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Enemies Left in the Promised Land

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For Our Admonition #11

“Enemies Left in the Promised Land”

Key Verses:  Judges Chapter 2 and Jdg 3:1 – 3:11

In this study, we take our first but not last entry into the Book of Judges. This Book in the letter is a chronological history of Israel’s early days in the promised land.  Even a “Babylonian” website nails the physical history lesson in their summation of the Book of Judges.

The book of Judges describes a cycle that repeated itself multiple times during the reign of the judges. Because the Israelites failed to remove wicked influences from the promised land, they became entangled in sin and were conquered and afflicted by their enemies. After the Israelites cried unto the Lord for help, He sent judges to deliver them from their enemies. However, they soon returned to their sins, and the cycle repeated.

They are blind to the fact that these verses were written down by the prophets of old to minister and teach us, the true Israel of God.  Those stories happened to teach us the things we need to know about the Lord’s work in the kingdom of God.

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.

These events in Judges show the continued cycle of Israel falling away into evil, crying out to the Lord and then being saved out of those troubles.  Such is the ongoing cycle of many tribulations (Act 14:22) by which the true Israel (the Body of Christ) is being saved in this age.  Before we get to the specific story in Judges of the first appointed judge, let’s review some foundational truths about what these events portray in the kingdom of God.

The Promised Land

The land of Canaan in Scripture represents the promised land.  The land promise to Israel is the land within us that represents the Kingdom of God.  This is where Christ appears in the hearts and minds of His Chosen people to take back the kingdom for the Lord.  (Luk 17:20-21).  While the land is given to Israel (us) as a possession, the land must be overcome and be cleansed of the heathen nations and giants (besetting sins) that occupy it.  In Genesis the land promise is described as including the territories occupied by ten nations.  It only awaits the times appointed the Lord for this to be fulfilled.

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Gen 15:19  The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

Gen 15:20  And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

Gen 15:21  And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

All ten of these people/nations are types for our flesh (and associated false doctrines) that are naturally at enmity with our new man and the ways of the Lord.   The land of Canaan will be humbled, it will bow the knee to Jesus Christ in the appointed time. The root word for Canaan [H3667] is Strong’s H3665 which very clearly shows the Lord’s masterpiece in declaring the end of all things from the very beginning (Isa 46:10).

H3665, kâna‛

kaw-nah’

A primitive root; properly to bend the knee; hence to humiliate, vanquish: – bring down (low), into subjection, under, humble (self), subdue.

Canaan is the son of Ham and was cursed by the Lord for Ham’s disobedience (Gen 9:25).  This all part of the Lord’s plan to save all mankind by remaking in its entirety the marred vessels of clay (Jer 18:4, Rev 21:5).  The first man Adam, his mindset and fleshly body was not designed to inherit the kingdom of God nor can it.  The Lord is changing the true Israel now in this age by bringing judgment upon the house of God.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

The law of Moses gave us a shadow of the true law of faith.  But the principles work the same.  With obedience comes blessings and more power is given to us.  With disobedience, come curses and wrath and we are given over to our enemies to turn our hearts back to the Lord.

Blessing:  Deu 28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that revolt against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way and flee before thee seven ways.

Curse:  Deu 28:48  And thou shalt serve thine enemies, which the Lord will send forth against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in the want of all things; and thou shalt wear upon thy neck a yoke of iron until he shall have destroyed thee.

This land promised is traced back to Canaan’s lineage which is spiritually synonymous with the land of the Philistines (Palestine) that is always at war with Israel.   Yet it will be possessed by the Lord’s shepherd’s and flocks and sin will be ruled over in due time.

Zep 2:5  Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.

Zep 2:6  And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.

Our walk of maturity is taking over this land little by little as the Lord gives us the victory.

Num 34:2  Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)

Salvation is a process of being saved and overcoming our enemies.  The Canaanite nations that occupy the promised land is our own flesh and the lusts thereof (1Jo 2:16).  These are the enemies of Israel whom we are overcoming and fighting every day of our life in these flesh bodies.  This land is being possessed slowly but surely in our day of the Lord which is the judgment now on the House of the Lord (1Pe 4:17).   It is an often-repeated theme that the Lord purposefully leaves the enemies (our own flesh) to later try and prove our faith.

Jdg 1:28  And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. 

The Canaanites paying tribute to Israel illustrates the partial victory and partial dominion we have over our flesh when young and immature and doing battle in the promised land.  The Lord has plans for our enemies will use them to teach us righteousness by bringing trials and chastening.  Look at just some of the failures of the tribes of Israel in overcoming the enemies.

