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Angels of the Lord Camp Around the Saints

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Discussion

For Our Admonition Part 10

“Angels of the Lord Camp Around the Saints”

Key Verses: 2Ki 6:8-23

Being chosen as the true Israel of God and enduring the circumcision by the hand of God (Rom 2:29) ensures there are plenty of wars when our day of the Lord is at hand.  That is how the heathen nations within us (Luk 17:21) are subdued and brought into subjection to the Lord.  In this war, we lose many battles, especially the ones in the middle of our walk when we don’t remain vigilant to fight the good fight of faith.  The best news is that victory is ensured in Christ.  Whatever the Lord starts in us, He will finish exactly on schedule.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Our story today has Syria warring against Israel with Elisha, the King of Israel, and Elisha’s servant (presumably the spiritual leper Gehazi) in view.  This story like all the OT stories is written for our spiritual edification and admonition.  Here is the first part.

2Ki 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 

2Ki 6:9  And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 

2Ki 6:10  And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 

2Ki 6:11  Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 

2Ki 6:12  And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 

2Ki 6:13  And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 

2Ki 6:14  Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 

2Ki 6:15  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 

2Ki 6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 

2Ki 6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 

We all come to faith as spiritual Syrians.  Abraham, the father of faith and his sons were all Syrians (Chaldeans) first, before they were chosen as the Israel of God.

Deu 26:5  And thou (Israel) shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

The king of Syria is a representation of our first born old man who wants to claim the land (dominion) that has been promised to Israel, who are God’s elect.  The battle for dominion in the land is with our own flesh, inside the kingdom of God within us.

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

The physical history of flesh Israel reveals to us the spiritual experience that will follow for spiritual Israel which we are, as the Body of Christ.

The Hebrew word for Syria and Syrians [“aram” H758] comes from a root word “armon” that means to be elevated.  No flesh shall glory in the Lord’s presence which means the Syrians will be put into submission before the new man within us is raised up in glory. This requires us to trust in the Lord and His ways when we see the impossible ahead.

Zec 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

So long as we live in clay vessels we need to always be on guard against our flesh and the lusts therein.  They are always seeking to war with Israel to take back the spiritual land that Christ’s elect are being promised as our possession.

2Ki 6:8  Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 

The King of Syria, a representation of the old man, our man of sin, is warring against the Israel and Christ within us.  This king relies on his servants, the lies and false doctrines of the harlot (Rev 9:16) to guide him in his warring conquests.  Yet Christ in us, the man of God (Elisha), guides the King of Israel (you and me) on the schemes of our fleshly enemies and the wiles of their father, the devil’s, servants. With the warnings and admonitions of truth from Elisha, we, the king, are able to send armies (truth) and save the land and thwart the Syrian advances.  This is spiritual warfare played out daily in our lives illustrated here in a biblical history lesson.

2Ki 6:9  And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 

2Ki 6:10  And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 

This engagement and response against the Syrians is an ongoing battle not just once or twice.  We only enter into the Kingdom and eternal life thru many trials of faith and many tribulations (Act 14:22) with our own flesh.  This is how we grow, and our faith is proven.

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:

Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Elisha, as type of Christ, and the elder and prophet, was obedient to the commands as a faithful watchman and warns us, the king of Israel, of the Syrian plans.

Eze 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Our old man is vexed (troubled) by the continued thwarting of his plans as the land remains under the dominion of Israel.

2Ki 6:11  Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 

2Ki 6:12  And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 

The Syrian king discovers that Elisha knows all his secrets and what he speaks in his bed chamber.  This reinforces how the Lord exposes our hidden sins and wicked thoughts in our day of the Lord.  To be destroyed all things must be brought to the Light of Christ.

Mar 4:22  NKJV For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

The fleshly agenda of the Syrian king within us will be uncovered and the king of Israel is able to defend the land.

Luk 12:2  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

Luk 12:3  Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.

Yet our old man does not go easily.  This old king hatches a plan with the objective of capturing Elisha.  This is the plan of the Pharisees in all of us who hate Christ and seek to kill Him.

2Ki 6:13  And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan. 

2Ki 6:14  Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 

Secular scholars like to say that Dothan was the home of Elisha.  While we have no way of knowing that for certain we can deduce some spiritual significance from the name Dothan and apply that to our walk and journey onto maturity in Christ.  The only other place Dothan is mentioned in the Scriptures is the story of Joseph (Gen 37) where his ten brothers attempted to slay him and eventually sold him into slavery in Egypt.  Dothan is also the city where this Syrian army encampment takes places and there is an attempt to capture Elisha and put him into bondage.  Most experts claim Dothan means two wells or two cisterns which does fit both stories where the city is mentioned.

