Articles

God of the Living not of the Dead

God of the Living not of the Dead

We, as servants of Christ, are led to write to our scattered spiritual family and fellow sojourners.  Our desire is to encourage all to continue in the things we have learned and what we have heard through many hardships and to not lose our crown of righteousness. Having now being made a pillar in the Temple of the Lord, we stand steadfastly in full assurance of the realization of the promises [rewards, Rev 2-3] through the Gospel.

Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 

All men are born spiritually dead and it is only through Truth and grace which came with Christ, that we are being made alive and are now being seated with Christ and our fellow saints in heaven. The Lord’s people are the children of the resurrection, who were once dead [without God and Christ] but now have been raised up through the precious gift of faith, the faith of Christ [as He is, so are we 1 John 4:17].

Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Our land has now been married to Christ and we now rest in Him, no longer partaking of the back and forth carnal reasonings [meat] that holds all men in bondage to Satan, of their father, the devil, who is a murderer from the beginning [John 8:44].

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

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

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 

Before faith came and before our conversion takes place, all prior works are dead works, thus our deliverance from sin and overcoming were not being made manifest. Yet when faith IS come, the true work of God is being done by those made faithful by the hand of the Lord.

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

The true work of God is this:

Joh 6:28  Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work   the works of God?” 

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” 

Those given this precious faith, now partake of the living Bread and have obtained age-abiding life; which is to know and abide in Christ [Joh 17:3]. Henceforth the Lord promises we shall never die.

Joh 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 

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 for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 

God is a living God through the Son. Those being conformed into His image are likewise living and thus also alive in the Spirit. Coming to see this truth is far bigger than we once knew when we were bound by the law of sin and death in our members and not yet converted. Jesus spoke of things that are not yet as if they were when answering Peter and the Sadducees who did not understand what a living God and being alive to Christ meant.

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

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 22:31  But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 

Mat 22:32  ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 

When Christ comes into His people for salvation, He gives us His Spirit that brings the fire that henceforth purges His Temple and guides those ordained to be faithful before the foundation of the world.

2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 

Despite our claims to believe in Him [Joh 8:30], the Lord is not the Lord of those who walk according to the flesh doing the works of the flesh [Gal 5:19-21] which exemplifies those that are dead and not alive to Christ.

In every generation, a carnally minded Israel remains spiritually dead and God is not their God as they continue to do the deeds of their father the devil.  Before faith comes, all abide in unbelief to the Gospel who claim to be wise but remain reprobate walking as fools [Romans chapter 1] and worshipping the creation rather than the Creator.

Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 

Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 

Joh 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 

Those bound by the carnal law of sin and death, follow after strange gods [idols of the heart] who are no gods at all in corrupting the Gospel and twisting the Lord’s commandments to their own destruction. This is how flesh seeks to keep itself alive all the while claiming the Name of Christ. We remain dead in our sins and trespasses, pursuing the error of Balaam and twice plucked up by the roots. The living God is only the God of those who are led by His Spirit who have come out of the bondage to the law that binds them in spiritual death.

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. 

Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 

Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 

When one abides in spiritual death, they are not alive unto Christ. All men at this stage of deception are hypocrites, scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees that oppose Christ and who teach and follow man’s reasoning [carnal doctrines] rather than obeying His clear commandments.

Mat 15:7  Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 

Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 

Mat 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

We can look behind ourselves and see how great an escape the Lord has provided.

2Th 2:9  The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 

2Th 2:10  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 

2Th 2:11  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 

The Lord uses the Sadducees in every generation, who remain bound to the law of the gentiles [accusing and excusing, Rom 2:15] and who deny His resurrection, saying it is past; to teach us that He is the God of the living and not of the dead. Sadducees are devoid of faith, who holds the Truth in unrighteousness as it is this day. They come to Christ in every age, being the spirit of anti-Christ, denying the Lord who has bought them with a price. They know the Truth but deny it by their works. This is us in our times and seasons.

Mat 22:23  The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, 

Mat 22:24  Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 

Mat 22:25  Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 

Mat 22:26  Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 

Mat 22:27  And last of all the woman died also. 