Jdg 1:29  Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.

Jdg 1:30  Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

Jdg 1:31  Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:

Jdg 1:32  But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

There is indeed a method to the Lord’s strange ways and all of it is being used for our good (Rom 8:28, 2Co 4:15).

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 10:36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (think within) 

The fact is our flesh and deep-rooted beastly nature will always be with us. We must always stay vigilant in the fight of faith and never think we have arrived and put our guard down.

Jos 15:63  As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. 

Rev 17:8  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Another new testament witness of this same “always on” battle with flesh are these verses.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh (Canaanites) lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The Lord uses our enemies to ensnare us in bondage, so our hearts and minds will look to Him only (repent) for all things beginning with our deliverance. This methodology is a good work and wonderful work of the Lord to the children of men in destroying our false peace (1Th 5:3) and exposing our being at ease in Zion as we walk out our faith (Amo 6:1).  We reap what we sow and that applies to our disobedience and evil deeds.

Jdg 2:13  And they (Israel, you and me) forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Jdg 2:14  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

Jdg 2:15  Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.  (coming to our wits end – Psa 107:27)

Jdg 2:21  I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Jdg 2:22  That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.

There is indeed a time and purpose for every season under heaven (Ecc 3:1), even being in captivity to our enemies.  The Lord always works evil for good in the end (Gen 50:20) and that begins by seeing our sin and thereby beginning to know (learn) the right ways.

Jer 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Our captivity to our enemies will itself be taken captive as Christ takes His seat on His throne in our hearts (Eph 4:7-8) and we are placed into the Body of Christ (The Judges).  The Book of Judges is symbolizing our being ruled and judged now in the House of God.

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

We WILL fall, yet we Lord willing will get right back up.  That is the “seven times” pattern of Pro 24:16 that we see in Judges and the early history of Israel in the land.

Jdg 2:16  Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Jdg 2:17  And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

Jdg 2:18  And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Jdg 2:19  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

When the judge within us is not on the job, we are eating and drinking unworthily.  The result is we sleep and are spiritually dead (1Co 11:29-30).  This is how we are learning diligence, vigilance and even patience by our mistakes that are 100% caused by the Lord (Isa 63:17, Joh 15:5).  We now come to the appointment of the first judge in Israel.

Jdg 3:1  Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 

Jdg 3:2  Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; 

Jdg 3:3  Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. 

Jdg 3:4  And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. 

Jdg 3:5  And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: 

Jdg 3:6  And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 

Jdg 3:7  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. 

Jdg 3:8  Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. 

Jdg 3:9  And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 

Jdg 3:10  And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. 

Jdg 3:11  And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. 

In type, this appointed judge Othniel is our new man.  This judge is a younger brother (the brethren) of Caleb.  We all learn the truth and the fire spreads from one another and especially those angels of the Lord who have walked before us shown us these things (Rev 19:10).  It is those in the true Body of Christ who are His Elect of God and are the Lord’s angels that show us truth that is judging Spiritual Israel now and all men in the ages to come (1Co 6:2-3).

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Caleb and Othniel are from the tribe of Judah and Caleb is best remembered in the Scriptures as the only man besides Joshua not afraid to engage the enemies of Israel.

Num 13:30  And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it (subdue the land).

Num 13:31  But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

When the occasion has come to smite our enemies, the Lord raises up a deliverer who is also a judge.  Being delivered is being saved, they are the same thing.  The KJC for the Hebrew word “Yasha” demonstrates this clearly.

H3467, yâsha‛

Total KJV Occurrences: 207

save, 105

saved, 35

saviour, 13

help, 10

delivered, 8

Jdg_2:16, Jdg_2:18, Jdg_3:9, Jdg_3:31, Jdg_8:22, Jdg_10:12, Jdg_12:2-3 (2)

saveth, 7

preserved, 4

deliver, 3

salvation, 3

savest, 3

deliverer, 2      Jdg_3:9, Jdg_3:15

saviours, 2       Neh_9:27, Oba_1:21

The name Othniel means “force for God” and as the offspring of Kenaz [H7073] a word which means to hunt.  Babylon has its hunters in Nimrod (Gen 10) and the true Israel are spiritual hunters in seeking out and destroying the inward enemies of Israel.  Anointed of the Lord, we are sent to make war with our enemies.

Jdg 3:10  And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

Judging Israel and going to war with our enemies are one in the same thing.  It is through judgment and our judging righteously that the land is sanctified and brought into submission.

