Studies

Enemies Left in the Promised Land

For Our Admonition #11

“Enemies Left in the Promised Land”

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

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

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

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

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

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

The Promised Land

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

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

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

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

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

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

H3665, kâna‛

kaw-nah’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H3467, yâsha‛

Total KJV Occurrences: 207

save, 105

saved, 35

saviour, 13

help, 10

delivered, 8

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

saveth, 7

preserved, 4

deliver, 3

salvation, 3

savest, 3

deliverer, 2      Jdg_3:9, Jdg_3:15

saviours, 2       Neh_9:27, Oba_1:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H3573, kûshan rish‛âthayim

koo-shan’ rish-aw-thah’-yim

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

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

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

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

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

Jer 10:23  O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Studies

Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith

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For Our Admonition Part 7

“Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:18 – 4:28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Servant of Jesus Christ,  Pete

Articles

Aliens and Strangers in the World

Psalm 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.

You won’t see very many pelican’s in the wilderness or many owls in the desert.  And such is the case with God’s very Elect.  This is a rewrite of a post I initially posted in 2010 when I was still blinded to the truth of salvation for all men.  I was seeing in the Scriptures explanations for many of the things I was experiencing as I  was being dragged out of Babylon and into the marvelous light of Christ.  I did not know what was happening at that time.  I hope it is an encouragement to the brethren who are learning to be joyous amidst increasing rejection and trials in our lives.

John 15:19  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you

When God decides to drag one out of Babylon and draw them near to Christ, there is nothing a weak vessel of clay can do.  It will happen, God will accomplish His chosen purposes.   Such disciples will find themselves increasingly at odds with the world and those that live in it.  As we begin to obey God and are chastened of him,  the world will truly come to hate us.  This is the cost of discipleship, this is the cost of finding your life, you will lose it and it will cost you everything.  What is a man to do?  Praise God, that is what.

1 Peter 4:12-13  Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

What a great passage of Scripture this is from the Apostle Peter.  I praise God for this Scripture which explains what is going on in the lives of the chosen and faithful Elect of God.  It is not easy at times to rejoice in the midst of suffering and rejection of the world.  My flesh likes to be liked and wants to fit in with the crowd.  But it ain’t going to happen based on the will of God.    The passage of Scripture gets even better with the very next verse.

1 Peter 4:14  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

I believe these Scriptures now totally without any doubt.  I never had any real persecution until recently and that only when the true gospel was spoken for the first time from my mouth and believed in my heart.  Life since that spiritual healing has been nothing but a daily trial but it all has provided confirmation of the Scriptures and truth in God’s written word.  This in no way belittles the horrific persecution many Christians have even identifying with the name of Jesus.  I have several Chinese students living in my house now and places like that and in many Muslim dominated countries, being a Christian, a Babylonian one or a disciple indeed; all comes with a real risk of physical death which takes persecution to a whole new level.  The persecutions and the fiery trials like most of God’s living words will be foremost applicable inwardly, in the Spirit.   When God puts enmity between His chosen few and everyone else that is yet carnal, separation occurs.  This has been God’s plan from the beginning.

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 

Gen 37:4  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. 

And the plan and way of God has not changes as Paul tells us:

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

What may not seem joyful to the carnal mind is indeed a blessing when one can see with spiritual eyes.  I just don’t seem to fit in anywhere it seems.  But this should not surprise me or anyone that God has so blessed by choosing them and imparting His gift of faith.  I did not decide to feel this way,  it was something that came upon me as I was pulled out of my worldly focus.

ACTS 13:17  The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt AS STRANGERS in the land of Egypt. 

The children of God have all been chosen from the foundation of this world.  The little flock Jesus spoke about is the same as the Elect of God spoken of throughout the New Testament Epistles.  It is God who plucks us out of the world and lifts us up.  He exalts us in our appointed time and we had best get ready for the fireworks that will soon follow as ordained of the Lord.

