Are You Getting Closer to Jesus

Spiritual Growth and Assurance

Book of 1 John Chapter 2:1-14

Have you noticed how many lessons we see about spiritual growth? If we are not growing spiritually every day, we are not just at a standstill, we are actually going backwards.

Last week our lesson was about being cleansed from sin and once we are cleansed from sin, then we need to grow spiritually in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Remember because of Adam and Eve we had lost fellowship with God! That fellowship can be restored because of the work of Christ Jesus!

As long as we are in these bodies of flesh made from the dust of this sinful world, we will remain sinners. God knows this and through the Cross, when Jesus died the veil of the Temple was rent in to and Jesus made a way for us to enter into the throne room of God, where we can humbly go before the Lord and ask Him to forgive us of our daily sins.

We are to do our best to refrain from sin, but this is impossible while we are in this sinful flesh!

What else has the Lord done for us? He went back to Heaven to be our advocate!

*1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

We know that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter while we live on this earth, but in Heaven while we are still alive, we have an Advocate and this Advocate is the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Holy Spirit is here pleading our case to God while we are still in these bodies of flesh and in Heaven’s courtroom the Lord Jesus Christ is doing the exact same thing!

As an Advocate, the Lord Jesus pleads our cause to God the Father, defending us when we do things out of ignorance to God’s Laws.

Sometimes we may intentionally do foolish things and we can be forgiven of those also, but we will still suffer for those sins!

Jesus is our Owner and He stands in our place before God the Father when we fail Him!

Remember God is not a mean and hateful God, His name is Love.

Jesus is not guilty of anything, yet He stands in our place because when we are washed in His blood then we are also innocent of sin and pardoned of our past life and Born Again into new Life!

Jesus is the only person who can represent us before God the Father, there is no other in Heaven and certainly no one upon this earth!

For whom does Jesus plead? He pleads for His children. All those who have accepted Him as their personal Savior.

We are the little children because compared to all the people in the world, the true Christian is among the smaller group!

Jesus does not plead our innocence.
Jesus does not plead our good works.
Jesus does not plead our goodness.
Jesus does not plead our righteousness.

Jesus pleads His own righteousness as our Owner!

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

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How is this possible?

*1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

It is because of the shed blood of Jesus that we are at peace with God, and that peace can never be changed to wrath because of the sacrifice of God’s Dear Son!

Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Propitiation means the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was the payment that satisfied God the Father and made appeasement for all our sins. Not just those who accept this truth but the sin of this entire world past, present, and future!

It is the “Blood of Jesus that has reconciled us to our Holy God!

The Lord Jesus Christ has removed every barrier that was once between us and God the Father!

The Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning of every promise of God!

God the Father required blood to be sacrificed for all our sin!

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Not just any blood would do! It took the pure, undefiled, sinless, blood of the Lamb of God to wash away our sins!

Gen 22:8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb” for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

God provided Himself to be the Lamb that was to wash us from all our sin!

By the sin of Adam, we were cut off from God!

God sacrificed Himself so that we could be saved!

This is the meaning of propitiation. A debt that none of us had the ability to pay, had to be paid by God Himself!

It was God the Father who had to be appeased.
It was God the Son who provided that appeasement.
Jesus Christ covered our sins with His own blood so our sin would be forever out of sight of God the Father.

The only “type” of propitiation in the Bible is the “Mercy Seat of God.

Heb 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Because of the work of Jesus Christ, we can now go before the Lord and claim that “Mercy”!

Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

If we know all these things, we should be keeping the commandments of God!

*1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

How do we know we love God? We keep His commandments without questioning them!

How do we show God that we love Him, by being obedient to the things He has said!

We must walk in this world as true believers, being obedient to the Word of God.

We must go before the Lord everyday as sinners, to be washed from the sin and filth of this world that we are in contact with every day.

We are justified when we truthfully ask Jesus to come into our heart, but we are still sinners saved only by His “Grace” until He comes to take us home!

Our lives must be centered around the fact that we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

God lives in the Spiritual world that surrounds us.

We live in the physical world separated from our Holy God.

God the Father sent God the Son into this physical world, so that we to can one day be a part of that Spiritual world with Him!

There is no one upon this earth that has ever crossed over into the world of God except the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

To know the Lord in truth is to have fellowship with Him and His Father!

To not keep His commandments is to still walk in the darkness of this world!

Joh 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
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.

In order to know God we must accept His Son and keep His commandments!

We must believe what Jesus says!

As far as God the Father is concerned, if we reject His Son then we have rejected Him and continue to hold onto the lies of the Devil who has lied from the beginning of his existence!

So how do we know if we love the Lord? We keep His commandments. It’s just that simple!

The more we walk with the Lord the more we show God that we love Him!

It is impossible to say we love God and then reject His commandments.

America is full of those people today reject the truth of God, but say they are one of His children.

The Holy Spirit says they are all liars!

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

We must be obedient to “all” the Word of God if we say we love Him!

*1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Some would say from the last passage that all we need do is just keep the 10 commandments and that would be a great start, but the Holy Ghost says, do not be mistaken we must keep all the Word of God!

Without this obedience then the act of love is not in us.

Most people always get the word love wrong. Love is an action word!

The only way to love God is to get nearer to Him!

We must study Him.
We must learn all about Him.
We must know His will for us.
We must know His nature.
We must know His desires.
We must know His wants.
We must know His thoughts.
We must know how He behaves.

These things should be the same for anyone who says they love someone!

God shows us all these things about Him, just so we can get up close and personal with Him!

In the end this is the most important decision we will ever make!

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

When we declare that we are a child of God, then we need to be measured by God’s standards! That standard is Jesus Christ!

That word “ought” says, every child of God is obligated to live according to the written Word of God!

That word “ought” says, we will willingly live as God says to live.

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

These are things that we know and accept because we love the Lord!

God has had this same message since the time of Adam and Eve!

*1Jn 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

As the church, our salvation is not bound up in the laws of Moses or we would say the 613 commandments given to the Jews.

The Word of God does teach us that all the Word of God is to be used for our instructions on living, rightly divided!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

What we should know is that all the Word of God is our love letter, and this is where the Apostle John is leading us.

There are some Old Testament laws that that never change even in the New Testament and this what John is talking about.

Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

The Lord Jesus Christ simplified all those old laws and any new law!

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

It is this love that will allow us to grow in “Grace” and “Knowledge” of our God!

*1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

What we need to understand is that, Jesus gave that word “love” a new meaning:

Jesus said not only love your brothers and sisters in Christ and in family, but also love your enemies!
Jesus said to not only love good people, but also bad people!
Jesus said not just love the righteous, but also to love the sinner!
Jesus said not only love those you accept, but also those you reject!

Jesus said if we are striving for perfection then this is the meaning of love we should understand!

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

It is hatred that will lead us back into darkness!

*1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

How do we grow in Christ?

It takes faith, so we must believe in His works for our salvation!
We follow Christ in believer’s baptism.
We join a Bible believing Church.
We join Christ in the Lord’s Supper.
We study the Words of Christ.
We pray with Christ.
We live for Christ.
We tell others about Christ.

But then, if for some reason we allow hate to reenter into our heart for someone then once again we are walking in darkness!

We must not allow this to happen!

We must walk in the love of God every day!

God is love, the more we interact with God, the more our love will grow.

The more our love grows, the more we will object to hatred.

1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

So if we want to be unblameable when the Lord returns, then we need to be walking in the love of Jesus Christ!

When we walk in hatred we are walking in blindness, and in reality, we do not know where we are going.

Whenever we walk into a group of people, that hatred will walk in front of us and immediately cause division. This walk is not of God!

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

We must never walk like the world walks, in blind hatred!

*1Jn 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
1Jn 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

The Holy Ghost begins His caution by writing to everyone in the Church.

These little children are all the Saints of God, but here John means the Babes in Christ.

The first thing we realize upon our salvation our sins have been forgiven!

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

In the Church there should also be Spiritual Fathers not just the old saints of God, who are mature in the things of God. These are those who have known God and have been faithful to the Word of God since their salvation day.

In the Church we always have a need for the young men who will be the Church, when the old Saints have passed on to glory and they need to grow in the “Meat of the Word” because they have overcome that wicked Satan!

In the Church there are the little children and even they must be taught the truth of the Scriptures.

Do not ever be fooled, a small child can understand the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of Creation!

Spiritual growth is required for all age groups and though these things mention males they are also writing for Spiritual mothers and the young ladies in the Church.

Not many Churches would survive without Christian ladies!

The intent is that we must all become rich in the knowledge of God!

2Pe_3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

*1Jn 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

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

God is a Spirit and if we are created in God’s image, then we must be a spirit also!

If this were not so, we could have no communication with Him!

It is in our spiritual strength that we must grow!

Our flesh is only a tabernacle we will discard one day!

This is the difference between mankind and the animal world!

We must grow spiritually to get closer to God!

John is now reaching out to those who have grown in the Lord.

These fathers are those who have deep and rich knowledge of and have grown daily from the day of their salvation.

It is these who know that the best they can do to avoid sin and they will sometimes fail, but the Lord Jesus will still defend us before God, but they cannot use this as an excuse to sin more!

There is at no point in our lives that we can let our guard down!

We must know for sure where our strength comes from!

Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Our young men must become strong in the Lord and they must hold God’s Word above the things in the world!

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

We must not only overcome the wicked one (the Devil), we must live as overcomers!

We must listen to the Holy Spirit who is the power behind the Church!

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Mat 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

If we are to grow in the “Grace” and “Knowledge” of the Lord, we must listen to what the Holy Spirit is teaching us, and use His information to grow in Christ!

We must love the Lord far above any love we have for this world!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Washed In the Blood of Jesus

Cleansing From Sin

Book of 1 John Chapter 1

Today as we begin a short study of three of the Books written by the Apostle John, we will see another eyewitness to many of the things of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need also to mention that the Apostle John was writing to the church. In fact the entire Bible is written to the believer because without the Holy Spirit living inside you, you will never have a proper understanding of the Scriptures!

The Apostle John wants us to know the truth, and this was his greatest reason for writing and above all, these are the words of the Holy Spirit given to John.

John had a brother named James and with Peter it these three that witnessed the transfiguration of our Lord and the voice of God!

John was the only Apostle that lived to die of old age!

John wrote 5 books of the New Testament being, the Gospel of John, 1,2,and 3 John and the Book of the Revelation.

John addresses the spiritual beliefs of the believer.

John addresses all the Body of Christ.

John addresses sin in the church and false teachers.

John addresses our sinful world!

John addresses the Second Coming of Christ Jesus.

Let’s listen to the words of the Apostle John, given to him by the Holy Spirit.

*1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
1Jn 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life,

John simply says that which is from the beginning which is the Holy Ghost inspired Old Testament Scriptures, are the actual words from a Sovereign and Holy God.

Most all the Jews knew of the Old Testament Scriptures and the Apostles and yes even the early church was familiar with those Scriptures!

The difference being that to John, the Lord Jesus Christ was the complete fulfillment of those Scriptures,

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John heard the actual words of Christ which never went against the Old Testament.

John saw the things that Jesus did with his own eyes.

John also witnessed things that he could not put into words.

John handled the nail scarred hands of Christ.
John handled the nail scarred feet of Jesus.
John may have even put his hand in the scarred side where that spear pierced the side of Jesus.

Notice John does not have a great introduction, John jumps right into the subject matter of this great book of the Bible.

God is not living off somewhere in outer space having forgotten His creation.
God is greatly concerned in the things of this earth.
God loves and cares for all His creation.

Remember God has not moved away from His creation, His creation has chosen to follow a false god!

The subject of this Book of 1 John is that the Son of God came to this earth to save all humanity!

We must clearly understand that the Messiah, the Son of God has always existed. He created all things. He walked in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve. He has always been living and He made Himself known by Jesus the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, or we simply say Jesus Christ!

Jesus is the exact express image of God the Father in all His ways!

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Jesus Christ did not have a beginning because He is the beginning. He has always been!

Moses knew this truth:

Psa 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Jesus Christ proved He was God in many ways, yet so many reject His truth.

John, James, Peter, Paul, Mathew, Luke, Stephan, Barnabas, and so many others in the New Testament did not have a problem believing the Jesus is the Almighty God!

We are foolish not to believe the Apostles, and the other Gospel writers, who wrote by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Jesus is the “Word” because He is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies!

Jesus is the “Word of Life”, because He has the message of eternal life!

Jesus revealed Himself to a lost and dying world, so His life could be shared with all who believed Him!

Jesus revealed Himself to us when He did not have to!
Jesus has given us all an opportunity to share in His life!

Jesus came to us in the only fashion that would be accepted in His goal for us.

Jesus, who is God, came to us in the form of man, His creation!

Jesus Christ came to His creation with a great purpose!

*1Jn 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Jesus Christ came to this earth to restore our fellowship with our Creator!

This is the goal of our Father in Heaven that we have an up close and personal relationship with Him.

John is saying let me tell you about my Savior.

We must understand God is concerned about His creation. God cares for each of us!

God has not left us to fend for ourselves against the wiles of the devil and the dark powers of this world!

God promises that there is much more than death and the grave in our future!

God wants to adopt us into His family and with all adoptions there must be some qualifications met!

The Lord Jesus Christ opened the door into the throne room of God, and He is waiting to welcome us with open arms!

Jesus has made us acceptable to our Heavenly Father!

We can talk to Him at any time of the day and His ears are open to hear from us.
He walks with us everywhere we go to caution us and to make us aware of our surroundings.
We can cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us.
We can ask Him for strength to conquer our trials and tribulations, and He will supply that strength.
We can live with peace in our heart because of Him.
We can depend upon Him for His righteousness because we just do not have any ourselves.
And we can know we have been delivered from sin and death, because He gives us eternal life!

We can know our Father, by His Son, through the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ came that our joy would also be full!

Not worldly joy but heavenly joy.

It is the joy of the Holy Spirit.
It is joy based upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is joy, that springs from faith in the work of Christ Jesus.
It is the joy in the knowledge of future rewards.

Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

We know that the world is full of darkness:

Joh_8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Joh_12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Jesus Christ who is the light of the world has come to take us out of this dark world!

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

You see there is no darkness in our Savior!

*1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

We know that all those called of God are to be His messengers so, what is the message they are to carry?

The Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God who died to pay for our sin!

We must not ignore the message of God’s salvation plan!

Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Heb 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It as Jesus Christ Himself who first preached the message of salvation and it was carried on by the 12 chosen Apostles, when we include the Apostle Paul!

Jesus said if you have seen Me you have seen God!

God is Light!

Light is a sign of purity.
Light is a sign of truth.

The Light reveals the nature, the meaning, and the destiny of our world, and those who live on it!

The light of Jesus Christ allows all those in darkness to walk out of the darkness into the Light of the Lord!

In fact Jesus the Light, will one day eliminate all darkness on this earth and in heaven!

Rev 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

We just finished with the Book of 2 Peter where we learned how to identify that false teacher and we can see this again here in 1 John.

*1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

We are all just sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.

As long as we are in the flesh we will stumble occasionally and fall.

If we ask the Lord to forgive us, He will forgive us.

