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!

The Family

Staying Right At Home

Book of 1 Peter 3:1-12

So far as we have studied the Book of 1 Peter, we have seen how to build our relationship with God the Father. It must begin through God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We must be filled and sealed to redemption by God the Holy Spirit.

It is the Triune God that has brought about all creation.
It is the Triune God that has brought about our salvation.
It is the Triune God that will carry us throughout eternity.

Human reasoning cannot fathom the reasoning around the Triune God but to doubt the existence of our God in 3 persons is to doubt the truth of the Scriptures, for even the Holy Scriptures would not exist without the strength of God in 3 persons which is the truth of God.

Peter has spent a lot of time teaching us how to build upon our relationship with our God and with all the things already considered our relationship with God must include the relationship we have with our family.

After all God is all about family! We are to be the family of God! We are to be the “Bride of Christ”! We are God’s children if we accept His own dear Son, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

God is One in regard to essence! God is 3 in regard to persons! We must have understanding and a complete acceptance of this doctrine!

So to continue to see how God builds His family, we need to look to our own family, as the family is to be an example of the doctrine of God!

(Hint: Look at this wife as the Bride of Christ, God the Father as the Husband)

*1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1Pe 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

God’s family planning is to show us the design of the ultimate family of God. In all things, men and women are created equal except for some bodily functions.

After the man and the woman come together, the woman is to bear the child. This one thing is observed throughout creation.

In reality, in the family there must be a head of the family like the Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church!

As we study this passage, we must understand that the entire theme is giving ourselves to God after He has made us to be a part of His family!

If the Christian wife wants to give herself to God, in doing so she must also submit herself to her own husband in God’s design for the family!

Notice that phrase “own husband”. God did not want women to think they had to submit to any other husband of someone else!

In reality the Christian wife is to place herself under the authority and the control of her husband, but this is to be as the Bride of Christ is to live under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are some keys that we must understand.

1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

This family will not work as the Lord describes, unless that husband has submitted himself to Christ, the woman also submitting herself to Christ.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

The main key being, we must all obey the doctrine of God, not the doctrine of this world or the doctrine of some man!

Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

God is building the perfect family, The Lord and the “Bride of Christ”. The family upon this earth should resemble the family of God to be a true family.

It is the families that are suffering the most upon this earth.

You know many things are said in trying to stop abortion but “if the men” would follow the Word of God themselves, abortion would cease to exist!

The wife is to be a beautiful example of the “Bride of Christ” and therefore a true witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

What makes the wife to be beautiful to God and therefore the husband?

*1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman trying to do everything she can to look beautiful to her husband, but it is not the way she fixes her hair. It is not adorning herself with gold and it is not trying to find the nicest apparel.

It is the same things that please God!

God looks into the heart of all His children.

A man, if He takes the time to truly look into the heart of a woman, instead of that outside adornment, he will find that wife that will truly please him and who is already pleasing to God!

You see, it is the “Gospel of Jesus Christ that will produce these qualities in that adoring wife that will make her fairer than all others!

It is the Body of Christ that is the Church! Many see the Church as a building, but a building is only the house where the Body of Christ meets to worship God.

It does not take the most beautiful buildings to serve the church for it’s not what is on the outside of any house of God that is important, but it is the “heart” of the congregation on the inside that makes the church.

Much money spent on adorning the outside of buildings could be spent on promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Having said that, God does not want to the Church to reside in tents, but nice buildings well equipped to make disciples, is the purpose that should come first!

Remember we are to be good stewards of the tithes and offerings to God!

Will heaven be a place of great adornment? We must trust the Scriptures, but the one thing Heaven will be is perfect.

We have no idea what perfect looks like nor can we describe perfect!

What does the perfect woman of God look like?

A heart given to God, a beautiful ornament of a meek and quiet spirit that is uncorruptable, which when God sees this, He knows the woman has paid a great price to be this way in our evil world.

This is a woman who is noticed. A woman who has this inward holiness, is well worth holding onto but without leaving your first love which must remain the Lord!

A godly woman will not be trying to attract the world to herself, she will be trying to attract the lost to the Lord, and she does this buy first being in submission to the Lord, then in submission to her husband and then to the welfare of her family, not willing to lose any of them to Satan!

Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

According to the Lord we can see that holy women of old, as far back as Abraham and Sara had no problem with all these things and they were not slaves to their husbands.

*1Pe 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
1Pe 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Again we see the greatest quality of that precious lady is her holiness. Far greater than great riches and beauty!

Beauty fades with age and sickness.

Wealth finds so many ways to disappear.

Grace holds on to eternal life and even God blesses such a woman.

Remember Jesus possesses Heaven and Earth, but He also had a mother!

When a godly gracious man meets a godly gracious woman in the love of God, a family has begun!

Notice Peter does not mention women of the world, but some women who already had their names written down in the Scriptures.

If a woman has become a Christian after her marriage, then there is a very good chance she could win her husband over to the Lord!

If a woman is Christian along with her husband, then she will be in subjection to her husband.

Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

It is by Sarah that the nation of Israel was formed.

It is by Sara that we can have such a godly example.

Her daughters would be all those who have followed her in the examples of godliness.

When Peter looked at these things, he could see nothing in the world that could resemble the family of Abraham and Sara!

Abraham was the father of all believers:

Rom_4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Sara also had great faith and mother of all wives of holiness.

Heb 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Gal 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (By his wife Sara)

Men never get off the hook with God, yes women were to subject themselves to the man, but God holds the man accountable for the family.

Watch that word “likewise”.

*1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

The Bible pulls no punches with the husband. Each husband is to live with his own wife, not some other woman, and he is to understand and honor her with the highest esteem!

This same husband as a father, is to see that his children are taught the Word of God.

Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Notice that the man is to dwell with his wife. This is not just living together, but it covers all the things of married life!

The man is to dwell with his wife, and not anyone else, he is not to know anyone else other than a godly friend.

He is to dwell with her in purity, righteousness and holiness!

To dwell means he is not to be gone all the time but must reserve some time just for her!

He must set aside some time for his wife. Remember all the time of the Lord is spent in concern for His Bride!

He is to be a close companion not a faraway companion.

He is the leader of a godly team, he and his wife!

Obviously, this is not to do away with individuality, but this is never a problem between two loving people.

It is all these things a man should consider before he even takes a woman to be his wife!

Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
Mar 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Outside the family there are still things the man and woman of God must do.

*1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Maybe the greatest problem with Christianity, is the fact that we are not all of one mind.

The Apostle Peter was not the only one who taught this principle by the Holy Spirit, so was the Apostle Paul.