Speaking before His death, Jesus Christ told Pilate and the Pharisees that He was not of this world.  The same goes for His true disciples.  While we live here in Egypt, likened unto living in the world, and await His return — we must face hostility from wicked men and the powers of darkness.   There is war going on between these dark forces and the true church (the woman) and the battles and skirmishes are intensifying.  These take place in our hearts,  it is a battle for the throne room that lives inside of us,  the very temples of the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make WAR with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ

Try to live a godly life in Christ Jesus and come out of the world and testify to the true gospel and you had better be ready for WAR. While I thought I understood this a year ago,  I have gotten a quick course of indoctrination of the hatred and persecution this true gospel will receive, especially from the religious crowd.  The Christian walk is not a leisurely stroll skipping down a lane filled with candy canes and lollipops.   The destroyers, the plunderers, the testers; aka the enemy has placed a big fat target on you.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul

We must overcome, the way is very narrow.  Without us putting on the weapons of the Lord Jesus we stand no chance against this enemy.  These weapons are given to the Elect by faith,  but we must put them on every day.  It is so easy to revert back to the flesh and engage in fleshly warfare which is a sure fired way to be defeated and exhausted and not bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness.  I got schooled on this yesterday in engaging in fleshly combat.  I am sorry for not holding up my end of the bargain.

I forget in the heat of the battle and hope you don’t forget.  Our battle is NEVER against flesh and blood,  it is against the powers of darkness that lives in and works through the carnal minds and flesh of unconverted men.   Victory is assured because Jesus Christ has already won the ultimate battle,  we just need to follow His foot steps and “get in on the victory”.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it

A recurring theme I am seeing in my fellowship with others is the frustration and suffering arising from the constant attacks for acting on their faith and separating from the world and testifying on the gospel truths that have been revealed.  How we respond is actually more important than the attacks themselves.  The attacks are promised to all that God chooses.  This is how He test our faith and refines us in this furnace of affliction.

ISA 48:10  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction

We need to be very careful as I have learned the enemy is always right there to rise up our flesh when we are attacked.  Of course it is human nature (carnal minded) to respond defensively, but this is the same nature we are told to put to death and walk in newness of the Spirit.  We have to operate in the divine nature and learn from our Master and follow His example.  Jesus never fought back in anger, revenge or retaliation.   His servants do not fight in the flesh either.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”

The brethren must quit reacting in the flesh when these attacks come.  That is exactly what Satan wants.  The enemy will come to stir up the pot and get our flesh to come alive as by doing so,  our testimony will lose its power and we will lose our inner peace.  We must stay in the spirit, trust God and fight these battles in the heavenly places.  Pride and ego will always be resisted by the Spirit of God.

2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh

I have many things to learn here still; and writing this is going to help me call to mind in my battle preparations for the next skirmish.  We have to fight but we cannot fight in the flesh.  We can no longer afford to ignore the devil and his schemes that come before us to test our hearts.  Our flesh response needs to become a NON RESPONSE.  Another words we need to get to the point where our flesh is dead and does not fight back and argue these things with those who do not yet have eyes to see.  If we stay in the Spirit, God says we will win over the hearts of many, if we trust Him, wait on Him and let Him perform the work.  He is the opener of all eyes, it is not us.

Worldly Contrast

Peter tells of the reaction our coming out of Babylon will invoke for those around us whose minds remain on worldly things and trusting in the power of the flesh.  As many of you know,  it is near impossible to explain what is going on to your critics.  The carnal mind cannot receive these deep things of God.

1 Peter 4:3-5 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

Those that have been called out of the world by the great mercy of the Lord know that we all used to do the very same things those still engaged with the carnal minded and worldly wisdom focus.  Not a single one of us figured it out on our own.  It was and is all a gift of revelation from God by His divine choice which is the grace of God.  Before grace appeared and our eyes were opened,  we walked, talked and acted worldly in our former ignorance when we ourselves did not know God.  But now that we know God,  we no longer want to do them in our hearts.  Peter explained.