Mat 22:28  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 

Christ rebukes the Sadducees for their denying the power of God. Sadducees symbolize those who trust in their own reasoning and deny the power of God which is the resurrection of the dead [to bring Christ up again] to a lively hope in His people.

Mat 22:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 

Those not knowing the power [Christ] of God, do not know the Lord and are not alive to Christ and His Christ. Such is the state of all those who claim His Name that have not faith.

1Jn 4:2  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 

1Jn 4:3  and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 

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

1Jn 4:5  They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 

1Jn 4:6  We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 

Those in faith are married to Christ and no longer know any man after the flesh [2 Cor 5:16]. There are no male or female, bond or free, in the risen Body of Christ; but all are One in Christ through the Spirit who have been made free in our Day of the Lord.  Those with the faith of Christ are the true descendants of Abraham, the true Jews of the seed of Isaac, whose seed are blessed.

Mat 22:30  For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 

Mat 22:31  But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 

Mat 22:32  I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 

There is only one seed that brings forth the righteousness of Christ and that is faith.

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “AND TO YOUR SEED,” who is Christ. 

We are first baptized with water and not with fire [Spirit] and at this time,  continue to live in pleasure being led by various lusts, full of dead men’s bones. We are dead while we live, all part of fulfilling the Scriptures [living by every word of God, Luk 4:4]. At this stage, we are without the Law of Liberty [Christ] and remain dead in our sins.

1Ti 5:6  But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 

Mat 23:27  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 

Mat 23:28  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 

Rising above death [being carnally minded under the law] only comes when Christ comes to us a second time without sin.

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

Heb 9:28  so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. 

Whatever is not of faith is sin [lawlessness] and it is sin that is the sting of being carnally minded where victory and overcoming remain elusive. Victory does not come until faith is come and Christ, the morning star, rises within our hearts. Then we are released from the law of sin and death and are being made alive with the Lord through the White Throne Judgement, the Lord bringing the reward.

Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

Rom 6:8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 

When the Lord comes our works will be revealed by the light that is also the fire which is burning out all the wood, hay and stubble that represents our carnal reasonings.

1Co 3:11  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

1Co 3:12  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 

1Co 3:13  each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 

1Co 3:14  If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 

1Co 3:15  If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 

The living are never found among the dead. They are separated [being made holy, set-apart] through faith, the faith of Christ, doing the will of the Father, who sent Him. It is the great gulf fixed that no man can cross unless it is given unto them. Thus, the parables of the cross and the resurrection tells of this mystery to those given ears to hear and eyes to see.

Luk 24:5  And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Those alive to Christ come out from among the spiritually dead and after they have been crucified, separate themselves from those that walk after the flesh who are still bound to the law for the lawless.

1Pe 1:13  Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

1Pe 1:14  as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 

1Pe 1:15  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 

1Pe 1:16  because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 

Those that die to death [their carnal mind] die to the Lord and are the same as those that live to the Lord.

Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 

Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

We are redeemed with the precious blood of the Lamb, without spot and wrinkle. The Lord is the Lord of all when all things are put under His feet.

1Co 15:25  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 

1Co 15:26  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 

1Co 15:27  For “HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. 

1Co 15:28  Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. 

Our spiritual enemies within and without ourselves are those that are bound to the law of carnal reasoning and walk therein. Such remain separated from Christ and His righteousness. These are the men [lies] that oppress us and merchandise rewards and gain, so flesh can reign supreme. The one does it for reward and the other for a bribe [immediate gratification].  We are to earnestly contend for the faith against those that pursue such folly and turn God’s grace into lasciviousness.

Jud 1:10  But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 

Jud 1:11  Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 

Jud 1:12  These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 

Jud 1:13  raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 

Having already escaped the corruption, which is the world’s way of thinking, we need to be vigilant to guard our gates against the Sadducee’s spirit who knows to do right but suppress the truth. Wresting judgment away is the gall and vinegar or root of bitterness offered by those who crucified Christ and His Christ. Christ as our example, rejects and does not drink the gall but instead dies to the world.

Mat 27:34  They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 

Those who seek to save their carnal lives will lose it and not enter into the Kingdom of God where the living are found. When we partake of the world’s meat, we suppress the Truth of Christ’s commands, and drink spiritual gall and will not find the rest from our own carnal works. David prays the Lord to put those enemies and mindset within him under the feet of Christ.