But If we refuse to repent of our sin and continue to walk in that sin, then we are liars if we say we belong to the Lord!

Waking in darkness is walking without the Light of God!

The Lord Jesus is light. His light shines in us by the Holy Spirit who lives within us. The Holy Spirit will not allow us to walk in darkness if we belong to our Heavenly Father.

Joh 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
Joh 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

If we continue to walk in darkness after we have claimed Jesus, then our heart was not true. It’s just that simple.

Walking in darkness is the symbol of ignorance of the truth of God, walking in error of the truth of God, and remaining in our sinful ways!

Our outward profession of faith is contrary to our inward reality!

It takes faith and that faith from a true heart!

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

If we have truly repented of our old ways, it will show in our new walk in life!

*1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

What is the greatest misconception among all those that claim the Lord Jesus as their Savior? They believe they can have fellowship with God and still walk in sin and remain in darkness.

Walk the streets of America and most of them will claim fellowship with God but their ways say different.
Walk the halls of congress and many of them will claim fellowship with God but their votes say different.
Better still walk inside the congregation at church and you will see many who claim to know the truth but their actions outside the church say something different.

Jesus preached His message to the Jews who already worshiped God in their own way, yet they did not have the fellowship they thought they had, because they rejected the truth of the Scriptures. They rejected the Light sent down from Heaven to remove the darkness of Judaism. Not only Judaism but all known religions who remain in darkness.

Why is Jesus rejected? Because the world believes they can remain in darkness and have fellowship with God the Father, and it is impossible to do that!

That word walk means we must put forth some effort and it must be a continuous effort.

Luk_9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

We cannot confess the Lord Jesus Christ unless we walk with Him every day of the remainder of our lives!

The world remains in the dark about God because they reject the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no fellowship with God without His Son!

There is no church fellowship without the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do I walk in the Light of Jesus Christ?

*I must walk in love!

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

*I must walk in the Holy Spirit!

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

*I must walk by faith!

2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

*I must walk in newness of life!

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

*My walk must match my talk!

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

*I must walk worthy of the Lord!

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

*I must certainly walk in truth!

3Jn 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Until we walk according to the truth of Jesus Christ how can we say we have a personal relationship with Him?

We are walking in our old sinful ways!

*1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Even after we have given our hearts to the Lord, we are still only sinners saved by the “Grace” of God.

We will still make mistakes, we will still sin. So if we think we have already reached perfection in this life we are sadly mistaken, we are still sinners, but those sins should be out of ignorance and not intentional, as best we can to live according to the Word of God!

There is only one who lived His life pleasing to the Heavenly Father. We know sin is never pleasing to God the Father, so it was only His Son who has pleased Him!

Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

We are not only mistaken about our salvation we are misleading ourselves about the truth of our salvation.

In other words we do Satan’s job for Him. Satan is the great “deceiver” and we will have deceived ourselves if we believe we will sin no more.

The Lord has already given us the answer to this problem!

*1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

To be a Christian is a growing process and the Lord understands this. When we sin, and we will sin, then the sooner we get on our knees and ask for forgiveness the better off we will be.

We actually need to describe our sin to our Father in Heaven, so He will know that we know what we are asking Him to forgive us of!

This is how we grow we learn from our mistakes. Now we will still pay for those mistakes, but we will not lose our salvation as some teach.

Once the Lord is firmly in our hearts our salvation is eternal, but we still need a daily cleansing that comes from forgiveness!

Our God is righteous!

Our God is also faithful to keep the promises He makes and here it says He is faithful to forgive us.

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

Once we have been “justified” we cannot ever again be unjustified!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

We must clearly understand God does not make mistakes, but we still cannot say our walk with the Lord will be perfect!

*1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we say we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar!

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Ecc 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

The truth is, how could anyone say such a thing, yet there are those that do.

The word sinner is such a terrible word that most people object to being called sinners, but it is no less true!

We are all sinners and we will be as long as we are in these bodies of flesh!

There are just too many people who believe that they have been so religious all their lives, that God could not refuse to allow them in Heaven, and they are truly deceived about the truth of God.

Many are just religious perfectionists who believe they can achieve a perfect state without the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is impossible!

There are also those that believe they are just too good for God to reject them, but no one is good enough simply because we have no goodness because we have no righteousness.

Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

The only thing we have to offer God is a dirty rotten sinner in need of salvation and this is what God says so it must be true.

The sooner we agree with God and accept His plan of salvation the better off we will be.

When our name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, it can never be erased!

We cannot help but sin, but praise the Lord we have a Savior!

The Lord is soon coming, and we will be going home so let’s make Him proud of His children!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Looking For the Return of Christ

Looking For the Coming of Jesus

Book of 2 Peter 3:1-18

There are some doctrines of the Bible that are disputed by Bible scholars, but the return of Jesus Christ is not one of them.

The return of Jesus Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the Scriptures.

There are even whole chapters devoted to the Second Coming of our Lord.

Jesus Christ Himself that He would return, and He will return the exact same way He left this world!

Act 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Act 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

You see this is what the Second Coming is all about, restoring again the kingdom of Israel.

The Church will already be in Heaven before this takes place!

So how does Peter describe these things?

*2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The return of Jesus Christ will be an actual physical event that takes place after the Holy Spirit has taken the Church to Heaven.

Remember the Holy Ghost could not come until Jesus returned to Heaven!

Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

This thing works in reverse, the Lord will not return until the Comforter takes the Church home!

2Th_2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Before the Lord touches down upon this earth, He will meet His church in the clouds!

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

We of the Church can say that this will be the greatest day we have to look forward to, of course besides the day we invited the Lord into our hearts!

Peter says we need to remember these things!

We are called to be rememberers!

The Second Coming of Christ to this earth, is all about the Jews!

Isa 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

There are a lot of great things going on in Israel, but Jerusalem is not yet become the praise of this earth!

We must stir up our minds to the truth of God.

As I have gotten older it seems that my memory suffers in day to day things and this bothers me more than I ever realized.

We must stir up our minds to remember those things that are just too important to forget!

Our minds are so complicated that doctors have not yet been able to understand the workings of them.

The power of memory maybe the most amazing part of our mental equipment!

Our memory uses the power of recollection to recall things as far back as when we were toddlers and these things are precious.

Most everyone of us can recall that day we got saved and if not the exact day then the month. Something we will never forget.

Well there is something else that we need to implant in our memories.

The Lord Jesus is coming back first to get His Church and then to make a Second Appearance upon this earth!

We must be mindful of all the prophecies of the Old Testament because they are the voice of God!

When we see those words “thus saith the Lord” then our minds need to perk up and the doors of memory need to remain open because to read the prophets is to see the words of truth!

A man once asked, “what is truth”? Truth is the things that conform to reality. Things that have already been and things that will be.

The absolute truths are in the Words of God!

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

We cannot grow in the grace of God, if we do not grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and then keep these things in active memory!

Why are these things so important?

Because we are in the last days!

Scoffers are all those who mock the truth of God!

These are people who speak the loudest. They are so full of malice and pride, they have reached a point where they will not be silenced, and they will not even listen to anything described as the truth!

Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God knows those who will never turn from their wicked ways, but we do not!

We must understand the Christ Jesus demands our total dedication, the total commitment of our mind, and our life to His teachings.

We are to have no room in our minds to listen to scoffers or anyone else who denies the truth of our being!

Scoffers walk like they want to and do what they want to and will attempt to deny you your way of life.

They want the right to things they have not earned.
They want to right to live in any way they choose.
They want the right to dictate all these things to the world.

They say, “where is the promise of His coming”?

It has been about 1975 years since Jesus first walked upon this earth but without being date setters, it has not yet been 2000 years.

We will not know the day nor the time, but we should know that we are in the last days!

What did Jesus teach?

Mat 16:2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

This is what the Holy Spirit is teaching us. It does not matter how much time goes by, we must keep our minds wrapped around the truth of the Bible.

We are certainly in the last days because the scoffers are making their voice heard all around this world!

They are willingly ignorant of prophesies that have already been fulfilled, and the promises of God that have been completed!

*2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

For instance all this talk about climate change. We as Christians do not doubt that the climate is changing. We do disagree that man has a great influence on those changes.

Every day we see where cities and islands will soon be underwater when there are lands and cities and pyramids and roads and many great things that are under water now, that happened when there were no great power plants and no automobiles everywhere.

It is God who is in control of our climate and one of the best proofs is the fact that God flooded this whole earth in the days of Noah.

The proof exists yet all those clamoring about climate change ignore these truths because it does not fit into their agenda.

We should ask ourselves, just what do they want the world to do? Just what power over the climate can we use to stop what they say is in our future?

I have not seen much honest things that we can do as human beings to stop anything that is in the hands of God!

For sure we need to do a better job in taking care of our environment and in my opinion, it should start with cleaning up the trash that is everywhere!

God destroyed all humans and land animals in the time of Noah for the same things that are going on right now in our world!

Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the exact same things that are going on in America today!

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

These are all signs of the Second Coming of the Lord, and we need to wrap our minds around the truth and reject these things going on in our world!

God is still in control of our world and maybe all these changes we see are just God preparing to send His Son one more time back to this planet!

*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.

We need to wrap our minds around the fact that it is the Lord who sits at the right hand of God, the hand of power, and he has reserved the things necessary to burn this planet into non-existence.

Yes this earth will be restored as in the days of Adam because God made certain promises to the Jews and He will keep those promises but in the end there will be a totally new Earth and a totally New Heaven because those old places were places of sin and sin will not be allowed in God’s new Creations.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Now we can accept the truth of God or we can reject the Word of God, but we cannot in any way change the plan of God.

God will rid this earth of ungodly men!

Ungodly meaning, wicked men who reject the truth of God!

Thank God for His patience because He really wants everyone to accept His truths and be saved from His coming wrath.

*2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The truth is God does not depend on some clock to tell Him it is time to do something.

In fact God’s plan is in place and nothing and no one can alter the time frame the Lord chooses to abide by!

We must consider that the Lord has allowed a time frame that everyone who will receive Him will get that opportunity.

The Lord knows those who will never receive Him.

What did God say to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom?

Gen 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
Gen 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Gen 18:26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
Gen 18:27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Gen 18:28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it.
Gen 18:29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do it for forty’s sake.
Gen 18:30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
Gen 18:31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake.
Gen 18:32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.
Gen 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

We can be sure when the Lord returns to this earth, the church will have been taken to Heaven and all those left behind have rejected the truth of God!

This day may not be too far into the future.

Praise the Lord for His patience!

We need to ignore the mockers and realize the truth of what God says!

*2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Jesus made a promise that He will return in His person and He will keep that promise!

It does not matter how much time has passed God will do what God said He will do!

Time means nothing to God He dwells in eternity!

We must not be discouraged because of the time that has passed.

God does not want anyone to perish. God wants everyone to get the opportunity to meet our Savior!

The truth is, God is slow to give into the punishment He has also promised.

God’s love will not allow Him to feel good about judgment, but judgment is a necessary thing or God would not be God.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Noah when they come before Him at the White Throne Judgment.

He could not explain His actions to those of the day of Sodom when they face Him at the White Throne Judgment.

Judgment must come because this is also a promise that cannot be broken.

God does not want any of His created beings cut off from Him, but this will be something they have chosen.

When you choose judgment rather than salvation, then it is judgment that you will receive.

God has promised to allow us to choose!

God wants us all to walk away from sin and walk in righteousness!

So the Lord will return.

The Lord will stop in the clouds and call out His Church:

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

It is only after this event will the Lord return to plant His feet on Gethsemane.

He has already announced His return so He will return unannounced just as that thief who comes to rob you comes without your knowledge!

The evil world that remains after the Church is in Heaven, will continue to go about its evil and immoral business until all of a sudden, they will realize the what God said was true and destruction and mayhem will be going on all around them!

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

You see it is because we know all these things, that we need to be busy reaching out to our family and friends and the lost!

*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?

It is a fact that these words have more meaning today than they ever have. The world is hunting an excuse to all the catastrophes that are going on but are rejecting the true answer.

The lost world still believes that the stability of our world can be solved with science and technology yet there are no answers to what is going on now called climate change, except to blame man for bad practices.

There have been bad practices pushed by the lusts of wealth and that same lusts for wealth is the driving force behind what is called climate change.

In the end the guilty nations will be expected to pay for the damage they are accused of. My question is to whom will they pay? Surely not the UN.

The truth is our world is changing around us just like it always has, and we need to take notice because the Lord could return in the next moment.

What will those who are alive see then and who will they blame it on?

The heavens will be on fire!
The heavens will be dissolved!
All the elements that we see every day will melt in the extreme heat!

Who would want to be here to witness these things before their eternal death?

They will leave this inferno to go to and even hotter place called Hell, to even leave that place to go to an even hotter place called the Burning Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Why do those who see the beginnings of these things think they can stop what God has said is going to happen.

The Lord is going to return to this earth!

What does that “Born Again child of God expect in his or her future?

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

Why will the Church miss out on these things? Because God promised we would not see His wrath!

1Th_5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th_1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

It is only those who reject the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” who will witness the wrath of God!

This is also a promise! Do not let those false teachers deceive you!

Eph_5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

There will be and entirely New Heaven and an entirely New Earth and the most precious city will be an entirely New Jerusalem!

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

These are the reasons we are foolish not to believe the absolute truth of God!

*2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

Who are the beloved of God? All those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God!

1Jn_2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

We must diligently prepare for the coming of the Lord by being busy in the work the Lord has given us to do and this work will not prosper until we live a life of righteousness ourselves!

We are to be at peace with the promises of God!
We are to be without spot, which means we need to live cleans lives according to the Word of God.
We are to be blameless, which means we are to innocent of any wrongdoing, according to the Word of God! Also obeying the laws of man that do not conflict with the Word of God!

Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

We may suffer in this world because we have given our life to the Lord, but that suffering has an ending when the promises of God reach perfection!

*2Pe 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

You see those that see the wrath of God and face Him at the White Throne of Judgment, will have reach that point because of their own actions.

The Lord came to save but it requires our faith in Him and the work He has done for our salvation!

Peter the Apostle to the Jews and Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles had the same exact message!

Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And our faith must show in the things the Lord has ask us all to do!

Jas_2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These are all things that we should know if we have left the “milk” of the Word and are feasting on the “meat” of the Word of God!

*2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Again who are the beloved?

We see another warning of the false teachers that are filling the pulpits of today because we have no excuse not to know the truth of all these things today!

What is another part of our job until the Lord takes us home? We are to offer to all others the same “GRACE” the Lord has given to us and then we are all to grow in that grace!

We are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior! We do this in personal Bible Study with the Holy Spirit and then truthful Preaching and truthful Sunday Schools and in any other way we can gain the knowledge of the truth, remembering we are to ask God Himself when we need that little bit more of understanding!

Amen!

Let’s pray!

Identifying a False Preacher

Identifying False Prophets

Book of 2 Peter 2:1-22

How many of us truly know how to recognize the false prophet? This means the false pastor, the false preacher, the false evangelist, the false bishop and any other false messenger, who are not called of God, but call themselves or allow some other group of men or women to call them.

