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Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith

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For Our Admonition Part 7

“Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:18 – 4:28

We now continue with the events regarding the Shunammite woman (Click Here for earlier study).  This is the second mention in the Bible of death that will be followed by a resurrection to life. We will cover the death portion of the story and the mother’s response in seeking out Elisha this week and the details of the boy’s resurrection in our next study. There are multiple facets to the story with multiple characters and many spiritual lessons that all have applications to our life and our walk with God (1Co 3:21).

2Ki 4:18  And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. 

2Ki 4:19  And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 

2Ki 4:20  And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 

2Ki 4:21  And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. 

2Ki 4:22  And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 

2Ki 4:23  And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. 

2Ki 4:24  Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. 

2Ki 4:25  So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: 

2Ki 4:26  Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 

2Ki 4:27  And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 

2Ki 4:28  Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 

This parable (Hos 12:10) is about a young one in the faith, one that has not yet been given dominion to die to this world and instead is overcome and dies spiritually.  This is all of us in our time.  Dominion over sin only comes by and follows our first being slain and overcome.  Thus, the first half of our witness for Christ ends in the wrong kind of death.

Rev 11:7  When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.

The glorification of Christ in us requires that we first die, yet there are two aspects, the positive and the negative side of spiritual death (Heb 4:11).  First, we die spiritually and our overcome by sin and secondly as we are judged we are given the ability to rise up, overcome and begin to die to the lusts of the flesh.  Before we can reap the spiritual blessing of death to the flesh, we reap the wages of our sin (anything not of faith).

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death (spiritual death – negative type); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The bearing of fruit unto eternal life requires Christ to come again for judgment bringing the fire to chasten us and quicken us by grace poured out through our faith.

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

Tit 2:12  teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

As the Israel of God, our reaping of death via our sins gives Christ the occasion to come cleanse His Temple (1Co 3:16) and glorify His Name within us (Eze 36:23).  Christ (Elisha) returns a second time after we spiritually die to bring salvation from our sins.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

Heb 9:28  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Only then can we begin to die in the Lord, losing our life to this world and bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11, Rev 14:13).  The Lord wastes nothing even using our evil for good in bringing salvation and teaching us righteousness (Jer 2:19).

Luk 5:31  … They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

Luk 5:32  I came not to call the righteous, but (DEAD) sinners to repentance

Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

The son is the woman’s offspring of her faith or said another way the renewing mindset growing within us (aka the new man).  The son comes to us by the prophesy of the Lord’s priests and prophets, in this case Elisha, a type of Christ, and representation of the Body of Christ in every age.  Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17) the Word spoken by God’s Elect that imparts faith to those prepared to hear those words.

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

The child grew meaning the child matured spiritually and that led to an appointed day where the Lord begins seeking the occasion to come again to mature us even more.  He does this by causing us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17, Jdg 14:14) to reap the wages of  sin that lies hidden in our fleshly members.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The reaping of the Lord’s harvest comes at the end of the age (Greek word -AION) of us being carnally minded.  The angels of the Lord are the reapers meaning the Body of Christ which is the fire by which the man is harvested, and the old man is, was and will be destroyed.  Christ tells of this mystery in the explanation of the wheat and the tares.

Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

Mat 13:42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We go out to this harvest with our “father” to the reapers.  The father in this parable and the woman’s husband is a representation of our old man (2Ki 4:14) that is tied to the law of the Gentiles (Rom 2:15).  This is whom we serve in our belief system that it is by our own works of the flesh by which we are saved.  Before we are given the mind of Christ (a spiritual mind) through the gift of God, we, are of the mindset of our father, the devil and naturally at enmity with the ways of the Lord (Gen 3:15, Joh 8:44).  This mindset has us eating and drinking unworthily reaping the resulting sickness and death.

1Co 11:29  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1Co 11:30  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Spiritually speaking, sleeping is the same as death.  Christ must come wake us out of our sleep (Eph 5:14) and He does this by the brightness of His coming.  When Christ comes again, unlike the first time He comes (Rev 13:3), there will not be any healing of the head wound.  The old mindset and head of our father the devil will be no more when we rise.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Nah 3:19  …. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous …

The Word we so eagerly embrace and begin eating turns bitter to our fleshly way of life (Rev 10:9), by shining light onto our sins.

Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

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.

The son of faith is placed upon the knees of his mother where he dies at noon which is the brightest part of the day.  There is great significance in these symbols.  Knees are the largest joint in the body and in the physical are essential in our movement and stability.   When we apply knees spiritually (Rom 1:20) we can see they represent sound doctrine.  The knees of the church, the mother of Christ, is pure doctrine that supports and guides our walk on the narrow way.

Luk 8:21  And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

We come to see our state of spiritual death only when we abide in the bright light (noon day) that is Jesus Christ through our fellowship and interaction with His Christ.

Rev 14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

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

The hour is come for Christ to be glorified (in type and shadow) in this child of faith. 

2Ki 4:21  And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 

2Ki 4:22  Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” 

2Ki 4:23  So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” 

2Ki 4:24  Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 

2Ki 4:25  And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 

 

The mother’s response is our correct response when our spiritual son falls into great trial and is sick and overcome in trespasses.  When we see ourselves as chief of sinners in need of repentance, we are told to run to the mountains that are “The Christ” casting all our care upon Him (1Pe 5:6, Psa 11:1).

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 

Laying our son on the prophet’s bed in the upper room of the house is symbolism for us trusting in the Lord and His promises to raise up the dead.  This is resting from our own works and call upon the elders and those in the church for help.