Isa 59:18  According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

Isa 59:19  So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard (THE WORD) against him.

There are two men and two witnesses in Scripture and as God’s people we are those men and those witnesses (old and new man).  Our old man of sin is this heathen King of Mesopotamia.  This King links back to Cush, another son of Ham and Canaan’s brother.  This king is a symbol of our idolatry in fornicating with the gods of this world which our flesh naturally loves to do.

Jer 5:30  A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;

Jer 5:31  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Our idolatry is wonderful only in the sense it gives the Lord the occasion to bring judgment and pour out the grace and chastening we need. It is horrible because our wicked deeds of the flesh are an abomination to the Lord.  It was not surprising to see the meaning of the name of this king and enemy of Israel.

H3573, kûshan rish‛âthayim

koo-shan’ rish-aw-thah’-yim

Apparently from H3572 and the dual of H7564; Cushan of double wickedness; Cushan-Rishathajim, a Mesopotamian king: – Chushan-rishathayim.

Double wickedness is other side of the two-edged sword that is the double blessing to the new man we receive in due time.  To spoil our old man and expose our decrepit spiritual condition both our heavens (mind) and our earth (deeds, actions) will be made wicked by the Potter to bring us low and to a place where repentance can be granted.

Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

When both our minds and deeds are sold into captivity of King Chushanrishathaim, we are being caused to err from the Lord’s ways and our every step is ordered of the Lord.  The word “good” is not in the Hebrew and original Scripture, it was added by carnal men to support their false doctrine that the Lord is not sovereign over all things.

Psa 37:23  The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

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.

The fact is we only come to know the Lord in the whirlwind of our judgment.  The Lord leaves the enemies in the land to give Him plenty of opportunities to chasten us and thereby teach us.

Jdg 3:1  Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;

Jdg 3:2  Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

To learn war, one needs practice and experience.  This is why the enemies are left in the land.  Interesting to note there are FIVE Canaanite/Philistine lords which links these heathen nations never totally removed from the land to the chastening grace of God that is symbolized by the number 5 and its various multiples (Click for Number 5 Study).

We serve the Mesopotamian King in bondage for eight years. This timeline has great spiritual significance also as we are so blessed to know (Click for Number 8 Study).  These eight years are the time and experiences needed to be circumcised by the hand of God and have our new man increase to the detriment of the old man (Joh 3:30).   It takes eight days (years) to accomplish the circumcision of Jesus Christ, who we are if we are His people and of His flesh and bones in the Body of Christ (Eph 5:30).

Luk 2:21  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Rev 17:11  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

The Lord is always seeking an occasion to bring what is necessary to save us.  What is necessary is judgement (fire in our heavens and earth) and it is that process that is delivering us.

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (the word judging us in the last day Joh 12:48)

When we are caused to sin (Pro 16:9, Amo 3:6) and fornicate with our flesh and the heathen nations (the world); it gives our Father the occasion for judgment and to bring the best teacher of righteousness known to man.  The Lord is seeking His will to bring all men to repentance and that is done by seeking an occasion to pour out grace that is what saves us (Eph 2:8) and teaching us righteousness.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

 

Psa 66:3  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

Psa 66:4  All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

It is by our learning thru our suffering under these cruel inward heathen kings that obedience comes to the land and the enemies are brought into submission.

Exo 23:22  But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

Heb 5:8  Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 

To mature more judgment and more trials are ALWAYS needed and exactly what the Lord dials up for each of us (1Pe 4:13, Heb 5:14).

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Our many failures in driving out the Canaanites is used to humble us and remove all confidence in our flesh.  Only then are can we be justified by faith alone and then we are being circumcised by the hands of God alone (Col 2:11).

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 

Exo 23:30  By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

After the victory by Othniel, the land has rest for forty years.  We know this rest at this stage of our walk is only temporary as the very verses makes clear.

Jdg 3:12  And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.

We must endure to the end to be saved as we are being saved now via the process.  We have more things to learn always about righteousness.  The Lord gives us times of trials, but He also gives us times of relative peace and prosperity to consolidate our learning.

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

These peaceful intervals in between the major war battles with our flesh are in type a kind of Millennium we live out now.  Our flesh is being ruled by a rod of Iron but has not yet been totally destroyed and will rise up again to confront and defy the Israel of God.  The IS, WAS and WILL BE nature of the Word applies to this ongoing battle and cycle of warfare with our flesh.  We are living out Judges (Mat 3:11) now as the Lord has raised up Judges via The Christ and The Word that lives in us.  The Lord via His Word is always winnowing down the old man to bring forth the new man.  There is always something more to be discovered and burned out while we live in flesh bodies.  The message to the churches is a message to us His Church and these words never pass away and the Lord always has some more work to be done to rid us of fornication with worldly nations and gods.