God calls those who He chooses to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the Messiah)!

1Co 7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

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

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Who is that false preacher?

Let’s listen to the called messenger of God, the Apostle Peter.

*2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

We must remember Peter is writing to the Church. He is not talking about the world. Peter is saying these are men and women who are inside the Church!

Even Jesus warns of these people who are enemies of the Church.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In fact, as we see, these are false people who have made their way into the pulpits of the Church. This is even a sign of the soon coming Rapture of the Church, before the Second Coming of Christ.

Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

It is the job of the Church to rid the Church of these evil people!

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

In the Church, heresy is departing from doctrine of faith that is in the works of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heresy is any departure from the truth of the revelation of God!

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Any departure from the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of the Scriptures is “heresy”, and those who do so must be removed from the church and it is the church body that has the responsibility to do so!

If you think that when you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and this will not come up you are foolish, and there will be a terrible loss of rewards and if you stand before the Lord at the White Throne judgment you are fools if you try to use this as an excuse, that you were misled.

We all have the responsibility to study the Word of God to know that the men and in some case women (who already go against the Word of God) who are behind the pulpits, are preaching and teaching the truth.

Heresies are damnable, because it is only by the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can avoid eternal damnation!

Many listen to these preachers of damnation, out of ignorance to the Word of God!

*2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

We must clearly understand that to go against the Word of God is sin and sin that is unrepented brings eternal damnation!

Anyone who teaches and encourages people to live an immoral and unrestrained sin is a false preacher or teacher who is certainly not looking out for your spiritual welfare, but are working for the devil!

They will teach that Jesus is not the true Messiah sent from God.
They will teach that there is no Triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
They will teach that Jesus is certainly not any Lord and we have no Lord over our lives.
They will teach that there is no higher power and the best we can do is listen to the wisdom of the men from this world.
They will teach that there is no absolute truth and that we can live pretty much anyway we want to.

They teach lies that anyone with common sense can see straight through, but people just refuse to give up their sin and these liars just give them an excuse to do so!

I got news for you. If you belong to the Lord, you will give up all your petty sins or you are not His child!

These people speak evil of God and they teach those who are listening to them to do the same.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the early church:

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.

These people only use the church to fill their pocketbooks and their bellies!

*2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

When we look up that word covetousness in the Strong’s Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew words, we find the word “Avarice”

Avarice means the act of extortion, fraudulent, covetous, means to take someone elses money.

Avarice means seeking worldly wealth by any means possible, barely legal by loopholes and especially illegal or fraudulently.

We already known that wealth in itself is not a sin though the Bible does say Christians who have wealth were given that wealth to help the Church deliver the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” and also help the poor in the Church.

It is that craving for wealth that is such a sin!

The world operates under the rule of those who crave wealth and obtain it with any means possible!

It is that putting in place a means to extort that wealth from innocent victims that is such a terrible sin.

In fact it is that love of wealth that is obtained in this fashion that is sin!

1Ti_6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

God condemns this sin!

Isa 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

Jer 5:25 Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
Jer 5:26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
Jer 5:27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Tit 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Tit 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

These are just a handful of Scriptures warning the Church of false preachers and teachers.

This is exactly what the Apostle Peter is doing here. He is not only warning the Church, he is also teaching us how to know a false teacher when we see one, even knowing that they are deceivers who see Christians as easy pickings and an easy way to make great wealth.

They mold their words together to make them sound like what God has said.
They use artificial acts of kindness to lure their congregation.
They use fictitious results to entice the poor and the unhealthy into their audiences.
They devise their plans well to get maximum wealth from a people who are trusting in Jehovah God!

God has designed the Church to receive tithes and offerings and our wealth little or much, and it is never to be given to charlatans who care nothing for the things of God!

The truth is false teachers and false preachers will be judged and destroyed.

We may ask ourselves, why do some seem to keep going and keep amassing wealth, but we must leave these things in God’s hands.

They are already judged, and they will see damnation!

In fact it is the greed of gain that dominates all our world today!

You cannot pay for a higher knowledge than the Word of God given to all freely!
You cannot pay for a higher holiness than the salvation plan of God also given to each believer freely, without cost!

They would cease to exist if the Church would listen to what the Lord does teach us!

1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

Tit 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Tit 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

God will exterminate these false, so-called men of God and it will be a terrible thing!

*2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Judgment is coming to all to reject the truth of God but even more so to those who would distort the Word of God for their own profit!

Destruction is not now in this world compared to the destruction that is forthcoming from our Holy God!

Before the time of Adam and Eve there was the rebellion in Heaven and Lucifer and a third of the angels in Heaven.

Eze 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Rev 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

We know that Lucifer, now called Satan, the Devil, the Deceiver, and other names is used of God to cause temptation along with a few of those angels now called demons, but the worst of those angels are already locked away in the depths of hell.

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.

There is no escape for those who sin!

For Lucifer and those angels that rebelled with him there will never be an opportunity for forgiveness and even Heaven will be made new because there will not even be a trace of sin in the New Heaven that is to be our home.

Rev_21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

These same angels will be placed into the burning lake of fire along with Lucifer!

Another example given to us is the destruction of the old world.

*2Pe 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

It amazes me that the climate alarmist speak of so many cities and coastlines that will be underwater by the time of 2030, yet artifact after artifact are discovered under our oceans almost daily.

There are always things going on in nature that we will never understand because we are not intended to understand.

Those could afford to have always built too close to shorelines.

There are roads, cities, foundations, pyramids and many other things from the past that are found under our oceans that were once on dry land when there were no automobiles.

When there were no power plants.
When there were no industries.
When there were no causes for greenhouse gases but nature itself and of course the animals who God chose to exist with us.

In the day of Noah, it was God who flooded this earth not because of greenhouse gases but because of sin.

Judgment is coming to all who reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

*2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

We are foolish not to realize the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah!

These same sins are running rampant in our societies of today.

Sin can bring down the most magnificent cities of today just as it did in the days of Abraham.

Not one of these cities did escape and if you study the Bible there were five of those cities destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah.

Gen 19:25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

There is not one society of mankind that can hinder the judgment of God!

There is not one evil that can escape the destruction of God!

Only Lot and his two daughters escaped from Sodom.

Lot had been justified when He was with Abraham and this should be a lesson to us that Lot did not lose his salvation, but his godly testimony was ruined for the rest of his days. He had become useless in the work of God and became a drunk who was used of his two daughters whose lives were lives of confusion that brought to them damnation.

This is exactly what a false teacher will cause. Confusion that leads to damnation!

When you fall away from the truth of God after your salvation it can bring ruin to your entire family!

There is no one who rejects the truth of God who will not see damnation and at the same time, God will fulfill His promise to deliver everyone who has claimed the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

*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:

We live in a world that has no respect for the knowledge of God and false teachers and false preachers take advantage of our laziness in the Scriptures.

The Bible was not just written for the preacher to study and give us his thoughts.

The Bible was written so we can learn and see for ourselves what God has actually said!

The true teacher and preacher will help us to understand what God has written!

God knows how to deliver us from all things, but we must pay attention to what He says and not what man says.

God also knows how to rid this world of the unjust. Those who have not been “justified” by the truth of God!

God does not cause our suffering.
God does not tempt us in any way.
God does allow us to go through some of these things to make us stronger!

God knows how to deliver us out of the conflicts of this life.

We must remember most of our problems come because we have given in to temptation!
Some of our problems come because of Christian persecution!
The remainder of our problems are the same problems that everyone else has in this life!

God explains to us everything pertaining to life! Where life began and where life will end and then God teaches us how to avoid the pitfalls of life.

God knows how to meet the needs of His people.

There is much difference in the “unjust” and those who have been “justified” (the just)!

*2Pe 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

So what do these false teachers and false preachers do? How can we know them besides the things that they teach?

They walk after the flesh! They walk just like those of the world!

The flesh in itself is not evil, it is what we do in that flesh is evil!

We are spirit and we are flesh.

The spirit will seek spiritual things and lead us to the Holy Spirit who will lead us the Lord.

The flesh will seek food, recognition, love, companionship, and the necessities of life and these are normal desires that we all have.

False teachers walk in the lusts of the flesh, which is covetousness, an evil desire for all things of the flesh, especially monetary things!

False teachers teach to satisfy the flesh and their message is to gain recognition and livelihood and that message will change according to their own best interest!

Just like the lost, because they are lost, they want to do things their own way!

They neglect the Lordship of Christ!
They neglect the truth of God!

*2Pe 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

False teachers despise authority especially the authority of God!

They stress rights.
They stress freedom.
They stress liberty.
They stress the right to live in any way you want to.

The evidence of this truth can be seen in most every denomination today, who are led by false teachers!

These false teachers will question spiritual things.

They will have nothing good to say about the things of Heaven.

They will question the work of the angels even their existence.

They will question all the spiritual world.

They will doubt that there is a spiritual world that going on around us.

They openly reject that there is a Devil!

In doing so they are calling the Lord a liar.

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

What does God actually think of false preachers and false teachers?

*2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pe 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

It is easy to see God does not think anything good about these foolish men and women.

We must keep in mind Peter is writing to the saints of God! “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” 2Peter 1:1

When we look out across a field at magnificent bulls of the herd, we see brute beast who do not have a clue to the meaning of life and certainly not eternal life. Who are raised to be destroyed for their meat.

Much, Much, different from that under-shepherd who are guardians of God’s flock.

These brute beasts only speak evil of the things of God they have no understanding and they never will, because they do not have the Holy Spirit living within them!

They will perish in their own corruption.

You know there could still be at least one more great awakening for the Church of God, where the truth of God will come back to the top.

Let’s pray for this to happen!

But these will receive their reward!

What do we see of false teachers who are reaping great monetary things from God’s people?

They openly show their wealth. Their jet plains. Their lifestyle. Making friends with the unbelievers of this world while rejecting the standards God has set for His people.

They share in the social affairs of the world still rejecting the Lordship of Christ.

They make great prayers without mentioning the Lord.

They in fact blemish all the things of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God has only one request for His people!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

They are not pure in their relationship with the Lord because they have gone to bed with the world.

We need only look at the major denominations of the Church to see that these things are true!

They cannot cease from sin.

They do not condemn abortion, but they endorse it.
They do not condemn the sexual relations of two men.
They do not condemn the sexual relations of two women.
They do not condemn all sexual relations outside the marriage.
In fact they do not condemn sin at all, because they have not repented themselves and their names are not written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life and they have condemned all relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ.

They have cursed the next generation of the Church (our children) because they do not teach the truth of the Scriptures.

I should say “all the truth” because they do teach just enough of twisted truth to keep you giving to them!

They then turn right around and accept the teachings of the world.

They condemn our Creator and the teachings of the Book of Genesis!

In the Bible, we see Balaam did have some knowledge of God, but at the same time he thought he could stand up to God and talk God into going against His own Words.

Balaam could not curse Israe, but he did give King Balak a plan that would cause Israel to stumble when he sent all numbers of women into the camps of Israel where fornication occurred.

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Balaam was so caught up in his deceit that even the jackass he was riding was far smarter than he was in the things of the Lord!

Num 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Num 22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Num 22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
Num 22:31 Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
Num 22:32 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:

Balaam was no more than a false teacher for hire just like those false teachers of today!

The Lord is not thorough in His condemnation of false teachers.

*2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

Water is the most necessary ingredient for all living beings, along with the air we breathe!

The fruitfulness of any land depends on the quantity and the quality of water that is available.

This is the reason that God has placed more water on this earth than there is dry land.

Water brings life!

A false teacher cannot bring life!

They are only empty wells that look refreshing from a distance, but only contain no water or poisoned water that is undrinkable.

We see great clouds sometimes that are pushed by the winds in which we see the opportunity of life-giving rain to nourish our lands, but some just blow on by having released none of moisture that is in them.

They looked like a great promise of life, but in the end, they kept it to themselves.

A false teacher may seem to carry the Words of Life, but in the end, they carry only death!

They may be great speakers, but their words are empty!

Their allure appeals to the lusts of our flesh, but they offer nothing for the soul, but the promise of God’s judgment!

They lure the “Babe in Christ” and those who refuse to study the Word of God themselves, with great promises of truth that are only lies that destroy families, that destroy nations and then bring eternal death and they do these things intentionally.

In trials it would be called premeditation and they are true murderers who will answer to the Almighty God and they will be destroyed themselves!

If we are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God ourselves, we can fall into the traps of false teachers who are only seeking earthly wealth but bring only death to themselves and those who listen to their message!

They make great promises!

*2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

The Lord Jesus Christ has released us from the bondage of sin, but these false teachers who make that same promises only involve those who listen to them in corruption and again make them servants of lies.

This is the one great goal of Satan.

Satan cannot touch the saint of God, but he will enlist false teachers who make the promise of life that is in actuality the promise of death or in the least, useless in the plan of God!

Their lie is that we are all entitled to a life of freedom, but that freedom is a life of selfishness.

A life of greed, a life of desire, a life of lust.

Freedom to seek their own pleasures anywhere they can find them.

It is in our sinful nature to desire more and more and the false teacher will expound on these things and we can notice that the pews are full of those who fall into this trap of the devil.

The message of God is real! If we are overcome by lies that lead to sin, then we have again become servants of sin and no longer the servants of God!

What is the truth?

*2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

We can see that we have a strong warning from the Lord. Again the Holy Ghost is writing to the church!

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

Any false teacher who once knew the Lord and has returned to the world, his fate will be much worse than if he had never begun a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we base our lives on the message of these false men and women, we will not be any better off than them!

We must understand we live in a polluted world and I am not talking about the filth of polluting nature. I am speaking of a world polluted with sin.

Pollutions in this Scripture speaks of immorality. We live in a nation that at this time is polluted with immorality!

It is immoral pollutions right now that come from indulging in the sinful pleasures of this world, which are not pleasures at all, but just rejection of the truth of God.

We cannot allow ourselves to be drawn back into the foolishness of this world and this is what will happen if we allow false teachers to get a foothold in our church!

It is only by the laws of God and the knowledge of God that we can escape these things.

God would not tell us these things if they were not true!

*2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

If a dog returning to its vomit is not repulsive to us, then think in the mind of Christ of that one who said they loved Him, but have now rejected Him and returned to their sinful life.

What about the old hog that won a prize at the fair, but at its first opportunity will rush back to that mire to wallow in its own filth.

These things should sink in, because the Holy Ghost is warning us, the church, the saints of God.

God will deal with those false teachers and it will be extremely harsh, but here God is warning the Church the backbone of Christianity.

It is easy to fall back into sin!

It is more difficult to recover each time you allow this to happen!

God used that word entangled for a reason, because sin has its traps and snares, the more we struggle in these things the more we become in bondage again to sin!

Sin has always been terrible, but we are foolish if we cannot see that sin in this world is growing tremendously and we may not recover if we sink back into this sinful world today!

The world is full of moral corruption. To escape this corrupt world is of the greatest importance!

To fall back into the traps of sin can be devastating!

Our only escape is the knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepting His Word as the truth!

What did Jesus say?

Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

We will never be able to clean ourselves up!

We must be washed in the blood of Jesus Christ.