Psa 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 

Psa 69:22  Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. 

Psa 69:23  Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. 

Psa 69:28  Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. 

The battle with these carnal enemies and the law is all over the Psalms.

Psa 56:11  In God have I put my trust [not the reasonings of men, their flesh – Phi 3:3]: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. 

Psa 56:12  Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. 

Psa 56:13  For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? 

We enter the land of the living [draw near to Jerusalem above] when we are released by Christ from the prison that is Mystery Babylon [Rev 17:5], yoked with the yoke of hypocrisy. Being released from this harlot that binds us to the earth is the same as being called up hither into the heavenly realm. This is where the faithful saints who become the righteous compass about the throne being one Spirit with the Lord. This is our inheritance in the saints.

Psa 142:5  I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 

Psa 142:6  Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 

Psa 142:7  Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

 

1Co 6:16  Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “THE TWO,” He says, “SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” 

1Co 6:17  But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 

Our own righteousness and reasonings of right and wrong are filthy rags to Christ. The only righteousness that counts is His Righteousness that comes only through the gift of faith, the faith of Christ. Giving up our lives, dying daily is what conforms us into the Lord’s death and enables us to attain to the resurrection to the living.

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; 

Php 3:11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 

It takes Christ’s blood within us, our dying to death and forsaking all we have, to have spiritual death and carnality purged from our minds. Then we enter into His rest and serve the Lord in power, the Spirit of Glory resting upon us as unworthy servants.

Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Col 1:24  I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 

Col 1:25  of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 

Col 1:26  the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 

Col 1:27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

While we wait for the Lord to finish His sanctifying work, as the pillars in His Temple, we guard and keep our gates, being made holy, guarding the way of the tree of Life [Christ]. Knowledge [speaking in angel tongues] and pursuit of riches [spiritual drunkenness] is passing away and as the faithful, we now seek the things of the Spirit [doing His pleasure] and rest in the Lord and wait for Him, to finish what He has begun in us.

Eph 5:14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Eph 5:15  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Being raised to life, we seek heavenly things and not those things on the earth.

Col 3:1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 

Col 3:2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 

Col 3:3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

Grace be with you. Amen!

 

Articles

Warning Every Man

“Warning Every Man”

Preaching the gospel and the whole counsel of God has us warning and admonishing one another of the Lord’s words and ways.

Eze 3:17  Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

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. 

The NT word for warning, G3560 is the same word as admonishing.

G3560

íïõèåôǻù

noutheteō

noo-thet-eh’-o

From the same as G3559; to put in mind, that is, (by implication) to caution or reprove gently: – admonish, warn.

 

Our coming into the knowledge of the truth [His Word] and learning the lessons of sowing and reaping is the beginning of true wisdom of the Lord.

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

Learning the Lord’s methods [MO] of saving us by fiery grace is how we are in due time caused to obey the Lord [Eze 36:27, Isa 26:9] and enter into true righteousness becoming doers of the Word.

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

When our day has come to be saved and glorify the Lord within us, the Lord’s grace will not fail to deliver.

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 learn the fear of the Lord as we are taught the connection between our disobedience and the pouring out of grace.

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap

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

Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Maturing in Christ does not mean knowledge of doctrine, it means we are becoming doers of the Word.  This means we are exhibiting the accompanying good works and fruits of the Spirit [Gal 5:22] in all our behavior.  We are to be concerned first and foremost about ourselves.

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.

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Coming to see the workings of true grace and the law of sowing and reaping is a blessing that brings us the strength to suffer and wait on the Lord to deliver us unto righteousness.

We do have a role in the Body to be watchmen and overseers of the flock helping our brothers and sisters escape from bondage and corruption of either false doctrines and sin.  The armies of Christ bring correction and warnings of the Lord’s methods to win back those erring from the way.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 

2Th 3:15  Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish [warn] him as a brother. 

Paul was warning the Thessalonians about some who had stopped working out their own salvation and had become busybodies in the lives of others.

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

2Th 3:11  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 

2Th 3:12  Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 

2Th 3:13  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing

Ceasing to work is physically and spiritually being slothful.  To the extent we are able, we are to work for our own spiritual food and thereby reap the spiritual growth that work will bring.  Being diligent and not slothful is necessary if we are to move onwards to maturity in Christ.

