There is a lot more warfare to be fought and overcoming to do than we imagine at first.  Like Habakkuk and Job, we do not understand the lesson David learned when confronted by a prophet of the Lord for our sins against the Israel of God and The Christ (Bathsheba).  As Nathan tells David, “we are the man of sin” (2Sam 12:7, 2The 2:4), thinking we are already righteous while still serving self and worshipping the beast.  It takes the enemies the Lord raises up (the sword of the Lord – Psa 17:13) to come devour us for us to see our need for further correction and learning.

Isa 26:10 Let grace be shown to the wicked, Yet he will not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, And will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

Isa 26:11 LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see and be ashamed For their envy of people; Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

Until we begin to see the need for chastening, we naturally seek to wrest judgment away and mourn over the triumph of the wicked.

Psa 94:3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Psa 94:4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

Job saw the sovereignty of the Lord a lot quicker than he saw his own wickedness not knowing he was nothing more than beast (Rev 13:11) in need of destruction.

Job 10:7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.

Job 10:8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.

As we learn the futility of our own strength and come to see that apart from the Lord we can do nothing, then we begin to stand in faith and learn patience trusting in the precious promises.  It is through this experience of evil, within and without, that we learn the truth and begin to judge righteously and no longer know any man after the flesh (2Co 5:16).

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 

The Lord’s process requires men to learn good and evil (Heb 5:13) by experience.  It is our sense of self-righteousness and immaturity that causes us to condemn and falsely accuse our maker of being evil.  Elihu, a type for the Elect of God, corrects Job’s misguided and carnal accusations against the Lord.

Job 34:12 Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.

Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Habakkuk is learning what we all are learning as we abide.  That being all flesh and blood is corrupt and any righteousness we claim as our own is self-righteousness.  Without the Lord doing the work, there are none righteous.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

We are learning faith by the trial of our faith (1Pe 1:7) as we patiently wait for the Lord to deliver on His promise and cut off the wicked within ourselves and without.

Pro 2:22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Pro 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

The Lord sends the wicked nations as His army to cut off the transgressors in His people.

Joe 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

We cannot see the good in the Lord putting us in captivity in our immaturity.  The Lord has promises to destroy the destroyers with the brightness of His coming yet the evil sent to us is being used to sharpen and shape us into a true man of faith.  Habakkuk’s then questions why the Lord has the entire world chasing after false gods and exercising seeming vanity in seeking the treasures and riches of the flesh.

Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 

Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore, they rejoice and are glad. 

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 

The sea symbolizes the flesh of mankind and its strong lusts and desires.  The fish that live in the sea are likened to the creeping things of the earth.  Both are carnal men who have the mind of their father, the devil who eats dust for food (Gen 3:14).

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

The Lord has made all mankind a beast (Ecc 3:18) who naturally do what beasts do that have no ruler over them.  The mantra of modern day Satanism “do what thou whilst” is what we all follow until our mind is being converted by the process of judgment and the many trials that brings us into (causes) obedience (Eze 36:27).

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

These heathen armies that represent the world and its wicked ways, within and without, easily capture all carnally minded men in their traps and nets.  Such capture was ordained from the beginning, an integral part of our walk and learning the true grace of God.

2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Job and all of God’s people are being caught by the net as it brings leaning on our own carnal understanding to an end.

Job 19:6  Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.

Job 19:7  Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.

Job 19:9  He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.

Job 19:10  He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.

We all get hooked by carnal logic which keeps the beast alive and the man of sin sitting on God’s throne.  This is how we are first overcome when the Chaldeans overrun Jerusalem and the heathen world within and without ourselves rejoices albeit temporarily.

Rev 11:7  And when they [God’s two witnesses, the  Elect] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:10  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

When the Lord comes, He brings fiery trials and we begin to live through the seven vials of wrath that is necessary to enter into the Temple (Rev 15:8).  Then we begin to enter into Christ and gaining dominion over the seas and all things that live in the sea (flesh and carnal mindedness), comes to us little by little as we mature.  This overcoming and putting our enemies under our feet is seen in John’s vision of the sea of glass.

Rev 15:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

It is on the fifth day (chastening grace through faith) that dominion is being granted over the fish of the sea and fowls of the air as we move onto maturity.  But we, until we are shown the need for evil and experiencing disobedience, ask is not there a simpler way?

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The Lord is remaking us, His Christ into His own image and we will be given dominion over all His works including the sea and all the beasts of the field.

