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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.

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

Studies

Faith Towards God

(View, print or download  PDF file, click below)

“Faith Towards God”

Jas 1:16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Jas 1:18  Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

We are sown in bodies in corruption in the likeness and weakness of sinful flesh. Born slaves to sin, no good thing comes from within us unless the Lord does the initiation.

The gift of faith is not our own faithit is the faith OF Jesus Christ. It is the faith OF Christ that becomes our faith. As Christ is so are we in this world (1 John 4:17)!

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

This gift is only being revealed unto God’s chosen ones in their appointed times. Like all gifts, the giver of the gift, determines when and how the gift is imparted. Having been predestinated or chosen to receive it before the world was formed; we are receiving a tremendous blessing to be the firstfruits of the harvest and salvation of all men if we continue in His goodness being saved through a fiery process of judgement.

Acts 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

Faith towards God is part of the milk doctrines which are:

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Heb 5:13 For everyone that useth milk [partakes and continues only on milk] is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

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

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

Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit [God willing].

As we learned from our first study, “Repentance from dead works,” milk, is a necessary part of our diet to develop, and is an essential part to the sum of God’s Truth. All who desire to live a godly life in Christ must first partake of this milk, without which any child of God cannot grow up. At the appointed time of the Father, the child of God is to move onto perfection through partaking of the “strong meat”, the “deep things of God”. Let us remind ourselves of the importance of milk from our last study;

1Pet 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word [Why?] that ye may grow thereby:

Introduction:

The second of these six elementary principles (milk doctrines) of Christ is faith toward God. A principle can be defined as a foundation for belief, an essence, a basis of conduct or a fundamental truth from which ALL others are derived from. It is therefore mandatory that we use the basic principles the Scripture sets out to understand faith. To be born again, or “as newborn babes,” one must first being born (John 3:6).

When the Scriptures talk about our first birth, it is not placing emphasis on our physical birth by our physical mother, but rather the birth of the old man, the old adamic human nature which is strongly tied to the system of the world, faith of this age and its earthly things. Being a “newborn babe” refers to the birth of the nature of Jesus Christ in us (His Word, mind and ways) and living His Life through us (Rom 8:10).

Faith toward God is a process TOWARDS God that does not take a few seconds, days, months or a few years. It is a process that lasts for the rest of our lives until we get to the FULLNESS OF GOD. The destination is to the Father, and the Captain dragging us toward God is the Lord, Jesus Christ, himself. He alone knows the WAY, the obstacles and how to overcome those obstacles and complete the mission in getting us to God. There is no other captain or route. We obtain age abiding life through Christ (John 17:3).

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The multifaceted composition of faith and manifold parts will be revealed to us only as we continue toward God. The first thing we need to know is the basic definition of faith, according to Scripture. Let us look at the true faith of God’s elect versus the faith of orthodoxy.

What is TRUE Faith?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is not based on substance or anything tangible. It is only required when there is no physical evidence that we can see or scientifically prove something. A better and more appropriate translation of Hebrews 11:1 that fits the rest of Scripture is:

Heb 11:1 (NASB) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

It is the belief in the invisible. The assurance intended to give us confidence beyond our natural comprehension.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

1Pe 1:8 (ESV) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.

Faith is a NOUN. It is not a verb or an action. Faith is a possession. True faith is the down payment, the earnest, of the Spirit given to us:

2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

We are not being able doing anything for God without this given faith. Believing on the Lord means that we are trusting God to deliver on ALL of His promises. Faith is believing that God is doing what He is saying and that He is FAITHFUL to His Covenants, even if we are not. It does not depend on us and our faithfulness. God is faithful to all His covenants and promises.

2 Tim 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. This is because, without faith, a man will lean on his own understanding and trust in his own works and efforts to bring about the will of God. We have to exceed the righteousness of the Law!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We are not being able to believe in God and His Word without Him giving us the faith to do so. We, are all like the father of the demon possessed son, who cried out “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief”:

Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Those with TRUE faith profess Christ as Lord:

 The true gospel of Christ is hated by the carnal mind. Humanity is at enmity with God and is repulsed at the idea that it is God alone who chooses to whom He imparts spiritual gifts. The sons of Christ are being given POWER of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith is salted with fire to go preach this gospel to the ends of the earth within.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast

Paul is saying that nobody calls Jesus Lord, in Spirit and Truth, without having the Holy Spirit inside of them.

1 Cor 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

We have to ASK our Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit!

Asking the Father and receiving from Christ:

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Acts 2:23-24 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore, being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

Here again we see the importance of repentance to receive Christ:

 Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Why is the FAITH of God’s sons different from orthodoxy?

There are many beliefs within Christianity, what makes this faith of God’s elect any different? The focus and subject of this faith is Christ bringing us toward God the Father. As newborn babes, two good starting points for having faith toward God are: There is One God and One Lord.