We must be washed by the Holy Spirit and this washing begins when we are washed in the Word of God!

1Co_6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

After we are washed, we must to our very best to remain clean!

If we depend on the Word of God, then we must beware of those who distort the Word of God.

Not only by wicked men and women but also by those who continuously bring forth distorted Bibles.

Amen.

Let’s Pray!

Experiencing the Life Jesus Died to Give Us

Keeping Things in Perspective

Book of 2 Peter Chapter 1:11-21

There are two words we see often in the Scriptures and they are “therefore” and “wherefore” and they are very important in our understanding of those Scriptures.

The word “therefore” means: For this reason and in the Scriptures, this refers to some verse or some passage that was previous to the word “therefore”.

The word “wherefore” means: For which reason and in the Scriptures, this refers to the reason the next passage is written.

The Bible will never cause confusion if we understand these and other lead words in the Scriptures.

In our lesson from last week, Peter gave us a precious passage about Christian growth and in today’s lesson Peter will show us the benefits of growing Christ.

We must remember all the lessons the Holy Spirit has given to the writers of the Scriptures!

The most important lessons of course, are those that teach us how to grow our “faith”. Without faith we cannot even please God!

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

If we go back to last week’s lesson, we should understand how the Holy Spirit cautions us about these things!

2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

We must base our faith on the promises of God and then diligently add, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and last but most important charity.

These are real things that show we are established in the truth of God!

*2Pe 1:12 “Wherefore” I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

The Holy Ghost writes that because of what we learned in last week’s lesson we need to remember them all the days we have left in our Christian walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

In fact there is nothing in the written Word of God that we are ever told to forget except for the sin we have been forgiven of!

Psa 119:109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

Psa 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

There are too many benefits from the Lord to ever forget that He has blessed our souls!

Psa 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

You see, these things in 2 Peter 1-11, are so important that all Peter’s remaining days He preached this same message!

Peter reminded all believers of these things all his days and it would be well with us if we would refuse to forget them ourselves!

This would be neglecting to walk as Jesus walked!

How do we memorize, we repeat the things we want to memorize over and over until they are implanted in our mind!

All the things of our salvation are much too important to ever forget!

The gifts of God are far too important than to just treat them as everyday things!

Without these things we will never experience the life that Jesus Christ died to give us!

These are the tools that make us witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ!

There are not many places in the Scriptures where we are admonished to remember these things more than in this passage in the Book of 2 Peter!

As far as Peter was concerned, it would have been negligence on his part not to teach and caution us not to forget all these things!

These are the things that cause the Church to be established!

Act 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Peter just continues to emphasize the importance of remembering these things, especially knowing his days were numbered.

We will all reach this point one day and what will we want our own children to remember the most?

*2Pe 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
2Pe 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

If you are like me, as I have gotten older, I have realized just how short a time we spend in this world. I certainly am ready whenever the Lord calls me home!

But I would also love to see my grandchildren blossom to their full potential and somewhere in the future there will be great grandchildren and I would love to see them.

Like Peter it is in my best interest to put my children in remembrance of the things of salvation and I will certainly see them when they have reached their full potential in the Lord, for they will join me in Heaven.

Another thing we must not miss here is the fact that the soul is far superior to this body we are so proud of!

We will put off this body as some old worn out tent and that soul that is eternal that has blossomed into perfection will return to the Lord, who gave it, if it has been filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ecc_12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Our soul is the seat of our knowledge and our sensation, and our body is nothing without our soul, but a mud pie made by God Himself from the dust of the earth.

There is nothing upon this earth that will be allowed in Heaven.

Yes, we will have a new body but that new body will not be made of the material of this earth!

Today we should take much better care of our soul than this body which only ages every day!

When pour body has left us, it is our salvation, our virtue, our knowledge, our temperance, our patience, our godliness, our brotherly kindness and our charity in these things of God, that will standout, and it is these things that will have earned our rewards in Heaven.

Peter writes, in hope that after he is gone, we to will keep things most important things, after our names are written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

*2Pe 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

Peter knew that we would never remember these things until we had learned them!

To be honest, the most dangerous teachers are those who were never learners. They are all the masters of error!

In the Church we are not teachers unless we teach the Word of God!

We cannot teach the Word of God, if we do not under Holy Ghost supervision learn the Word of God!

The major denominations of today have not learned the Word of God or they have rejected its truth so, they are unable to teach what God has said for us to learn and then apply to our souls that will then direct our lives.

What did Paul teach?

Heb 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

When we reject these things in this passage of Peter, we have rejected the truth of God!

We are to teach the oracles of God!

The Bible has some accurate History of our world, but it is not a History Book.
The Bible has some accurate Science of our Creation, but it is not a Science Book
The Bible contains many things of life, but it is not a Social Economics Book.

The Bible is, the truth of God written to the Church, so that it can then be taught to a lost and dyeing world before it is too late!

Too late meaning, before the Lord returns to take His Church to Heaven. Those left behind will see the wrath of God.

After this God will deal with the Jews and those who help the Jews for 1000 years!

You see the Bible is the truth and the world spits out the lies of Satan, the Devil, Diabolos, the Deceiver!

*2Pe 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

There have been myths since the time of Noah and probably from the time of Adam.

We know that there was the myth of the angels coming down from Heaven to get with the women of the world and creating giant men of power and this is a myth!

This would mean that God lost control over His creation for a period of time, which is impossible!

There are the Greek gods, and the Roman gods but there were also the gods of the Philistines and the Egyptians, and the Chinese and every other group of people, because every person who has ever lived has been searching for a god to rule their lives.

There is the Sun-god, the Sea-god, the River-god, the Dawn-god, the Moon-god, and the many man-gods. Everyone wants to have their own personal god!

There are no atheists in this world. They, just like most of the world, just reject Jehovah God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true and only God!

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Mankind all their years have created man-made gods and man-made religions, great value systems and great man-made laws, seeking to preserve the peace in this world and man-made laws simply will not work!

Only laws derived from the Word of God will bring peace to this world!

America prospered when the laws of God were the rule and America has gone downhill since an immoral standard is being used.

Science is not the answer.
Technology is not the answer.
Religion is not the answer.

There is nothing that men can provide that will solve the issues of this world, but to listen to what God has to say and then obey!

If you believe in evolution, then you have to admit that since the dawn of mankind, man has never been able to solve the issues of this world!

We know for a fact that nothing that man makes or provides can last, it fades away with time!

Man has searched for the meaning of life and it has not been found.
Man has search for the means to extend life and it cannot be found.
Man has searched for the way to avoid death and it eludes them.

It is because of these things that Jehovah the true God has made Himself known in order for mankind to know the truth, yet this truth is rejected as just another fable!

The Apostle Peter was an eyewitness to the things of Jesus Christ along with more than 600 other human beings and yet Peter is called a liar!

Even Doctor Luke is called a liar.

Luk 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
Luk 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
Luk 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
Luk 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

You see the Holy Ghost, who is God, inspired all the Scriptures of the Bible so even He is called a liar.

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

It is only the Almighty God, Elohim, who can provide all the needs of man, and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ is His means of preserving all mankind.

God will meet all our needs and it is He who must show us how to live with the purpose He has given us!

The Lord Jesus is God in the flesh who came to this world to get us out of the darkness of this world and into the light of the things of Heaven!

“God says listen to the words of my Son”

Peter was eyewitness to the Transfiguration of God.

Mar 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
Mar 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
Mar 9:4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Peter heard with his own ears as God the Father spoke about God the Son!

*2Pe 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2Pe 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

Peter was an ear-witness to the voice of God saying that this man Jesus who was transfigured before them, was indeed the Son of God, God in the flesh! 100% man and 100% God,the true Messiah, because this was God’s way of saving all mankind!

The honor was God speaking of His Son.
The glory was that glorious light that thus a glimpse of the true glory of the Son of God.

I have news for you, if our God in Heaven was pleased, even well pleased with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, then we had better be pleased with Him also.

Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

This was no rumbling in the clouds though some may have thought so.

We had better believe this as a movement of the Holy Spirit who is always working in this world and is truly that voice of God who speaks to us.

He may use the Scriptures, He has given to chosen men to write down for us, in most cases.
He may use the mighty men God has called to preach the message of God many times today.
On this day, the Holy Spirit spoke with His own audible voice, which He is capable of using at any time and Peter was not confused about who spoke.

By the way, the Holy Spirit, He is God!

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Peter was not confused with what the voice of God had said.
Peter was not confused with where he was when the Holy Ghost spoke these words.
Peter was just certain that all these things were facts, and this is the message he gives to us, facts.

The Apostle Peter was certain of his calling and he was certain of the truth of God!

The Apostle Peter knew that these things were important, especially in his life because he was convinced of the truth of God.

Then Peter says the most important witness we have is the written Word of God given to us by this same Holy Spirit.

*2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Yes, we would be fools not to believe this chosen man of God who was such a great witness to the things of Jesus Christ!

Peter says we are bigger fools if we do not accept the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God!

Peter said the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Christ are real, because he was an eyewitness.
Peter said before this, the transfiguration of Christ was real because he was an eyewitness.
Peter said during this transfiguration he heard the voice of God declaring that Jesus was His Son and he was an ear-witness to this event.
Peter says the greatest witness of all was the truth of the prophets who had written about all these things many years before they had taken place.

All these things are true just because they are! We can believe or we can throw the truth out of our lives, but the truth will still be the truth!

There are near 100 prophesies that are easily seen concerning Jesus the Messiah alone, that have already been fulfilled.

There is no excuse for doubting the truth of God!

God says, if you have a question just ask and you will find the answer in the written Word of God.

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

God also says when you see the evidence of the truth then do not doubt the truth!

When we read the preserved Word of God from the original Greek and Hebrew text, then we are reading the actual words of our Holy God.

*2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The truth is, all interpretations belong to God!

Gen 40:8 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

There are no private interpretations of the Scriptures, God means what He says, and God says what He means!

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Everything that concerns the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures!

1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

No one believed the Old Testament Scriptures until the truth was revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
Rom 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
Rom 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

What is wrong with people who want to alter the truth? They want you to be deceived into thinking it was man who came up with these things when no man has enough brains to know the thoughts of God!

The entire Bible has one central theme and that theme, and the reality of that theme, is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Joh 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Joh 5:41 I receive not honour from men.
Joh 5:42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
Joh 5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

If you want to know the truth, then just take the time to read the 66 Books of the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God and quit listening to what the world says! Then meditate on the truth of God.

Amen

Let’s Pray

Grace Grace God’s Grace

Growing In Grace

2 Peter Chapter 1:1-11

As we have just spent several weeks in the study of the first Book of the Apostle Peter, we saw that the Book of 1 Peter was devoted to the remedy for suffering Christian Persecution. That remedy being we must have the “mind of Christ”!

Today as we begin our lessons in the Book of 2 Peter, we will see how Peter looks at the subject of God’s “Grace”.

Peter will teach us, by the Holy Spirit, that above all, we can know the Word of God and we can rely on what God says as the truth!

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

Simon Peter the chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ, still realized in his older days that he was nothing more than a servant of the Lord.

All that truly love the Lord will still come to Him on bended knees!

To be a servant of the Lord is to realize that we are no more than slaves who have been purchased from the slave market of sin and we have a new Master.

We that know the Lord on a personal level, are all bondservants by law to the God of all “GRACE”!

In fact I am a willing slave to the Lord Jesus Christ, He is my new Owner and the only Owner I will ever have!

Who is Peter writing to? To all those who are willing slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ, but slaves because we have “FAITH” in the price that Jesus Christ paid for our freedom.

Jesus Christ paid for us to be free and it cost Him His own life!

Not only was Peter a slave such as you and I and all believers, he was also a chosen Apostle of Jesus Christ.

Those Apostles chosen by the Lord were His messengers of the New Covenant of God! Which is the New Covenant of “GRACE”.

We know that “GRACE” is the unmerited favor of God shown to sinful people.

In reality, God’s Grace is the richness of God’s “GOODNESS”!

It is this “goodness”, this “grace”, that we as Christians are to share with this lost world just as did the Apostle Peter, the servant of God.

Psa 145:7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
Psa 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
Psa 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

It is these same ones who have that like precious faith, filled with the Holy Spirit, who are to take part in restricting sin in this world!

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Every lost soul that returns to the Lord, has removed the sin he once had and walks in a New Life.

There is a little less sin in this world every time someone accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!

These things come by the knowledge of the truth of God!

*2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

How do we show God’s grace to others? We accept every “born again” child of God into our Church family, no matter the history of their old life!

This is the difference in living under God’s grace than being in God’s grace.

If they are a child of God, then they are our brother or sister in Christ!

As Christians we have all received the undeserved favor of God. We cannot earn God’s favor. We absolutely do not deserve any of the things God so freely gives us, but through His Son He will give us all a little part of Heaven!

The only thing we deserve from our God is “judgment”!

These are the exact same things we are to do for all our Christian family, except to “judge”. All judgment will come from the Lord.

God has made it possible for us to experience His “grace” rather than His “judgment”!

What is so great about being in the grace of God?

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

It is in our body where we can feel the loving grace of God by the things that He does for us.

Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

It is in our mind that we can have that peace that cannot be understood by this world!

Rom_15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Php_4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The Lord Jesus Christ not only gives us these things upon our faith, but He actually multiplies them!

He gives us an abundance and then gives is us even more!

Jesus does this so we can share that grace and that peace of God with everyone we come in contact with!

We cannot receive these things until we know the Lord as our Savior and these things are added as we learn more about Him!

If Jesus Christ is your Lord, then He is your God!

Jesus Christ is life and the giver of life!

Jesus Christ is God and the giver of godliness.

Jesus Christ is righteous and the giver of righteousness.

If you have any gift, then it came from God.

All things necessary for life are given by the Lord Jesus Christ!

*2Pe 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

We should have no fear in this world because the Lord has already given to us all things that are necessary for our salvation.

There is nothing related to our eternal life with Him that He will hold back!

God has given to us all things necessary for our “spiritual life” and He will never take any of those things away from us!

We cannot lose our salvation once we have truly accepted that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and our Savior!!!!!!!!!!!!

We must not be deceived by those who teach something different from this truth.

The gifts of God are eternal!!!!!!!

He has called us to glory:

God has revealed Himself in a glorious blessing to those who love Him!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

God has revealed His entire program to the Church!

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

God has called us to virtue:

Virtue can best be understood as living under the powerful influence of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Virtue is the good life that comes from being Christians in the complete will of God.

Gal_6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Php_4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

We cannot know what living for Christ is all about, unless we study the Scriptures!

It is only in the Scriptures that we can learn of the great and precious promises given to us as gifts from God!

*2Pe 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

These are powerful Scriptures and we need to take heed to what they say!

God’s promises are His assurance that we will receive His blessings!

God’s promises are divine: Which means they come from God our divine Creator, who by the way was the Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s promises are suitable for all our situations as believers.

God’s promises are clear!

God’s promises are certain!

When we understand the promises of God and live accordingly, we will be partakers of His divine nature!

Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

This is the only means of escaping the corruption of this world and this corruption comes by our own lust and our foolish pride!