Jer 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

Like Joseph’s ten brothers and our flesh, the Syrians, we are committing these two evils as a Pharisee seeking to serve two masters and drink out of the wells of the Spirit and the flesh.  We are both the sons hating and the son being hated at our appointed times.

Gen 37:17  And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

Gen 37:18  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. 

As Pharisees we don’t want the land healed, we want to remain in power and control and not submit to the righteousness of Christ.  Hence, we plot like the Syrians to capture Christ.

Mat 12:14  Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.

As Jews that believe on Jesus Christ (Joh 8:31), the Syrians within us (old man), seek to kill Christ and silence the truth so they can remain occupiers of the land.

Joh 8:40  But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

The king of Syrian wars against the ways of the Spirit and sends many horses, chariots and a huge host (army) to war against Israel and defeat it.  This is our battle against all that is in the world.  Horses symbolize the strength and power of the world and our flesh which is why Israel was commanded not to ride horses nor engage in any horse trading.

Deu 17:14  When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;

Deu 17:16  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

Deu 17:17  Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Of course, with a bunch of heathen kings still living in the land, we are being caused to disobey all these commands first before we are caused to obey the Lord.  The example of Solomon was written for our admonition in taking many horses and many wives.

1Ki 4:26  And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

1Ki 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

In the negative, chariots are lies and false doctrines that are pulled by the strength (the horses) of our carnal minds.  The two hundred million locusts (Rev 9:16) are described as these chariots which are lies (Isa 9:15) that darken the truth and blot out the Light that are saving us.

Rev 9:7  And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

Rev 9:9  And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

It is through the use of these horses and chariots that our old man, as the King of Syria, wages war against the Israel of God within us and without.  The deceitfulness of sin that lies in all of us creep in unawares in the cover of spiritual darkness.  Before we know it, we are surrounded and we, like this servant, wake up to see our predicament and have no confidence in the Lord to deliver us.  The lesson here is one of faith and how we stand on faith and know that this battle is the Lord’s.

Deu 20:4  For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

We now get to the part of the story that is most instructive to our growing in the faith.

2Ki 6:15  And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 

2Ki 6:16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 

The Lord is working this waging war within us and only He brings victory.  Learning to trust in the Lord and His sovereignty is how we are given to rise up and overcome our enemies via our faith.

1Jn 4:4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

1Co 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

We are at war with our own flesh which seem hopeless until our eyes are opened.  Our young faith is being tested often as those trials are what build us up in the Lord and move us onto maturity.  We are learning to trust in the Lord alone and His supernatural power but at first, we cannot see the power that Christ has over all things.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (mind and our bodies)

As Christ’s chosen disciples, we already have this power (Christ in us) but we don’t believe at first when our city is surrounded by the enemy.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

The truth of the Word puts exponentially more enemies to flight when the two converge.  No lies, the enemies of the truth can stand in the presence of truth.  Thus the meanings of these war stories from the OT become clearer to us and the  important of believing.

Lev 26:8  And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

Deu 32:30  How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

When we are surrounded by our flesh (Syrians within) and it seems hopeless, the stronger are there to help the weaker in the faith.  This care should be cast upon Christ and we should seek help and prayer from the multitude of counselors.  Elisha, the mature man of God, prays to the Lord for the weak servant to see the spiritual truths and to see the true power of the Lord’s army.

2Ki 6:17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 

The fire that surrounds Elisha and all in the Christ is the Living Word (fire) that lives inside of us and is spoken when we speak truth.  The Lord’s horses and chariots are the truth, the doctrines on which we, the elect of God, ride and in which we stand.

Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Collectively this army is also known as the battle axe of the Lord through which all these heathen nations are destroyed.

Jer 51:20  Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Jer 51:21  And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider;

Christ, through His Christ is our protector and our protection.  There is no other place to be saved (Act 4:12)!  Our seeing this truth comes via the process off maturing via the trials the Lord is working in our life with the Syrians and other heathen nations.  The Body are the saviours and deliverers who help one another and protect us from the enemy within and without.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

Psa 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

 Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Most translations say this army was more [H7227] than the Syrians yet that being more or greater is only in power and strength not in quantity.  The sum of the Word makes clear that the people of God are a little flock who are few in number (Mat 22:14) but mighty in Spirit (Mat 28:18)

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The lesson of Gideon’s army (Jdg 7) is an OT proof also where a thirty-two thousand strong army was winnowed down to just three hundred by the Lord’s design to conquer the much larger Midianites.   The Lord is saving a few now, through whom all men shall be saved.