1 Peter 1:13-16 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; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy

Look at the words Peter used to describe what he called a flood of dissipations in the opening verse.  His short list included:  lewdness, lusts,  drunkenness, revelries,  drinking parties,  abominable and idolatries, which is a wide range of worldly behaviors.   Most of these things are held in high esteem and practiced by those still living in the world.   Even many religious and professing Christians practice these very same things with the result being there is no distinction between them and the true unbelieving of the world.   Sure there may be less external evidence (smoking, drinking and cussing),  but inside the hearts there can be many idols and lusts for the things the world craves.  The things that truly defile us are what live in our hearts and we speak out in our words.  Galatians 5:22 contains an excellent listing of the fruits of the flesh and the carnal mind.  When walking in the flesh the things we speak will often begin with the words I, ME or MY.  In the conversation about the end times,  Jesus gave us some wise words.

Luke 21:34 Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap

Before I came to know and believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in directing all of a man’s steps and even creating evil and the wicked for the day of doom,  I worried a lot about things.  I could fake it really good on the outside but inside death and worry was still working thru me.  I had not yet received the gift of faith and the healing that only comes to God’s elect in their appointed times.  I truly believe these verse and all that it means when we extrapolate it out to all that occurs on this earth and in our very lives.

Matthew 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

But we are worth far more than sparrows such that this following verse is also totally believable to those in the true faith.

Proverbs 16:9  A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps

If we fail to walk in the spirit believing in the power of God and remain yet carnal we will not be sober and alert for the voice of the shepherd to lead us.  We must not fall asleep and allow the thief to come and reenter our houses.  There are a flood of worldly ddissipations and carnal distractions that compete for our attention every day. 

 Evil and wickedness, much of it now accepted as common every day lifestyle  is competing for our minds and attention every day.  Images, sounds, TV, commercials, friends, and the very demons that roam this earth are constantly putting thoughts to our minds which can entice us into sin and the ways of the world.  These thoughts all appeal to our personal gratification.  It is all about us and what can be done for I, ME or MY flesh.  These are the very thoughts we must take captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

When we stop pursuing these worldly things the world you know will think you are very strange.  The new person that you now are in Christ Jesus will not be understood by them unless they also have been blessed by God’s mercy and have received the revelation of this gospel by grace.  I believe this is why those who have come out of Babylon are yearning for fellowship with like-minded brethren.  It is very encouraging to know that we are not along albeit we are few.  There is yet a remnant saved by grace in all generations.

Romans 11:4-6 But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.

I thank God for bringing me members of HIS BODY that provide edification and encouragement.  We do need to stick together and walk in unity of the ONE true faith with the ONE Spirit we have been given.  Know that if division comes,  we need to be very careful and not be deceived by those who flatter for the sake of selfish ambition.

In making the transition from Babylon my flesh has taken a beating.  It hurt me very much and frustrated me even more to be rejected initially and then to have the glory of this gospel of good news shunned and scoffed at by those of the false circumcision.  But we will learn to glory in this rejection and know that these events are a good sign of our salvation and the workings of God.

Philippians 1:27-28 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;  28in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

It is an honor to be counted worthy to suffer shame for the namesake of Jesus and this good news gospel.  I am still getting over being called strange and being accused of being mentally ill or having a demon.  The very same things happened to Jesus and all that walked before us and we can take comfort in those examples.  Through Christ we will overcome the world!  Let’s stick together, we must whether we be present with one another or not,  we must stay as One Spirit.

I see some things coming in my life and the Lord is preparing me to give an account and defend this gospel in front of modern-day councils.  I take to heart the words of the Apostles that went before us.

ACTS 5:41  So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name

This walk can be a lonely walk at times.  Those are not just cliches, they are are promise from the Lord Himself.  We truly are strangers in this world and will never fit in with the crowd.  These words bring me comfort to face the growing rejection and scorn coming towards me.

John 15:18-20   If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.   If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.   Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you*; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Whatever the Lord has in store for us know that the blessing we have received by this gift of faith will come with a cost and cross to be carried.  I pray that all of us will be given the grace to endure these sufferings and the work of Christ will work richly in our hearts and every purpose of His will may come to pass to the glory of God.

We are the salt of this earth.  Chosen by God, as the winnowing fan in His hand and sent to speak His word that is a fire.  May we stay the course, be encouraged in our faith and strengthened by our fellowship and not lose our saltiness and the unique attributes that God has given to each of us individually.

Luke 14:34-35  “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Sincere comments or questions can be sent to peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Your brother in Christ,   Pete