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Jas 5:15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

It takes eating a lot of strong meat (bearing trials and chastening) to become mature (Heb 5:13) in the faith.  While we have faith, our faith is initially weak until it is tried in the fire where we buy the true spiritual gold (learn righteousness).

Rev 3:18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Yet we fail first and call upon our “old” husband and lean back on our own carnal understanding.  The mindset of our old man will resist the mind of the Spirit (Rom 8:7) and questions why we would go to the Lord and expose our sins and faults.  Yet that is how we are healed and raised back to life.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

The mindset of being under the carnal law (the husband) has us going to Christ only on prescribed days (Sunday, new moons and sabbath’s) when an offering to God was commanded (Num 28:11).  The Lord is not pleased with are rituals and Babylonian sacrifices, He wants our whole heart (Mat 22:37) and gets it by putting us through these trials of life and death.

1Pe 1:7  NLT These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

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

Saddling [H2280] a donkey and riding to Elisha symbolizes us being bound [H2280] to our yet carnal and immature stage of our faith but where we are being humbled and coming to Christ lowly.

Zec 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

A donkey or an ass is the perfect symbolism for our spiritual condition when we first come to The Christ.  We, as Christ, come riding our beast albeit one that is being humbled by trials and seeing the wages of our sin.  The scepter of the Word is bringing judgment as Christ (Shiloh) is come to the woman and her son and they are being saved and redeemed by judgment.

Gen 49:10  NKJV The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

Gen 49:11  Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes.

The woman has many things right in coming to Elisha and laying her son on the prophet’s bed, yet she has to learn to glory in her tribulations.  Such is our learning process, as we doubt because the cost of our discipleship (everything) is coming due.

Luk 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

It takes much experience of evil (Ecc 1:13) and most importantly our failure to learn this.

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Elisha sees the woman coming and sends Gehazi his servant to aid and comfort her.

2Ki 4:26  (Gehazi) Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 

2Ki 4:27  And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 

2Ki 4:28  Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 

The word Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and what is translated as “Well” in this story as the woman’s answers questions about her wellbeing.  This is the second time we see the woman claiming peace (it is well) in her life and life of her family when there is no such thing.

Jer 6:14  They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.

Our Babylonian pride, learned over 70 symbolic years, does not allow us to disclose our faults and expose our nakedness to others.  Like Adam and Eve, we will seek to cover ourselves with the works of our hands not truly believing the Lord sees all and works all things.  In the presence of Christ all are being revealed in due time.

1Co 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God

We don’t easily admit that our faith has been overcome by sin and we are bearing the fruit of death.  We seek to hide this, but the Lord sees our heart, and nothing can be hid when we come into His presence.

Luk 8:17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

We have not yet reviewed the other main player in this story who is Gehazi.  Gehazi represents a spirit of disobedience and gainsaying that is the conflict between the ways of God and the flesh.  The name Gehazi comes from two words H1516 and H2372 and means “valley of perception/vision”.  But a low point of vision represents an obscured view of truth where we seek to serve two masters.

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

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

The lessons in this story are as much about Gehazi failures and his (our) ineptitude as it is about the actions of the woman whose faith is being severely tried.  Gehazi will soon be exposed for his spiritual impotence caught between the spirit and the flesh and faith vs. unbelief.  Gehazi is outwardly godly and religious, yet inwardly is a gainsayer and lover of pleasure (2T 3:1-3:5).  Gehazi cannot perform the greater works as he tries to serve two masters.  Gehazi is unable to raise the dead child later in this story (2Ki 4:31) and we learn from the story of the healing of Naaman, Gehazi’s true spiritual condition.

2Ki 5:20  But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

Elisha confronts Gehazi on his sin and the problem is clearly identified.

2Ki 5:27  The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee (Gehazi), and unto thy seed forever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Gehazi is our mixed multitude state of being lukewarm trying to save our old life as well as gain the new.  Here in this story we see Gehazi commit another error by hindering those weak and struggling in coming to Elisha (Christ).  When the young in the faith struggle, those that are stronger are to bear their weaknesses and infirmities but by no means hinder anyone or every dissuade anyone from coming to Christ and casting all our care upon Him.  The unconverted disciples make the same mistake and we make the same mistake inwardly hindering the weak and the immature (the young) from coming to Christ (Elisha).

Mat 19:13  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Rom 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

We are to be patient and gentle with the weak, inwardly and outwardly, knowing everyone is exactly where they are written in the Lord’s Book from the beginning (Psa 139:16, Isa 46:10, Act 17:26).

The strong are to minister to the weak and needy; but do it only in a gentle and peaceable way (Gal 6:1).  The fact Elisha puts up with a “weak in the faith” Gehazi (within ourselves and without) proves his obedience to these commands.

2Ti 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

2Ti 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Our preventing babes from coming to Christ and laying at His feet is much displeased by the Lord and a sign and a reason for us to examine ourselves.

Mar 10:14  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

We are guaranteed fiery trials to try our faith (1Pe 4:13).  None of disciples which are His Elect asked to be elected nor did we count the cost before accepting.  When the heavy trials come, we cry out to Christ not wanting to be deceived anymore and reminding the Lord what He already knows.

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you….

Rom 10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me

We are always reminded that the Lord works all things, even the failings and shortcoming in our walk and it is through failure we learn to do it the right way.  It reminds me of the old saying about Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb.  He did not first invent the lightbulb, he first discovered 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

Pro 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Next study Lord willing, we will finish this parable and look at the intimate details of what Christ (Elisha) does to revive us and how we are being brought back to life and given back to our spiritual mother.  We will begin with the failed efforts of Gehazi to first revive the child and later see Elisha enter in and perform the miracle of raising one to newness of  life.