2Ki 6:18  And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 

2Ki 6:19  And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 

2Ki 6:20  And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 

2Ki 6:21  And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? 

2Ki 6:22  And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 

2Ki 6:23  And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. 

The second part of our story follows and begins with the Lord’s army coming together as one to hold each other up in time of war (Exo 17:12) and great trials.  It is standing together in the Name of the Lord that our enemies are being defeated.

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

The servant of Elisha (us in our time of unbelief) is strengthened and comforted by the Lord’s small and powerful army that facilitates us winning the battles with our flesh (the Syrians).   The land is subdued and overcome by judgment that brings new light into the picture.  Yet before we can see spiritually we must come to see that we are blind.  The Word that brings judgment at first brings blindness and then only after a while do we realize we were blind as we begin to follow the Lord (Elisha back to Samaria).

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

Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

We have an OT witness to the same.  Those gathered against Christ and His Christ (the Syrians within, the Pharisees within) will be blinded and lose all strength and  direction of their old way of life.

Zec 12:3  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Zec 12:4  In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

The fire of the Word of truth destroy our former mindset and reveal our blindness even as God’s people.  It is humbling to be blind and dependent upon others to lead us safely.  But that is how an elevated prideful Syrian is brought low in the appointed time.

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

Once blinded, the Syrians within us, readily follow Elisha (Mat 9:27, Mar 8:23) where he leads them back to Israel and then reopens their eyes, so they can see.  The last lesson in this story is learning to love our enemies and walking by the  law of faith.  Our enemies are doing exactly what the Lord has made them to do and for that we should be thankful as even they are for our sakes (2Co 4:15).

When our Syrian captives are brought back to the congregation of Israel, our first instinct as the king in training is to smite them or kill them.  This is how the carnal mind works but that is not the Spirit of Christ.

Luk 9:56  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Mat 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

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

Elisha is obedient to the commands of God and teaches the king to be obedient and not do what the whole world does to their enemies.  Loving our enemies, spiritually speaking is for us to feed Christ (the sheep) and give them drink as Elisha persuades the King of Israel to do.  Paul and the Lord tell us to spiritually feed all those He puts in our path.

Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Rom 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

We can read on in Kings and see that the peace with the Syrians here was only temporary.  The war with our flesh is a lifelong affair that consume our entire age or aion in these clay bodies.  A different leader, king Benhadad, brings the Syrians right back into Israel after a season of peace and ends up conquering and controlling the land.  Little by little we get the victory, overcome and possess the land in the Kingdom of God within us.  Yet no matter where we are in that process, we are to never stop striving to walk the straight and narrow way.

Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

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

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com and I would be  pleased to respond and help any way I can.

Your brother in Christ,  Pete

Studies

The Floating Axe Head

The Floating Axe Head”

Key Verses: 2Ki 6:1 – 6:7

The focus of this new series entitled “For Our Admonition” is to draw out the spiritual significance of key events, conquests and parables from the OT books of the judges and kings of Israel; specifically, Judges, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles.  Why are these events so important to understand?

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

This series plans to exemplify the Bible “meaning what it means” rather than meaning what it literally says.  All these words are in parables, and written in similitudes, the Old and the New Testaments (Hos 12:10) to keep the world blind and only enable those blessed few given ears to hear and eyes to see and understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God (1Co 2:7, Rom 11:7).

Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 

It is not only the WORDS, but the very EVENTS themselves that are in parables and thus hidden from carnal eyes and ears to understand.

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables:

We are reviewing history but not for the history lesson but instead for ministration of spiritual understanding which was the reason for these historical events.

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us (the Elect) they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you ……

We begin the series with a short story about a sunken and lost axe head.

2Ki 6:1  And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. 

2Ki 6:2  Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. 

2Ki 6:3  And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 

2Ki 6:4  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 

2Ki 6:5  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 

2Ki 6:6  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 

2Ki 6:7  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. 