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The church is to be unified in one thing in particular, we are all to be in one mind concerning the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ and just so we are all not to forget it, Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church and the Church is to teach the Doctrine of the Apostles and the Prophets.

It is easy to see how the mainline denominations have strayed from this truth!

Where is the unity and the compassion? Many a church now act like each church is the enemy of the other.

What happened to love and be loved as brethren?

What happened to being pitiful, which is being sympathetic and courteous?

We are all to know, that it is evil to go against the written Word of God and it is even more evil for anybody who have chosen to go against the Scriptures to bring evil upon those who adhere to the Word of God!

Any, body of believers that have accepted the leaven of those who teach that the marriage between one man and one woman is now meaningless and marriage can be between anyone including animals, are a joke to the truth of God.

We cannot allow the courts and the politicians to determine what a godly marriage is to be!

All those who call themselves Christians, but allow babies to be murdered (yes, I said murdered) in the womb, saying they have some kind of right to do so, are a joke to the truth of God!

Contrariwise, we have forgotten that we are to be a blessing to one another, and we are not to allow the world, nor the things of this world, inside the Church.

What happened to the spirit of oneness to the truth of God?

What happened to a repenting soul knowing they have sinned!

Sin is sin because the Scriptures say so, it is not open to discussion to politicians nor the world, nor world governments!

There are no blessings to those who toss the Word of God out, there is only a place called Hell, which itself will be tossed into the “Burning Lake of God”!

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.

We cannot teach the Word of God properly without mentioning the sin in our world, but the true church must take a stand in this evil world and those who do so, must be likeminded teaching the truth of God and still showing the truth of God!

God says we must not forget to hate evil, and there is to be no compromise with evil!

*1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

What is a life worth living upon this earth?

Psa 34:11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Psa 34:12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Psa 34:13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

What does God want us to clearly understand, before we allow the world to influence the Church?

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

While we are upon this earth, we learn the principles of life and the Word of God directs us to that life that is a blessing to our God, if we listen to what He says.

Life has never been about, “do what we want to anytime we want to”!

Life is about knowing there is an enmity that has given us this life and His purpose is for us to learn about Him and His character and His truths and then, life as He describes and then a precious future that is a life that we cannot even imagine!

That word eschew means, that we are to do everything we can do stay away from evil!

To avoid doing evil ourselves and taking no part in the evils of the world, but also the evils that have entered into many a place that at one time were true houses of God, but are now no more than a platform for the Devil to broadcast his definition of life, which is a dead life or not a life at all but being in the slave market of Satan!

If we will avoid evil as bests we can, do good and never bad, seek the peace of God and all the blessings that come with a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and ensue it, then we can know life here as God expects us to know it.

By the way Peter used that word “ensue” which means to follow these things with the full force of our being!

We are never to be a bunch of wimps in our Christian stance before this world and before all evil!

There is a very good reason we are to be this way in this life!

*1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

Jehovah God is the source of all life!

As the righteous, we have the true love of God, and to all His commandments, and not allow ourselves to be drawn into anything contrary to the revealed Word of God!

There are and never will be any revisions to the Word God given to the writers of the Scriptures.

There are no lost books of the Bible.

Remember God gave these words to the writers, “so they are the actual words of our Creator”!

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.

Those who love the Lord, can only be perfect in the eyes of God by learning and loving the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God!

Then there are those who intentionally do evil!

All of us are capable to do evil in most cases by ignorance, but those who intentionally live a life of evil, rejecting the Word of God, will find that the Lord God Jehovah is against them as long as they have chosen this life!

What does God say again?

Eze 15:7 And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them.
Eze 15:8 And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord GOD.

Psalms 34:16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Psa 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

God knows most of those who are evil will never read these things, so they are written for our assurance but also for our admonition.

We need to serve the Lord, but we must serve the Lord according to how He has taught us, in Spirit and in Truth!

Remember the things God writes to us are also His promises!

Amen

Let us all pray!

Obedient to Government

Staying Right With Government

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 2: 11-25

Peter has taken a lot of time to teach us that by loving the Lord Jesus Christ, we become the people of God. Now this is not how we become Jews, it is how we become the Bride of Christ!

Now Peter changes gears and he will beg us, that since we are the Bride of Christ then there are some things that we must do.

Peter will express to us the urgency to do certain things!

Peter will express that because we are now the strangers in this world, because we are just pilgrims passing through this world, it is not our home, we are to abstain from anything this world desires to offer us, for we have better promises of better things at our home in the New Heaven.

Study along with us.

*1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
1Pe 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

As strangers we are those in a strange house.

As pilgrims we are those in a strange country.

We are to abstain from the desires of anything in “this” house and this “country” which are things of this world that will never be allowed in Heaven.

What are those things? We live in a world that is dominated by lust!

All that is in our government is lusts for power and those who do so, will attempt to have and to control power by any means possible. Legally and illegally, right and wrong, no matter who is harmed, without any regard for the people.

All that is in our nation is the lusts of sexual pleasures without regard for the outcome.

Abortion is out of control and now considered a right, with a right to murder the unborn child.

There is the lust of lesbianism and sodomy, that has led to the destruction of many nations in the past and will lead to the destruction of this world.

There is still of course that lust for silver and gold, for what it buys and the control it gives.

In fact God still says: It is the love of money that is behind all the evil that is in our world today.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
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.

In fact God still says: It is lusts that is in control of our world today as it has always been!

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.

We should not miss the fact that we are the “Dearly Beloved” of God!

You see God does not tell us these things, (We should use the word “Command”) just to keep us from the things of this world but because He loves us, and all these things will bring nothing but sin and destruction!

How does the world value the man?

By how much of the world he possesses.
By how much money he has.
By how much power he has.
By how much pleasure he is able to enjoy.
By how famous he becomes.
By how many people he is able to conquer in face to face meetings.

Our flesh will war against our soul!

But the message of God is clear, these are not to be the ways of the men of God!

The model for our way of life must be and must remain the Lord Jesus Christ!

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Php 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

In the end which way is the most important?

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

As the “Born Again” children of God, we must always have in mind, our home is in Heaven!

Heaven is where our riches are!

Heaven is where our possessions are!

Heaven is where our Lord is, and He wants us to be with Him!

We are not wanted upon this world in fact we are hated upon this earth!

We will be pilgrims upon earth until the day the Lord takes us home to our true home, in the New Heaven.

Most of the world is searching for aliens and the aliens are the children of God. They will never find any other aliens in God’s creation!

We do live in this world until the Lord is ready and while we are, we need to obey the laws of man as long as those laws do not go against the Word of God.

We must always stand on the Word of God!

Eph_6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We must still obey the laws of the land, even when we travel, we need to obey the laws of that land.