Psa 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

Psa 8:7  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

Psa 8:8  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

This is the end goal; the will of God being made manifest (1The 4:3). Sin shall not have dominion over us and we, as the Lord’s kings and priests, are being given dominion now in down payment form (Rev 1:6).  Our experience in the Kingdom of God and living by every word requires we first go into Babylonian captivity and be snared in a virtual prison.  But the end will come and freedom is assured if we wait for the fullness of the Gentiles within us to come (Rom 11:25).

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 

Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

The last question of Habakkuk completes his second complaint, all centered around the length of time it is taking the Lord to come rescue and save His people.

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? 

Coming to our wits end and the complete destruction of the man of sin takes many tribulations and much inner torment while we abide in the Body of Christ (the holy angels).

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

These trials of our faith are most precious to the Lord.  They are needed to remove all confidence in our flesh (Phi 3:3) because we are still and always will be beasts of nature while in these clay vessels (Rev 17:8).

Ecc 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

The Lord is going to answer Habakkuk’s questions as we continue in this study.  The Lord answers our questions by bringing it back to our faith and believing on Him.

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. 

 Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

We cannot live by faith until the confidence in the flesh is circumcised from our heart.  That only comes by thru this “falling down and chastening process”.  We will begin there Lord willing next week, but let’s end on a positive note from our immature yet growing in the faith prophet named Habakkuk.

Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 

Notice Habakkuk’s commitment to wait and watch for the Lord to give him answers and reproof.  Trials are what mature us, not knowledge.  Habakkuk through his experience of evil is maturing as we also will in our day of judgment.  Telling the Lord, we will be faithful is easier said than done.  Those chosen of the Lord, ALL must fall down our seven times (Pro 24:16) to be taught true righteousness (Isa 26:9) when the wicked man within us is judged.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

While we say we have such faith, James reminds us that faith will need to be proven with works. That is true maturity rather than the mere possession of knowledge (Jas 2:17).  Like Peter and all the disciples, we express our unwavering allegiance to the Lord yet deny Him (Mat 26:35) until we are proven in His furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10).  But we are learning more each day what Peter later teaches us and are now rejoicing rather than complaining like Habakkuk as we progress and grow in the faith.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Sincere comments are welcome and always encouraged.  You can also email us directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Studies

Micah Part 21 – Eating Strong Meat

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Eating Strong Meat

Key Verses:  Micah 7:9 – 7:15

Here near the end of Micah, judgment is in full bloom.   As we saw last week, those being judged are now looking to the Lord.  This is what men do when they are given to know that the bearing of the cup of wrath will hasten the appearing of the Lord within us as the enemies of the new man are destroyed off the earth (Jer 22:29).  Patience is being learned as we wait for the coming of the Lord and experience many trials and temptations that draw us closer to Christ who is the lamp for our walk of faith.

Mic 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Contrary to the Babylonian lie of substitutionary atonement, all men will reap what they sow.  Our sinfulness is punished as our loving Father disciplines us by pouring out His grace in executing judgment.   The Body of Christ lives these words out now as judgment is now on the house of God as our old man is tormented in the presence of the holy angels in “The Christ”.

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

The rest of mankind are reserved to the Lake of Fire to bear their punishment and endure their torment in their appointed time of judgment.

2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

This prophecy like all prophecies applies in an “is, was and will be” manner.  God’s Elect live them out now, as judgment is now on His House (1Pe 4:17) and the rest of mankind will live them out later in the Great White Throne Judgment in the Lake of Fire. Here are the 7 verses for today’s detailed study in the last chapter of Micah.

Mic 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

Mic 7:10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

Mic 7:11 In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed.

Mic 7:12 In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

Mic 7:13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.

Mic 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.

Mic 7:15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things.

All men have sinned and trespassed against the Lord.  There is no one good no one, not even one!  Simply put, flesh is not good and cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  The way we are made “good” is by the process of judgment that destroys the first vessel.

Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was DESTROYED (marred) in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Losing our old life is required to gain our new life.  This life swapping process is only finished when we take our last breath living a crucified life for Christ Jesus as the Lord set the example we will follow.

Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Mic 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.

If we are so blessed to be shown the depths of our sin and given the faith to believe the Word, then we have what is needed to bear the indignation of God against our sin.  We know it is that very process that accomplishes the will of the Lord and brings about our sanctification. In due time, all men are brought to Christ, who is the light unto the world through His Christ (Mat 5:14).  It is there “In Christ”, where we will behold His righteousness and where judgment is, was and will be executed.

Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

Zec 8:16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:

The spiritually dead that hear our voice, hear the voice of Christ the True Shepherd and those words will execute judgment.

Joh 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

It is the Body of Christ through whom the Lord works.  We have been given ALL AUTHORITY in heaven and earth because as He is so are we in this world (1Jo 4:17). We are the instruments of judgment and salvation to all men.

The Lord drags us to His Light as the true Jesus Christ is repulsive to flesh and the carnal mind esteems Him not (Isa 53:3).  We don’t decide to follow Him on our own, He turns us into destruction and also turns us back to Him in our day of the Lord (Psa 90:3).

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

It is the consuming fire of the Word that brings forth righteousness.  This does not come by our abiding alone. It come by our abiding in the midst of the fire which is the Body of Christ.

Mic 7:10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

Our enemies that persecute and mock us will be shamed when they see the Lord’s work in us and see that He truly loved those He chastens and scourges. Our enemies shall come bow down before Christ in us.  In this age, it is our inward enemies who seek to suppress and kill Christ within us that will bow down to Christ in us.  However in due time, in the Lake of Fire, our outward enemies will also come bow before us.

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.

The true sons of God will be made manifest and the whole world will know the chosen few in whom the Lord has been working in ushering His plan for salvation of all men.

Isa 60:14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Of course if we are in that first resurrection we will have forgiven our enemies fully knowing they were mere instruments of the Lord to bring salvation to us and truly knew not what they were doing.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

When our enemies behold the truth, they will be in judgment going through the same process the Elect already have been through. To be carnally minded IS DEATH and those thoughts and mindsets represent the dust (mire) of the streets that is trodden down in the day of the Lord.

Isa 28:18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

The time of the Gentiles treading down Jerusalem is fulfilled when the Lord returns for judgment.  Then the enemies of God shall see who The Christ and be ashamed.

Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled….

Luk 21:27 And then shall they see (Behold) the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

It is the Body of Christ who fight and tread down the Lord’s enemies with the Word (Zec 10:5).

Mic 7:11 In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed.

Christ via The Body of Christ builds the walls and the gates of the Temple which separate us from the heathen world within and without us.  But when that construction project commences, the law of God, the decree, the statutes and ordinances of the Lord are far removed from us as our old way of life continues to manifest.  Our struggles with sin bring doubt and mockers both within is and without as judgment falls upon us.

Act 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The construction of the Temple of God within us commences long before our enemies are subdued within and without.  The Book of Nehemiah shows us this as the escaped remnant from Babylon (The Elect in type and shadow) endured much stumbling as the wall was built until they began to walk in the counsel of the Lord.

Neh 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Neh 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

When Christ shows up on the inside to bring war to our heavens, the new man is blessed beyond belief.  Yet it takes much travailing for this inward righteousness to begin to show up on the outside. In the natural it takes several years for good fruit to appear on fruit trees and so it is in the spiritual (Rom 1:20, Heb 12:11).  We must learn patience in waiting for the fruit.

Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

When judgment suddenly comes upon us, it is likened to the days of Noah and Lot.  It is a time of eating, drinking and being merry and then suddenly destruction comes.  Obedience and our focus on treasures in heaven is not yet in view. Our initial testimony is false.  All talk and no action, we continue to make a pretense in our worship of God, seeking gain and making merchandise until a fuller measure of grace is poured out to turn us back to the Lord.

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…

Mat 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Yet we are mere clay, truly the Lord’s workmanship.  He alone is the builder of His House.  He starts the construction and He finishes it right on schedule (Isa 46:10, Isa 64:8).  When the Lord begins working with us and making us into doers, it is the day of small beginnings.

Zec 4:9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

Zec 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

The Body of Christ are the eyes of the Lord in bringing judgment and protecting the sheep as faithful watchmen.

Mic 7:12 In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

Mic 7:13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.

The whole of the earth, the inward and the outward will be subject to judgment.  All of the land within and without, every nation, tribe and tongue will become part of the kingdom of God as every knee shall bow.

