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Adversaries of an Apostate Solomon

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Kings of Israel #1

“Adversaries of an Apostate Solomon”

Key Verses:  1 Kings Chapter 11

I am introducing a new study series that will review the lives and experiences of each of the various kings of Israel beginning with the demise of Solomon and division of Israel into two kingdoms.  Lord willing, the series will cover these events in Kings and Chronicles that continue until the Assyrian (Northern Kingdom) and Babylonian (Southern Kingdom) captivity.  These history lessons begin to take on a much greater importance as they help give purpose to our trials and the process of salvation as we are being saved (matured) little by little.

1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

When these events are read with spiritual eyes (Joh 6:63, 1Co 3:21), we grow to understand and apply these stories rightfully so as to our lives.  That is because God’s Elect are the true Israel of God, circumcised inwardly by the finger of God (Col 2:11, Rom 2:28-29) and who are the focus and actual subject of all Scriptures.  All men, beginning with the Israel of God are living by every word (Mat 4:4).  Every King of Judah and Israel is speaking of our lives and spiritual experiences.  There are some good kings and many more bad kings, all of which fell short of the righteousness (Mat 5:20) that is needed to enter the Kingdom of God.  But through our successes and failures as these kings of Israel, we are Lord willing, making progress towards the goal of being humbled.

Ecc 1:13 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.

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

The physical stories are just the shadow of the greater spiritual truth and work the Potter is performing in preparing for Himself a Temple where He is reigning.

Act 7:47  But Solomon built him an house.

Act 7:48  Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

Act 7:49  Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

Oneness with Christ is the end outcome, the Lord moves us there by first dividing us.  It’s the same way as Christ bringing peace to the land by bringing a sword and a war in heaven.

Luk 12:51  Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

The Lord takes credit for the division of Israel reading ahead in His response to Judah that wanted to go to war with their revolting brethren.

1Ki 12:24  Thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing (the division) is from me

The division of Israel (you and me) has a declared end and a purpose which is bringing us into unity of faith (Heaven/doctrines and earth/deeds) with the Lord.  The second coming of Christ brings Israel (us) back together.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 

Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity (the carnal mind) thereby:

The division of Israel is just as certain as is the reunification of Israel in God’s plan for every man.  In the same way the Lord works in dark parables, new life comes only by death and oneness in Israel only comes about by first being divided.  It is the Greek AORIST tense process (an ongoing that is, was and will be) that is living out the lives of the kings that is part of all things written being ours (1Co 3:21).  Two wooden sticks within us will be made one as the Elect are raised up with Christ and Israel will no longer being defiled with idols.

Eze 37:19  Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 

Eze 37:20  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

Eze 37:21  And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

Eze 37:22  And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

Leaving Our First Love

The Lord divides the kingdom within us when we, as Solomon, leave our first love and stop striving to obey the Lord.

1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Joh 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Solomon falls away despite being given all the gifts and great wisdom and spiritual truths.

1Ki 11:1  But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 

1Ki 11:4  For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. 

1Ki 11:6  And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 

We will see ourselves as Solomon and all these rebellious kings when our day has come.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

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.

Our disobedience is all ordained of the Lord to give Him the occasion to bring the grace that is saving us.

Isa 1:2  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 

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

The Lord raises up “adversaries” to Solomon, through the process of teaching us and destroying our lives of disobedience and idolatry.

1Ki 11:9  And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,

Our flesh cannot help but do evil continually and that is what each of these three adversaries do in bringing about the division and the doom of Solomon’s kingdom.  The Lord has already appeared to Solomon twice (came the second time to us for salvation in type).  The fire and baptism have come in type and shadow as the rulership of Israel begins to change.  The first adversary is Hadad.

1Ki 11:14  And the LORD stirred up an adversary [H7854] unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom. 

Flesh is the seed of the serpent which is at enmity with the ways of the Lord.  The word for adversary used here is H7854 the word “Satan”.