Pro 12:24  The hand of the diligent shall bear rule [over their house having dominion over sin]: but the slothful shall be under tribute

Heb 6:11  And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 

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

Growing Weary

We are warned about growing weary in doing well because that is exactly what our flesh which is weak will seek to do and the knowledge will lull us to sleep thinking we have arrived when there is a long journey ahead to travail.  It takes the coming of Christ with the fire as in the lake of fire to expose our sloth and awake us to His true and much higher standard of righteousness.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 

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

Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees [those that had a lot of knowledge], ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

The most insidious deceiver is the one within ourselves and within our midst who can easily speak what our flesh wants to hear by picking and choosing from the Scriptures.

Act 20:29  For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 

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

Act 20:31  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears

If we are going to go to make it in this age, we are going to endure severe trials and suffer far more than we at first can imagine or bear.  There is no other way except by the cross of Christ and our following Him to death.  Paul like Christ was an example for us to follow and learn from what is written.  There are many temptations to water down our walk and not stand for Christ in the face of an unbelieving world.  When we bow to this pressure, it takes the heat off and makes us better received by those outside the faith.  Yet that is not the mark of the high calling!  To be godly in Christ, we are guaranteed we will suffer persecution and be hated of those outside the faith.

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

Paul warns about the evil and seducer [without ourselves and our own wicked fleshly heart and carnal mind] that will wax worse as we mature to bring temptation and deception to try our faith.  A little knowledge will lead us to deceive ourselves in this way and thereby avoid persecution.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 

Lord willing, we are learning to stand and follow the way of Christ in spite of the ongoing temptations from our physical families, our neighbors, our workplace, the entire world [kosmos] in which we dwell in these marred vessels of clay.  Showing all the standard of God and leading by example was an oft-repeated theme of Paul’s life and his writings and with it came much suffering and persecution.

1Co 4:12  And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 

1Co 4:13  Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 

1Co 4:14  I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 

1Co 4:15  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 

1Co 4:16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

We can’t be an effective witness or preacher if we ourselves have not been successful in overcoming.  A desire to serve the Lord and be His minister should help us strive for the higher calling of having the Lord glorified in our deeds and acts.

Rom 15:17  I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

Rom 15:18  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

Rom 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

The Goal in the Kingdom of God

Obviously, the end goal of the Lord’s work in every man is salvation. That is the saving of every man or said another way being delivered from their sins.  This means far more than just being forgiven those sins, it means the power of God unto salvation has come unto us and we have [are in process] been risen above with Christ.

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

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 

The signified language of the Book of Revelation [Rev 1:1] reveals that the wrath of God against our old man and sinful ways, is how we are given the victory and how we stand on top of the sea that represents our flesh and its lusts.

Rev 15:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 

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. 

We touched on charity and love being the prime thing [1Co 13:8] a few studies back.  That is what the Lord seeks and is getting done  [Psa 135:6, 2Pe 3:9] when He comes for salvation in every man’s day of the Lord.  We should never stop working out our salvation remembering our measure of faith is there to work a work in us that is not yet finished.

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. 

We should be fervently be seeking the Lord in His kingdom within us and hastening His coming [2Pe 3:12] more and more [thereby destroying the works of the devil within us] through prayer and fasting.  This is far more important than knowledge of the Scriptures and knowing all the types and shadows of the Old Testament.

Mat 6:8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 

Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 

Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom [within] come. Thy will be done in [our life and actions] earth, as it is in heaven. 

The God of love is a God of obedience and that is what He is transforming within us when He comes to us a second time for salvation.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 

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

Without God’s love growing more and more in us, our witness and testimony profits becomes a clanging gong and our knowledge of doctrine amounts to  nothing without it. These words of Paul take on great importance as we remember what the love of God truly is all about.

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 

1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

The event of flesh Israel rebelling against the Lord and not being content and demanding meat to eat, is an example for all of us to learn from regarding true righteousness and our pursuit of it.   The walk of faith can become boring to the fleshly minded.  Who wants to be still and wait on someone else [even the Lord], when our flesh is accustomed to the fulfillment it finds in the world [Egypt].  Our flesh will naturally desire some spiritual meat [gold nuggets, types and shadows] to make it interesting and give us something to boast about.