Rev 2:19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Rev 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Rev 2:21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Blessed is the man that can read, hear and live out the words of judgment in the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:3).  In the same way, blessed are the men and woman of God that are being tried in the fire and given many battles with the enemies that the Lord has put and keeps in the Promised Land.

Jas 1:12  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

There comes a time to move on to greater maturity.  The Judge Othniel dies and the cycle of Israel’s (our) learning continues through the entire foundation of these twelve judges.

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

Biblical Truth, Studies

We Esteemed Him Not

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We Esteemed Him Not – May 12 2016

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May 12, 2016

The church of Jesus Christ will not come to Him of their own free will and initiative.  We will all first kill the Lord’s prophets sent to us and refuse to come to Christ.

Luk 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 

Indeed as we quickly learn when dragged to the Truth, we don’t choose Him, He chooses us (Joh 15:16). Flesh hates the real Jesus Christ and His doctrines.  The Scriptures speak clearly of Christ not being esteemed by men and being a stumbling block and a rock of offense. Those that know Christ and are part of the true Body will have an appreciation for the fiery trials we are enduring simply for standing with Christ. It is a battle and a war we must overcome and endure to the very end.

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.

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

To “know” Jesus Christ and His Father is to have ETERNAL LIFE now.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

And coming to know the Lord only comes by being dragged out of our worldly and carnal ways of life by living through the great judgments of the Lord.

Exo 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

Exo 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

We won’t believe the report (doctrines) of Christ until this arm of the Lord is revealed to us by the chastening and scourging of His grace. This is the “revelation” of Jesus Christ to each of us in our own time and it comes when we can read, hear and keep (i.e. live through) the judgments of the Lord.

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand

Being persecuted and rejected for the sake of righteousness and standing for the Truth is very painful for our flesh. Being crucified with Christ is this process. We, like our Lord, will endure great sufferings as our flesh and old way of living is taken away from us little by little. What this process has taught me is that nobody esteems the real Jesus and His Christ. The audacity of some people to call themselves the Elect of God is truly a rock of offense to those that are carnally minded.

Isa 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary (for the Elect); but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Both the deceived and the deceiver are Christ’s (Job 12:16). Yet that same Word that snares us in darkness will also grind us to powder (be a gin) in the day of the Lord.

Mat 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

To those few the Lord has chosen, the Body is a true sanctuary of peace but to those He has only called, Christ and the Christ “is, was and will be” a stone of stumbling and very offensive for the people that call themselves the people of God. They and all men must first be snared by false doctrines and spend their appointed times in the snare of the harlot separated from knowing Christ.

Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

The few chosen out of these many called are the chosen generation, the true priests of Christ that the Lord is transforming in this age and dragging into His marvelous Light.

1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (redeemed) people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light

The marvelous light is coming to know Christ and partaking of the wedding feast and drinking the true living waters of eternal life. Jesus was not bemoaning the Jews lack of exercise of free will to choose HIM; because He knew they were blind and could not believe even if they had wanted to believe. The fact we are told they could not believe adds to our understanding that they could not come to Him.

Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

Joh 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

So we too will believe not, be yet carnal and not know the day of visitation of Christ. Jesus Christ will stand right in front of us and we will recognize Him not and we will despise and reject Him just like the outward Jews (the religious people of every age) do in every age.

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

The Non Attraction of Christ

The Jesus that is attractive to our carnal minds and to our flesh is another jesus. It is the “jesus” invented by carnally minded men to seek gain for their supposed godliness. We all do this in some way shape or form. We are to separate from those that bring this other jesus and learn to be content, knowing Jesus Christ truly does have the whole world in His Hands.

Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

The false jesus blesses flesh and brings prosperity or outward comfort of some kind. Who does not want their flesh blessed?  Yet contrary to these Babylonian lies, when Christ comes He is bent on destruction of the flesh as that is how the new man is brought forth.

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

The long haired handsome Jesus of western society is not the true Jesus. We don’t know what He looked like but we are told Christ had no desirable traits to the flesh that we would naturally seek after Him.

Isa 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

We do not esteem Jesus Christ when we are yet carnal and outside the faith. In our natural carnal state, we despise the real Jesus Christ. The body of Christ, which is “Christ”, is similarly despised by all men and especially those in Babylon that consider themselves spiritual. People will be offended and repulsed at Christ in us and our audacity to call ourselves the sons and daughters of the living God.