*1Pe 2:13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

We have just read where the government had ordered persecution of the Christians, especially the Roman government.

The leaders of the Jewish religious system were persecuting the Jews that had turned to Jesus Christ.

All the false religions were persecuting the Christians.

Most all societies of that day were persecuting the Christians.

Only the poor who were no better off tolerated the Christians.

The one thing about government we should consider is that even the worst government is probably better than anarchy or no government at all!

We must remain true to the Lord no matter what man says!

We must obey the civil rights that are allowed and by legal means try to live with all men!

Lawlessness would run wild.
Not many would be safe to walk the streets.
Christians had to live behind closed doors then as they do now in some locations.
Abuse, attacks, murder, and war would be a constant threat.

Do any of these things sound familiar, because this is the world we live in today and even though we have a government.

In fact corrupt governments create a corrupt people, because most all our resources are used up by politicians who do nothing but use all their time in a battle for power.

Wake up America!

God is saying if we the “Body of Christ” would be obedient to the Word of God, which by the way, will do what God sends it to do, then we would not get caught up in this corruption, we would live in harmony with God, God would fulfill all His promises, and the lost would see a people who are at peace with God and our light would shine throughout this world!!!!!

Chaos is not God’s will for this world, and the history of the Bible teaches us, God would use some nation, or some people, to cause chaos to cease. It would not mean a better government but there would be government.

God’s will upon this earth is for all people to live with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

How did Paul describe his days?

Act 16:37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

Paul was a Roman and he was treated in this manner, but He did never quit the work, God called him to do!

It is God who places the rulers of governments in place!

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

It is an abomination to God for rulers to misuse the people they are over!

Pro 16:12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

God expects every ruler to have mercy on his people!

Isa 16:5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

Many rulers like our presidents may live out a life always protected, but God will not have forgotten the works that they have done!

This goes for every member of the ruling government, congressmen and senators, and all other forms of government!

Why are all these things true? Because it is the will of God!

*1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

Who are those who are foolish and ignorant? All those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ!

You see it is our good behavior as we are like Christ in His ways, that we can silence the critics of Christ.

We must remember, those who will never come to Christ will never cease their wicked ways and their harassment of the Christians but there are many who stand in the middle who do not know which way to go and the ways we are like Christ Jesus can be our best witnessing tool to get us close enough to tell them about the love of God by His Son.

Sure we must render to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, but we are to render to God the things that are God’s which is ourselves, for He is our Creator and our life belongs to Him!!!!!

Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

Act 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

The truth is, there are times we can serve the government better by refusing to obey the government and insist on the things God has proven to be true. In fact it is God who ordained the government and the government will answer to Him!

Remember the 10 commandments are our guideline to teach us to be obedient to the government, but the first commandment is first for these reasons!

Jesus simplified these things for us:

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.

We are never to turn our backs toward the Lord!

We are free because the Lord has made us free!

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

*1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

We are to be the servants of God and as so we can live as free citizens not attached to any government but placed by the Lord in the places we live and work for one reason and that is to promote the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ in the way we serve the Lord and in the way we live!

When we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts and souls, we become servants of God and not servant to our own thoughts nor our own ideas.

To break the laws that govern where we live is to break the laws of God, but we are also not to break any of the laws of God, because God is our higher authority.

We sometimes make these things hard, when these things are not very hard to comply with.

We are to honor all men and women as our created brothers and sister realizing that they are not yet our “born again” brothers and sisters in Christ and sadly some will never be, but let not this one thing be because we have not been obedient to God. God will hold this against us!

Loving the brotherhood means we are to love all our brothers and sister in Christ no matter who they are!

Regardless of color, nationality, or beliefs if they have given themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our diversity that makes the church to be strong!

It is not enough just to honor the brotherhood, we are to love them with the love of God!!!

We are to support one another.
We are to help one another.
We are to protect one another.
We are to share with one another.
We are to fellowship and commune with one another.
We are certainly to pray and worship with one another.

Love means we do not criticize, back bite, grumble, murmur or do anything that would be divisive.

The Lord is the foundation of only one church.

It is all these things and more that have divided the church!

Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation(hypocrisy). Abhor(hate) that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

We are never to fail in our duty to love God knowing He is the Higher Power!

In America, we are to honor our President and the government that he leads.

In this time of Peter, Nero the most-evil ruler of Rome was in place, and Peter still wrote these things by the Holy Spirit!

In some nations there are still slaves and servants and these words still hold true!

*1Pe 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

During this age of the Apostle Peter, millions of slaves and servants were everywhere throughout the empire of Rome and even lands that were not conquered by Rome.

We must realize that the New Testament does not directly attack slavery, because again we are placed in our location as it suits God.

It is the Church that destroys slavery, when both parties have become the children of God!

It is Christian principles that will destroy all evil, including slavery.

Slaves and servants are treated as any other workman or workingwoman.

We are all to subject ourselves to our masters, our employers in the fear of God.

In this case “the fear of God” means “in reverence, to all the Word of God” but submissive to them just as we are to be submissive to our Lord yet knowing, Our Lord is still the higher authority!

These things are necessary to earn a livelihood to provide for ourselves and our families.

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

We must understand that the energy and effort we put into our jobs pleases the Lord.

The mark of the of the Christian workman is his fear of the Lord!

These are some of the things we are judged of and are written down in the Lord’s Book of Remembrances!

Mal_3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

No matter if our slave master or work master is good or evil, it is not to change our attitude about why we are working or the work itself!

Why is this necessary?

*1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

We should clearly understand that no one will be accepted to God for doing wrong but only for doing good.

The pure fact is, that before we met the Lord, we had no goodness to display, and even now we can only display His goodness!

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 Lord Jesus Christ was sent into this world to die by the Father Himself.

By this world standards, to murder Jesus was to murder the perfect man.

Jesus had not committed one sin in the eyes of His heavenly Father.

Jesus had not broken even one law of man in His 33 and 1/2 years upon this earth.

The world had murdered the only perfect man without a cause!

When we accept the perfectness of the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart, then and only then will we be righteous in the eyes of God!

As sin came by Adam so righteousness came by Jesus the Messiah!

Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

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:

Our eternal life exists, because we have a perfect Savior in all things of this world and the perfectness of Heaven!

If we suffer, even as Christians because we have done wrong God is not impressed even in our patience, but if we suffer having done no wrong and we have the patience of our Savior for this we are acceptable to our Father in Heaven because He can see the works of His Son in us and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

It is by these things that we are the children of a Holy God!

God is seeking genuine Christians to be with Him throughout eternity! This is the government of God!

We are called because we accept that Christ Jesus suffered for us!

We are called because we are willing to follow His example!

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.

This is the government of God!