Num 11:4  And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 

Num 11:5  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 

Num 11:6  But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. 

The Lord will wean us of this “self-pursuit” by giving us what our flesh demands; so much so that we will get sick and spiritually die from it.

Num 11:32  And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 

Num 11:33  And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

Lusting after spiritual meat is lusting after riches [knowledge] and is what we all do in showing the pride of life and discontent of our carnal mind with waiting on the Lord.  The higher calling is the righteousness of Christ.

1Ti 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

 

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

Rom 14:18  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

Rom 14:19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

 

Gal 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

We have come along way and learned many things to get to where we are as a Body of Christ.  Yet the Lord is now beginning a greater work in us.  We all must come through the fire that is the lake of fire in order to be raised with Christ and be given the crown of life that is His Mind being dead to our carnal mind.  Our measure of faith given to us open up the access into the fiery work of the Lord and our enduring the many tribulations needed to work true godliness on the inside.

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. 

The sifting of the true church is leading us back to the simplicity of the gospel and its good news [to the new man] message.  A mindset of profiting and getting rich from being chosen of God now, had led us into a slothful and sleepy walk with the Lord.  We as a Body must strive for obedience and step up and help one another in a godly and meek way.  We have many warnings/admonishments in the Scriptures to teach us the fear of the Lord and remind us of all the errors and the consequences of Israel’s rebellion in failing to take heed the Lord.

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

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 

We are doomed to repeat the lessons of the Lord who is chastening us.  So taking heed the warnings and putting the fear of the Lord into action is something we all should be striving to follow the way of righteousness and be alive with Christ.  James wrote of the double-minded and the struggle to have both faith and works in our actions.  We are saved by faith but true faith, not the vain kind, will result in works showing up as the Lord has willed.  We should hasten to that coming.

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

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

We are to be faithful watchmen, warning the people of God of the wolves, the error and the sin that is approaching or has already come into the camp of the saints.  This applies first and foremost within ourselves but does extend to our loving our brother and sisters by our works.

Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. 

Gal 6:1  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

The Lord will awaken His people to righteousness and is going to work His good pleasure in us all.  May we encourage and warn one another both to hasten His appearing in the kingdom of God within us all.

 

 

Articles

Spiritual Lessons on Fire and Wood Burning

“Spiritual Lessons on Fire and Wood Burning”

For the first time in my life, I have gotten much experience in buying and burning firewood.  It’s a good lesson and reminder for things we already have been given to know in the Spirit.   The major workings of the Lord are not seen with physical observation (Luk 17:20-21), yet they are revealed in His physical creation.  This is a major revelation once you are in the Truth and have your heavens opened to such a great understanding.

Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the [physical] things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the [physical] worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Using the physical to ascertain things in the Spirit is a useful and needed tool for us to study the Scripture and grow in the knowledge of the Truth.   Our primary way of learning the deep things of God (assuming we have been given ears to hear and eyes to see) is comparing spiritual to spiritual across the Old and New Testaments (2Ti 3:16, 1Co 10:11, Hos 12:10)

1Co 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words (the entire Bible) that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

One can take anything in the physical and outward world and with the mind of Christ, apply many spiritual truths and principles thus proving the macro truth of Romans 1:20. In this study, we are going to look at physical fire and apply its traits and characteristics in the physical to the truth of how the Lord works in the Spirit.  At a bare minimum, this study should help refute the lie of an eternal hell where God burns his own creation alive forever and without end.

What is Physical Fire? Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in a chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products (gases, ash, etc.)

This is interesting because it is the positive of spiritual fire that is the Word of God and that fire is making a quick work in making major changes within us that comes with much spiritual heat and light.

God’s Word is fireThe fire is what is remaking us from a natural firstborn Adam into a son of God via the process of our judgment.

Jer 23:29  Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

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.

Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Having our old “natural” way of life burned up is not pleasant to our flesh and its desires, yet it is necessary for us to be saved and made partakers of His Holiness.