The carnally minded will seek to kill the man child that is coming forth from the ashes of our old man. This whole process is set up to make us theater or a real spectacle unto the world. The pride of man will take great offense at Christ in us and will be unable to look past our marred and sinful appearance in these weak vessels of clay.

Isa 52:14 As many were astonished at thee; his (Christ’s) appearance was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

Who do you think you are, you are just Joseph the carpenter’s son we will hear. But know their rejection of us is actually Christ in us as the Lord tells us what to expect.

Luk 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

The Lord chooses the chief of sinners, oh wretched man that we are to be His Body. He does not choose those who need no repentance and think they are not in need of a physician.

Luk 5:30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

Luk 5:31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Those in Christ will be falsely accused of teaching it is okay to sin for sharing these truths of God’s plans for the ages. We by no means go slack on our sins but one has to realize anyone who truly is in Christ will have come to know what they are in the flesh as Paul wrote.  The strange ways of the Lord is to use our own wickedness to correct us (Jer 2:19).

1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

It is those who think they need no repentance and already know God who will reject Christ in us. The Lord does not call the noble to His wedding feast in the Body, here is who He calls.

Luk 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

The true gospel and what we can expect in coming to Christ is the opposite of the false peace and safety message. That lie is shattered when Christ appears to us suddenly in the darkness of our strong delusion. He comes with a sword to make war and bring division by cutting off our old way of life. This is again why we are dragged there and none of us would ever willingly choose Christ.

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings

We would never ever willingly come to and walk into a furnace of affliction!!!!

Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 

Thankfully the Lord does indeed drag us; He makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us to still waters and in rest. The Lord is perfectly capable of fishing for men to build His Body. It is not big deal for Him to turn the hearts of men, mere pieces of clay in His hands.

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

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

The little flock of Christ is made to be a spectacle, theater, to those in the world within and without. That is the fire that tries us, the furnace of affliction given to the sons of God. Christ and His Body, THE CHRIST indeed look like fools to the carnal minded.

1Co 4:9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.

1Co 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

The verses which speak of Christ speak not only of Jesus Christ THE LORD but they also apply to Christ which is His Elect, the little flock HE has chosen. Jesus builds His church, HE CHOOSES who is His Body and who is not. God’s Elect is “The Christ” and all of these prophecies apply to us in due season. The apostate churches men are very appealing to the carnal eye and our lusts and carnal way of life.

Pro 7:10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

The many good works that get done and the outward changes in many people’s lives are real wonderful things. Yet these are also known as lying signs and wonders (2 The 2:9) because they hide the Truth from us and keep the beast comfortably sitting on the throne of our hearts while we await our day of judgment.

 The Foolishness of God is Wiser Than Men

Who the LORD chooses and puts into His Body is those the world would never believe He would pick. God’s wisdom confounds the wisdom of the wise in the flesh.

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

And the Lord picks a few from every nation, tongue and tribe each bringing a part of what is needed to the Christ. Uniquely we fit together to make a BODY which is complete and has all it needs.

1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is (the) Christ.

I had someone once tell me “those people are weird just look at them” when looking down upon God’s Elect, the little flock, that is the Body of Christ. Those that know the other jesus do not believe that Jesus Christ could be rejected and hated of all men, but that is exactly what must be. These prophecies are about CHRIST, both the head and the body. The Body of Christ is also Christ and will like our Lord be crucified and rise again on the third day.

Mar 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again

The longer we abide in the fire of Truth, we should come to appreciate what being a living sacrifice means (Rom 12:1, Col 1:24). It is a whole lot more than cleaning up the outside of our cups and stopping our drinking, cussing and smoking. The Lord does not generally choose the noble, the esteemed, the great orators or anyone that is looked up to in this world and esteemed of men. He picks people like Moses, a man who stuttered, got angry and killed someone. He picks David, the least likely of Jessie’s sons as Samuel the prophet thought. This story tells us a lot of how the Lord chooses those that confounds our carnal way of thinking.  Samuel was thinking carnally and thought for sure the Lord would choose the grown sons who were outwardly strong and had good looks. But that is not the Lord’s way at all.

1Sa 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.

1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Flesh does not inherit the kingdom of God, only the new man does. And in great symbolism, all seven of Jesse’s older sons were rejected.

1Sa 16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, the LORD hath not chosen these.