2Ki 4:33  He (Elisha) went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD.

2Ki 4:34  And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.

2Ki 4:35  He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

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

A Servant of Jesus Christ,  Pete

Studies

An Introduction to Elijah the Prophet

NOTE:  The audio recording was of too poor quality to post and will need to be redone to be usable.  Plan to do this in the coming week so check back for the audio.  

Our Admonition Part 3

 “An Introduction to Elijah the Prophet”

Key Verses: 1Ki 17:1 – 1Ki 17:7

Elijah is the most often cited Old Testament prophet in the New Testament (30 times).  This fact is no coincidence (Mat 5:18, 2Ti 3:16) and is there to help teach us the ways of the Lord.  The experience of Elijah is our experience as we live by every word. These matters are at the center of the process of spiritual completion (think the number three) taking us out of the world onward to a mature man in Christ.

Joh 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

Elijah and his NT successor John the Baptist are the bridge (the connection) between Moses and Christ.

Mal 3:1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

The spirit and power of Elijah is the same as John the Baptist.  The stories have different details, yet the spiritual significance is the same and a double witness for us to learn by.  Elijah and John were prophets, but were in a special class with a duty to prepare the carnally minded for the coming of the Lord.

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

Mat 11:13  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Mat 11:14  And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

The transfiguration of Jesus Christ was a vision showing the disciples and us by extension of the three stages we endure to become like Jesus Christ by ourselves being transfigured spiritually.  The number three signifies the process of our spiritual completion (maturation) and 1) Moses, 2) Elijah/John the Baptist and 3) Christ represent the three stages in which we walk with God.

Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Mat 17:4  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Moses represents our time in Orthodoxy also known as Babylon where we are drawn out of the world and into the wilderness seeking the truth.  But all we know here is the other jesus that is built upon the works of our flesh not knowing that the Lord is working ALL THINGS (Eph 1:11). This time (40 symbolic years) under this carnal law for a carnal nation (Heb 9:10) is not wasted, it is in fact good as it is used to bring us to the true Jesus in due time.

1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…..

Elijah like John is the bridge to Christ from this carnal law that binds all men (Rom 7:14).  Elijah’s coming initiates the Lord’s work in bringing the restitution of all things, the restoral of Israel inwardly in our hearts.

Mat 17:10  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 

Restoring the Israel of God, which the Elect are (Gal 6:16), is done by the Word working righteousness.  That requires faith which only comes by hearing the word (Rom 10:17) and so a preacher must be sent (Rom 10:14).  Thus Elijah and John comes first with the true gospel that make us hearers of the Word.  This lays the foundation for the coming of Christ with the grace of God to move us on to being doers and overcomers.  John in the spirit of Elijah preaches repentance and there is a overlap or segue as Jesus Christ comes on the scene of our lives.

Mar 1:4  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Act 19:4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Christ finishes the work and the process within us that began with Moses and then is advanced by Elijah yet awaits the coming of the Lord to  be completed.

Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

Elijah [H452] means Yahweh is God or God of Jehovah, the word being composed of El (God) and Jah (Yahweh).  The Lord sends Elijah to reawaken our consciousness and turn our deceived wicked hearts back to our Heavenly Father by the testimony of the Word against our sins and rebellion.  Coming to see our sins (1Ti 1:15, Rom 7:24) leads us to repentance and in due time turns our hearts in a new direction where we seek the things of the Spirit.

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

The coming of the spirit and power of Elijah is the beginning of the end of the old man.  When Elijah aka John the Baptism is born into our hearts, we will rejoice thinking we have finally found the Lord.

Luk 1:14  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

Luk 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Luk 1:16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

Luk 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

This is only the preparation stage for the true grace of God to be revealed by the brightness of the Lord’s second coming which will reveal our true wickedness.

2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming

John the Baptist was a representation of the Spirit of Elijah and begins the process of repentance and warns of the fire that would follow when Christ appears in the day of the Lord.

Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Getting our heavens right is the first step.  Yet it takes the second coming of Christ with judgment to turn us into doers and get the truth that is in heaven (mind), into our earth (Mat 6:10) or said another way into “our walk”.  Our feet, our deeds and actions need to be continually washed in the baptism of fire and water (Joh 13:8-10).  With this background let’s begin to move into the Scriptures where Elijah is introduced.

The Situation in Israel

Keep in mind the kingdom of God is within you (Luk 17:21) as we live out these words.  All the people and events speak to our life in the appointed times.  Elijah appears without any other noted history when King Ahab took over from his father Omri.  We will get to some of those dealings with Ahab later in this series but know the situation when Elijah first appears.

1Ki 16:30  And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 

1Ki 16:33  And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 

Ahab (you and me) provoked the Lord to anger with our wickedness and the Lord begins the process of bringing vengeance for His Temple which temple we are as His Elect  (1Co 3:16).

1Ki 17:1  And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 

We learn that Elijah is a Tishbite of the sojourners (inhabitants) of Gilead.  Digging into these places supports Elijah being the bridge between Moses and Christ preparing the way of the Lord.

Gilead is being east of the Jordan river, symbolizes our yet carnal nature and last days before the Lord comes with the true grace of God that baptizes us and allows us to begin to conquer giants in the land.  This is in type what the crossing over the Jordan River entails as many studies have previously covered.  Gilead comes from a word of the same name that means heap of testimony or heap of witnessing which is exactly what Elijah does in confronting the wicked King Ahab and Jezebel.

There is little information on Tishbeh or Tishbite and the word is only used six times all in reference to Elijah.  Strong’s tell us the name means means “recourse” while other scholars say it means “one that takes captive”.