Only the Lord can work miracles including causing an axe head, a piece of heavy iron, to rise to the surface of water and float.  This story is not about a physical miracle but instead is an admonition of how we, as the Lord’s Axe, will have us, the chief of sinners, to rise above fleshly lusts and overcome sin. These miracles are impossible with man but are nothing to the Lord who is working all things (Mat 19:26) as salvation is His work in all of us (Isa 64:8). Jesus Christ brings truth and grace which shall not fail to have us rise up in victory over sin.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The first symbol we see are “the sons of the prophets” introduced in our first verse.  Sons are the offspring of their father and inwardly and outwardly represent the “kings and priests in training” (our fellow brothers and sisters).  Paul and his spiritual son Timothy are perhaps the best example of this (1Co 4:15-16).

Elisha and God’s elect are given to minister grace and bring onto maturity by feeding them the Word of the Lord (Joh 21:15, Eze 34:16).  All the Lord’s prophets in training complain that the way is too “strait” as we are first unable to bear the burden of carrying our cross, not yet understanding or counting the cost.

Hab 1:2  O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Luk 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Our complaints in our immaturity (weak in faith) speak to our inability to overcome our enemies who are the adversaries of our obedience (the flesh, the sea, the waters).  Seeing how the Hebrew word H6862 “tsar” is primarily used helps us to see this more clearly in these verses.

H6862, tsar

Total KJV Occurrences: 103

enemies, 26

adversaries, 21

trouble, 17

enemy, 9

adversary, 6

distress, 4

affliction, 3

strait, 3  – 2Ki_6:1

enemy’s, 2    foes, 2

We simply don’t have the faith at first to stand in the fire and take the heat of the Lord’s suffering (Phi, 1:29, Isa 48:10).  We are overcome by our flesh before we are being made into overcomers (Gen 49:19).  The promise made to a murderous Cain (all men) is that all mankind will rule over sin (Gen 4:7) in due time.  Overcoming is salvation and is accomplished by having our sins exposed and burned away in God’s consuming fire (Heb 12:29).

Rev 13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

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

The sons of God, collectively are the church, the called-out ones (G1577 – Ekklesia) who are being led to separate themselves from their carnal enemies within and without.  Coming out of Babylon and separating ourselves from the world (abstaining from spiritual fornication) is a firm commandment of the Lord (Act 15:20, 2Co 6:16, Rev 18:4).  The people of the Lord are being of one mind and stay together in working out their salvation.

2Ki 6:2  Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a [one]  beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. 

2Ki 6:3  And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 

2Ki 6:4  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

We see the symbols of the Jordan, a beam and wood in these verses, leading up to the axe head being lost.  Comparing spiritual with spiritual the meaning is dug out by the Lord’s kings in training (Pro 25:2) using the sum of the word (ASV – Psa 119:160).

The name Jordan, referring to the River, comes from the Hebrew word H3381 meaning to descend and go downward.  The Jordan River symbolizes our baptism into Christ being a key part of the one baptism of Eph 4:5 as we are being led out of the world and made into a mature man in Christ.  The Jordan River in its negative use, represents an obstacle we must get beyond to enter into the promised land and cleans the land of its defiling giants.  The giants are the besetting sins, idols and false doctrines that becomes spiritual nourishment to the new man when we are able to pass over Jordan by faith in the Word.

Num 14:8  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

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

Every man taking “a” beam is the Lord’s people having “one” [H259] Mind.  A beam is what holds up a roof and in fact the Hebrew word H6982 is translated either as beam or as roof, in its only use in the Scriptures.  As the temple of God, our roof or beam relates back to our mindset which must be transformed.

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.

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 

The carnal mind is what keeps us from believing and this must be chopped away by the battle axe of the Lord.  Only then will we be able to engage with the Lord and His Christ in overcoming the giants in the land.

Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Men are likened to trees in Scripture and the carnal mind is symbolized by the same wood that must be devoured by the Word of God we are so blessed to be able to hear now in this age.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Learning to walk by faith requires us to first walk by the works of the law and try to save ourselves by our own strength and initiative.  We cannot and will not get across the Jordan until we follow the priests of the Lord and stand still in the waters of Jordan.

Jos 3:3  And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Jos 3:8  And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. 

Chopping our beam of wood with an axe head that comes loose and SINKS into the river is symbolism for us saving ourselves by our own works.  The true circumcision is without hands (no iron tool is used) as salvation is solely of the Lord.

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Exo 20:25  And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

Living by every word God speaks (Mat 4:4, 1Co 3:21), we, are being ensured that our experience at failure is how we learn righteousness in the end (Isa 26:9, Tit 2:11).