1Jn_2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These are the things that we as Christians must flee from, to escape the corruption of this world!

The seed of corruption is caused from sin and by the Lord Jesus Christ we are made free from sin!

The Grace of God comes by His divine power, His resources are infinite, and His promises are sure and since He can never die His promises cannot expire!

When we have that peace of God because of our faith and the multiplied grace of God because of our faith, then and only then can we grow in the Lord!

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

In short virtue is the effect that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior has had on our lives. So if we add to this virtue Peter is saying that we are to have that same effect on all others.

We should be so much like Jesus Christ that others want to be like Him to!

Virtue is the very best part of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is His eternal being!

The three virtues of each Christian are bound up in faith, hope and charity.

1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Our own virtue must be based on all the things of Jesus Christ!

Being diligent means to must guard ourselves against any defilement!

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Being diligent means we must search our heart to be sure of our confession of faith.

Psa 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Every Saint of God must have diligence!

2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
2Co 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

The one most important thing is that we know without a doubt that we are saved and are “Born Again”!

Then and only then can we add to our virtue, knowledge!

Knowledge is a gift of God by the Holy Spirit as are all gifts. Knowledge is closely related to wisdom and refers to our ability to properly understand the truths revealed in the Scriptures.

The knowledge of God is possible because He has revealed Himself to us and it requires our faith, the grace of God, the peace we have in knowing God and then our own virtue in being like Christ Jesus.

The sanctification process of each saint of God is a step by step process and is processed and led by the Holy Spirit who dwells within each of us.

It is after this knowledge that we are able to temperance.

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

**Temperance means we have the power within ourselves to defend our faith and virtue in the Lord. We have self-control over the acts of our body!

Temperance means we have mastered our passions that would lead us to sin! Temperance means we have realized that the “grace” of self-control comes because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who lives within us and who is our strength.

By the Holy Spirit we can have control of our rebellious desires!

I used to drink and smoke and commit other sin, but I just do not want to anymore, because I have temperance.

These things also work for me, because I also have patience!

**Patience. There is what we call inactive patience and active patience. We must have active patience!

We cannot just sit back and put up with the trials of life, taking them one by one as they come!

We must stand up and face the trials of life head-on! We must conquer the trials of life and make them useful for us and not be against us!

We must understand that God allows the trials of our life so we can grow and be strong in the defense of the “Gospel”.

Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

We must remember that all our trials borne with patience, will end in triumph!

Rom 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

to continue our Christian growth having added temperance and patience we must then add godliness.

The Lord would not have put these things in a specific order if it were not the best for us!

**Godliness includes all things necessary for our Christian life!

1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

Whatsoever is needed for life is given to us by Jesus Christ and the Lord longs for us to have an abundant life.

This life that is given to us is to be lived the way God intended and God intended for us to live godly lives!

Godliness means we are to live in awe of our Creator and our Lord!

Godliness means that we are so aware of God’s presence in our lives, that we live as He would live in our circumstances.

Even after this God says we still need to add some things.

*2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

We must possess that brotherly kindness. The very special love that exists between brothers and sisters in a loving family.

These are brothers and sisters who truly cherish one another.

This is to be what family is all about.

It is to be the same for all our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ!

Those who have brotherly love have been “Born Again” by the Holy Spirit, and therefore we all have the same Father.

The great example of this is when Mary the mother of the Lord, when the Holy Spirit came upon her and she was overshadowed and she was with child, the baby Jesus.

Each of us, the children of God have a new Spirit that binds us to one another in a love greater than all families because we have become the family of God!

We may not even know all our brothers and sisters in Christ, but these are the ones we will spend eternity with!

We have a new Spirit, we have a new Family, because we are bound together by the Holy Spirit into “Brotherly Love” for one another!

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

But there is even more we cannot stop here we must add Charity!

In our English language we do not have a definition of love that comes close to the love of God. That word “Charity” is the closest word that even comes close to what the love of God really means.

Charity is the greatest of the three Christian graces.

Faith, hope, and charity!

How can we describe charity?

1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
1Co 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
1Co 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
1Co 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Charity is as close as we will get to perfection upon this earth and then only if we include all these other things that Peter has mentioned in these Scriptures.

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

If we cannot do our best to show the love of God, then we are failing in our walk with the Lord!

If we have that true love of God in our hearts, but for some reason this does not show in the way we live and the way we give, then we need to try harder!

The Agape love of God loves regardless of feelings, (whether we feel like loving or not).
The Agape love of God loves even if that person does not deserve our love.
The Agape love of God loves even that person who is utterly unworthy of our love.
The Agape love of God, gives and gives and gives and does not stop giving love!

What did Jesus say?

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

All the Word of God is about the love of God, and we are to be God’s example of His love for one another!

These are all the things that are to be in us if we are God’s children.

*2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When it is all said and done, all these things are the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Php_1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

These things must be added to our lives and not only that, but these things must “abound” in our lives!

This is the answer to the question, “what does it mean to grow in Christ Jesus”?

We have to grow and grow and grow, reaching out for the perfection of Jesus Christ!

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

As we continue in this Psalm, we see these words:

Psa 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

*2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

What is the bleak picture of all those who do not grow in Jesus Christ?

Remember Peter is writing to the Church.

When we do not grow in Christ, we become Spiritually blind!

Short sighted in all the things of God!

Where is the modern-day church? Short sighted in the truth of God!

We will lack in the true purpose of why God leaves us here after He has saved us!

It is possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and not be in the will of God and not growing in Christ!

In fact this describes many a house of God today!

When we were first saved, we had a clear vision of seeking the things of God, but because we have not grown, we have lost that vision and in reality, are of very little use to the plan of God! Many will even hinder the plan of God!

When we forget that we have already been purged from our old sins, we are just one step away from returning to those sins!

It is impossible that we have not seen good Christians who have neglected to grow in Christ and have lost their understanding of the truth of God!

Walk the streets of America and you will see they are everywhere!

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

It is in our best interest to make sure that we have been called by the conviction of Holy Spirit, and have answered that call with true repentance and true faith!

*2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

What is diligence?

The Apostle Paul said it like this:

Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

You see, if we do all these things just as the Holy Spirit has revealed them to the Apostle Peter, we cannot fail in our walk with the Lord and we will be in the perfect will of God the Father.

If we have truly elected to be in the family of God, we will not have a problem in seeking all these things for ourselves.

Most all of us have stumbled in our Christian walk, and if we want to stop stumbling then here is God’s answer!

If we have been coming up short in our walk with the Lord, then here is God’s answer!

If we have been falling when we should have been running the race of God, then here is God’s answer!

If we live a life of sorrows, then we can make this life we have to be a joyful life if we take these things just as they have been written to us and act on them with diligence!

God makes these things easy for us, because this is the reason the Holy Spirit is living inside us!

We must need to be diligent in seeking these things!

Our walk with the Lord requires our personal effort!

Our salvation is the gift of God, after we have shown faith and this first bit of faith, He will even provide.

After accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, it is then we begin that race that the Apostle Paul so speaks of.

Abundance means riches. We will live a rich Christian life, not in monetary gains, but Spiritual gains here on earth and then enjoy the riches of Heaven that cannot even be described!

The reality of these things is that they are eternal!

The Kingdom of God is real!

Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Our life in Christ can be the best life we have while we are still living and then we will go to live in the actual home of God!

Amen

Let’s us pray!

Building Onto the House of God

Staying Right with Fellow Christians

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 5:1-14

You know for a simple fisherman the Apostle Peter had come a long way toward perfection by this time in his life. Peter dealt with the persecution of the Church in words given to him by the Holy Spirit, for in the end this is all we have to offer.

The world we live in today will not cease in its persecution of God’s people, until God removes His people and then evil will persecute evil to see which is the more-evil, of those left behind!

Peter closed out this first book included in the 66 books of the Bible, by speaking to the elders of the Church.

The title elder is plainly the origin of the titles priest and pastor.

An elder could be the old man of the family much like the grandfather.
An elder could be the man with the most experience on the job site.
An elder could be the leader of a group of people.

In the church an Elder would be the chief Priest, the chief Preacher, the chief Pastor.
In the New Testament the title Bishop is also used as an elder.

In my church we have the Pastor and the Youth Pastor, and the elders include the old saints of God who have been doing the work God has given us all to do for many years and possess a great knowledge of the Scriptures.

In fact a new babe in Christ should pick out an elder saint of God to be his or her example until they get off the “milk of the Word” and can absorb the “meat of the Word of God without doubting its truth!

The Apostle Peter knew everything about Jesus was the complete truth!

Let’s begin:

*1Pe 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

The persecuted church is in great need, of elders who have committed themselves to the work of the Lord!

In fact, the church of today is in a great need of church elders who stick to the truth of the Scriptures, unyielding to those who would distort the truth of the Scriptures.

We need elders today who will seal the Church against the influence of the world and the interfering hands of government!

Peter stresses that he was not only an Apostle, hand-picked by the Lord Jesus Christ, but just as important a church elder, who had witnessed the sufferings of Christ Jesus.

Jesus suffered at the cross, but He also suffered all the days of His ministry.

Jesus had to go to work to support His family at a very young age, after the death of His adopted father, therefore he was known as the Carpenter.

Jesus suffered every day of His life because He knew what was in His future.

When Jesus walked away from His adopted earthly family and pursued the work His heavenly Father gave Him to do, He no longer had a place to lay His head.

We are foolish if we believe that our Lord does not have firsthand experience of suffering just because He is the Almighty God!

Peter was a firsthand witness of all the things of Jesus for 3 and 1/2 years.

Peter had all his days since, carried the truth of God to wherever God had led him, and he encouraged all the elders of the church then and now to do the same.

Peter said “forget that I am an Apostle, consider me to be an elder just as you are to be” a workman building onto the house of God.

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 can almost ask where have all the true elders of the Church gone today?

We can ask, why do not all the Elders of the Church stand up and give account of themselves before God?

Peter also reminds all Elders that if they cannot suffer for the truth, what makes them think they will take part in the “Glory” that will be revealed in the presence of the Lord?

When we do not glory in the work of the Lord, why do we continue to believe we will be glorified when the Lord returns?

What is the job of our church elders?

*1Pe 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

The Pastor or Chief Elder has one job. He is to feed the flock that has been given to him, he has no greater job than this and this must be first in his calling all his days!

What is this heavenly manna?

It is the true “Doctrine” of the Scriptures!
It is the true “Discipline” that comes from the Scriptures!

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We must understand that God has chosen to speak to us of His own will!

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers “by the prophets”,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us “by his Son”, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, “and the express image of his person”, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

This must be the message for every generation because the Word of God is unchanging in its “Doctrine”!

Every generation must listen to the Word of God, rather than the message passed down through the church!

The Word of God never changes, and no single person nor group of persons, have the right to change the meaning of what God has said nor have some new interpretation of what God has said!

This Elder must do this in the place God has called him to be located!

This flock is the flock of God and not the flock of some person or some denomination!

This Elder is do these things willingly.

God does not accept the message of someone who is forced to say it!

Only God can constrain this Elder with His message!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live “should not henceforth live unto themselves”, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

This is big today as here in America we have a state government trying to dictate the message of God from the pulpits in that state.

In fact we have many in government trying to dictate the truth of God without even knowing what God says themselves.

In reality this Elder is to remain at his location unless it is God that moves him.

He is never to leave to tend another flock just because the pay is better or the benefits are better, because it will reflect in his message, in his witness and in his God given blessings which are far greater than anything man can provide!

The Apostle Paul is a great example of these things.

1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Co 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Paul did add that he preached the Gospel without charge.

Paul was a church planter and by the Word of God that Church was to provide for the Elder of the Church that was established.

Every Elder must submit to the will of God for their lives just as every other Christian.

God has a place for every member of the Church, Elder down through that ‘”Babe in Christ”!

Every Elder must realize that they are only the under-shepherd with the Lord Jesus Christ being the Chief Shepherd!

*1Pe 5:3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

What is the “Body of Christ”? The Body of Christ is God’s heritage. Heritage in short means the “Body of Christ” belongs to God, we are God’s possession!

We once gave ourselves to Satan for nothing, and Satan has given us nothing but trouble then and now.

Therefore we could not be purchased with money, it took the blood of Jesus Christ to buy us back from the slave market of sin.

We belong to the Lord! We are the Lord’s possession! We are to obey all the Words of the Lord from Genesis to Revelation!

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work “to do his will”, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

It is only by the Chief Shepherd(The Lord Jesus Christ) that we can be made perfect in the eyes of God!

God the Father has given His entire creation to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Go get My children)
God the Son(The Lord Jesus Christ) paid the ransom, which He paid by His blood.

The Chief Shepherd lives now to gather all those who have wandered from the fold(the lost)!

Mat 18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

We should notice that the job of the Elder is to be like Jesus Christ in all His ways and to have the same message that Jesus had all His days and the same message given to the Apostles.

Think about the work of Jesus besides the cross:

1) As Chief Prophet, He teaches His Church and shares His divine wisdom.
2) As Highest of High Priest, He made atonement for the sins of His “Bride”.
3) As King, He will rule this world with mercy and grace but also judge His people.
4) As Chief Shepherd we see all these things wrapped up in one. We see the power and the authority but also the gentleness in the ways He handles His sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

There is the reward for being that true Elder. A crown of glory that will never fade away!

We see another promise that the Lord Jesus will return to get His Bride and He will reward all those that have been true shepherds to the Church.

This also means the only reward for the false shepherd will be the same as Satan. They will be tossed into the “Burning Lake of Fire”.

If that Elder is an example of the “grace” of Christ Jesus, then we need to follow him!

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

One of the greatest traits of the true Elder is humility. Humility is the first duty of every believer as we submit ourselves to the Lord to receive His gift of salvation. This trait is to never leave us!

When the world thinks of humility, they see a shy, weak, unimpressive man or woman, but the opposite is the actual truth.

The Lord Jesus Christ was the most-humble person in His flesh of all those who have followed Him. Yet He made such an impression upon this world that almost the entire world knows Him by His earthly name!

The truth is, a humble Christian depends on God who has unlimited power and strength!

The young man seeking to be an elder must not only humble himself to God, they need to humble themselves before that true Elder. That Pastor, that Preacher, that Evangelist, that Bishop are all called of God to be the Elders of the Church. They are easily spotted because they speak the Word of God in their voice and in their being! They have the mind of Christ and it shows!

They are not like the charlatans of this world making merchandise of God’s people!

Then Peter takes this thing a step further and the Holy Ghost says, we are all to be subject to one another.

Remember there is only Lord in the Church and He is Jesus Christ!

If you stand up with pride in the Church thinking you are God’s gift to this world, your first enemy will be the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty God!

You can go boldly into the throne-room of God, but you better be humble when you get there!

We may get away with reminding the Lord of His promises, but we will never get away with making demands of Jehovah God!

It is in our best interest to just cast all our cares upon Him, and then get out of His way!

The Lord will do as He says!

*1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

That word “under” means we are to take the inferior position with God at all times. There is a whole lot of truth in that song “where He leads me, I will follow”.

The world we live in today has forgotten that it is Jehovah God who sits on the throne of this world.