H8664, tishbı̂y, tish-bee’

Patrial from an unused name meaning recourse; a Tishbite or inhabitant of Tishbeh

Recourse refers to an avenue or source of help or assistance.  In this way the spirit of Elijah is the recourse (avenue) that lead us to Christ and initiates the turning from our wicked ways.   Elijah and John begin the final leg of the Lord’s process to take our captivity to sin captive.

Luk 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 

The least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist or Elijah because they had not the grace of God revealed to them.  Elijah and John were only hearers and never lived to see the true grace that turns men into doers.  They will be taught in the lake of fire with the rest of mankind.  Elijah brings faith through the word but without the grace that saves.

Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Mat 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Elijah represents the hearing of the Word for which we will suffer persecution and rejection by the world, yet we do not understand grace and the Lord’s purpose for an Elect.

Rom 11:2  God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying,

Rom 11:3  “LORD, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS AND TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY SEEK MY LIFE”?

Rom 11:4  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.”

Rom 11:5  Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Elijah declaring a drought in the land is a rebuke of the (our) man of sin.  Drying up his lies (rain) and food by bringing a famine begins the process of decreasing the old man.

Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Yet Elijah is only the forerunner to Jesus Christ as was John.  Grace is still yet to come, and we will fall seven times and be overcome so the Lord can come resurrect us in newness of life with the Holy Spirit that had not yet been given in Elijah’s time (Joh 7:29).

Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Our new man is greatly nourished and the old man is decreased when we begin to hear the word of truth. Bringing a drought to that wicked man within us is done with the truth that vaporizes the lies of the harlot riding our beast that keeps us in bondage to the world.   The rain and the dew of the Lord is His truth and His doctrines which are spoken by His prophets and those He sends forth to speak words of fire (Jer 5:14).

Deu 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

The drought upon the old man’s water brings famine and makes us needy and sets us up to be sustained by our fellow brethren as we also find our husband IN Christ.  The Lord sends His prophets to bring life and food by the Word.

Luk 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

Luk 4:26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

After announcing the famine against the wicked King Ahab, Elijah is sent to hide in the wilderness and is nourished by the Lord.

1Ki 17:2  And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

1Ki 17:3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.

1Ki 17:4  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 

1Ki 17:5  So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 

1Ki 17:6  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 

1Ki 17:7  And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 

The Brook Cherith is a place that is before the Jordan, meaning it is our experience before we are brought through the fiery baptisms that are necessary to enter into and possess the land.

Jos 1:11  Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Rev 15:8  The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

We are prepared to make this crossing that will take us three days of preparation (the whole process of spiritual completion).  Salvation is a slow process that comes by our learning from our mistakes and being taught by the correction brought by grace (Rom 5:20, Isa 26:9).

Cherith comes from a word meaning “cutting or separation”. It is here in the wilderness before the Jordan River’s fiery baptism that we are prepared of the Lord and begin to separate from the world WITHIN us and our former way of life.

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

1Ki 8:53  For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.

Turning eastward is a symbol of immaturity and a yet carnal mindset. We have to be made ready to endure the trials and scourging of following the Sun and the Lord westward (Rom 1:20) in moving on to maturity.  Whether we move on to maturity or stay stuck facing east is all the Lord’s work in us.  A lack of faith will have us look back and trust in our own understanding and the ways of the world which is an abomination to the Lord.

Eze 8:15  Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

Eze 8:16  And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. 

This represents our appointed time in spiritual Babylon where we are under the harlot’s influence and camp out in the wilderness and are fed by the Lord for our first witness period.

Rev 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Rev 12:6  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

Birds represent spirits or doctrines (1Co 2:13) and fly in our heavens (mind).  We are first nourished by these fowls of Babylon (Orthodoxy and Spiritual) before Christ comes to purify His temple within us and create a totally new heaven and earth with fire.

Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:

Mat 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

1Ki 17:6  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. 

The message in these verses have nothing to do with physical bread and meat, they are speaking of spiritual matters (Joh 6:63, 1Co 2:13).  These birds of prey like eagles, eat flesh and that is what they do in nourishing us as we begin to be separated from the world within and our carnal way of life.  These ravens in the positive are the commandments of the Lord, the bread of life that also becomes meat for the new man as our old man dies daily to the flesh.

Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.

Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Joh 6:52  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Dying to self is the food for the new man and the ravens in our heavens play a role in all the Lord’s work.  Eating this flesh in spirit and in truth is what decreases the old man and increases the new.  In this way, John was being fed by the spiritual ravens as well in the wilderness.

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I (John the Baptist) must decrease.

Pro 30:17  The eye that mocks his father, And scorns obedience to his mother, The ravens of the valley will pick it out, And the young eagles will eat it.

Rev 19:17  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

Ravens in the negative sense would be carnal thoughts/doctrines that keep us in captivity in unbelief being immature and unable to progress in our walk of faith.  Our time in the wilderness and Spiritual Babylon (is, was and will be) is not wasted.  It is necessary to prepare us for things to come.  The winged fowls do exactly what they were created to do in feeding or destroying the old man and nurturing the new man in preparing for Christ’s coming.

Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Eventually the drought proclaimed by Elijah effects all the inhabitants of the land.

1Ki 17:7  And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 

The Lord brings the rain on the just and unjust alike (Mat 5:45).  In the same way, the spiritual rain (doctrines, thoughts for the old or new man) are withheld to bring about a change of heart and renewed mindset (Rom 12:1-2) in us.  The Lord knows how to use water sparingly or in abundance to accomplish His will in the life of every man alive.