1Co 8:5 (ESV) For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”

1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Believing in the true one God, through the one Lord Jesus Christ, is the faith of God’s elect. This is the only faith that will drag us towards God the Father.

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Believing or having faith towards God is NOT recognizing that there is a man Jesus or even a God that exists. As can be seen in the verse with Thomas below, there are many “Thomases” who believe according to sight.

Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe [faith by sight].

The WORK of God:

True faith towards God includes the work of God, which we will begin to do once we get to the stronger meat of the Word. This is an important point to keep in mind when thinking about faith toward God. Without its work, it is dead! Let the Lord tell us Himself;

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, [this is the true faith toward God] that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Believe what Lord?

Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, [faith toward God is ….] believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, [Heb 6:2 “the principles of the doctrine of Christ”] for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This faith operates by obedience to the Word of God, believing and doing all things we are instructed and commanded of the Lord to do. In doing so, we are working and producing good works. This is the true LOVE of God and is covered in the stronger meat of God’s Word.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

We do not have the true FAITH of God, we have faith in “another Jesus ”to begin with:

Before we start being dragged to “faith toward God”, we all like to think and believe that we have faith of Jesus. The question is posed:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

As will be clearly revealed to us as we go onto the stronger meat of God’s Word, we did not have the faith that will bring us toward God when He first comes to us. As was mentioned in our last series of repentance from dead works, we first have to be made to realize we are sinful before we are granted repentance. Likewise, we first have to be brought to a point where we are being able to acknowledge, that we are without “faith toward God”.

Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Jer 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

Only after we acknowledge our faithlessness does the Lord begin to show us that what we had was NOT of faith. Faith toward God from the beginning had been omitted in our midst for many reasons, from genuine lack of understanding to it not fitting our denominational identity, when we first placed our faith in “the wisdom of men and our own religious beliefs as well as the ten commandments of Moses”.

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Our faith was first placed in wisdom of religious men, what the Scripture also calls a “schoolmaster” or in some translations “tutors” / “guardians”.

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. This is when we were ‘believers’ who in times past used to say:

1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ [” I am of Catholic faith…I am Pentecostal…I am Baptist…I am so and so”].

This is all contrary to the faith that brings us to God. As newborn babes, once we know we have One Father and One Lord, from then on, we are to be known only by His Name and begin to take on His true Christ-like nature. Even whilst abiding in the body of Christ, at first, we are only hearing and not doing yet.

At the appointed time of the Father, the Lord is sent to us through His Holy Spirit to bring us to God. The Lord is teaching us the Father’s Word, plans, thoughts, ways and doctrines. All the Lord does is to the intent to bring us “towards the Father”. The Lord chooses a few out of the multitude He has and is calling; He gives a measure of Himself in their hearts, which is the measure of faith. As newborn babes, it is good to always bear in mind that this is not just any faith (in the wisdom of men), rather it is the faith of God’s elect which is inevitably bringing us to God through the Holy Spirit through many fiery trials in this life.

 Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

MEASURE of faith given:

How much faith is given? We are all dealt a portion of Christ, that is, a measure of faith. Contrary to beliefs in time past, it is NOT given in a few seconds prayer, nor is a vast portion given at once. Rather, it is a very small amount as tiny as a grain of mustard seed.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

As we learned in the study, “Repentance from dead works”, we are not to despise those weak in the faith, simply because FAITH IS A GIFT. All newborn babes are given a talent to begin with also (see the parable of the talents). We are all weak in the faith at first, but by continuing daily, we become stronger in the faith. No man is given a hundred-present faith toward God at a single time. Likewise, there are multitudes of followers, to whom faith toward God is not yet given, but the faith given is in the wisdom of men.

2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

In both cases, it is very important for newborn babes to know that the law of faith rejects and excludes all vainglory and boasting, especially against those that have not been given faith and those that are still weak in the faith.

1Co 4:7 (NKJV) For who makes you differ from another? [strong in the faith or weak in the faith or have no faith toward God?]. And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Not faith of ourselves? WHAT and WHERE is it?

It is vital to note again that “faith toward God” is not of ourselves.

There is nothing we can do of our own will that can take us “toward God”.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power [faith] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, […” as newborn babes”] not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

It is for this reason faith is referred to throughout the Scriptures as being the faith of Jesus Christ.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

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.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

1Ti 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

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.

2Ti 3:15 (MKJV) and that from a babe you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

We have no input to get to God, it is all a gift of God, and ONLY found in Christ.