Psa 119:71  It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Mal 3:3  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Men and our flesh are likened unto trees and wood in Scripture.  In the negative meaning (as the word is two edged – Heb 4:11), trees and wood symbolize our physical life and life of being carnally minded.  That is what God’s fire is making combustion within our day of judgment.

Jer 7:20  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Joe 1:19  O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. 

Eternal hellfire along with the delusion of free will is one of the biggest lies of orthodox Christianity and the “other jesus” billions know and worship.  The Lord’s fire is what is saving us and burning up the wood that represents our flesh and carnality.

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.

Psa 89:46  How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself forever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?

Eze 5:4  Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.

The question of how long is also answered in Scripture.  It takes as long as God has ordained for every man as our entire lives have been predetermined (Psa 139:16).  But we know the fire of judgment by the Word (Psa 19:9, Rev 1:3, Joh 12:48) will eventually go out when its work is finished and we have learned (been perfected) righteousness.

Pro 26:20  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife (the fiery trial) ceaseth.

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

Sodom and Gomorrah are not still literally burning in an eternal hell.  God’s spiritual fire worked its work and destroyed the sinfulness and the sinful city which is its purpose yet today in saving all men.

Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities …..

What is needed for fire to combust?  Typically, physical fire comes from a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and a fuel source (i.e. wood).  The presence of these things is not enough, as combustion requires a spark and a heating of the wood to its ignition temperature.  The heat needed to spark a fire can come from lots of different things for instance:  a match, focused light, friction, or even lightning.

The Spirit of God is the oxygen (the air, the wind) that fuels His Word and is sparked to life by the many wonderful works of God to His children.  The Lord who works all things (Eph 1:11) is the one who creates the sparks in our spiritual life and brings the trials that raise the temperature that burns up the wood and impure metals within us.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Gen 1:3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (spiritual match)

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance (match)

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

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 (spiritual friction)

Burning wood creates smokeSmoke is a symptom of a burning fire and contains the trapped gases along with other organic matter.  These are pollutants which are then driven away by the physical or spiritual winds that are God’s judgment by the Word.

Hos 13:3  Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.

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:

Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Little pieces of wood burn quicker and faster than big pieces:  A fuel’s size also affects how easily it will catch fire. A larger fuel, such as a thick tree, can absorb a lot of heat, so it takes a lot more energy to raise any particular piece to the ignition temperature. A toothpick catches fire more easily because it heats up very quickly. Chopping us up and burning our carnal mind results in fiery trials which come in all shapes and sizes according to what is needed.  In the same way, the Lord gives us stripes (judgment) according to the size of the log (sin and carnal-mindedness) needing to be devoured.

Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

The Lord starts us out dealing with the small stuff before He moves on to the big stuff needing to be burned up.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

The hardened parts of our wicked heart will take a hotter fire than the small sins.  The Lord truly knows how to deliver the new man (the godly) out of those temptations.

2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The harder the wood or the more of it, the hotter the fire:  Fire burns hotter when the wood is hard or there are lots of it.  Here in South Africa, the best wood for braii is arguably Namibia hardwood.  The Lord knows how to dial-up the heat in our lives accomplish His work in us by fiery grace.  Our hardened rebellious hearts take a hot fire to burn the “I, me and my” out of us.

Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Eze 24:9  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.

Eze 24:10  Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.

Softer wood burns easy and quickly and there are some issues the Lord works that require much less heat and anguish than others to purify our heavens and our earth.

Dry wood burns best and green wood is difficult to burn:  The Lord prepares us to be burned in His fire by drying us up of good works and draining us of confidence in our flesh.  The Lord promised there would always be seasons on the earth (Gen 8:22) that are used to prepare the wood for further chastening.  The best wood is seasoned wood that has been prepared and dried out waiting it’s time to be burned in a fireplace or a stove.

2Pe 3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Jud 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Truly wet wood will not burn:  When we are full of the Spirit, drenched in God’s rain which is His doctrines the fire does not harm us.  Those raised in the first harvest of men (the second harvest of the three) will be the completed new man and have the fullness of the Spirit and hence there is nothing left to be hurt by the Lake of Fire having already been through that in this age.

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The new man who stands on faith abides in the fire and is never hurt.