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.

1Pe 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

A time came to Elijah and will come to us when we have been prepared for ministry and service in the Kingdom of God.  The Lord dries up the brook that had nourished Elijah and sends Him forth on a new journey.  The next stop for Elijah will have him being sustained by a widow with hardly any food and then raising her son from the dead.  This requires him to be sent to Zarephath which means refinement and comes from a root word H6884 that’s all about purifying metals and as we will see.

1Ki 17:9  Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

The Lord will not try us beyond what we are able to bear (1Co 10:13).  We have to learn and be taught how to suffer and be able to give thanks to the Lord for that suffering (Eph 5:30).  We will look at this part of Elijah’s journey and Lord willing better understand what it means to be sent in the spirit and power of Elijah.

 

Studies

Habakkuk Part 3 – The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

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The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

Key Verses:  Hab 2:2 – 2:5

We continue in Habakkuk and the Lord now answers the prophet’s questions with words that were written for our admonition (1Co 10:11). To mature in faith we have to progress (be transformed) from being carnally minded and abiding in death (Rom 8:6) to standing on faith of the promises to come. Trials and our learning from them prepare us for more trials and finishing the race set before us. Habakkuk and all God’s Elect by extension (Mat 4:4) are being told of the grace of God that is to come which is saving us if we stay the course.

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

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

Along the journey of faith, we all struggle at first with carnal fear, uncertainty and doubt as we wait for deliverance from the evil within ourselves and from this wicked world. We are learning righteousness more and more (Isa 26:9) when the Lord comes the second time in Spirit to His people.

Joh 16:8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

The Lord’s people are being made to dwell in the fire (Isa 33:13-14) and will become more comfortable and confident, with less doubting questions, as our faith grows. The “trials” are the process and are what is needed to grow faith in the Word and cut off the faith in our own abilities and flesh. This experience is manifesting the glory of God, (our obedience) little by little as we die daily (Gal 2:20, 1Co 15:31) with Christ.

2Th 1:4  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 

2Th 1:5  Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

The Lord now answers our complaints about the prosperity of the wicked and how it will all end. The end is a future time, an appointed time which is promised to come but will require God’s people to live by faith and wait for Him to finish His good work.

Hab 2:2  And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 

Hab 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 

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

Hab 2:5  Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: 

The only people who can read and discern the Scriptures are those the Lord has given the keys to the kingdom of God. These keys are the faith OF Jesus Christ and the accompanying eyes to see and ears to hear.

Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 16:19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

There is a 12 part series Mike did on the Keys to the Kingdom that can be accessed by Clicking Here

The Lord is not working with many people in this age. Indeed, few there be shall find the way of the Lord and even fewer given to endure to the end and be saved (Rev 17:14). Who sees and who hears, is 100% the Lord’s doing. It is only when we are dragged to The Body Christ, aka the Potter’s House, that spiritual ears are opened and we begin to run the race of faith.

Jer 18:2  Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

The vision of judgment of the Lord’s enemies is sealed until the appointed time for every man (their day of the Lord) arrives. None will understand until that time is at hand and judgment has fallen upon the House of God. Those that can read and understand the words of the prophets are God’s people to whom the Scriptures were written and to whom the blessing of God’s judgment falls in this age.

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

It is only by our coming into the fellowship and communion with The Christ that the seals are being opened and we now begin to grow in understanding

Rev 5:5  And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

When Christ comes for salvation in our day of the Lord, we can hear and discern His Words that are “plainly” teaching us righteousness henceforth.

Joh 16:25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.

The law of Moses including the ten commandments is a shadow of the true law of faith and the baptism by fire that will speak to us plainly and teach us the ways of Jesus Christ (righteousness).

Deu 27:8 And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly

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.

When this Word is unsealed and we read and hear and keep the judgment of God, then Christ is risen within us and the time is indeed at hand. Our flesh and wicked nations within are now being destroyed.

Rev 10:9  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

The raising of Jesus Christ from the dead within us begins the revelation of Jesus Christ and is the beginning of sorrows (our suffering for Christ’s sake). But as the Lord tells us, the end is not yet, we must endure through many more tribulations and judgments to be saved.

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time ….

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

1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The Lord is showing the prophet and commanding him to write these prophetic words for our benefit as Peter’s continuing words speak of this profound truth about the entire Old Testament.

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 (suffering is the way of salvation that manifests God’s glory – our  obedience)

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.

It is the “lively hope” which is the living and active faith necessary to see us through the trials and the suffering to which we as God’s people are appointed (Phi 1:29). Our hope of the promises to come is reminding us of the purpose of our trials and tribulations. Without hope, there is no joy and we would only have despair of the trials of this life.

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

We are of little faith in our immaturity and need to be told often and reminded of the Promise which is the vision that is to come that speaks of our salvation and deliverance from sin.

Hab 2:3  For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 

We will get into the details of the vision the Lord is giving Habakkuk next week. There will be a series of five woes (grace through faith …. i.e. judgment) against the wicked within us that will humble Habakkuk and bring him to the place of understanding and acceptance of the Lord’s painful process. It is only after we live through these judgments that the wicked within are silenced and the fruit of righteousness appears.

Heb 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Which is the same as putting on the fine linen that is the righteousness of the saints.

Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and whitefor the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 

The time of the end refers to the end of the AION or the age. Inwardly these words speak to the end of our carnal age, the losing (conversion) of our carnal mind and fleshly way of life. When Christ has come to make war in our heavens, this age will come to its consummation as we live out the rest of our days in these clay vessels suffering through THE BLESSING that is the judgment of God poured out which manifests God’s love … our obedience in due time.

Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Many that walk with Christ for a season fall away and do not return because there are not steadfast (not given them) in their faith.

Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

The Lord is preparing His elect by giving us true doctrines and maturing us to bear the destruction of our flesh and carnal mind. The Lord is faithful to prepare us beforehand and give us a body (The Christ) in which to find comfort and support.

2Co 1:4  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

2Co 1:5  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

We are matured through many tribulations (Act 14:22), yet the Lord is faithful to prepare us for the “trouble that lies ahead”.

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright [H3474] in him: but the just shall live by his faith. 

Hearing the word is followed by the process of converting us into doers or over comers as we walk out our faith. Our crooked (not straight, nor upright) paths of the carnal mind will be straightened or made upright as we sojourn in faith.

Pro 4:25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight [H3474] before thee.

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

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

We are being made dependent on Christ and being stripped of reliance on anything else. We all stumble over the law of faith (Rom 9:31-32) by first relying on our own works to save us and not believing nor waiting on the Lord.

Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Rom 10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth …..

The trials of faith (judgments) are burning out all reliance on SELF, so that only faith is left.

Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Heb 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Faith gives us access to the grace of God and the ability to stand in the fire and being saved. This is how endurance is established and strengthened as we grow in faith.

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 5:3  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Rom 5:5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God (our obedience)  is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Paul requotes the Lord’s words to Habakkuk and speaks of the cost of our discipleship and how we look beyond that to the promises of faith.

Heb 10:32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Heb 10:33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Heb 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Heb 10:35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

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

Heb 10:37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 

Heb 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Heb 10:39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (endure to the end)

Everyone in Orthodoxy knows and can cite Eph 2:8 that faith is a gift. But fewer know that the faith each of us have is not our own faith, it is the faith OF Jesus Christ. We are given a measure of the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord.  It is not of ourselves!

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

Eph 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

To accomplish His will in our lives, the Lord is going to turn up the heat of His “grace-O-Meter” (Rom 5:20, Isa 48:10). Yet before we seek the Lord in faith, we err with our knowledge (wine) of the Lord. This all serves the Lord’s plan, nothing is wasted, and brings the occasion for our eventual baptism by the fire of His judgments (Rom 2:5).

Hab 2:5  Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: 

We all go astray with the Lord’s wine which is knowledge of the truth. This knowledge puts into an old wine-skin of our flesh and carnal mind at first enables our beast to make merchandise (seek the gain of the world) of the Lord’s Word.

Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

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

Living by every word requires us to first get drunk as did Noah (Gen 9:21) and have our nakedness (sins) uncovered.  The new wine needs to be put into a new vessel (Mat 9:17) which requires the first vessel to be destroyed through judgment (Jer 18:4). The knowledge of God put into our old mindset begins the process of destroying our man of sin which begins to build the new wine bottle (vessel).

Luk 5:37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

Luk 5:38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

It is the destruction of our old man that weans us off the milk and is teaching us to eat strong meat and bear the burden of dying daily with Christ in our sufferings.

Isa 28:7  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

The kingdom of God is not about the knowledge albeit that knowledge is essential. Wine is the means to the end but not the primary objective.

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

1Co 8:1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity [Love – OUR OBEDIENCE] edifieth. 

Judgment is very much necessary to separate us from the world. God’s people are to be separated from the world and these heathen nations. We need a new mind, a transformation (Rom 12:2) and that requires Christ bringing a war in our heavens (mind – Rev 12:7).

2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

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.

The story of King Belshazzar in the Book of Daniel (Dan 5) is our story. We misuse the true vessels and wine of the Temple and eat and drink with the world and our idols and concubines to gather the nations (within and without ourselves) and win favor.

Dan 5:22  And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Dan 5:23  But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:

This disobedience, despite knowing the Truth, sets us up for destruction so the new vessel can be made by fire. In due time, we are being weighed and measured as was Belshazzar and we too will be found wanting or lacking that ultimately leads to the time of the end.

We fall down our “seven times” (Pro 24:16) but we learn to walk upright by these sins and mistakes and the subsequent chastening of the true grace of God.  The father of faith in type and shadow was Abraham, who was an example for us to follow, to find the true righteousness by faith.

Rom 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Rom 4:21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Rom 4:22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Rom 4:23  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

The promise to Abraham was a shadow of the promise that has come and is coming and is given to God’s elect in this age. It is only God’s elect, the precious few, who are being justified in this life. We walk this narrow road of faith and endurance holding fast to the  precious promises to come.

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 

Next week Lord willing, we will cover the five pronouncements of woe. This is the vision the Lord has told Habakkuk is coming and will not tarry and we are to wait for it with all expectation. If we have been given the gift of faith and the time and opportunity to mature, we will be ready for what is coming upon us. We will stand strong in the faith and wait for the Lord to perform His Word.

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

Doctrine, faith

The Two Covenants – Part 2

The Two Covenants Part 2

(Compiled from studies and posts by the elders)

We have looked at the law of the letter and the Law of the Spirit in Part 1. Today, we look a little more at the perfect Law of Liberty, the Renewed Covenant that is in Christ’s blood.

Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Perfect Love

1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

What is this perfect love? This word “perfect” is being used in the context of matured love, a complete love and a love that is full of age Greek 5048 (from 5046 & 5056), as opposed to an immature childish love. Perfect love is the opposite of the love that focuses on all things aside from the true Christ, the love of the world and all things in it.

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Perfection in the Spirit, is when maturity and or completeness is the end goal, that we be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, that is, to be as our Father, which is in heaven IS perfect (Mat 5:48, 2Co 13:9, 2Ti 3:16-17). We, however, receive the fullness of the Spirit only when we are physically resurrected with Christ Lord willing.