We all want to live glorious lives for Christ then this is the life God has called us to do.

We should also understand that God will never cause us to suffer as His Son suffered.

This is a hard saying, when so many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted to their death, but they just make a quick trip to Heaven.

The Apostle Paul said he suffered more than all the other Apostles, but they all were murdered except the Apostle John who God would not allow the governments of this world murder Him.

So we see God is on our side in all persecution and He just ask that we patiently wait on Him just as Jesus did!

This is the government of God!

God in the flesh (Jesus the Messiah) did no sin neither was guile found in His mouth!

Guile is deceit. Jesus Christ was not in this world to deceive us, but to show us the glory of God and the government of God’s Kingdom!

God (in the flesh, Jesus) gave everything He could give us, including His life so our souls could return to Him, if we would only trust Him.

This is the way God conducted His business. He bought and paid for us and He has given all His possessions, the inheritance of His dear Son, just so we can live and live eternally.

This is the government of God!

When it gets down to it, God in the flesh, Jesus the Christ, died for me and I was certainly not worthy and if you love Him, then He also died for you, you also being unworthy of God’s great love!

How does God see us?

*1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

In reality sheep are one of the most useful animals God has given to us. Not only for food, but for its wool which has been an article of clothing for its warmth since the time of Adam.

Sheep are normally timid animals, but the one thing sheep need to be this great benefit, is a Shepherd!

It is God our Creator who is the Owner of our Souls and the Lord Jesus Christ the Bishop of our souls!

Psa 23:1 (The Psalm of the redeemed) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

We must stay right with the governments of this world, the place where God has placed us.

More important we must stay right with the government of God, who loves us with a greater love than can be found upon this earth!

Amen

Let’s Pray about these things!

Our Lives Will Be Changed By Jesus

Understanding Our Heritage

Book of 1 Peter Chapter 2:1-10

In our previous lesson we learned that we must be “Born Again” to be in the family of God. God writes the name of all His children in what God calls the Lamb’s Book of Life and we must be “Born Again” to have our names written in this book!

As soon as our name is written down, we find that Satan has become our enemy and it will not always be easy to be a child of God!

We will be perfect in the eyes of God because when He sees us, He sees His Son.

We will be an enemy to the world and there some lessons we need to learn very quickly!

That word “wherefore” means, for this reason.

“Wherefore” because we have been “Born Again” there are some things we must do.

*****1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

We must lay aside some things!

**Malice: Malice means that you are determined to get revenge upon your enemies or at least cause them problems, but since you are a child of God, you must let your Father in Heaven take care of all your problems including this one!

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

**All guile: Guile is being cunning and deceitful. These are some of the traits of Satan and Satan is our enemy. We certainly are not to be anything like him. To be involved in the traits guile will cause you to lose the blessings of God!

Psa_32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

**Hypocrisies: Spiritual hypocrisy is acting in any way that goes against the Word of God but claiming to be on God’s side.

Luk 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Leaven as used in this Scripture, is the thing that caused the Pharisees to be hypocrites. Leaven represents sin in most all of the Bible.

**All evil speaking: the word evil means wicked immorality, going against the pure Word of God.

These are some of the first things that we are to repent of, and we can learn all these things from the Word of God.

If we cannot lay aside these things, we will never be counted good enough to enter into Heaven’s gates!

I can just imagine that pearly gate will be so mirror like that we can see our new selves before we come face to face with the Lord of Glory.

We must have a desire to learn about our God and He has given us the Word of God to do so!

Again God cautions us that as “babes in Christ” we need some help to understand the Word of God, but the more we stay in the Word of God, we will grow and no longer be a “Babe”!

The Word of God is that Spiritual milk we need every day for the rest of our lives to become a mature child of God!

It is by the “Grace” of God that we are saved and the “Grace of God” that we will grow until we come useful to the Lord!

*****1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

To be “Born Again” into the family of God, begins to show us just how the “Grace” of God works in our lives!

We must also understand that God intends for us to grow in His knowledge.

We cannot have the wisdom of the Lord until we have the knowledge of the Lord!

You see God wants us to know all about Him! God does not hide anything about His character!

God did not have to reveal Himself to us at all!

We have to have food and water to make our physical bodies grow and most all babies need milk and food from baby foods.

The milk of the Gospel are the basics thoughts.

God took off His heavenly garments and came to this earth to pay our sin debt we could not pay.

We are sinners at birth, and we need a Savior and that Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

It is the work that Jesus did that we could not do, that has reconciled us to God.

After we have tasted the “grace” of God it becomes time to grow in the Word of God!

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Psa 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Psa 24:9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Psa 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

God laid aside His majesty to come to this earth to provide a means for our salvation!

*****1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

God came to us in a body of flesh (a living stone)(The Lord Jesus Christ). The Lord Jesus was rejected by His own people.

Remember Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary a descendant of Nathan a son of King David.

The Father of Jesus was the Holy Ghost! Jesus had no earthly father until He was adopted (accepted) by Joseph who was a descendant of Solomon the son of King David.

Then prophecy was fulfilled.

Jesus was born a Jew, so His people would be the Jews the tribe of Judah.

Make no mistake, Jesus the Messiah, in the flesh was a Jew and was rejected by these foolish people at the time and that generation perished in 70 A.D. at the hands of the Roman General Titus, who hated the Jewish people.

Rome was that Empire of iron and clay that was broken into what is the Europe of today

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

Not so long a time after this God brought to Rome to its knees because clay feet are so easily broken!

At salvation, we become the living stones who make up the Church, a spiritual house when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, who can then offer up Spiritual sacrifices accepted by Jesus Christ our Savior, our King, our Master, our God!

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.

Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

What are our Spiritual Sacrifices?

We must offer up our souls, our bodies, all out thoughts, all our words and all our actions.

It may take some time, but these are the things that God requires of us!

It is at this time we become a part of the Scriptures!

*****1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Confounded means a lot of things but “dismayed” is the meaning of this passage adding maybe “perplexed”!

Jesus, the Messiah is and was that chief corner stone.

He is elect because He is God the Father’s chosen Messiah!

Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isa 42:2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
Isa 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Isa 42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Isa 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isa 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Isa 49:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
Isa 49:23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

Sion (Zion) of course is Jerusalem. The City of peace!

*****1Pe 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1Pe 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

You see, I not only believe my Lord is precious, I know He is precious, or He would never have accepted me into His family.

He did not get much when He first got me!

Much like the Israelite, I spent my 40 years in the wilderness of the world and the Lord endured me until He brought me into His family!

A loving and powerful God opens His arms to all who will believe and accept Him, yet so few do.

The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of unbelief which shows disobedience, and in the end will bring the wrath of God.