Mankind is not in charge of this world especially not the elements of this world.

Do we as humans have the power to destroy this world? No!

We do as humans have the power to make life miserable with nuclear bombs, and other such weapons of destruction. With diseases unleashed upon this world. With the complete abuse of our Eco system, but even these things must be allowed by the Lord.

You see God will take care of His Church and He will remove the Church before He will allow any of these things to become a serious problem to His people.

We had better humble ourselves “under” the mighty hand of God.

God will exalt those who have done so!

We sometimes forget just how much the Lord does care for us!

Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

Where does our pride get us in the most trouble? When we think we can take care of ourselves!

We must confess the weakness of our own hands and the Almighty strength in the hand of God!

There is not one facet of our lives that the Lord is not concerned with!

The greatest example of this is when the Jews were run out of Egypt, they only had time to gather the bare necessities but for 40 years they never lacked while they traveled in circles in the wilderness.

Deu 2:7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

Even when we are chastened by the Lord, He will still care for us!

Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deu 8:4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
Deu 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

God is no respecter of persons, what He did for His people the Jews, He will do for His people the Gentiles!

We had better cast our cares upon the Lord, because we have an adversary lingering in the background just abiding his time until we reject the truth of God and rest upon our own strength.

*1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We should understand Peter has been teaching us about our conscience and having the mind of Christ, so here he is talking about being sober minded. Having self-control according to the Word of God. Making sound moral judgments according to the Word of God.

To be sober is to be in your right mind not influenced by outside sources remembering we are already filled with the Holy Spirit. Depend upon Him!

To be vigilant is to be aware of your surroundings and the things that are going on in your environment plus what is going on in the world.

To avoid danger and to avoid danger we must be aware of our adversary.

Here he is called the devil, diabolos, the fallen angel called Lucifer. He is the archenemy of God’s children, always standing against us.

He will never have anything good to say about God’s people.

Reminds us of the world of today that has that hatred for the people of God. We must be aware of Him!

Why does the lion roar? The purpose of a lion’s roar is to transfix and actually paralyze its prey, which is why they roar just before they attack. A lion’s roar is so forceful that it is enough to raise a cloud of dust, and can be heard from 5 miles!

The methods the devil uses can be just as effective as that roaring lion, in unnerving us, causing the Word of God to be ineffective.

For instance a tornado touches down in a community and for a time, this community is paralyzed at what happened and lost to reality.

What did the Lord Jesus say to Peter?

Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

To be sifted is to pass through a strainer to separate the coarse from the refined. Satan, The Devil, will try to separate the refined mind of Christ from that old sinful body of flesh so he can regain his control.

This is the effect the Bible is speaking of here when it said, “as a roaring lion”.

The effects of the devil are devastating, and we have only one defense!

It is our “faith”!

*1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

The bottom line is when we think like Christ Jesus and keep the faith of His promises, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, the devil cannot touch us!

Think of it this way. The devil and his demon helpers tremble at the thoughts of the work of the Lord.

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

If you are a true “Born Again” child of God, you are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Though we need to ask for a refilling every day, the Holy Spirit will never leave us.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

We must never fear the devil ever again!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When our faith is sufficient you can resist the devil and it is he, who will have to flee, because he cannot stand on the same ground as the Holy Spirit because we are the Temple of God!

Jas_4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

That old saying, “the devil made me do it is impossible” because the devil cannot make the child of God do anything!

You can only allow yourself to be used of the devil because you do not have faith in these words!

Anything else we lack are the grace gifts of God, which He gives freely!

*1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Most every Christian has realized these truths of Christianity. Some Christians, somewhere every day, suffer just because they have claimed the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is unreal how this faith causes so much hatred to occur to people for the most part who are not guilty of any crime at all.

The truth is, while all this suffering and persecution is going on, the God of all “grace” shall Himself, perfect, stablish, and strengthen us, as we go about the work of the Lord.

Our Holy God loves us so much and He takes a personal interest in all the things going on in our lives, especially our suffering.

In most cases we complain about the things that affect us, but we have not gotten on our knees and explained to God what we are going through.

Sure He knows. Sure He already intervenes in some things we may not even know about, but He still wants to hear from us individually.

You never know what will happen when you move the heart of God!

God’s grace means every resource in Heaven is available to God’s people if God so desires. After all He is our Heavenly Father!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

If our Heavenly Father had not known all these things would happen, why would He have written all these things down to make us aware of them?

God knows the temptations and the trials of life are severe and they are terrible. This is because of the influence the devil has had upon this world since he was tossed out of Heaven.

Satan’s days are numbered, and he knows his ending and he will do his best to ruin the testimony of God’s children so even more of the lost will ignore and reject the truth of the Scriptures.

To God be the glory!

We know that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired these words of the Apostle Peter, but God always made sure there were other godly men around His Apostles.

*1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

Silvanus was the proper name of a godly man known as Silas.

The Holy Spirit did not call on Silas to write a book of the Bible, but Silas would take those written words of God to other Churches so they could have the written Word of God, much like those that carry Bible to foreign countries today.

He did this for the written words of the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul.

Silas was also a preacher we could say evangelist.

Act 15:32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

Silas was also a witness to the Council of the Church in Jerusalem to discuss the matter of the Jews and Gentiles if the Gentiles would have to follow the laws given to the Jews.

Act 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
Act 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:

What can be said is, that without godly men like Silas, the Word of God would not have been known to every one of the early churches.

Each of us have our particular job to perform in the army of God!

If there were ever any proof that the Apostle Peter was in Rome in may be the fact that when he mentioned the Church of Babylon, he was referring to Rome.

Peter was saying that at this time the seat of evil in the Church was Rome, and many believe that this is still true today.

Many believe the seat of evil is still in Rome.

*1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
1Pe 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

This Marcus is of course Mark of the “Gospel” of Mark who was led to the Lord by the Apostle Peter and who had so grown in the Lord that even the Apostle Paul now knew he was a valuable man of God in the beginning of the early Church.

2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

What is a “kiss of charity”?

This is that act of unity and brotherhood that seems to be lacking in the church of today.

The greatest weapon of the Church today, besides the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God is when we all stand together on the truth of the Bible.

When we are together in one mind, we are a force to be reckoned with in this world.

If we would quit bickering and fighting with each other the Word of God would go to where it needs to go and we all would soon be going home.

Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

We need to quit being each other’s enemy and get busy about the work of the Lord. Amen

Let’s Pray

The World Does Not Like Us

Enduring Persecution

1 Peter Chapter 4:12-19

Persecution is pain and or affliction, deliberately designed to cause harm to others, especially to Christians.

Today according to the Open Doors Ministry there are eleven Christians per day killed just because they have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as there Savior, there are many more injured in one way or another

This ministry follows the top 50 nations for persecution with North Korea being the number 1 nation for Christian persecution.

The persecution of Christian women is also growing at a rapid pace, but even more of this persecution of women is hidden, because of the culture of male domination in many countries.

There is even an increase in government control over Christian activities, without hindering religions such as Muslim, Hinduism, and other religions.

In fact, if you claim Jesus Christ, you are then put on a hit list in many of these nations.

What happens?

In 2018 there was believed to be 215 Million Christians in these 50 worse nations for persecution.

In 2019 there is already an estimate of 245 Million Christians in these same countries.

It looks like they would be better off, just to leave the Christians alone!

We may not understand why God allows so much persecution of His people, but it cannot be denied that the Church grows during persecution.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that people begin to see that there must be some truth to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

We live in a world that thinks they can stop God by getting rid of His believers, and His followers. What a foolish world!

If the entire world wants to wipe out a certain group of people, then the world must be very afraid that those people would change this world into a better place, by removing the causes of sin in this world.

What does the Holy Ghost say?

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The world stands in fear of the Christian and just as the world did to Christ, the world wants to get rid of the truth of God, which is impossible!

Why does God still allow the persecution of His children?

1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

God loves this lost world enough to try to save all those who reject Him!

The world can try to stop God, but the world is seeking to do the impossible which only God can do!

Let’s begin where we left off last week:

*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:

Many say and many believe that God will test our faith to see if we are real, but how can that be true when God knows at every moment what we are going to do.

God does not test our faith He does place things before us so we can know ourselves that we are real.

God tests us, so we can know ourselves!

If the entire world was easily converted to Christianity many would wonder if there was truly a God.

It must remain our choice to humble ourselves to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
It must remain our choice to believe what God says or reject what God says.

Why would we expect to live a life with no problems when no one can do so?

God placed a curse upon this world because of the innocent blood of Abel that is spilled, and innocent blood is still spilled every day. This is not going to change until all evil has been removed from this world!

Gen 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Gen 4:11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

People are not even astounded by murder any more and murder and rape and such crimes are accepted as just part of the societies of today.

Even the murder of innocent babies in the womb, is seen as a right rather than as an atrocity.

If you live the Christian life, why in the world would you think you will not be hated, when you are the opposite of what is seen as normal!

We are wrong to think we will not suffer in this world!

Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 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.

The message of God is love!
The message of this world is hatred!

These two things will never agree with each other and hatred breeds violence!

This world has been in a revolt to love for so long, that to love is even considered to be a hate crime!

To do things in the right way is considered to be a hate crime.

In fact, to read the Word of God out loudly in the ears of others is considered to be a hate crime.

In fact, to own a Bible in many nations is considered to own material that is detrimental to national safety.

For Christians to believe God will put an end to all persecution, is not accepting what the Word of God teaches.

God will put an end to our personal persecution when He takes us home and all persecution of the Church on the day of the Rapture of the Church.

Don’t be fooled by those who say there will be no “Rapture” just keep walking the Christian way these people will one day see just how foolish they have been.

It is a sad thing, but there are no unbelievers in Hell today, there are just those who beg the Lord to send someone to witness to their families so that they will get an opportunity to know the Lord in a personal relationship.

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

God does not teach us these things just because it happened one time. In fact i can assure you that every soul in Hell is begging the Lord to send a witness to their families which God has already promised to do!

Persecution does certainly measure our faith!

Suffering from persecution is real and it does teach us how strong or how weak our faith is.

Persecution proves to us that we must depend on God for all things, even our length of life.

The death of a Christian by persecution does not stop their ability to witness, because to die for Christ is our greatest witnessing tool.

Persecution gives us strength and causes endurance, but it also opens doors that would have remained shut to the Word of God.

Something that is so hated must possess some reality!

This is what attracts others to the Christian way of life!

Isaiah said here I am Lord use me:

Isa 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Isa 6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isa 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isa 6:9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

When we are to be used of the Lord, who are we to dictate where He will send us, how we will be treated, or if we will suffer persecution.

The truth is, we are invincible until we have completed the work the Lord has given us to do but we will still suffer persecution!

Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We take persecution as a terrible thing and it is, but in fact we should celebrate the fact that someone thinks we look like Jesus Christ!

*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.

There is no one who loves to be persecuted by others! There is no one in their right mind that loves pain!

Our Scripture reads, we can rejoice because someone sees us as the disciples of Christ, and the more we resemble Christ, the more we should rejoice.

In doing so, we become attractive to those who would persecute Christians only because we have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must not ever forget, Jesus did absolutely no wrong and He only lovingly pointed out to those who were listening to the leaven of the Pharisees that they should not do so.

We have no business listening to false doctrine, especially from those who would try to benefit from us!

Jesus obeyed the Laws of Moses, all 613 laws!
Jesus obeyed the Commandments of God, all the Scriptures!
Jesus obeyed all the laws of the different governments in Judea, and Samaria and all the surrounding region!
Jesus obeyed the Roman laws in His area.

Most of all Jesus obeyed His Father, our Heavenly Father!

Jesus did not obey the false doctrine of the Pharisees.
Jesus did not obey the false doctrine of the Sadducee.
Jesus did not obey the false doctrine of the Essene.
Jesus did not obey the false doctrine of the Herodians.
Jesus did obey the Doctrine of God, the Triune God!

All these others rejected the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures in one way or another!

Jesus Christ suffered because of these things, in fact He suffered even unto His death because He would not give in to any of these things because they are of the world!

Again we do not rejoice because of suffering, we rejoice because the world sees us as the true disciples of Jesus Christ, and not the fakes that are used of the world that are false examples.

Jesus Christ proclaimed righteousness, which means He admonished to the world to live by God’s standards and not the things that rule in our world, which come from lust and pride, which things are of the Devil!

1Jn_2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

When we can deny these things of the world and live for the truth of God the world will see us as its enemies!

So many have gone on before us who have suffered for the same things and they are already with the Lord. We can celebrate with them now knowing that we will join them one day!

2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
2Th 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

You know the Holy Spirit who lives within us, smiles when others see Christ living in us!

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

Reproaches and cruel mockings, have always been a part of Christian suffering, but those things mainly come from those who are ignorant of the Word of God, but are enticed by those who truly hate the Lord.

As Christians, we have the Spirit of Christ living within us and have this little taste of glory while we live for Christ.

This can never be taken away from us! We can only allow this little taste of glory to fade away or grow so dim that we are not even seen as God’s children.

This is much worse that suffering for Christ any day!

The Lord suffered for me and each of you who believe, it is an honor that I should suffer some for Him!

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

If we will spend the days the Lord has given to us going about the work of the Lord, He has given to us, even when we are gone and in Heaven with the Lord, that work that is left behind will continue to work for the Lord, even when we are gone.

This can be in our example.
This can be in any writings we have done by the Scriptures.
Most important it can be done by those who have been led to the Lord because of what we have done, especially our own children and grandchildren.

We have come too far to give up now even if we are still a baby Christian!

It is all these things that make us aware of the presence of God who lives within us.

When you can feel Him, then you know Him and if you know Him, then you will love Him and be obedient to what He says, no matter what is going on in the world around you!

But if we suffer for being a part of the sin of this world, then we will grieve the Holy Spirit who lives within us!

*1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

God simply says we will not suffer for being true Christians unless He has allowed it, to help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This suffering is in His control.

1) Who is a murderer? This is a person who deliberately takes the life of another person. We normally think of this as those evil men and women who use guns, or knives or other such things to take the lives of other people which should be a law in all nations of this world, but it is not.

It’s OK for people in some nations to kill Christians without suffering for it.
It’s OK in most every nation to murder babies in the womb and even some states in our own nation, right up to the day they are born.

Yes this is murder, it is not some female right!!!!!!

The one murder that is ignored even by the Church is that it is murder for some men behind the pulpits to deliberately lead those who hear them, in a path away from God. It is these who will suffer by the hands of God the most.

When we suffer for being a murderer, God will not come to our aid, even if we become “Born Again” after we have committed this crime.

We will still suffer the penalties of this crime, but Hell will not be in that future!

2) Who is a thief? To take even the smallest item from someone else is to be a thief! It does not matter if they will ever miss it!

To be a thief is to fall into the trap of covetousness. Covetousness is an inordinate desire for worldly possessions. This also means we are not satisfied with the things that God has provided telling God He does not know what He is doing.

We are also a thief if we take away the confidence of a baby Christian. It is this we will suffer from the Lord the most, but the world does not see this as being worthy of punishment.

3) Who is that evildoer? This is everyone who goes against the Word of God!