“Perfect love” is keeping Christ’s Word, the means unto that Perfection.

Psa 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: [but] thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: [of perfection] but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before (ASV).

 Perfect love of God is perfect hatred to all that oppose Christ and are contrary to the ways of God, the Father, His Son and His Christ.

Psa 139:21 Do not I hate them, O Jehovah, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

Psa 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: They are become mine enemies. (ASV)

Obedience to the doctrine of Christ is how this love is being perfected, and we are to press on towards it. As our obedience is fulfilled, this love grows in us as we abide in the doctrine of Christ. It is love that grows and is abounding into perfection.

2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

 This perfect love “casts out fear”, and fear is contrasted with boldness. John is inspired to emphasize the end goal:

Joh 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 Fear of whom should we be concerned with to be casting out of our heavens and earth?

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

1Jn 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

False prophets and antichrists prophesy (1Co 14:3) falsely to deceive us within and without who do not confess the true Name of Christ.

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore, speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

Fear of them that seduce you, fear of the antichrists, fear of they of the world, which is all briefly comprehended in saying, the fear of men.

Pro 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

The spirit of antichrist that is bringing great fear to us, requires vigilance to cast out. This is the Pharisee within and without, always accusing us. Paul, was exceedingly mad against the Living Church at first. The carnal mind wants to rule and have preeminence.

Act 26:10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.

Act 26:11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

3Jn 1:9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

 3Jn 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

He that fears is not being made perfect in love. What type of fear did John witness in the days of his flesh? John saw there was fear of the Jews. We do not want to die daily.

Joh 7:12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

Joh 7:13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

 John saw a disciple of Jesus in fear of the Jews as he himself also was and the rest:

Joh 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

Joh 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Three times we read John write for fear of the Jews. John knew what fear of men really entails; how it manifests, and how that fear is a snare holding many in bondage to be slaves of unrighteousness and slaves of lies.

Isa 57:11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?

And it is continuing to be fulfilled in every generation, as it was in the days of John when he saw the cause of the fear that was in men causing the denying of Christ and His Christ within and without.

Joh 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

Joh 12:43 For they loved the praise [fear] of men more than the praise [fear] of God.

The praise of men is linked to the fear of men. The praise of God is linked to the fear of God. No man can serve both. One has to be cast out (Mat 6:24). Fear, is, was and will be cast out when our obedience is being fulfilled, day by day for the rest of our lives in earthen clay vessels Lord willing. Fear of men, that is contrary to the fear of God, inhibits us from obedience to God.

Isa 8:12 Say ye not, A conspiracy, concerning all whereof this people shall say, A conspiracy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be in dread thereof.

Isa 8:13 Jehovah of hosts, him shall ye sanctify; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Heb 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

We are given an example of one apostle serving the Lord with boldness, with a more matured love having cast out the fear of men (one and the same as the fear of the Jews, of the circumcision) and another with less matured love fearing men and treasuring up torments for himself. This is us in the day of judgement which is now upon us.

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, [boldness in the day of Judgment] because he was to be blamed.

Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 

Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, [devoid of perfect love, obedience to the gospel], I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter was in such dread of the circumcision (Pharisees), that he played the hypocrite. Fear caused him to live a lie for a moment and not fear God. Fear cause a lot of torments trapping people in unrighteousness, lies, hatred and it takes time to overcome as the natural instinct is to prefer the old wine from the changes of the new.

Luk 5:39 And no man having drunk old wine desireth new; for he saith, The old is good. (ASV)

Perfect love is a growing event, little by little, day unto day as fear of men decreases, is cast out of our hearts and minds, and our obedience in the fear of the Lord increases. Do not fear and dread this spirit, and this takes Christ in us (Act 9:26, Act 26:10-11). In the day of judgment when antichrist spirit, like Saul, from Tarsus, is persecuting us to strange cities and putting some to death, this is taking great boldness through the power of God in us, Christ, to “not be afraid”, a supernatural event simply because the fear of death is very natural and very real. Not being naturally afraid of the spirit of antichrist is one and the same thing as not being afraid or fearful of death. As John wrote many times, only “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) is greater than any antichrist, seducers, deceivers and false prophets that is in the world. We overcome that fear of men or death in us by keeping His commandments.

Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, [thus the fear of death] that is, the devil;

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

The power and fear of death that the children of the devil are temporarily given has no hold on Christ.

Joh 19:10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? [you do not fear me??!] knowest thou not that I have power [of death] to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [of death and fear] at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore, he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

Christ with boldness, told John and the other disciples earlier:

Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

The fear of men binds and delivers us into many prisons of the world’s system within and without. The torment and stripes the fear of men produces includes the bondage to the carnal mind (bondage to death – Rom 7:23-24, Rom 8:2) that the Lord is freeing us from in the day of our judgment. Christ is the mediator to bring us from the fear and power of death to the fear and power of God under the NT.

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, [of the fear of men] being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, [and all its power and fears] they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

That boldness Christ displayed in the face of death is what Paul refers to as a good confession, and we are striving for this every day and that is to fear Christ only.

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.

By having boldness in the day of judgment as a soldier of Christ, through perfect love.

1Ti 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

1Ti 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

What is boldness in the Day of Judgment? Boldness for what?

In our day of judgement, the fear of men begins to be fading away because the riches of Christ are being esteemed far higher than the fear of men. Look at the example of Peter and John in the book of Acts.