God promises those who love Him will never see His wrath!!!!!

Jesus Christ is the appointed foundation stone of all creation, yet He is the foundation stone of our lives and the foundation stone of the Church.

What’s wrong with this world?

They want nothing to do with this Stone (Christ Jesus)
They do not think that this “Stone” will fit into their plans.
They do not think this “Stone” will suit what they are building.
They do not think this “Stone” is worth the price they would have to pay.

The “Stone” of eternal life is rejected because, even though His price is free, He still costs too much for the unbeliever to change!

In rejecting this world, which can only offer the promises of failure, we can learn the important things which are life and life eternal.

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 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

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.

In reality, Jesus Christ is the living breathing wisdom of God!

The Bible says: “but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it”

There is no life without Jesus Christ!

You see, if you cannot make peace with the Living Stone of Jesus, then that Living Stone you will stumble over. This Stone will then become the Stone of Offence and He will roll over you!

All those people who disregard the Triune God, reject that Jesus is God in the flesh will find their beliefs are false and they are foolish!

The biggest problem the world has today is the world thinks it is wise and the people of God are from an Era that has long since pasted.

This is opposite from the truth!!!!!

Again the Lord has already said what He was going to do with all unbelievers, and this is the truth of those who reject my Savior!

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Jer 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

But what of the believer?

*****1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

What does a chosen generation do?

Those who build their lives upon the “Rock of the Lord” Jesus Christ!

If we cannot give our lives to the Lord, for His use, we have not given God the thing He wants the most !!!!!!!

When we agree with Jesus Christ, we all become a new people, who are special to the Lord! It is just that simple !!!!!

God loves the people who love His Son!

To be a Christian, means we are a very special people in the eyes of God!

That word “chosen” means that the Church is now God’s new people.

The “Born Again” chosen children of God somewhat like the chosen people of Israel in that generation of Abraham whom God will return to deal with after the “Rapture” of the Church.

The Church is to be a “royal priesthood”!

When we invite Jesus to come in our hearts we become “royal priests” to King Jesus!

There are men who are called to be Pastors and Priests and other titles, but every child of God is to be a “royal priest” to King Jesus!

We have instant access into the throne room of God!

We also have access to God no matter where He is at, because He is everywhere at the same time.

There is never a time we cannot reach out to God in thought but more in prayer!

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

If we could gather ourselves together with all the Saints of God, we would become a Holy Nation!

You see, God is building Himself a Holy Nation

To be Holy is to be different from this world!!!!!!

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,

If you wonder why the world hates the Christian, it is because not only are we the “Chosen People of God”, Royal Priests, but we are a little bit peculiar in fact, most of us are a whole lot peculiar which means, we are God’s own possession, in fact His special possessions!

You know the world hates that we say this but that does not make it any less true!

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

In the beginning God said, “let there be light” and we are that special, particular, peculiar, and purchased creation that are to shine like the stars! Created twice to die once, who are called out of darkness into that “Light” which is the Lord Jesus Christ!

1) The Light of His truth:

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

2) The Light of His favor:

Psa 4:6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

3) The Light of His holiness:

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

You see when we were lost in this evil and wicked world, we were nobodies who yielded to the Devil every time he called, but now after the Light of Jesus has shined upon us, we are the people of God!

Maybe the most important feeling we can have is that we know these things are true!

1Jn_5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

You see, we are become the people of God through and by the Lord Jesus Christ!

We now have the Light of life. Not just any life but “Eternal Life”!

OH, for the love and the grace of God that He would give to all who will call upon Him in “repentance” and “faith”.

The world would say there is no god, but the world has made themselves to be little gods just as Satan has taught them!

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

God has given us “free will” to choose.

We can choose the good of Jesus, or we can choose the evil of the Devil.

Hint! I read the back of the Book and the Devil loses!

Why not get on the “Winning Side”?

Amen

Let us all pray

Loving as Christians Should Love

Loving As We Live

1 Peter Chapter 1:13-25

We should understand as Peter wrote these things because persecution of the New Church was so very great. Those that were Jews had lost their property, possessions, money, and even family members and friends and excommunicated.

They had been forced to flee for their lives and this kind of thing spreads into other countries, as people feel like they are doing some sort of good when they are just violating basic human rights!

And just like today, many others were excited about the Church with its salvation and hope and eternal life, but they did not want to hear about repentance.

Somethings never change!

People just do not want to hear about righteousness and godliness!

These sheep of the New Covenant Church needed to be encouraged.

One of the greatest missions we can have is to be an encourager!

It is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ that changes lives for the best!

It is the promises of God that can be used to encourage others!

When we keep our eyes focused on the “Grace” of God, we find that we can endure the things of this world knowing that we are only strangers here and the New Heaven, that Jesus has prepared will be our home!

We must prepare our minds for success. We are on “the winning side”!

*****1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

To gird means: To surround; to encircle; to enclose; to encompass.

The loins are: The loins are the space on each side of the vertebrae, between the lowest of the false ribs and the upper portion of the osilium or haunch bone, or the lateral portions of the lumbar region; called also the reins.

Then these words of Peter mean, because we have such promises from the Lord Jesus Christ, we can now be of use to the glory of God!

Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Jesus said it like this:

Luk 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luk 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;
Luk 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

The Apostle Paul said like this:

Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We can see that we are to be prepared to be a disciple of the Lord!

Our salvation is such a great thing, it should be of interest to others as it was to the angels!

You see that true salvation can come only buy the “Grace” of God.

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

We must be courageous Christians in this wicked world!
We must be genuine Christians in this wicked world!
We must be sincere Christians in this wicked world!

As true Christians we are to make an impact on those around us!

Again the Apostle Paul said it like this:

Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
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.
Php 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

You see these things can come only by Jesus Christ!

We must be obedient children to our Father who art in Heaven!!!!!

We must never fear the coming of the Lord because He comes to take us home!

*****1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

Whether we like it or not, we were servants of the Devil until we gave our life to Jesus Christ.

We obeyed the thoughts in our head without question. We just did the evil things of this world without questioning our own morality.

Well in this same sense, we must now be obedient to the Lord and honor our Father in Heaven.

Being obedient to the Word of God without questioning our God who wrote His Words by the Holy Spirit, using the hands of some men who dearly loved Him!

We were ignorant to the truth of God. I know I was but not ever again!

If we think Satan will leave us alone, we have become fools. This is why the Scriptures are so very important to us!

We belong to God after we are washed in the blood of Jesus, and we need to act like it!

We are not God’s mercenaries nor are we God’s slaves, we are God’s children and like children we will still make mistakes!

Those that reject this truth, need to visit Gethsemane and Calvary and learn of the Nazarene.