2Ki 6:5  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed

To learn to swim we first must sink into the waters and fail.  It is the same with overcoming sin When we do not have faith, we sink in the waters and are unable to rise above the flesh and a saviour is truly needed.

Psa 18:16  He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

Psa 18:17  He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Our faith is not our own, it is a gift (Eph 2:8, Jam 1:17) and is the faith OF Jesus Christ.

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

In that sense, the axe was borrowed, or as H7592 is more often translated, the axe was asked or requested of us to do the job.  Squandering our cherished gifts and being overcome and sinking into the waters brings torment (Rev 14:11) and suffering all in the presence of the Lamb and the saints of the Lord.  We are appointed to suffer (Phi 1:29) yet when we suffer for our lack of faith (i.e. unrighteousness) we are in in torment and are not happy.

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

Our response to finding ourselves sunk into the waters of the Jordan, incapable of doing battle in the promised land is to seek help from Jesus Christ and specifically His Christ.

1Pe 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble….

1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

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.

We, are individually as God’s elect, an axe head who is on a wooden handle (carnal fleshly body) but have and are growing into the mind of Christ as we travail together.  The word for axe head is actually the word for iron.

H1270, barzel

Total KJV Occurrences: 77

iron, 73

head, 2  Deu_19:5, 2Ki_6:5

ax, 1 2Ki_6:5

smith, 1

The Lord’s people are the iron or head of the axe.  This is the one mind of Christ that we sharpen each other with and exercise our spiritual senses to gain dominion over the Lord’s enemies.

Pro 27:17  Iron [H1270] sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

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.

The negative side of iron is its representation of our carnality and immaturity before we are proven and remolded in the fire of judgment.  Iron in its unrefined state is rejected of the Lord and represents the works of the flesh.  But iron also has a positive side as it is used to squash all rebellion to the Lord’s ways and commandments.

The rod of iron is the mind of Jesus Christ, His Word, that is ruling in His elect.  As the Lord’s instruments of salvation, His prophets are the Lord’s battle Axe once being prepared for service. The carnal minds of all men and the heathen nations, within and without, are being smashed to pieces by the Lord’s battle exe.  Anything to do with our old man is destroyed by this axe.

Jer 51:20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Jer 51:21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; ….

Jer 51:23  I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.

It those given to overcome that will be given to rule and tread on the rebellious world.

Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Iron, in the positive, is also our trials and torment that come from the Word and our abiding in the heat and pressure of our day of the Lord.  The temple of the Lord is built with LOTS of iron which are the many tribulations by which we enter into Christ (Act 14:22).

1Ch 22:14  Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance  …

The axe head falling into the waters of the river Jordan is representative of us being overcome and snared in our initial service to the Lord.  We are learning the hard way to believe in the promises of Christ and there is always a way of escape for any temptation we are given (1Co 10:13). Those being justified by faith are building the Temple but without the use of any iron tool.  Jesus Christ is building His church (Mat 16:18) via His three-day process of judgment and He does not need any works of the flesh to help Him out (Act 17:25).

1Ki 6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

Yet we learn to build the house by first building in error and having the fire of the Lord burn those works up (1Co 3:13-15).  Turning to our brethren, casting our cares upon Christ is how we are being lifted up in our time of trials and need.

2Ki 6:6  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 

The word for stick here is the same word for tree and wood [H6086] as it is far often translated.  Cutting down a tree and casting it into the waters was seen earlier in Israel’s history when they had no faith and could not drink the bitter waters.

Exo 15:23  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah….

Exo 15:25  And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them

Not being able to drink bitter waters is the same as sinking into the waters and being overcome.  In both cases it was due to our lack of faith or unbelief.  The solution the Lord’s prophet provided was the same then as it is today.  Christ is hung on a tree to die (Act 5:30) and so we are dying to self in order for the iron to rise in the living waters.  Cutting down our tree is dying daily with Christ.  It is the way we overcome the flesh and this world.

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Dying to the flesh makes the bitter waters sweet and in this parable, allows the axe head to rise and float on the surface of the river.  The axe head rising is Christ being resurrected within us, which happens when we count all things in the flesh as loss to win the higher prize.

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:

Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

The axe head floating to the top of the water is a parable on how it is possible for Jesus Christ (and us as His Christ – Joh 20:21) to walk on water which is symbolism for overcoming the flesh. We sink if we believe not in the Lord.  The elect of God is that axe head as part of the Body of Christ.  We are sinking at first until a prophet of the Lord, aka our fellow brethren, comes with rebuke/admonition/encouragement (fire, grace) that raises us up.