Act 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
Act 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem …

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus …

Act 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them,

Here’s a demonstration of boldness in the day of judgement, and carnal fears, fear of men, spirits of many antichrists are being cast out.

Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Act 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.

It takes great boldness to tell the Jews, then and now, and their carnal supporters, that God is making of twain one new man (Eph 2:14-16, Rom 2:28). Speaking the Word in boldness in the midst of religious antichrists is to speak without fear of men. Great boldness is needed because it is inevitable that there will be contentions, even at times, persecution unto death. Think within first.

1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

To be in the faith of God’s elect, boldness is a requisite to enter into the faith, walk in the faith, live and die by the faith of Christ.

Heb 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [the pure faith of God’s elect] by the blood of Jesus,

Php 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

It takes the boldness of Christ in us to overcome the fear of men and confess a good witness, to speak the Truth as we ought to.

Php 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

1Th 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Boldness is needed. Why? Because we do not know what tomorrow brings, we testify to the Gospel of grace.

Act 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, [Paul showing us an example of great boldness] not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

Act 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Fear has torment. What is torment? Who fears?

The torment from the fear of false prophets, is only the one side of torment. Torment and pain is also coming from living under falsehood when we know the Truth. Knowing to do good, and doing it not for fear, is reserving one’s own punishment. There are consequences of disobedience to God’s Word that the natural man treasures up to himself wrath against the day of wrath unto the that Day (Rom 2:5-6).

Deu 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that [Perfect love] thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God;

Deu 28:59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Deu 28:60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, [deliver you unto Satan] which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

Deu 28:61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

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.

These torments are stored up until the time the Lord delivers us through the destruction of the flesh. Just as we are being delivered from death through death, (Joh 12:24, Col 1:22, Heb 2:14) likewise, we, are and will be delivered, from ungodliness through the torment and pain of the destruction of the flesh, that is, the death of the cross. At the appointed time, the Lord teaches us His fear and dread by His Spirit.

Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell [Gk: Sheol, the abode of death – the carnal mind] are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

Many scorners and rulers of men within and without say in our hearts when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, …. when judgment day comes, it shall not come unto us, that is, we will not go through the heart-cleansing process of the wrath of God. This covenant with death, the fear of death, and all that it entails, are being destroyed today, if we are His.

Isa 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

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

It is all a demonstration of His Almighty power and age-lasting glory.

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, [His fear] endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Psa 90:11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

It is all a process unto salvation within and without.

1Jn 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

That is how we are and always will be being saved through His consuming fire, so that the fear of the Lord becomes our fear, no more fear of men and or fear of death.

Isa 8:11 The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said,

Isa 8:12 “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.

Isa 8:13 Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life (New Living Translation).

How does obedience (perfect love) relate to suffering and boldness?

There is and was suffering for the disciples then and now in perfect love of the brethren. Suffering is a central part of obedience in that the flesh is being denied and dying daily. We have been told numerous times:

1Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

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;

The transformative process is pain and sorrow, but results in a peace and love that surpasses all understanding, producing wisdom that is not of this world. The difference now is that suffering that comes (because of not being afraid/fearful of the men of this world, overcoming the flesh and confessing the Name of Christ) is now for righteousness’s sake, and not suffering for doing evil.

Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

1Pe 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

We are no longer fearful and afraid of the terrors of men because the suffering is not worthy to be compared to the glory that lies ahead and already is.

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, [in the Fear of God] than for evil doing [In the fear of men and love of this world].

That is how we become unafraid in heart and suffer for well doing.

Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Perfect love cast out all kinds of fear

The love of Christ works by fearing Him, by obedience to His commandments. Christ does not deny Himself. His fire to be feared remains from the beginning until the end, even as His love.

2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

In Him are all the characteristics of love, fear, righteousness, wisdom, knowledge, judgments and all spiritual attributes in one. What can separate us from the throne of God, as we have seen so far, is the fear of men, the Jews, fear of them that kill the body, fear of the enemy all summarized as fear of death.

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world [whom we fear with the power of death] be cast out.

As Christ increases and we decrease we have no more fear of death. Boldness is coming as Paul, Peter and others displayed in the Acts of the disciples.

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren [whom we used to fear in times past] is cast downwhich accused them before our God day and night.

Carnal fear causes many to turn aside from the righteousness of God and being leavened.

Deu 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Our witness of Christ in this evil world, as evil men wax worse and worse, makes for spiritual blessings, contentions and warfare with persecutions, needing great boldness.

Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

We are being persecuted even to “strange cities”.

Act 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,

Act 5:28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Perfect love is casting out the fearful, afraid and timid spirits (men) in our hearts.

Eze 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

It is by the fear of God we do service to the Lord himself out of the heart.

Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

The Spirit of God through Christ deliver us and teach us His fear.

Heb 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death [the fear of man] were all their lifetime subject to bondage [A snare].

Isa 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

Then boldness and blessings replace the fear of man:

2Ti 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [of man, of death] but of power, and of [perfect] love, and of a sound mind.

Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly sayThe Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

It is the Elect of God who have been set from the bondage to the first covenant and the delusion of thinking we are responsible for our own salvation.  Salvation like all things, is the Lord’s work in His people who are mere clay in His hands (Isa 64:8, Phil 2:13).  The freedom we have in Christ, is not freedom to sin but it is freedom to cease from our own works and wait on the Lord to deliver on His precious promises.  It is in this patience of enduring torment in  our flesh that we possess our souls (Luk 21:19).  In this we should rejoice daily no matter where may find ourselves on the way to maturity.

Gal 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Gal 4:23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Gal 4:24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Gal 4:25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Gal 4:26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Gal 4:27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

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