Psa 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
Psa 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
Psa 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

Why did God reveal Himself to Moses? God decided to reclaim His children!

God has a plan much greater than any plan of man, and God’s plan cannot be stopped, nor can it be hindered or slowed down!

What is the truth of God?

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
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.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

We can be wise in the wisdom of God, or we can be ignorant of the truth of God, we cannot be both!

As we learn more of the Character of God, and take those thoughts back to the Book of Genesis we will see that when God said “let there be light”, then that was the Light of Lord, who had the same character of God the Father, that we have learned to know and to love our Savior.

It is God’s love for us that is the reason God sent His Son to Mount Calvary!

God wants us to be Holy as He is Holy and this is not asking too much, it is only learning the truth and realizing the lies of this world that are influenced by the Devil!

*****1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

The Lord God Jehovah is Holy in all His ways, a perfect Holiness!!!!!

Isa 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

We can disagree but that just makes us fools!

Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

To be Holy is to be perfect! The Triune God is perfect! So to be holy is to have purity and integrity of moral character.

To be holy is to be conformed to the will of God!

Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

These things are not so hard to understand!

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.

Being holy is something God is working on us every day, because it is not an overnight thing. Holiness is learned gradually!

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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.

Holiness is not something that is appointed it is something we learn by the Scriptures and with the help of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)!

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

And yes, we are to have a reverent fear of our Holy God!

But we should also know how powerful our God is and have a physical fear of Him also.

*****1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Our fear of the Lord is the basis of a good relationship with our Father in Heaven!

Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

If our fear is joined with hope and love, we can have a close and personal relationship with our Savior, and these are facts!

What did Adam say after he had sin in his life?

Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Adam had never feared the Lord before his sin!

If we do not hold our Heavenly Father above all others, then we are not reverencing our Heavenly Father!

Remember it was not God that moved it was Adam, when we moved toward his wife in sin, instead of His Father in Heaven!

If we call God our Father, then we need to act like we are His blessed children!

We need to stand against all sin.
We need to stand against all trials.
We need to stand against all persecutions, all temptations, and all evil in this life!

If we do not respect our Father, then why pray because we are wasting our time!

Jesus gave us this example:

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

If we cannot “hallow” our Heavenly Father, then our life will be meaningless!

We must understand that it is Jehovah God who is the “Judge” of this world.

We must hold God in reverence, but we must also live in “awe” of our mighty God and fools not to do so!

1) Every person who has ever lived will be judged and God is that judge! You will stand at the feet of God one day!
2) It is the works we have done that will be judged! For the believer, he will be judged only on what he or she has done since calling on Christ for forgiveness. For the unbeliever it will be the things he or she has done all their lives with the first and greatest sin is rejecting our Savior, and rejecting His Judgement!

We are saved by “faith” if that faith is in the works of Jesus Christ! Jesus did all the works so we have no works to get us saved and if we attempt to do works to please God then we will fail. Our works begin after salvation and not before salvation!

No matter who we are we are all judged the same. Billy Graham was be judged the same as Adolf Hitler. God does not show favoritism!

Each sinner has already been judged and condemned to death. This death is an eternity without God to save them in the pits of misery in Hell!

God just does not show partiality or favoritism!

You see once we know Jesus as our Savior, we are adopted into the family of God, and we are just aliens on this planet, Heaven is our true home!

All these good things come, when we have a close personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

All these bad things come when we reject the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s just that simple!

How are we to act around other Christians?

1Th_2:10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

You see when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we then are the redeemed!

*****1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

What is the “atonement”?

The state of being “at one” with God the Father or “reconciled” to our Heavenly Father.

Our atonement came about by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Our Heavenly Father was satisfied with the debt that Jesus paid for our sins.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It is this death of Jesus Christ that satisfied all the demands of the 613 laws of Moses and the demands of God for all Gentiles!

The work of Jesus Christ for our sins was His suffering and His obedience in the eyes of His Father!

The atonement is the consequence of God’s love for guilty mankind!

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.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The truth is, you can refine silver over and over again and it will never be 100% pure and when placed in the hands of man it becomes less pure. It is the same for gold!

The same cannot be said of our Savior, Our Savior is 100% pure and so is His blood. Jesus was incorruptible then and He is now, because He lives!

A slave could be bought with silver and gold in fact a rich man could also be bought with silver or gold, but these things can never buy our reconciliation to our Holy God.

In the eyes of God, gold is nothing more than asphalt for paving the roads of Heaven!

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The blood of Jesus is our means of eternal life!

Lev_17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Joh_6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh_6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Yes, we are a bloody religion because it has to be this way!

It is by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we have been made free from the empty life that we are taught to live by this evil world!

An empty life is useless to our God and it dooms us to eternal death in a place that was created for Satan, the Devil, and HELL!

It is the spotless blood of Jesus that washed us as white as snow!

Jesus Christ is the Word that became Flesh. The blood of Jesus is the blood in which God was manifest. There is no blood so precious as that of The Lord Jesus Christ.

“What can wash my sin away? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!”

Jesus and God are one and the same!

*****1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

God had a plan of salvation put together before the first day of Creation!

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

The New Testament Church rises or falls according to the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Will the redeemed of the Lord say so?

We must understand that it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ where our hope throughout eternity stands!

Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible and the God of all creation!

It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that we can be “faithful” toward God. It is the Holy Triune God that was at work for our salvation!

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:

The same God who raised up the Lord Jesus Christ from His death, can raise us all up from death to live in eternity with Him!

Jesus Christ is the perfect Mediator between us and God the Father, who seeks perfection for us all.

It is the work of Jesus Christ who has made us acceptable to God the Father!

To approach our Father in Heaven we can only go by the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

It is only Jesus Christ that we can be made whole!

Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

To be whole is to have purified our souls!

*****1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Besides prayer there is no greater force upon this earth than “love”!

To God the Father, love is the key to our salvation!

Two people that love each other will do anything to please each other.

Why should it be different in our love of God?

Why should we not have brotherly love toward each other?

It is by love that families can be families.

A purified soul will contain a purified love for all God’s people!

2Co 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

Unfeigned means genuine, sincere, without hypocrisy or play-acting.

What is it to be “Born Again”?

How did the Apostle Paul say it by the Holy Spirit?

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.

Notice to be “born again” is a complete change!

Just as Mary the Mother of Jesus was found with child by the Holy Spirit, then each and every believer is “born again” by the Holy Spirit who lives within each child of God!

The Word of God is that incorruptible seed that we must absorb into our souls and planted in our hearts.

To born again is a Spiritual rebirth, a rebirth of our spirit, a new life, a renewed soul, a godly nature!

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

If we do not have a rebirth, we still live in that old sinful flesh and be a servant of Satan!