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

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Keep in remembrance where it is found. From the mouth of the Lord Himself;

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Through what channel does this faith come to us? The Lord is His Word (Joh 1:1-4) and we receive His Spirit (Joh 6:63) by hearing Him if he grants us spiritual ears to hear Him and a heart to understand Him. It is through His MINISTERS who have this Spirit of faith, that we are being granted this precious faith.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Rom 10:8 (MKJV) But what does it say? “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”; that is, the Word of faith which we proclaim;

1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

2Co 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; As we grow in the faith and increase our understanding, “we also believe, and therefore [should] speak.”

What does this faith toward God produce in us? Let Peter answer us;

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

As we continue toward God in faith, His righteousness, is progressively revealed to us.

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

What is the OUTCOME and end of this Faith?

The answer is that this “Faith… [is] toward … God”. Reaching the Father is the destination, and we are told:

Joh 4:24 God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The end goal is to be ONE in God through Jesus Christ. This is an age lasting process that necessitates we continue in this faith toward God day by day until we get to God. Once we are given a measure of faith, we are to continue, increase and grow up from being babes towards a mature man in Christ Jesus. This will only happen…

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith [toward God] grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, [toward God] and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, my brothers, as it is right, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of each one of you abounds toward one another;

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.

Trials and manifold temptations arise in due time to prove us, to test us and the purity of the faith of Christ as we continue toward the Father.

1Th 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

It is a rare and precious faith, one that we have to contend with the enemies and adversaries all of our lives:

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

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

There is a great prize at the end, through many trials, and the purpose and reward is to enter into the Kingdom of God:

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, [toward God] and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Getting to the Kingdom of God through “faith toward God” is our SALVATION, our COMPLETION, and our PERFECTION.

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

Contrary to the faith in the wisdom of men, we do not receive the salvation of God through a few second sinners prayer at the beginning, but rather through an age-lasting process of the prayer of faith:

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.

To eventually receive:

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

CONCLUSION:

It is of utmost importance to know there is increasing unity in the faith of Jesus Christ as we grow towards the Father. There is only one faith, even as there is One God and One Lord Jesus Christ bringing us to God.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:

Let us now bear in mind all these admonitions of Scripture whenever we think of the faith of Christ. It requires great boldness, strength and bravery in keeping the commandments of God.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

1Co 16:13 (NASB) Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, [grow from newborn babes to] act like men, be strong.

And lest we forget, let us remember why we need to go beyond these six “first oracles of the doctrine of Christ”. Here is the reason why:

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child [Greek – nepios – baby], differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Gal 4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children [Greek- nepios- babies], were in bondage under the elements of the world:

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons [An entirely different Greek word- huios – mature son].

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons [Greek – huios – mature son], God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son [huios] into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son [huios]; and if a son [huios], then an heir of God through Christ.

If “a huios” then an heir of God through Christ. God is calling many to remain as immature “nepios” babes in Christ. Out of those many babies He is calling a few to “leave the principles of the doctrines of Christ” and go onto maturity. The few who are chosen out of the many called, are to be the future rulers of this world. God is not using babies to rule this world. He will only use those who have “had their senses exercised to know good and evil and who want to go on to the “strong meat” of “filling up in my body what is behind of the afflictions of Christ …”

Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

So, we see the “first principles of the doctrine of Christ” in the Biblical perspective, are for babies to grow thereby:

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes [Greek – nepios – babies], desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Let us appreciate “the milk of the Word” for what it is. Milk is for spiritual babies, let none of us be guilty of refusing to “grow thereby” and “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ” so we can go on unto perfection and maturity and eat the strong meat of the Word.

Nugget:

We first “another Jesus” in orthodoxy that is based upon the Law of Moses, the wisdom of men and our own religious ideas and the works that follows this faith which are our self-righteous rags to the Lord. Even whilst we are having true doctrine, coming out of orthodoxy, being joined to the body of Christ, if we do not move on and our faith being tested like gold tried in the fire, our faith does not stand because faith without works are dead.

Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Jas 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

True faith is an earnest of the Spirit given, it is the faith of Jesus Christ, and a process to sanctify the faith of Christ as it is being tried and tested by the fire of Christ’s commands moving us onto maturity.

The true Bride of Christ, are the ones abiding in the fire until the end.

Son 4:10 How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!

The consequence of true faith leaving the faith of “another Jesus” is HOPE:

Having the faith of Christ is to have Hope. We are to be ready to give an answer always of the reason we have Hope in this life.

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

The world’s attention is focused on all the evil events that takes place in this life and from time to time, there is a story of encouragement and hope, of people despite dire circumstances never giving up hope are saved, they had hope that they would be saved from the deep, dark grave of whatever circumstances kept them in bondage that they would become free. It is a witness just how much and how long we, as humans, can endure in the physical, and actually do quite well, if only there is communication that we will be saved. It is the same in the spiritual. This is how we are told to view our deliverance from our sinful bodies of flesh into our glorious new spiritual bodies.

Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now, is our salvation [our deliverance] nearer than when we believed.

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Our salvation is nearer than when we first believe, but how are we being saved? As we see “we are being saved by Hope”. Hope is what gives purpose to our trials. Without hope we 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 rejoice in Hope of the Glory of God, in other words, our obedience because we have glory in tribulations … we know that tribulations work patience, and patience works experience, and experience brings us back to hope.

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 is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Experience works hope. How does experience work hope? Looking behind us, we see how the Lord is bringing us through the many trials increasing our faith.

Why are we being judged now instead of being judged with the world?

It is “for the hope of the promise made of God to our fathers … for which hope’s sake we are accused of the [outward] Jews [of this world]. In other words, hope for the resurrection inwardly as well as outwardly.

Act 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:

Act 26:7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.

Act 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

It is those, who through Christ, have inherited “the promise made of God to our fathers”, because, according to the Gospel, we are now “the Israel of God… [with] the hope of Israel” to be God’s people in this world (Gal 5:15-16 and Eph 2:11-22).

Eph 2:22 In whom [Christ] ye [Gentile Ephesians] also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

How have we been granted this “promise made of God to our fathers”?

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.

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

 

It is through the Spirit of Christ, “by faith”, [that we] wait for the hope of righteousness, [and] we have access … into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. In other words, we have the promise of Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. We are being made obedient to Christ, being saved, knowing Christ and His Father.

Where are Christ’s RICHES? Where is Christ’s inheritance?

The world is telling us that Christ’s inheritance is in heaven, and that He ascended into heaven to be at the right hand of His Father. It is true if we see and ask where does Christ and His Father dwell? It is only through the gift of faith that we are given eyes to see what we are plainly told.

Eph 2:22 In whom [Christ] ye [Gentile Ephesians] also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

 We were “called in Christ before the world began”. We were intended to be “an habitation for God through Spirit… before the world began”.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

It was “according to His own purpose and grace” that we were “called with a holy calling, in hope of eternal life, before the world began”. Christ wants us to know that “His inheritance is in us”, and that without us He would have no inheritance, simply because that is “according to God’s own purpose” and that was the case “before the world began”. That is the hope of our calling.

Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance [which is] in the saints,

We, the sons of God, understand that the hope of our calling is in Christ, and the riches of His inheritance is in us. That is what it means:

Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

 Christ manifests Himself only to those who love Him and keep His commandments. He comes to us while we are still in sin, but if He is in us, He is gaining dominion over that sin and become its Master, and we will “keep His commandments” and come to “know what is the hope of His calling and the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”.

It is in one hope, “the Hope of the Lord”, that we possess many hopes. Here are a few reasons for the hope that lies within us:

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

The fact that “the hope of the gospel was preached to every creature under heaven” back in the days of the apostles, should help us to understand what “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel” really means. It means to ourselves within first, we are to judge ourselves with righteous judgement to see if we are in the faith.

While it seems that every time hope is mentioned in Scripture, it is a superlative [“unbeatable hope”], there is a very good reason for that, as is revealed in these verses.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

What is GLORY?

Glory is brightness, and brightness is produced only at the expenditure of great energy. Our judgment expends great amounts of energy which is coming from the Lord, because we can do nothing of ourselves:

Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

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

Our judgment is our glory. Glory, like grace, is not just a dead lifeless noun. Glory, like grace, is also much alive and a very active verb, which glory we receive as the result of the work of God’s chastening grace and His judgments which we endure in this life. Here is the Biblical spiritual equation of what is being required to produce the Glory of God within us:

Eze 28:22 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.

Joh 11:3 Therefore his [Lazarus] sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

Joh 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

That is the purpose for sin and death. It is through these things that God is glorified, and it is through the destruction of our old sinful man that Christ is glorified in us:

Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

So then, this is the simple equation which produces the Glory of God within us. This is how we are being glorified:

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part, he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

 Here is how Isaiah makes this same point:

Isa 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

So, let us repeat again and ask what is the reason for the hope that lies within us?

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.

Our judgment is our glory, and that is why we are being judged at this time and not with the world in the lake of fire to come. We are dying daily, and that is glorious, because the world is not dying daily. We are being hated of all men, and that is glorious because all men speak well of us when we are part of them. We are hated by false brothers who believe they are doing God a service as they kill us, with their hatred, but that is glorious because they are not hated as we are. Hated means “love less”.

Here is how Paul accounted for the Hope that was in him, despite the unbearable trial he endured.

2Ti 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

2Ti 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Our hope is in the Lord and in Him alone.

1Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

 Finally, the reason for the Hope that is in us is also this promise which we are claiming as ours, in Christ.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [His] purpose.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Rom 8:33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

Rom 8:34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.