One of the most important witnessing tools we have, is the purity we have in Jesus Christ! The purity we have in obedience to the Word of God!

To lose this great tool, will also cause us to suffer at the hands of God, but the world will only laugh because think we are all a bunch of hypocrites!

4) Who is that busybody? This is a person who interferes in the concerns of others.

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

There are those today who will not let one day go by without practicing this art they cherish the most!

These busybodies will gather some tidbit of information, just to broadcast it at the right place at the right time just to discredit someone.

These are those who are meddlesome in the affairs of others.

Notice to the Lord, this gossiper, this busybody, is placed in the same paragraph as a murderer!

What does God say the cause of this thing is?

1Ti 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

They have nothing better to do than cause other people problems!

When we go against the laws of man we will suffer by the laws of man!

If we go against the laws of God, we will suffer at the hands of God!

If we suffer just for being a Christian, we have a God who takes these things very serious!

*1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

We should understand that since the day the Church began the Church has been persecuted.

1) The Word of God has not ceased to cause division since the day the Church began!

Luk_12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

To be honest, the forces of darkness will never cease in their attempt to stop the truth!

Most of the world looks at the Word of God as the source of division when in reality it is the lies that are told by those rulers of darkness!

This is the importance of knowing the Word of God!

Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

2) The Word of God has not ceased to reach out to those who will just listen to the truth!

Isa_55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God has never been afraid to speak to this world because He “so loves” those that are in it.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Word of God causes division but only because we are not accustomed to the truth because the world is full of lies.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Evil will cling to its lies, for as long as it possibly can! Even until the return of Jesus Christ when Jesus will put an end to the rebellion against a Holy God!

Rev_22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

We as Christians need only keep one thing in mind, “it is we who are on the winning side”!

If we suffer for the cause of Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, then we have proven our love for the Lord God our Creator!

We must understand God is judging the Church right now!

*1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Peter did not say the time was coming. He did say the time is come. This time until the Lord returns in the clouds is the time God is judging His Church. This judgment will conclude at the “Judgment Seat” of Christ where there will be rewards and of course a loss of rewards.

2Co_5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

You see God will first visit the Church in justice and mercy, because the Church has already been justified!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

We are no longer the enemies of God!

Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

So knowing these things, just what will be the outcome of those who reject the Gospel?

It is this group of people who remain after the “Rapture of the Church”, who will see the wrath of God because they to have already been judged!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The wrath of God will seem even mild in the beginning with those who are guilty will feel like they have escaped, but God’s wrath will grow and grow, until it’s severity will mean a horrible death here and eternal death in the “Burning Lake of Fire” because even Hell cannot hold all those who have rejected the truth of God!

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

God has taken the time to explain these things to us, we must just take the time to read, study, and be a witness to the truth of God!

It is the Church the home of the righteous and had God not sent His Son, to come down and take the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ then there would be no one saved.

All that was before that was the Laws of Moses, 613 laws that separated God’s people from the world.

It was and is impossible to be obedient to all those laws though some are still trying today.

So yes, we are scarcely saved, many of us may even bear the scent of smoke from Hell.

You see no one would be saved without the “Amazing Grace of God”!

We must accept this perfect “Grace” of God through His Son and those who reject this truth have no idea what they are asking the Lord to do.

It certainly goes against the wishes of Jehovah God to send anyone to eternal misery, so God put His plan in place that allows them to send themselves because they will not accept the truth.

This is the biggest reason the Lord has not returned yet to get His Church!

2Pe_3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The Apostle Peter, by the Holy Spirit, has laid all these things out so we can understand them.

Remember Peter is writing to the Church just so we can know the importance of telling the world about the “Gospel of Jesus Christ” in the hope that we will get off our rears and get busy about the work of the Lord.

We must all agree that it is worth suffering if we can just get that child, that grandchild, that wife, that husband, that friend, that neighbor, to see the most marvelous plan ever conceived to save a mighty people from eternal misery, without God!

If we are going to Heaven to walk the streets of Gold, why would we not want all our family to be with us!

We can only do these things that God has given us to do, but in the end that person must make that choice themselves!

But to those who suffer because they have accepted the truth and wish only to tell others this truth, also keep themselves from getting drawn back into the lies, of this world.

God will do exactly what He says, whenever God decides to do it!

*1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Sometimes we forget that once we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and repented of our sinful life, we have then placed our souls in God’s hands for safe keeping.

The Lord Jesus had these words:

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

That phrase “the will of God” simply means that “God does what God does anytime God wants to do it”!

Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

God’s plan moves along at God’s pace (Praise the Lord) and nothing in this world can change even one point of God’s actions!

Prayer is used to affect our lives and the lives of others, but prayer cannot affect the will of God for this world!

God has always determined the course of human history!

Dan 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
Dan 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Dan 2:31 Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
Dan 2:32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
Dan 2:33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
Dan 2:34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Dan 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
Dan 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Dan 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
Dan 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Dan 2:42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
Dan 2:43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
Dan 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
Dan 2:45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

God intended for the earth to be inhabited and He did not intend for man to try to dictate which groups of men were to survive!

Isa 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Before the first bit of material was formed, our Heavenly Father already had a salvation plan put together.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The truth is, the world should stand in awe of such a plan that has been in place for maybe 6000 years.

Millions and billions of years do not exist in God’s plan! Evolution does not exist in God’s plan! There is no such thing as part creation and part evolution in God’s plan!

To go beyond the Scriptures to some imaginary creation plan is foolishness!

We can entrust our lives to the Almighty God!

We should rejoice in the wonder of our salvation!

We can rest in peace knowing we have been given the truth of life!

We must know even through God’s love, God’s holds people accountable for their sin!

God’s plan puts to shame any thoughts of mankind that go against the revealed will of God!

Psa_59:8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.

There is nothing in this world that catches God by surprise!

Amen

Let’s pray!

Having the Mind of Jesus Christ

Having the Mind of Christ

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 4:1-11

Remember in our last lesson the Apostle Peter talked a lot about our conscience and today the Holy Spirit will take this to the next level.

If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you have realized that being a Christian is not always easy and the Lord has never said it would be. In fact the Lord has warned us all along that we would suffer persecution.

Many unbelievers in this world reject Christianity just because they know they will be hated, not only by the world, but even by their close friends, who if they took a close look some were already their enemies.

True friends would never lead you to a life of alcohol.
True friends would never lead you to a life of drugs.
True friends would never lead you to a life of immorality.

A true friend that loved you would always have the best interest for you in mind!

The world will often ridicule and mock the believer and even abuse the believer, some even to the point of death.

The greatest way we as Christians can deal with these things, is to remove our guilty conscience and install the mind of Christ and the Scriptures teaches us how to do all these things!

The very first things we are to do, is to make sure we are in the will of God!

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

If we think about it, what was Christ’s greatest attribute? The patient, submissive, and unwavering trust in the wisdom and love of His Father!

Jesus Christ spent every day in the will of His Father in Heaven!

The Glorious God of Heaven came to this earth and took on a body of flesh and it is that body of flesh that suffered so tremendously!

Our Redeemer is so far above us, that we cannot fathom the “Glory World”, but He is also walking right beside us to hold us up through our own suffering. “Oh, What a Savior”

Why is it so important for us to be in God’s will?

1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

When we are in the will of God, the world will see us as being like the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Heb 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

What is our job in this world?

Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God “from the heart”;
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

To be in the will of God, is to be dead to self and alive through Jesus Christ.

We are the enemies of sin and immorality, but in many ways our greatest enemy is ourselves.

We war with our flesh, when the Lord has already given us victory!

There can be little doubt that the Lord Jesus suffered most all the things that we suffer even things that we do not suffer in our lifetime, but we can also be sure Jesus did not suffer from illnesses because the work He had to do required a healthy body.

Does that mean just because Jesus had no sin and neither was sin in His heart that He was healthier than most, I’m sure this was part of it.
Does it mean that the diet that Jesus ate was healthier, again I’m sure this was also a part of it.

It took a strong healthy body for the Lord to endure the things that He did in the flesh, but He also was in the complete will of His Father.

Another thing we know is that the Lord Jesus Christ never allowed Himself to be absorbed in His own sorrows. He was always ready to be a part of other people’s joys, but at the same time He would also be a help through their griefs even if His griefs were far worse!

You see Jesus Christ did not come to this earth to suffer for Himself, He came to suffer for me and to suffer for you!

This is when we are to arm ourselves with the same mind!

As long as we are in the complete will of our Heavenly Father, He will keep us healthy to continue the work of the Lord!

I dare say not many of us have all our lifetime pursued the things of God.

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

What great truth are we to be reminded of? It is about time we are fed up with sin!

We must be fed up with the sin in our lives, until we hate that it was ever a part of us!

We must be fed up with the sin in this world, and do what we can to show we are against it!

As Christians, we all have an old life and in our old life we each have sin that caused the Lord Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins. Remember Jesus had no sin at all!

That old sinful life must be behind us and it must remain behind us!

There is no part of that sin that can be a part of our new “Born Again” life! So many do reject this today.

Enough is enough, we are to walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only a few of these things are mentioned, but they will cover all sin.

**Lasciviousness means shameless conduct of any kind, period!

Filthiness, indecency, shamelessness, without restraint, things that are far worse than just doing wrong!

We do not have to go on any further to see that these things are taking over America today.

**Lusts is not only sexual desire which is running rampant and even called natural to evolutionist, who say we come from animals and no worse from a bunch of rabbits.

Lust can be a strong desire of any kind.

Lust is a strong desire and when mixed with passion and craving is destructive to the soul.

Lust of this sort can never be satisfied!

Notice if it drugs or alcohol it is called addiction and there is a great need for help. The answer is to say no to these things and yes to Jesus.

If it is all the sexual lust in our world, it is just called a natural habit that is in our culture as human beings.

We live a world of free sex, but no responsibility for the outcome, in fact expecting some taxpayer to pay for their sin.

**Excess of wine: It should be evident this is not talking about grape juice. The Christian world would understand that we are to do what Jesus said and not what major denominations say about wine.

Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

There are those who twist and turn this Scripture, but the Holy Ghost says do not even look upon alcoholic wine, so certainly we are not to drink it. This goes for all Christians and in fact all believing Jews!

The excess of wine means drunkenness which in fact is the sin of covetousness and lust!

Anything we take into our bodies that affect our senses, can loosen our moral restraint!

Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Pro 23:34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
Pro 23:35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

**Revelings: Some would say carousing which is hard drinking, abusing freedoms, over indulgence. Some would say too much party life, and orgies. In truth it is just feeding the lusts of the flesh without restraint!

1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

**Banquetings: Are no more than drinking parties, or drug parties or marijuana parties. People gathering to partake of their sinful nature!

Rom 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

**Abominable Idolatries: This is the worship of idols and anything that is placed between you and God is an idol.

These can be man-made things, but also things of the mind. Devoting yourself to anything that is not of God!

These are the very ones who are in Hell looking up wishing they had changed their ways but refused to do so too many times!

Rev 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

These are old friends or acquaintances or lookers on who think it is you who are strange!

*1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

People today think Christians are “judgmental” when they reject all these things mentioned here.

When we have “the mind of Christ” we can see how the world looks upon us.

The world just cannot understand why we would want to be different from them.
The world just cannot understand why we do not accept the things they accept.

The world has taken that word freedom to mean unhindered in all the things of the mind and a distinct hatred for authority and anyone else who thinks they are wrong! In fact they are so full of hatred toward those who object to their line of thought they are willing to kill and maim and murder all in the name of their freedoms!

We Christians are hated just for what we stand for! Freedoms that extend no further than the Word of God! I made a choice to be free with the freedom that Jesus gave me, and He gave me the freedom to stay away from the people of the world that go against the Word of God.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

To give in to the world is to go against my holy Father!

My Father is also the “Judge” of this world!

All those in the world will stand before my mighty Father and give an account for everything they have done, and they will not be able to use the excuse that no one told them.

Even if that was true, it is still a lie because they have observed how the Christian has lived and they have rejected that and in doing so they have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat_5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

The love of our Father in Heaven means that we must condemn the world while at the same time reaching out to those who are caught up in this world!

God sets a high standard, but it is truly a standard that makes sense even if you are not a believer!

The world will say we are only superstitious, but the fact is they are only half right. We have a SUPER FATHER in Heaven!

God loves us all so much that He makes sure we all hear or see the truth, so we can make up our own minds about the truth of God!

*1Pe 4:6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Was the Gospel preached in the time of Adam? The coming of the Messiah has always been preached. His coming at two different times was just missed by many of those who ignored the prophets or those who decided they were more important than the truth of God!

Jud_1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Those people rejected the truth then just as they do today!

Besides Elijah and Enoch, every child of God who was a child by faith, whose soul has returned to God in Heaven, but they left a sack of flesh to be buried in some grave, or burnt to non-existence, or slipped into the oceans or some were just left to rot or consumed by beast.

It was not important that the flesh be saved as the souls that loved the Lord returned to Him!

2Co_5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

2Co_5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Again Paul wrote

Php 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Php 1:22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Php 1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
Php 1:24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

This is not just a doctrine of the New Testament, it is the doctrine of all the Scriptures!

Enoch new and Job who lived around the time of Abraham new!

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.

God smiles every time a child of God leaves that flesh behind and goes back home to his Creator!

Psa_116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

The same cannot be said of the souls of those who reject the Lord!

1Sa 25:29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

Before the Lord came to pay the debt for our souls, the coming of the Messiah was preached to all who would listen to the truth!

Since the Lord came and then returned to Heaven, the Gospel is preached of the Second Coming of the Messiah.

God is going to judge this world!

This has been the message since the time of Adam. Yes God destroyed much of the world in the time of Noah, but God will destroy this entire world after His Second Coming.

Immorality is returning as in the days of Noah, the world does not care, but endorses all immorality and God will burn this world with fire whenever He gets ready.

What truth do we know?

If the Church was “raptured” today there would be at least 1007 years until the time of the destruction of this world!

The “Gospel” is preached so the world will know the judgment of God while they are still in the flesh!
The “Gospel” is preached to warn those who have rejected the Lord for one last time.
The “Gospel” is preached to offer eternal life to anyone, who will believe!
(My God can save anybody, anywhere, at any time)

The point being, those whose flesh remains, are left on upon this earth to return to the dust from which it was created, and had accepted the “Gospel”, have heard the truth of God, have heard the coming judgment, but because they accepted the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ, will miss out on the coming “Judgment of God”!

They already live with God!
They already possess the life that God has given them!
They are already living forever according to the promise of God!

If we realize these things are completely true, bury them in our heart, forget the promises of this world, which are vain, we can have that peace like a river.

Isa 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
Isa 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

You see the end of all things is getting closer every tick of the clock. There may be 1007 years or more left, but the only way to miss all the “judgment” of God is to accept the “Gospel” today while you are still in your flesh!

*1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

The end of all earthly promises is at hand.
The end of worldly enjoyments is at hand.
The end of trials and sorrows are at hand.
The end of privileges is at hand.
The end of opportunities is at hand.

The wrath and the judgment of God are at hand!

After the Bride of Christ has been removed, there will be 7 years of tribulation, the last 3 and 1/2 years, will be wrath like has never been seen.