Dan 3:24  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

Dan 3:25  He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Fire generates heat which warms us physically and also warms us up spiritually and helps get us through the non-fruit producing seasons of life.

2Ti 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Fire generates light in times of darkness to show us the path and bring others that need help to us.

Psa 119:105  Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Mat 5:14  Ye (My disciples, the Body of Christ) are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

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

Flame color indicates relative temperature: Generally speaking blue and white flames are the hottest which ties wonderfully to the symbolism of colors in Scripture.   Blue symbolizes the things of God and the goal of our going through the fiery process now and in turn becoming a fire to save others.

Isa 10:17  And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day(the day of the Lord)

When the fire is truly intense there will be blue flames present.  In the same vein, the goals of achieving the righteousness of Christ (white linen) is only found in the fire of judgment with white also being an indicator of a very hot flame.

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

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

More air equals a faster burning and hotter fire:  A poorly burning fire is usually solved quickly by giving it more air (oxygen).  Our measure of faith (Rom 12:3) and infilling with the Spirit of God is all of the Lord’s determination. Only the Lord had the fullness of the Spirit in a clay body (Joh 3:34).  Yet we can look forward to growing in our anointing as we mature abiding in the Holy City (The Body of Christ) waiting for the fullness to come (Rom 8:23).

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We should welcome the fire and seek it knowing it is what hastens the coming of the Lord within us more each day Lord willing (2Pe 3:11-13).

2Pe 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
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?

To keep our fires burning and grow in the power of God, we need spiritual air to tap into the power the Lord has given to His Christ (Joh 20:21)

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

A fire goes out when the wood is consumed:  The fire of God is used for good to remake us into sons of God.  Our God and Heavenly Father is inseparable from His Word which is consuming our wood (carnal mindedness) more each and every day

Heb 12:29  For our God is a consuming fire.

The wood won’t be gone fully until the clay vessels are gone. Hence we persevere.

Pro 26:20  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife (the fiery trial) ceaseth.

The priests of God in the making (Rev 5:10) we are the bearers of the Lord’s fire and work to keep in burning always in the temple of God which temple each and every one of us is part of.

Lev 6:12  And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.

Lev 6:13  The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

The residue of a wood fire is ash: Ash is very fine dust particles that have many good uses.  Physical ash is the unburnable minerals that are very useful in fertilizing gardens, trees and promoting new life.  Interesting that ash is also used in making soaps that clean and purify us, controlling foul odors (landfills) and even deter and kill insects.  All of this has great spiritual significance when we apply Romans 1:20 to what the Lord is doing with us in this age where judgment is now fallen (1Pe 4:17).

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

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

Gen 22:7  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

I have even learned the hard way that ash retains its heat for a long time which in the Spirit is very positive in our ability to minister and help others when we are humble and our selfish lives have been burned up.

It is after our life is sacrificed, the wood has been burned that we are given new garment that is white as the ashes of wood burned in the fire.

Rev 7:14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Fire is made up of many burning pieces of wood:  It is difficult to light and keep burning a single piece of wood.  But if one puts multiple pieces in building his fire, the fire will burn much longer and more consistently.  This brings to mind the truth that the Body of Christ is being made into a spiritual fire right now in this age as the first to be judged.

Zec 12:6  In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

The cloud of many witnesses (Heb 12:1) and the infolding fire are one in the same description and vision of the Elect (Body of Christ) who are being made into saviours.

Eze 1:4  And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.

Oba 1:18  And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

As we come thru the fire, we become saviours who in turn will help save others including all mankind in the lake of fire.

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

It is the Body of Christ who will be the lake of fire at the White Throne Judgment.

1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

We saw just some of the attributes of physical fire and how that reveals how the Lord is working things in the Spirit. One could take virtually anything in the physical world and deduce much about the ways of the Spirit.  But they are going to need to be prepared of the Lord, we cannot give the gift.

Pro 20:12  The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

I hope this study stirs your memory and recollection of these spiritual truths.  As winter comes to those in the northern hemisphere, making a fire and watching the wood burn can become a time of reflection and examination of ourselves and all the good works the Lord is doing to the children of men.

Isa 66:15  For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

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:

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

Studies

Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith

Download mp3 study, Right Click “save as”

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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