Just keep this in mind, we must “be reborn” and “not reformed”!

There can nothing good come from that old body of flesh!

God says, Behold I make all things new!

*****1Pe 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

When we are born into this world as a babe, we know nothing but after a few years we feel invincible but as we get older, after the prime of our lives we begin to see that life is really very short and we are only a puny people.

We realize that what has said is very true. Our flesh is as grass and the glory of the grass is its flower and soon it begins to wither away, until it is gone forever.

The Word of God on the other hand speaks its truth until time runs out, and it will run out.

As Christians we know the end and the new beginning is 1007 years plus the time God allows till the rapture of the Church. That may seem like a long time but in reality, it is not.

If there ever was a time to get right with God, then now is that time!

We can see the reality of what God is saying here.

We look around and we see those who have aged until one day they are gone!

Before that day takes place, we need to make an appointment with God and we can only do that through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If and when the Holy Spirit knocks on the door of your heart, please say yes quickly, very quickly, we are not promised any more time at all!

When we have been “born again”, we are at peace with God and these things lose their relevance and only the going home seems to be of importance.

We welcome death, but at the same time we all have family members and friends who have not said yes to the Lord.

The Word of God will never change because our God will never change.

You do not have to look for things that are better, when you already have the very best!

One day we will be living with the Lord forever and nothing on this earth can be better than that.

Forever and Eternity, have no time limits because time will cease to exist!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

The Early Church the Foundation of Joy

Laying the Foundation for Joy

1 Peter Chapter 1:1-12

The Apostle Peter (the Rock) was the son of a man named Jonas who was also a fisherman and Peter took up the occupation of “fisherman” on the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee). Peter and his brother Andrew were partners of John and James. Notice how God had placed these men in this place to be used of the Lord.

Although Peter may not have been as rich as James and John, he did have hired servants and his position did bring him in contact with men of education which Peter probably lacked so Peter was not as worldly as some.

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

We should keep in mind Peter and John and the Apostles were called ignorant not because they had no education but only because they had not attended a rabbinical school.

Peter had first made his home in Bethsaida but then he moved to Capernaum to a home somewhat larger than the average homes of that day.

This home may have belonged to Peter’s mother in law.

Peter left all these things behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Peter would have spoken in a form of Aramaic probably aligned with the Syriac.

If you have a Syriac Bible translated into English, besides the “thous” and the “thees” it is almost identical to the King James Bible.

The Hebrew language was used mainly by those who had been trained in the rabbinical schools.

We will notice that the Lord Jesus Christ had no problems at teaching and understanding any of the language differences.

We can better understand that phrase “cloven tongues” as the Apostles new only one language the slang version of the Syriac, yet when they spoke everyone understood in their own language.

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.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

So let’s see Peter after he had received the Holy Spirit:

*****1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Who was Peter writing to?

Peter was writing to the Christian Jews and other Christians who were scattered because of persecution!

Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Some of these Christians did find a way to stay in Jerusalem and some of the Apostles elected to stay in Jerusalem for them and they too met with death.

Peter had three names used by the Lord.

Peter was called Simon or Simeon which means he had been circumsized according to the Laws of Moses.

He was called Cephas (a stone) given to him by Jesus Christ, our Lord.

He was called Peter, which is the Greek equivalent of the Syriac name Cephas of which he was also called.

I believe Jesus will give us a new name according to how He thinks of us, just as He did to Peter.

As Christians we are all strangers in this world, because Heaven is our true home!

*****1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Who are the elect? These are all the Body of Christ, called the Saints of God. Not as the Roman Catholic do, but all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior after being called of God and Baptized into the family of the Church.

Father God calls each of these His Jewels!

Mal_3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day “when I make up my jewels”; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

How do we know we are the elect?

We have been and are continuously being “sanctified” by the Holy Spirit!

We have been washed in the blood of Jesus!

Election is the source of salvation!

Again election is being called of God,

Saying yes to the truth of Jesus, washed in His blood,

Being filled with the Holy Spirit!

Having a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Being the elect means we are being obedient to the Word of God and connected to God by His GRACE!

God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense

You see if God loves believers this much, to actually choose us out of this world and elect us to be His very own chosen people, then God will look after us and take extreme care for us!

No matter what else is going on in this world God will provide for His elect children!

God has foreknowledge which means no matter how far we can see into our future God has already seen it!

God knows exactly what all men will do and when they will do it, but God knows the past, the present and the future, all at the same time!

God sent the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins!

Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

God knew the response of the people to the Messiah then and He knows the response of the people to the second coming of the Messiah and most of all God knows those who love Him!

This is the very reason that we can read the Word of God and know it is true!

The foreknowledge of God is a wonderful truth of God that we can depend upon as believers!

The Book of Revelation is all about reveling our future and the future of the Jewish people!

Why did God allow all the things to happen in the past if God knew all these things?

God wants a people, “of their own free will”, to choose to live with Him throughout eternity!

You see, God is willing to go through the pains of rejection in order that some, a small remnant will choose to live with Him forever!

God knows that love, His love, is His greatest trait and most of the world would never understand His love!

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Though all we see now is hate in our world, this does not negate the fact that love is the greatest force that exist upon this earth, of course besides our prayers.

Nothing teaches us love better than the words given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostle John.

1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God is determined to see these things through till completion!

We may not understand everything in the plan of God, but we do not know the things God knows.

God just ask us to trust Him and this trust is called “Faith”!

We must understand that all things do work according to the purpose 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.

We must also know that God has great plans for those who have chosen to spend eternity with His Son!

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Again we see that word “love”.

Remember what is God’s purpose?

God is seeking all those who freely choose the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and choose to live with Him throughout eternity!

Once we have chosen to do this thing, God begins the sanctification process by sending the Holy Spirit to live within us therefore sealing us as His children.

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

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

Eph 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

God would not have repeated Himself these 3 times if this was not His intention and His truth!

The most important thing we can do is to respond to the Holy Spirit when He begins His work within us!

It is by the Holy Spirit that we are set apart for salvation!
It is by the Holy Spirit we are trained to live a life in Heaven that is totally different than this life we have on earth.

In the end when we are completely sanctified, we will be “glorified”, ready to be obedient to the Lord throughout all eternity!

You see God wants the very best for us!

2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

You see this is the way “grace” is multiplied toward God children!

It is those chosen of God who are washed with the blood of Jesus, filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit and sanctified who are the very ones who bless God!

*****1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

There is no way to improve on what the Holy Spirit is teaching us in this passage and Peter knew it when He penned it!

We must only believe!

God does not just give us hope, but He gives us a living hope, which means it is not a dead, lifeless hope, that is in this world and those who trust the world.
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The hope that we had when we were in the world!