Then 1000 years of the reign of King Jesus, where He will deal with the Jews and those nations that helped the Jews, the Church will already be with Him when He returns to this earth.

Keep this in mind, but while these things still exist and before the rapture of the Bride of Christ, we need to have the mind of Christ now!

To live sober lives is to be serious about the plan of God given to us in the Scriptures, have a sound mind according to the Word of God, always in control of our beliefs and our thoughts, self-restrained from temptation, and to be calm and sensible in this evil world!

Our main thought should be that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent!

All remaining prophesies concern the Jewish nation, the Church is only waiting on her Husband, waiting on the “trumpet” to blow at any moment alerting her(the Church) it is time to leave this world!

We are to be busier in the House of God to carry His message outside the house.

It is not time to hide, it is time to put on the work gloves (the Scriptures) and work even harder to break up that fallow ground (the lost) and our lost family members so they are not left behind!

Life is precious to the Lord, because He is all about life and the Giver of life!

God already knows what we are going to do, so He has the tools ready for us, if we will just get busy at the work the Lord Jesus gave us to do.

It is not time to give up on the Lord!
It is not time to quit on the Lord!
It is not time to listen to those in this evil world!
It is not time to stray from the Word of God!

It is time to be sober minded and watch unto prayer!

To “watch” is to see how the Word of God is unfolding in our world today, but also remembering God’s Word will never come back void.

The Word of God will do what God sends it out to do!

It will bring Holy Ghost conviction to those who hear it, or it will make an enemy.

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

But this is not all.

It is not time to forget about the love of God!

*1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Charity: The message of God is love. There is no greater love than the love of God toward all His creation.

In fact if God had another name it would be “LOVE”!

Be not mistaken there is no one upon this earth that God does not love!

There would be “No Mercy” without the fervent love of God!
There would be “No Grace” without the fervent love of God!

God has a universal love and good will toward all mankind, and it goes unnoticed by most of the world.

There would be no life without God’s air.
There would be no life without God’s water.
There would be no life without God’s food.

Every seed would rot in the ground, without the fervent love of God!

This world is a much better place when we also show that fervent love of God to each other!

For the Christian, love is the number one witnessing tool we have!

The true Christian will hate sin without hating the sinner, realizing that sinner walks according to the devil and we all did the same at one time.

Sin is sin because it goes against the Word of God.

The only way to eradicate sin is death! That soul must die to sin and be “Born Again” into new life and this happens only by the Word of God.

When we show that love of God to each other, it is then that we can say “Love Changes Things”!

To love means we are not hating.
To love means we are being forgiving.
To love means we are more likely to reach someone with the message of God!

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Hospitality means we are to accept one another ungrudgingly!

For the early church would not have survived without Christians sharing everything with each other.

Many Churches today are still in what is called the “Home Church”. People who open their homes because of the love of God and invite strangers into their homes!

In fact hospitality is important in every church, or what would that lost soul think when they walked into the church of today.

Every home is to be the center of Christian love, fellowship and outreach, and this is to spread throughout the Church!

Everything we have belongs to God and we are to share those things to “glorify God”!

God has even given each of us a gift and it is to be used to glorify Him!

Spirit gifts come to us after the Holy Spirit moves into our souls.

The Holy Spirit may expand on talents we had before He moved in, but these are not the same as Spiritual gifts.

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Notice it is the Holy Spirit who decides what gifts we need for the work He has given us to do, and He may add to or subtract to those gifts as time goes on.

These have nothing to do with the “fruit of the Spirit” which is given to us all!

So what are “Spiritual Gifts”?

We could say that these gifts are “Grace Gifts” because of our “faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ, because there is no other way to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit!

1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Another thing we should understand about the gifts of God, they do not make us better youth workers or better adult workers.

These gifts do not make us better workers in the slums, or in foreign countries, or in cities, or in the country. The gifts of the Holy Spirit work everywhere the Holy Spirit sends us!

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are a benefit to mankind on a Spiritual level!

Natural talents, though a gift of God through our parents are a benefit to God on a natural level, but they too, should be used for the purposes of God for maximum benefit!

We should have the benefits of God on our minds at all times!

*1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Once a lost person has observed us and they will.

Once a lost person has seen our love, and they will know.

The next thing is what do they hear coming out of our mouths?

The Oracles of God would include His Prophesies, but oracles are all the communications from God which are bound up in what we call the Bible.

When we are in conversations, we must never refrain some saying “thus sayeth the Lord”.

We need to explain God’s side to all we come in contact with.

They have only heard the lies of the world. They do not need to hear worldly things come from our mouths.

When we are busy about the work of the Lord, then let’s use all the abilities God have has given us. These would be the gifts of the Holy Spirit as we have just discussed.

If we have other talents, such as singing or other musical talents, then they too should be used to promote the Word of God, the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”.

There are certainly Books called the “Gospels” but all the Word of God is the “Gospel of Jesus Christ”!

They tell us of His First Coming before the Church and His Second Coming after the Church.

It is the Lord Jesus Christ who bought us from the slave market of sin. He owns us! Surely, we can use anything and all things the Lord has provided to glorify God, in Christ, in everything we do.

We should be busy today!

Notice that this was Peter’s prayer, and we need to pray for such things also!

Amen!

Let’s just Pray Now!

Dealing With Anxiety

Dealing With Inner Anxiety

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 3:13-22

It can be said that “anxiety” is the state of mind when we are so concerned about someone or something, to our own harm.

1) This could be a genuine concern:

The Apostle Paul writing about his concern for the church at Philippi.

Php 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
Php 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

The Apostle Paul writing about his anxiety for all the “Body of Christ”.

2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

2) This could be concern about the distorted perspectives of life:

The Lord Jesus Christ speaking of His concerns of teaching the Word of God.

Mar 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not prohibit genuine concern for one another nor for the Church!

The Lord Jesus Christ did teach us to keep all these things in perspective!

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Listen as we see how Peter tries to help the persecuted church.

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

The primary sense of these words is “if we are inoffensive in our Christian behavior” the world will be less likely to injure us.

If we are anxious to do good, we are less likely to suffer from doing evil.

God does not teach us how to handle our troubles received from sinful behavior!

God does teach us how to handle our troubles that come about from our righteous behavior.

Neither is Peter speaking of troubles that are just part of life itself, even though godly principles will work in all situations in life or they would not be godly principles.

As Christians we are all going to suffer persecution, some much more and much worse than others!

So how can we be assured that we will stand up under persecution and still be counted faithful?

How can we be sure we will endure and still keep the hope of eternal life and still live with the Lord forever?

There is only one way! We must take our stand on the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what is going on in our life!

We must be followers of that which is good!

The only good we can be sure of, is those things that are according to the revealed will of God!

This means “for it is written” or, “thus sayeth the Lord” or, “for I the Lord” and other phrases had better be adhered to, when we take the Word of God in the context that it is written!

Sometimes, the only relief for those who are suffering persecution is when he or she remembers the promises of God that cannot fail, and remember at death we go immediately home to be with the Lord.

2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

One of the biggest faults of the church today is that we walk by sight and not by “faith”!

How did the Apostle Paul put it?

Act 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

Let’s continue to learn from the Holy Spirit.

*1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Some would say “how is it possible to be happy with any sort of suffering”? The truth is when we are focused on Jesus Christ and the works, that He did to cause us to be saved, then suffering in this world does not really feel like suffering. It just feels like we have joined our Savior in His suffering!

This is the key to our own relief of mind!

If we have done some good and then suffer because of it, we have just become aware of a world that calls evil good and righteousness bad!

One of the greatest truths in the Scriptures should keep us on the right path.

Rom 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Doing good and being righteous are both conforming to the standard God has set for us!

2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

The Lord Jesus had no fear for what the world could do to Him, because He had come to this earth to do whatever it would take, that you and I and all who would believe upon Him would be linked once more to the Father of life, and that life eternal. Meaning once again joined to our Father in Heaven, in His place, even in His home with nothing in this world that could cause this to not be true!

Really only one thing is needed! We must sanctify the Lord God Jehovah in our hearts!

To be sanctified is to be set apart for God’s use and if we suffer because of this, then we are being more like His So, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Notice Jesus was always prepared to give an answer but at the same time, not all people deserve an answer to certain questions!

Not all, but many will see our hope in the Lord, and they will ask about this hope seeking it for themselves, and this is what witnessing is all about!

Others, who see this as something evil will never understand until they see the true Christian and one day, they too will be ashamed of their actions.

Today the world sees the make believe Christian and it is so easy to see they are hypocrites.

Then the world will say anything bad about them, using them as an example of the Church to downgrade the Church founded by Christ Jesus.

The word church is does not mean every group of people with religion, it means only the “Body of Christ”.

Religion is not the answer, “faith” in the work of Jesus Christ is the only answer!

When the world sees the true Christian, who gives them nothing to speak bad things about, they get mad and their hatred boils because the true Christian puts them to shame!

Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

It is far better to suffer for being a true Christian than to suffer for being a make-believe Christian.

It takes much more than being the child of Christian parents, or attending a Christian Church, or raising your hand in a Sunday School Class or Vacation Bible School. You must sincerely ask the Lord Jesus Christ to come into your heart. Even this does not build perfection except in the eyes of God.

It is the Holy Spirit who will build perfection for the world to see all your days as a Christian, until “perfection reaches glory” when we come face to face with Jesus!

This is much better!

*1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

We could say, what is the will of God for our lives? That we follow in the ways of Jesus.

This is the will of God for all people. There are not many ways to serve God but only one and this is through His Son, Christ Jesus!

When we become too afraid to go out into the world, just because we may suffer just for doing so, and stay at home, we have gone against the providence of God.

For instance, God supplies the little birds their food, but they still have to go out and hunt for it.

We must go out into this world with the Word of God to reap the benefits of Christianity, even if we have to suffer for it!

It is not the will of God that we suffer!

It is the will of God that we be more like His Son and He suffered just so we can be saved and like the prodigal son, we are returned to the Father!

The world may not punish us for evil doing or it may, but God will certainly punish us for evil!

Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Why did the Lord suffer to begin with?

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

Jesus Christ came to our world to get His Father’s children, and He had to suffer to do this thing to be obedient to His Father.

The Holy Father of all creation would never ask His Son to do this a second time!

It is the “Blood of Jesus” that made atonement for our souls! There was enough of that blood to save all in this world!

God has given this one chance to every to every human being that has ever lived, all the way back to Adam and Eve!

What did Enoch say?

Heb_11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Jud_1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

How do we please God? We accept His plan of salvation! There is no other way. This is what our “faith” must be based upon!

We accept that we are sinners in need of salvation. The “just” for the “unjust”. “Dead in sin, alive by the Holy Spirit”!

How did God preach unto the spirits in prison? By Jesus in power the Holy Spirit, who has all the character and the traits of God, because He is God!

Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

The Holy Spirit is also God!

*1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pe 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

Many believe that the body of Jesus lie in that grave for 3 days and 3 nights because it is the truth and it is but God the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of Jesus” was very busy and one of the things that He felt the need to tell us was that He went to Hell and spoke to those who rejected Noah.

Here is another thing that the Holy Spirit did not have to tell us.

Did He go to give them another opportunity to get to Heaven? NO!

He went to meet with the man on the cross beside Him, He had made a promise to.
He went to gather all the Saints of God in Paradise and take them to Heaven.
He went to get the keys to Hell.
He went to preach to all those in Hell, much as Abraham spoke to the rich man, telling them their days of torment would never cease. After all this is a part of what Hell is all about. An eternity of misery with no opportunity to escape!

You see while Jesus was busy about the things that needed to be done as promised, He also proclaimed His victory over death to all those who were now believers, but they had waited too long! They could only bow at the feet of Jesus.

Luk 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

One thing of Catholic Doctrine needs to be cleared up. Christ Jesus did not offer those in Hell a second opportunity because that would have violated the truth of the Scriptures. There is no way to leave Hell once you get there! There is not enough money in this world that can change God’s mind about His plan of salvation!

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luk 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luk 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
*Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

This may be a terrible truth to those whose loved ones rejected the truth of God, but it is still the truth.

We need to concentrate on those around us who are still living!

While we are living, we may get many opportunities to come to the Lord or we may get only one opportunity.

Everyone will get at least one opportunity and most many opportunities!

At death all opportunities cease and they all will be like the rich man in this story of Lazarus the beggar!

In Noah’s day there were 8 souls saved by water because they trusted in the words of Noah given to Him by the Holy Spirit!

What we realize is, the worldwide flood of that day was an example of being baptized after having that faith in the Word of God!

We also see the wrath of God to those who rejected the truth of God!

*1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

We began our lesson talking about anxiety and in the end, we see our minds are cleared with a good conscience toward God that can come only by the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

You see we are saved by washing in water of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, who cannot do His work until we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and begin our personal relationship with Him.

Jehovah God is not a faraway God who cares very little about His creation, but is an up-close and personal God who treats each one of us as His child!

We are not saved by ceremonies because ceremonies cannot affect our conscience toward God through Jesus Christ!

How is our conscience cleared by the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Our conscience is clear, because if God the Father, raised God the Son up from the dead, by the power of God the Holy Spirit, it means God is able to save us from our sin and cause us to be “Born Again”.

We can be delivered from all our offenses if we accept the work of the Son, the Messiah!

Rom 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

God has made this thing to be so simple if we only have “faith” in what He says!

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

There is no one else we can call on and be saved except the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

So who are we saved from?

We are saved from all who live under the authority of God the Father!

This means there is nothing upon this earth and nothing in Heaven who has more power than our God!

*1Pe 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

Where is the Lord Jesus Christ right now? Jesus is in Heaven.

How did the Apostle Paul say it?

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We must clearly understand that our conduct upon this earth must be based upon our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

We must also clearly understand that that most of this world have a conscience that is not of God and their conduct will never be of God!

1Co 8:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

Tit 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

We must clearly understand that there are many people in this world who try to do some things good, but because they possess no goodness, they cannot understand the goodness of God.

At the same time they have a witness of goodness that will not get them closer to salvation, but is recognized by the world as greater than Christian goodness. We live in an upsidedown world!

For instance a certain rich man has spent much money to provide water to places who had only polluted water. On the surface this looks like a good thing and it could have been. In the end water companies were formed that provides water only to those who can afford to pay for it. Those poor who died without water before still die without water afterwards.

It would have been good had it been free drinking water for all, but this is the way of the world!

Does this have anything to do with our lesson? No, but it does show the “conscience” of the saved versus the conscience of the lost.

I believe next week we will see the mind of Christ and it will give us a better understanding.

For our minds to be on Christ, we must know that there is no authority here on earth, nor in Heaven, that can overcome the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ!!!

When the Lord in Spirit went to Paradise, He openly showed He was in control of all power even the power of “resurrection” to new life, a life they would never know because they had rejected this life.

Was the Lord rubbing it in (so to speak) on those who were already in misery. No not really, but Hell is a place of misery with nowhere to go to get away from it!

Those who think they have the power to overcome the Lord Jesus Christ already live in a dream world that cannot be true!

Amen

Let’s pray!