H7854, śâṭân

Total KJV Occurrences: 27

satan, 19

adversary, 6   Num_22:22, 1Ki_5:4 (2), 1Ki_11:14, 1Ki_11:23, 1Ki_11:25

adversaries, 1

withstand, 1

Adversaries are needed for us to learn to walk by faith and fight the good fight.  Satan and his offspring are a purposeful tool of the Lord to test, vex and oppress the children of Israel and ultimately destroy the first vessel of clay.

Job 26:13  By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. 

Satan is used to destroy the first Israel in the flesh which is the house of Solomon who rebelled and did not keep the Lord’s commandments.

Isa 54:16  Behold, I have created the smith (and his messengers and offspring) that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 

Mar 3:26  And if Satan rise up against himself (his own offspring), and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Job, like Solomon, was a wise man who did many good things, yet when the time came to expose idolatry and self-worship, the Lord removes the hedge and uses His chosen instruments to bring about the destruction of Job’s and Solomon’s life.

Job 1:6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan [H7854] came also among them.

Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Job 1:8  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Job 1:12  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

The name Hadad is first introduced as a son of Ishmael (1Ch 1:30) and represents an inward enemy of God from our rejected flesh that cannot be heir with Christ.  Edomites are descendants of Esau symbolizing the firstborn man of flesh that cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1Co 15:50).  This other nation is always present in our members (Esau vs Jacob – Gen 25) to be used by the Lord to bring division, war and chastening.  The promise of dominion over sin will be given to all men, the apostate Solomon and even Cain who murdered Abel.

Gen 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 

Males in Scripture represent doctrines and beliefs.  Hadad represents the carnal mindset of our father, the devil, that is always at enmity with the Lord (Gen 3:15).  King David has killed all the males of Edom earlier however Hadad and a few others escaped to be used later of the Lord to try us and vex us in the later days of king Solomon and his apostasy.

1Ki 11:15  For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; 

1Ki 11:16  (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 

1Ki 11:17  That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. 

1Ki 11:18  And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. 

The Hadad in us always finds a welcome mat in Egypt which is a type and symbol for the world and our worldliness.  Having just completed a mini-series on Gideon, it is timely to see that it was in Midian, a spiritual place of strife and contention, that Hadad and the escaped Edomites (seed of the serpent) arose and found a welcoming environment in Egypt.

Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Jas 4:4  Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Hadad and the Edomites take men with them that are out of Paran [H6290].  Paran means ornamental [H6286] or applying it means to glory (outwardly).  That is exactly what Satan has us doing in disguising our old man and worldliness as an angel of light.

2Co 11:12  But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

2Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Further evidence of Hadad’s spirit and purpose is found in details of his wife and son.

1Ki 11:19  And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 

1Ki 11:20  And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh. 

The son born to Hadad is named Genubath [H1592]which means thief.  Genubath like all carnal thinking is the offspring of their father the devil (Joh 8:44) who will not bring life but death .

Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The entire world and all flesh have a mindset that is in bed with their father the devil.

1Jn 5:19  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

We are not given the specific adversarial escapades between Hadad and Solomon, but we are told Hadad worked much evil (mischief) in the land of Israel as another adversary Rezon is introduced.

1Ki 11:23  And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 

1Ki 11:24  And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. 

1Ki 11:25  And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria. 

The KJV translators use of mischief to describe what Hadad and Rezon were doing in the Kingdom of God waters down the significance of fleshly enemies operating Israel.  A better translation has them “doing evil” as mischief comes from the Hebrew word “ra” Strong’s number H7451 that is much more appropriately translated as evil.  This is another witness to the Lord being the responsible party for Solomon’s apostasy and the resulting judgment and further deterioration of a divided Israel.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 

Rezon is not the Rezin of Isaiah 17 yet both were kings of Syria that typify our own flesh from which we are separated from and dragged to Christ (Deu 26:5, etc.).  Syria symbolizes Rezon who is our man of sin.  The name Rezon means prince and is another symbol for the mindset of our father the devil that we are overcoming as we overcome our disobedience.

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:

Zobah is always mentioned in the Bible in the context of war (against the flesh) in view.  Like with the Edomites and Hadad, Saul had previously subdued temporarily the fleshly nations of Israel including the kings of Zobah.