Our hope is in the promise of God which says we will live with Him forever once He calls us home!

The source of that hope is in God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We should say Lord because He is our Lord!

Jesus Christ is our Lord!
He is Jesus the Carpenter of Nazareth!
He is Christ the Messiah of God was the promised Deliverer!

When we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, God becomes our Father as He is the Father of Jesus. Two parts of the Holy Triunity, adding to the Holy Spirit which makes the three parts, the three persons!

How are we blessed of God?

We are the blessed of God’s entire creation!
We are blessed in His Son Jesus!
We are blessed by the Angels!
We are blessed by God’s called ministers!
We are blessed by the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ!
We are blessed by the Word of God!
We are blessed in His promises!
We are blessed in His salvation.
We are in blessed in being adopted into His family!
We are blessed in being at peace while we remain in this world!

All these things are the most wonderful things we can know while we are alive!

Eternal life exists nowhere else certainly not on this world!

Eternal life can only come by and through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is perfect, and it is by Jesus Christ we can have the perfect victory!

We have been begotten which means God has made us to be “new creatures”.

All we see in this world is destruction and death.

We are born as babes in an evil and wicked land, we live in a cruel world in a life that soon seems too short and then we die!

By the Lord Jesus Christ we are “born again” into a new life that will not be on this earth but in the Glory Land!

This great blessing of God came by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This great blessing came by the “resurrection” of Christ Jesus showing that He is even Lord over death!

Just so we can get a glimpse of our blessings, verse 4, we are born again to an inheritance, a shared inheritance with the Lord Jesus Christ!

What is so good about our inheritance? It is incorruptible, it is undefiled, and it will be there when we get to Heaven.

It cannot perish! Things on earth come as new and fade with oldness but not our inheritance!

Who makes sure these things are ready when we get to Heaven?

Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

We know that the Lord has to power to do all these things!

2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

We know that whatever comes against us and whatever lies the Devil tells our Father, Jesus is right there to intercede on our behalf!

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.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

God hides us from trouble that we do not even know about:

Psa 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

This is the kind of power that gives us the hope of the truth of our salvation!

It is in all these things that we can rejoice in the truth of God!

*****1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

We know that life is full of trials and temptations! Anyone but a child can look around and see that this true.

To go along with these things there are the sins of omission and sins of commission as we are all sinners.

Life can be harsh many times, and this is just as true for believers and unbelievers. The believer can add to these things the hatred for Jesus Christ that is many times taken out on His believers!

We must understand that this world we live in operates opposite of God! The world will hate those who choose to believe what God has to say!

Peter is writing to all believers.

These believers in the day of Peter had to flee from their homes because of their love for Jesus Christ.

Jesus said these trials and temptations would only last for a season.

Because all these things are true, then we can rejoice because this is just another way that we know the Word of God is true!

Php 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The darkness of our world is a fact and we should not deny it!

The two things that hold us together should be our love for our Savior and “faith” in the things He has done to bring to us His gift of salvation.

*****1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The fact is, God will allow certain trials to test our “faith”!

God knows what He is going to do all the time, but He will test us so that we can know if we are for real.

When we know we are real, we can do the work God has ask us to do, without regret.

We must come to ourselves knowing that we are for real and then dedicate ourselves to the Lord!

It is these trials and temptations that will draw us closer to the Lord!

While we are “Born Again” we share our new man with our old life, and we can have rejoicing in the new man and heaviness of temptation in our old man!

Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Another thing we must understand is, as long as God is chastening us, it shows His great love for us!

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Heaven and the things of Heaven are eternal!

*****1Pe 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Today my heart and my faith are my eyes. If is cannot lord the Lord without seeing Him, how can I say I have “faith”?

It is because I can see my Lord in my heart, that I can defeat my trials and temptations!

I also know that if I go against my God in any way, I am committing treason!

If we die without God, we will be exiled and cut off from God forever.

Go back and read about God’s creations, because none of these things will be in Hell, except the unbeliever!

God created Hell for the unholy trio and the fallen angels, only the unbelievers will join them there of their own choice!

Each of them will have gotten an opportunity to come to the Lord but rejected His offer!

We all have the strength to conquer our trials and temptations, but many Christians walk around defeated. A defeated Christian is of no value to the work of God!

It is the “Love of Jesus Christ” that gives us strength to claim victory over all obstacles upon this earth!

When we fail because of disobedience we are rebelling against our Lord!

If we love Christ enough, we will take a stand with Him!
If our faith is real, we will stand with Him!
If we have that unspeakable joy of our salvation, we will stand with the Lord!

Joh 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Resting at the end of our faith is our salvation!

*****1Pe 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

Even today, the practicing Jews and the true Muslim are looking for a Messiah, but both are looking for some man to claim to be the Messiah.

Jesus Christ was and is, God in the flesh and He is coming again in strength and power.

They do not understand a personal relationship with God.

To the Jews, they will see the truth at that time!

To the Muslim, they will be disappointed because they serve a false god who has no power to do anything!

Salvation is having a close personal relationship with Jehovah God, peace restored like the first days of Adam, when God walked with him before sin entered into this world.

Lucifer had already sinned in Heaven, and he by temptation, caused Eve to sin who was the cause of Adam’s sin!

The prophets of God could not see that personal relationship that God wants with us all.

The plan of God is so marvelous, that it hides in plain sight for all those who reject it’s truth!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The prophets searched each other’s writings to see what they could find about “Grace” and “Salvation”.

*****1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

We already know that the Spirit God would guide these prophets in any manner He chose to reveal the truth of God.

The prophets revealed that the Messiah would come into the world to die.

The Messiah would take the guilt of the sin of man and bear the judgment of all men’s sin!

Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The Jews had missed this Prophecy.

Then the Messiah would be raised from the dead and be exalted to the throne of God.

Isa 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Isa 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

These are not the only Scriptures, there are others, but we can see that Peter now knew the truth, and all the Jews should have known this truth, but the Priests, the Levites, rejected these truths.

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

God has caused “Salvation” to be destined to all future believers in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the truth of the Scriptures!

Upon a profession of faith in the work of the Lord Jesus, The Messiah, the Holy Spirit would immediately take up residence in each believer and this one thing the angels cannot understand.

Angels as powerful as they are will never know Holy Ghost conviction and neither will they ever have the “fruit of the Spirit”!

As Christians we are no longer in bondage to this world

Gal 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Salvation has come to each and every believer, no matter who they are or where they come from!

It costs us so little, but the rewards are so great, that it takes a fool to reject the truth of God.

It takes a fool to reject the Lord Jesus Christ!

Amen

Let’s Pray!