Mat 14:29  And he (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

Mat 14:30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 

Mat 14:31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Our reasonable service is to lay down our lives for the brethren. This is another reason why it is better to give than to receive (Act 20:35) as giving our life is the greatest love (obedience) which yields the greatest blessings.  Our laying down our lives for the brethren as our Lord did for us, helps them to walk on water and be saved from their sins, a high calling indeed.

1Jn 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Elisha showed (taught) the less mature son the secret to overcoming and rising above the waters.  We must die to self and to our flesh to be of useful service in the kingdom of God now and in the ages to come.

2Ki 6:7  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. 

Picking up our axe head is taking up our cross and following the Lord learning from our past shortcomings and the examples of our elders and mature brethren.

1Co 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Judgment by the Axe Head is already on the house of God (1Pe 4:17, Mat 3:10).   This is the fire that is correcting us and preparing us for our roles to come.

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

Being dead to sin and alive to Christ is what walking on water and standing upon the sea spiritually symbolizes.  Overcoming is accomplished with lots of heat and pressure hence the representation as a sea of glass!

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

The axe head story is a parable that reveals the process of how we are being made into overcomers and rise above the flesh.  Judgment is how all men are redeemed (Exo 6:6, Isa 1:27) and the sooner we embrace that, knowing it is God’s will to destroy our flesh and carnal minds, the sooner we will see the coming of the Lord within us in fuller glory.

2Pe 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

2Pe 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This series will continue, Lord willing, in the weeks ahead in looking at many more of the stories and events in the books of the kings that were written to help us endure to the end.

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

A Servant in Christ,  Pete

Articles

Beware Lasciviousness

boulder up hill

1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:

Walking with the same mind of Jesus Christ is how we overcome and are getting beyond the fleshly pursuits listed here by Peter.  Once we are chosen to suffer by the Lord and brought into the Truth and abide in the fire of the Body of Christ; we are no longer supposed to be living our lives the way the Gentiles (our former self included) live.

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God

Those precious few given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God can easily forget these warnings.  We have many reminders to stir up the truth and admonish and exhort us to beware of becoming slothful and lazy with regards to our battle with worldly lusts.  This sinful way of living needs to be put behind us.

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Becoming a doer of the word and not just a hearer requires work as we will see. Jesus Christ did not come and is not still coming so we can continue to live in sin. He comes to set the captives (all men) free from our bondage to sin.  That is the very essence of what salvation is all about.

All of the Lord’s people will struggle with sin to some degree all the days we live in these marred vessels of clay. However the promise of salvation is we are being saved from our sins.  This comes little by little as the Scriptures declare and for good reasons that is to keep us from thinking we d0 it by our own strength and initiative.

Deu 7:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

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

As we mature we must be able to look behind us and see progress being made as we are giving more and more dominion over sin. The Lord is surely long-suffering and this process takes far longer than we want in order to teach us patience.  Yet it is not a excuse to take a let’s eat, drink and be merry attitude.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

All things becoming new include our old behaviors passing away in the Aorist Greek tense as the word is, was and will be working in our lives.

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passing away; behold, all things are becoming new.

Not seeing that progress should be a warning sign something is amiss.  We must examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith.  The grace of the Lord that scourges us and teaches us and ultimately causes us to obey the Lord (Eze 36:27) can be received in vain.

2Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

We receive such grace in vain, when we do not learn from our mistakes and the chastening the Lord brings for our sins.  If we fail to learn the lessons, we are doomed to repeat them and this will impede moving on to be a mature man in Christ.  There is a fine line between claiming ourselves to be the chief of sinners (which we are apart from Christ working in us) and to receive the grace of the Lord in vain.  To sit back and say the Lord is making you sin is being lascivious if we are not careful.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

The Lord sends us trials and delegates the tempting of our sinful flesh to the enemy in order to test our faith.  Those that fail get more trials and more grace until they get it.

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Knowing what real grace is is of utmost importance for our progress of being saved.  Grace is what scourges us and the resulting chastening is what teaches us to obey with time and repeated “lessons”.  We must learn that our every disobedience will result in our just reward from the Lord.

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

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

Tit 2:12  chastening (training) us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

Where sin increases, the suffering and chastening in the heat of His furnace increases.