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

The Lord uses everything, nothing is wasted in bringing about our sanctification when He is performing His will in our life.  The Lord has devised means to save His people and that includes working the evil and the good (Isa 45:7) to save men. He even raises up the Assyrian King within us and in this world outwardly to bring occasion for judgment and usher in salvation (Isa 10:6).   Those that overcome are symbolized both by those that stand on the Mountain of God and also those that have dominion over the sea.  Earlier in the Micah study we covered these verses which also closely mirror the words of Isaiah 2 and which speak to events of the Lake of Fire when there is no more war.

Mic 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

Flesh is symbolized in Scripture by the sea (Rev 20:8, Rev 16:3).  Ultimately there will be no more seas as all flesh is destroyed by judgment as the last enemy to be destroyed is death which means no more flesh.  This comes to the Elect first in down payment form but ultimately to all mankind at as the Millennium comes to an end and the judgment of the lake of fire commences.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Jesus Christ has overcome the world and everything in the world and one day too all men In Christ will be able to spiritually walk on the sea which is symbolic to gaining dominion over sin.

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Psa 72:8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

The fruit of the Spirit begins with Love which is our obedience the judgments of God and the chastening grace causes us to walk in His way (Eze 36:27).  Fruit of the Spirit is manifest in those who “have” and are crucifying the flesh and its evil desires, AFTER we have walked in the fire of judgment.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

As we begin to partake of communion with the Body of Christ we begin to eat at the King’s Table and grow and thereby produce the fruit for which we have been chosen to produce.

Joh 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Mic 7:14 Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.

Mic 7:15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things.

Being fed the rod is being fed the word of God which judges us in the last day.  What is bitter to the old way of life and the flesh is sweet to the new man and is what nourishes the new man.

Rev 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter

Eze 2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;

Eze 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

The Lord’s Elect, the Body speak those words of fire (Jer 5:14) that consume the adversaries of God.  We are they that feed the flock of God and give one another the very spiritual food that grows and matures the new man within us. Christ tells Peter 3 times in John 21 to feed and to nourish His sheep signifying the process of spiritual completion (three) by judgment.

Rev 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Eze 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

These “marvelous” [H6381] works of the Lord are indeed the same “wonderful” [H6381] works of the Lord to the children of men in Psalm 107. These works are His judgments and the trials and tribulations we must endure to be delivered from the world (Egypt) and its carnal way of life.  These many signs and wonders are the many tribulations of Acts 14:22.

Psa 107:15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Carmel, Bashan and Gilead are all places where the Lord’s people gain great spiritual victories.  All those stories are written for our admonition to teach us valuable spiritual truths (1Co 10:11, 1Pe 1:12).  Carmel is where all the lies and false doctrines of Baal are cast out of our heavens (1Ki 18:40) as we kill all the false prophets.

Bashan and Gilead represent the land of King Og and where Israel had a wonderful overcoming experience with a major enemy. King Og was the last obstacle east of the Jordan for Israel to cross over and enter into the promised land and begin to be fruitful and multiply.  For us to advance and mature we must too be overcomers.

Deu 3:3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.

Deu 3:4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

Deu 3:5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.

Yet we don’t continue to fight.  We get complacent.  We are warned not to become slothful not to grow weary but continue to strive and endure to the end.  The same shall be saved.

Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

In that day, the Lord will awaken us to righteousness and get us back feeding on our enemies the way we did in type and shadow in Bashan and Gilead. Enemies of Christ are bread for the new man.  The mighty men of the flesh, the bulls of Bashan become food for us.

Num 14:9 Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

We learn to eat strong meat as a mature man and that is dying to self, bearing the trials and the afflictions for which all of God’s Elect have been appointed.  This is spiritual nourishment for Christ in is to grow and mature and bear fruit that remains.

Eze 39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Joh 6:56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him

Breaking bread with our fellow brethren is sharing the Word and fellowship with Christ.  Eating the Word is partaking of the suffering and affliction for which all of God’s Elect have been appointed (Phi 1:29).  This is how we endure, dying daily and ultimately become overcomers.

1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Christ is His Body and the Body is the Tree of Life. As we overcome and conquer the enemies of the Lord, we are eating of the tree of life. The old man is dying and Christ is being raised to eternal life.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Eating of this bread, the Body of Christ is the hidden manna that the world does not know.  But we who are overcoming have the mind of Christ and bear His name in a mystery.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Next week Lord willing, we will conclude the Book of Micah and review the final five verses.  A brief summary of the entire book will also be provided to bring to remembrance the things we have studies these past 5 months.

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

Your servant in Christ,

Pete

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