Only the eighth, the new man, will be the Lord’s anointed. That was David in type and shadow. The Lord does not choose whom we think He chooses to be His Elect. And there are a lot fewer chosen than anyone would even imagine as many are called but few are chosen is the hidden message in all the parables of Jesus Christ. Even fewer are to be found faithful.

Even Saul of Tarsus’s story shows us who God chooses. The Lord chooses those who at first think they serve the Lord in their zeal but do not even yet know Him. He chooses the very ones who will first persecute the Church of Christ and oppose His doctrines (Act 22:7-8). Paul like David was not esteemed in the outward appearance when compared to the noble ones the world esteems.

2Co 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

2Co 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

The Lord hides His Truths and does things His ways which are far different than the ways of this world and the carnally minded (Isa 55:8-9). Paul, like all of God’s Elect, ARE chosen vessels that will bear the name Christ and suffer for His Name.

Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

We will live by every word in our appointed times. I have been Saul of Tarsus and now I am Paul being persecuted for the cross of Christ, being called a fool and made a spectacle unto the world.

The little flock of Jesus Christ (Luk 12:32) is a sect that has always been spoken evil about.

Act 28:22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Being Crucified With Christ

The preaching of the cross and the need for us to go to the cross and die is indeed foolishness to the carnal mind. But to those given the precious gift of faith, it is the power of God unto salvation.

1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Despite the sufferings we must endure, the Disciples of Christ are blessed beyond imagination in the spirit. We are the firstfruits unto salvation, the very first ones the Lord has appeared to in order to bring judgment now in this age (1 Pe 4:17, 1 Cor 11:31). We are truly blessed when we are persecuted for standing with Christ and for His doctrines.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

As the prophets of the Lord we are given honor but not in our own house and kin. As Jesus’s family did not receive him at first so shall it be with The Christ.

Mar 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

If we are not willing (made willing) to take up this cross and give up our life and stand for the doctrines of Jesus Christ; we will have no part in ruling and reigning with Him in the ages to come. We must make our calling and election sure (1 Pe 1:10). These verses tell us of the price we will be required to pay.

Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

To be found worthy, we have to lose our old carnal and worldly way of life. Being “In Christ” will have you rejected and hated of all men and your enemies will be of your own household. Yet this is the Lord’s way of preparing us to be merciful rulers and judges by having lots of practice in forgiving others and being forgiven ourselves. All we have to do is claim to be a son of God and not keep their days, times, and seasons like Jesus did not and the professing church and world at large will turn hard against us. As it happened to Jesus, so shall it happen to His Body.

Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

As Christ is formed in each of us, we in turn will suffer and be rejected of all men just like our Lord. Jesus Christ never will be attractive to the flesh and its lustful ways. The enmity of the flesh vs the spirit will ensure offense is taken for the growing Christ within us. Jesus Christ smells of death to those that walk after the flesh but to us being saved, He is the savor of life.

2Co 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

2Co 2:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life….

We will be mocked and spit upon and told if we are the son of God to come down off this cross. Yet we know what the Lord is doing and that to every son He chooses, He scourges as the way of remaking us into His image. Lord willing, we will endure it.

Mar 15:30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

Mar 15:31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.

But our Lord knew what He was doing and so will we as His Christ. We will stay on our cross knowing that we must die to be raised into newness of life. We must look to that living sacrifice to be saved (Joh 3:14).

Num 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass (copper, i.e. flesh) , he lived

The pain and affliction is greater than we can bear in the flesh with the supernatural strengthening of the Lord and the comfort of Christ. The angels of the Lord, the Body of Christ, will be there to hold us up and give strength and pray in agreement with the prayer of Jesus Christ.

Luk 22:42 saying, Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.

The true Elect of God are in training now for our roles as kings and priest in the future. We will be the instrument of rule and of salvation to all men in the Millennium and the Lake of Fire through which all of mankind will be saved.

Oba 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

We are being made into sons of God and are learning the longsuffering and merciful ways of our Father in heaven. This way we can be the instruments of mercy as it is thru us the Lord does His work.

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.

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.

Like our Lord, when speaking Truth to the carnally minded, we will be rejected and falsely accused of exalting ourselves. We must learn to be like our Lord when responding to the inevitable rejection and hatred of all men for simply claiming we are Sons of God and part of the Body of Christ. As He is so are we in this world (1 Joh 4:17) applies to us being rejected and hated of all men and bearing the same reproach our Lord endured (Herb 13:13).

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

The gift of faith and the accompanying ears to hear comes with suffering.