1Sa 14:47  So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them.

Rezon becomes the ruler of Syria camping out in Damascus.  Damascus is said to mean the red land by some secular experts although our E-Sword tools give no indication.  Israel within us is being oppressed when we return to Damascus.  Doing such is go backwards into to our former lusts and wallowing in the mixed multitude mud of spirit (water) and flesh (dust).

2Pe 2:22  NLT They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

Having Rezon and Hadad instigating evil within Israel is a story of Solomon and us in our great apostasy being turned over to Satan for the destruction of our flesh so our spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord to come.

1Co 5:4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

A third adversary which does evil in the land and comes against Solomon is from Israel. Our enemies being of our own household has both a physical and a spiritual application as do all the words of the Lord.  This is the first time we see Jeroboam, who will soon become the first king over the divided Northern Kingdom and who goes on to live in Bible infamy as the one king that causes Israel to sin long after his physical death.

1Ki 11:26  And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. 

1Ki 11:27  And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father. 

1Ki 11:28  And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. 

Of course, our days of being an adversary to the true Israel within and without ourselves is all the Lord’s work that is, was and will be used for good in the end (Rom 8:28).

Jer 10:23  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Pro 21:1  The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

Jeroboam means “the people will contend”.  This king within ourselves defines our struggle against ourselves and contending with our natural idolatrous and beastly state (Ecc 3:18) that seeks preeminence in the congregation.  It is telling to know that a “jeroboam”, our modern word, defines an oversized wine bottle holding four times the normal volume of wine.  The heart of a Jeroboam spirit is our being corrupted by our conquests of valor and the industrious nature the Lord gives us and then thinking it is of ourselves.  We cannot reign outside or apart the Body of Christ.

1Co 4:7  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

1Co 4:8  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.

When addressing the Kings of Israel, we will see often the mention of the father and the mother and even the home town.  These are not idle words and are giving us added spiritual significance to what we are being told about king that is, was and will be ruling the kingdom of God within us (Israel).

Is a Son of Nebat: No other mention of Nebat in Scripture outside distinguishing this Jeroboam from the one that would follow.

His Mother is Zeruah:  The meaning of his mother’s name is appropriately leprous widow.  This is the mindset that gives birth to our prideful man of sin who seeks worldly gain.

Comes from Zereda: Jeroboam is from Zereda which comes from a root word meaning to pierce or puncture.  Our beastly natures even the religious one (Rev 13:11) has us piercing our Lord and killing Christ before we are given to see we are the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place.  We will come to see our evil in the day of the Lord and see that we have pierced Christ while masquerading as an angel of light.

Rev 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Jeroboam the son of Nebat, is best known as the King that continues to cause Israel to sin.  His sin is our sin and the sin of every man born who will make himself idols of heart and worship the image of his own beast and call that a god (Rev 13:11-14).  Once exalted by the Lord and given rulership, Jeroboam is more concerned about losing followers than navigating the narrow way of the Lord’s commandments.

1Ki 12:26  And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:

1Ki 12:27  If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.

1Ki 12:28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

1Ki 12:29  And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.

1Ki 12:30  And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

This sin stays with Israel (us) for successive kings and emerging mindsets even as we gain more experience thru trials.  We find this language 14 times by my count in 1 and 2Kings.

2Ki 15:18  And he (future king) did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.

The sins of Jeroboam, our first idolatry and self-worship stays with Israel and ultimately leads to the Assyrian captivity many years later (2Ki 17:22-23).  It takes the entire process of our fiery judgment on the old man to cleanse Israel once and for all of our SELF-centeredness.

We will continue next study with the conflict between Solomon’s heir Rehoboam and Jeroboam as the nation of Israel is henceforth divided and each King begins to rule in their respective kingdoms of Judah (Southern Kingdom) and Israel (Northern Kingdom).

Sincere comments are always welcome.  You can also email me any thoughts or questions to peterjwilson56@gmail.com

babylon

Aliens and Strangers in the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worldly Contrast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your brother in Christ,   Pete