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, (scourging and fiery) grace did much more abound:

Still we are naturally brute beasts (Ecc 3:18, Rom 7:24) and it takes our entire lives to be fully delivered and we only ever receive it in down payment form until we are given our new spiritual bodies. We all fall victim to lascivious spirits that keep us in bondage to sin.  We need to be reminded of this and our need to get up and to get back on the narrow road and learn what went wrong and make changes in our walk.  To win the war we must (be given to) start and continue in winning the battles against our fleshly desires.

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Sin no longer should be ruling in our mortal fleshly bodies.  As our faith grows and actions are added to our faith and we (Christ rising up in us) begin to gain victories little by little.

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

This is a serious calling and a serious walk of faith that requires tremendous effort and endurance that the Lord will give us as we grow in faith.

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

We tend to focus only on the positive and not the negative aspects of the Word of God. It is a two edged sword and we need not forget either side.  Who wants to talk about sin and the chastening we are given in return?  Who wants to talk about us falling away and becoming a reprobate?  No, our flesh wants to rest and take it easy thinking knowledge is what it is all about.  We speak often to one another of the Lord’s Sovereignty in ALL THINGS but much less frequently of the battles and lessons REQUIRED to overcome sin and walk out our faith. We can’t misuse the sovereignty of God and use it implicitly as an excuse for our continued sinful ways.  We need to beware of lascivious spirits and remember we do not inherit the promises until we have done the will of God.

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

And what is that will?  We do not need to guess what it is.

1Th 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from (spiritual ) fornication:

Our turning grace into lasciviousness is not something we are done with after we leave the physical Babylonian churches.  We need to beware of carrying this spirit even while we are in the truth today.  Jude was writing to us, the Body of Christ, when he penned these words.  We best beware of “those men”, especially our carnal deceitful hearts that creep in unawares with a lascivious spirit.  It’s what flesh loves to do.  Like Jude, we need to exhort one another to be diligent which means careful to contend for our faith.  It is this lazy spirit of sloth and lasciviousness that wants to use God’s sovereignty and the salvation promised to all men to avoid the need to strive and labor in our walk of faith.

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

Jud 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can have all the truth we want but if we turn it into lasciviousness, we are denying the Lord and His Power within us.  Jude reminds us what happens if we do not move on to maturity and stop our progress of overcoming sin.

Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

It is a mistake to not be exhorting each other over this battle with sin. We are far too quick to just say it’s the Lord and go about our daily lives.  Battling and contending with this spirit is never ceasing until the day we physically die.

Heb 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Our learning comes by suffering and being chastised by our Lord.  But we cannot continue to pursue the same course.

Heb 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

We know we must endure to the end and we do that by fighting, striving and working.  It is the last days and we are warned what happens in those days in each of us and this is what happens, we have a form of godliness but denying  the power of Christ in us (thru our unbelief) to change us.

2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Being cautious of pinning all of our sins on the Lord and using that to justify our continued bad behavior is how a lascivious spirit deceives us. Sure He is causing it but He is doing it to His people so we will learn to stop doing it.  We are fighting to lay hold of the life promised and flee from those things that defile us.

1Ti 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses

If we have issues with besetting sins, we need to be changing our behavior Lord willing to remove those things from our pathways.

Pro 22:3  A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

At times we have humility but lack the fear that is so needed to bring us to obedience.

Pro 22:4  By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

Guarding our hearts and the entry points into our life is required.  This is a serious matter requiring us to take ACTION.  Faith without these works are dead.

Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…

Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

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

Contrary to the myths some apply to the Apostle Paul, he was not soft on sin, he warned every man and labored himself to the very end.

Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

We are to be putting off the old man and putting on the new man.  This takes diligent action on our part.

Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

This is working out our own salvation WITH FEAR and TREMBLING.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We will never attain perfection in this life but we must beware the ditch on the other side of this narrow road.  Our entire life is the works of the Lord’ hands and no matter what we do,  it’s the Lord doing it.  Yet we must beware a lascivious spirit leading us away from fear and trembling at the Word.  If we stop striving diligently we are falling short.

 Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

We will reap what we sow. If we continue to sow inequity to that disobedience (no matter what it is) we are also reaping.  We have heard these things before but we are not taking heed of these serious matters.

Heb 2:1  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things (i.e. strive and work) which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Heb 2:2  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

There are no free passes.  Grace is not a wink wink and no punishment.  Sin will be recompensed.

Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

So don’t get me wrong here and this is not intended to discourage anyone, but rather encourage you.  We don’t save ourselves but I hope to instill in all of us a renewed respect and fear of the Lord.  When we do sin and it is brought to our attention we need to respond in faith.  We have seen people taken right out of the truth who failed to heed this and came to believe we are not to fear the Lord or tremble at every word.  We need to take seriously our sins and disobedience. When we fall down, we must take action and get right back up, Lord willing of course.  Unless we are given of the Lord to progress, and this takes WORK, we are falling short of the goal.

Heb 4:1  Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

So we must work and strive together to make our calling and election sure.  We need to add to our faith and our knowledge the things Peter mentions.  This is the only way we are made partakers of His Divine nature (i.e. saved from our sins) and escape the lusts of this world.  We can’t sit back and continue doing the same old worldly things and expect a different result.  That is called insanity.  We are moving on to maturity if the Lord wills.  The end of the matter is our obedience and this comes by ADDING to our knowledge and to our faith. This is how the DOING part comes about.

2Pe 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2Pe 1:6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2Pe 1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (LOVE)

We are made whole with the Lord when we obey the commandments.  That is the end of the matter as it relates to what the Lord is doing with us, His pieces of clay.

Ecc 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole (duty) of man.

2Jn 1:6  And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

2Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Once the salvation of all men becomes the new reality and we realize we were lied to all our lives, lasciviousness is a common trap our sinful flesh and deceitful carnal hearts will stimulate in our lives.  Why strive to obey the Lord since all men will be saved anyway?  But there are many reasons for such a thing, beyond this post to cover.  But one thing is for sure such an attitude is immature and there is no fear of the Lord in one’s eyes who thinks such a thought.  We all will learn and our continuing to learn that Jesus Christ is not a minister for sin.

Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

So we must be very careful for thoughts that make it okay to justify our continued living in sin.  We are indeed slaves to sins when we start out.  But we need to stop being slaves to sin and become slaves of righteousness if we are going to make the cut for the first resurrection.

Rom 6:18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Rom 6:22  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Freedom is not free as the world likes to say and that is true in the spiritual sense as well.  There is a price to be paid (count the costs) and we work for our freedom from sin and that is by becoming slaves to righteousness.  We won’t eat and progress if we do not work for it ourselves. Without us being given the zeal to work, we won’t eat and thereby won’t grow in our faith and maturity.   A lazy spirit leads to lasciviousness and abusing the grace of the Lord.

2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

We learn this by being judged, yet if the behavior does not change, we are not learning and more grace is needed to work righteousness within us.  The sooner we get this done the sooner we can enter into rest.

Wisdom is the combination of KNOWLEDGE with understanding that comes with experience.  Fear of the Lord is necessary to move us on to be Holy as our Lord is Holy.  Until we get over our lasciviousness we are not progressing and need to be retaught basic oracles of the Lord including fear.

Pro 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Wisdom results from this fear and that is how we learn the lessons and become wiser and wiser with the trials and temptations we are continually given.

Isa 33:5  The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.

Isa 33:6  And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

A lazy attitude will keep us from maturing and we will continue to learn over and over again the function of grace until we get it.  Under the law of true faith, Jesus is not a minister for sin, He will judge His people and this is how that works.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

We will learn obedience by the things we suffer and the sooner we learn it the better off we will be.

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

We learn to fear our physical fathers when our disobedience is punished and it is no different with our heavenly father.  In our day of abiding in the scourging grace we will learn to fear and we will be caused to stop our disobedience.

Heb 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The Lord’s people are fellow laborers who are striving daily to ensure and progress onward to maturity.  We like the Apostle Paul, continue to learn and appreciate more and more the warnings of keeping our sinful ways under subjection lest we be castaway despite knowing all the truths we know.

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The doing part is the hard part.  We have to walk out our faith and becoming a true example to others.  Otherwise we cannot be used for the Lord’s purposes now or for the Higher Calling in the ages to come.  If we don’t overcome we too, are becoming reprobates. We are proving our faith by passing the test and trials that are given to us.

2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

We are warned about being deceived about this ongoing battle against sin.  Here are both John, Paul and Peter’s words written for our admonition.

1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

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

It is those who overcome who will be given the Eight Promises of the Lord in the Book of Revelation.  Talk about a carrot, an incentive to strive and labor on this journey.  These promises are reserved only to those few that are being found faithful to the end.  Here are just the last three promises linked to overcoming (sin) that are cited.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Sincere questions or comments welcome. You can email me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.

Your Brother in Christ,  PETE