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake

We have a great calling and we have been appointed to suffer and we must finish the race set before us. We are to be not conformed to this world and its lustful and sinful ways.  Ambassadors of Christ do not engage in the affairs of the land they are sent to be an ambassador.

Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

It is a narrow way and I hope if anything this study has reminded you of our unique calling and that it comes with a high price of being rejected and us called to suffer. The true communion of Jesus Christ is to be in the fellowship of believers. This is where we eat and drink at the altar of the Lord.

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.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful

We once did not esteem the true Jesus Christ and yet the Lord forgave us and showed us mercy.  We will also weep like Christ wept when we are rejected in our attempts to share the truth of God’s Word with those blinded, some of our same household. Those who reject us will not know the time of His visitation and like us before them will not be able to discern the sign of the times.  Lord willing, we will have the same response to our persecution and rejection as Jesus Christ.  We will bear this burden and will forgive them for their ignorance.

Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do

1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Questions and comments are welcome. You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com and I will respond to all sincere inquiries.

Your Brother in Christ,   PETE

 

 

faith

Fighting the Good Fight of Faith

Salvation through the narrow way is a difficult journey.  It is a calling given to a chosen few by God to accomplish His purposes upon this earth.  It is a fight against darkness.  The righteous shall walk and live by faith in all that God has done and has promised.  I want to share some thoughts on this fight and the weapons of our warfare.  I pray it blesses those who have eyes to see.

1 TIM 6:11-12 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called

It is the power of the Cross of Christ that saves all men.  All shall be made alive in the end by this spiritual gift and blessing of an Almighty Good God. But those God chooses now must fight using the weapons God provides to lay hold of the eternal life right now.  This is the place of the true Sabbath rest when we cease from our own works and only do what our Master tell us to do.  His yoke is indeed easy and His burden is light.  This is because of His awesome power working through those He has ordained to eternal life right now.

Carnal man believes the power is in their ability and their decision to choose Christ on their own initiative.  But they can truly doing nothing on their own initiative.  Recent posts have shown in scores of places that man does not come to God and that it is all grace, the power of God that draws men to Jesus Christ.  Slaves of sin do not decide to free themselves as indeed they are slaves and held in bonds they cannot break.  All is in the hands of the Master Potter.  Pieces of clay cannot decide for themselves.  We all are God’s workmanship, even those that do not know Him yet (ISA 45:5).  Even Jesus could do nothing on His own initiative.  He was in the hands of His Father, who is also our Father in heaven.

John 5:30  I can of Myself do nothing

Nothing is not a complicated word.  It means nothing, nada, zip.  Pontius Pilate saw only through the prism of carnal logic and actually believed he was in control when speaking to Jesus.  Jesus corrected this man who lived in spiritual darkness.

John 19:10-11 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do you not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”

11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.

All things happen for a reason and the purposes of God.  He indeed is working all things out for the greater good of those who love Him. Eventually that will include all men and creatures that Jesus created.  But to see this and believe this now is power.  Moses came to see and to know that the very Lord who created him was the one who makes the mouths of each man speak.

Exodus 4:11  So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?

But carnal men cannot comprehend these things.  Such will always limit the power of God.

When freed of our bondage to sin by the mercy of the Lord’s choosing, we will instinctively, be bearing our new hearts from God and witnessing for Jesus Christ.  This is what Pete is now finally doing having been delivered from the kingdom of darkness.  I have been enlisted in God’s army and have become a true Soldier of the Cross.

2 TIM 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Such soldiers will be given the armor and weapons of the Lord do to battle.

The purposes of the soldiers are to defend the true gospel and to take its life giving power to overcome darkness to the ends of this earth.  When the Lord is truly leading a man, such a man has a confidence and a boldness that defies the carnal mind’s understanding.  This can typically be looked upon as arrogance but it is not, it is simply boldness, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ has come, is risen and has already saved the entire world.  Praise God Forevermore.

1 COR 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

The power is in the cross.  The power of faith and salvation is all in the blood of Jesus Christ, given to all men.  But so few believe this in actuality; even those that claim the name of God.  Many false gospels of self-will, self-righteousness and an eternal hell,  all have one thing in common.  They all empty the cross of its power and by default deny Jesus is the Christ.

Many profess to be soldiers for the cross but they actually work against the purposes of God and point away from the cross and its absolute POWER to save all men.  They are mere stooges in the Potter’s hands and their folly will be shown for what it is in due time.  Their works shall all be burnt up yet they themselves shall be saved but as thru fire.  Those given eyes to see by God can spot such a mile away.  But the good things is we also can spot the real deal, the true soldiers of the cross and this is who we long to fellowship with.

Phil 3 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Virtually all those that I had interacted with for the past several years were all of a like mind that denies the power of the cross.  We did not do such a thing literally with our carnal words, but we most certainly did with the underlying beliefs that brought Christ down and exalted man in the plan of salvation.  The pretenders are bringing glory to themselves and stealing from God.  Their end will be destruction, which we now know is not an eternal hell but a fire that will consume the adversaries of God resulting in their ultimate sanctification.  In that we will trust and will rejoice always.

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Very few people have on all the pieces of this armor.  But to truly be a warrior for God,  we must have them all on or we can readily be defeated and overcome.  What does this armor of God really mean?  Most think this just an intellectual ascent that Jesus is the Lord, but it truly is much more than that.  I want to review in my own words of how I have come to see the weapons of the Lord given to all who believe in Him and ALL of God’s promises.

 1.  Breastplate of Righteousness:  Quite simply this is LOVE AND MERCY in your heart for all men.  This is the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  Knowing that God is love, a true agape sacrificial love and it is only by that love we exists,  then we will want to be like our Father.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

2. Sandals of Peace:  Our walk is to bring peace to people, to show them the goodness of God and the glory of God’s plan for mankind.  He truly is the Prince of Peace not a cruel monster that torments people forever in a hell chamber.  We pursue peace with all men with this good news message, knowing that without this as our driving life force, no man shall see the Lord (Heb 12:14) in this present evil age.

and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

3.  Shield of Faith:  This is simply put; standing on the ROCK that is Christ and His precious promises and covenants.  This is the only way one will achieve the divine nature of Christ.  Yet God is faithful even when mankind is not.  When you truly come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the whole world, then and only then are you carrying this shield.  You will then be fearless knowing all is settled in heaven.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the     wicked one.

4. Helmet of Salvation:  This is putting on the mind of Christ.  God will be speaking to His people.  His sheep really do hear His voice and they follow Him.  We will do nothing on our own initiative but will follow where the Lord shall lead us.  This is this helmet given now to the chosen few.

And take the helmet of salvation

5.  Sword of the Spirit:  It is the living word of Christ formed inside of our hearts that is this sword.  It is not the dead letter pages of the Bible by itself.  But when Christ appears to us, we are made alive and given new hearts and are sent to preach this gospel in all boldness.  This is the sword of the Spirit.  The words of Jesus are life and when spoken out, will not return void, they will accomplish their purposes.  This sword will destroy all false pretenses and the devil will flee from it.

And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

Much more could be said but I wanted to just provide the cliff notes of my new understanding.  God is doing a great work in many of us right now.  In that I praise Him and in that I rejoice.  We all need to edify one another and encourage each other just as we have been doing of late.  This world is going to create battles and obstacles for each of us to continue on our military mission for Christ.  We must stay the course.  We cannot and will not get the victory with a carnal mind using carnal logic.  It says so right here.

2 COR 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

We must walk by faith and trust in the supernatural power of God to give us what we need in the time that we need it.  That is grace, the power of God working through His saints.  In my short journey I have found this to be so very true.  All these false pretenses that come into my mind or are used by carnal men to attack the truth, are utterly destroyed when we walk wearing this armor that only God can give to us.

2 TIM 2:4   No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

Once enlisted by the Lord, we should never get ourselves entangled back in the things of this world.  Many will come to try our faith and bring strife, dissensions and the like to bring our dead flesh back to life to defend itself or its honor.  But a dead man, now enlisted in God’s army will stay dead; they have been crucified with Christ.  The life they are now living is not for themselves but for the one who has called them and is mighty to save all men.  This is the Lord.

Paul likened this walk to a good fight and a marathon race.  We will be poked at, hated, rejected, scourged, accused and all manner of evil spoken of us, yet we must persevere to the very end.  Knowing that all men shall be saved in the very end, I can now preach this good news gospel.  It is through sharing God’s goodness and demonstrating that in our deeds that we will turn the hearts of the broken lost sheep back to the true loving God who always delights in showing them mercy.  Such a walk submitted unto the Lord, is the good fight and one that will result in a special crown of righteousness in the ages to come for those who finish.  May I be found worthy!

2 TIM 4:6-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

I have loved the Lord’s revealing of Himself to me in my heart.  It will change your life and my prayer is that all that God has chosen in this generation will be strengthened and encouraged in the battles we will fight in the days to come.

Love to all the Saints.