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!

Opposed By Our Enemies

Opposition from Enemies

Book of Nehemiah Chapters 4 thru 6

The one thing we will always see as we are involved in the work of the Lord is, we will always be opposed by those in the world! Persecution is a fact of life for those who are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most of the younger generation have never heard of the Ten Commandments but that does not mean they are free to live as they want to.

This next generation has been led to be against anything that is good, because it carries with it a high price and they are only interested in things that are free, when nothing in this life is free!

None of these things change what the Lord has given His followers to do!

Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Artaxerxes but the king was 900 miles away and did not realize how the enemies of Israel would act.

The spirit of antisemitism flowed heavily through those nations that surrounded Israel just as it does today!

This comes because these Jews served Jehovah God, who requires obedience and who rejects sin!

God was beginning again to show favoritism to the Hebrew children and the neighboring nations wanted to stop anything they did!

*****Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Before we see who this Sanballat is lets see who Eliashib is.

Eliashib was the high priest at that time, he did assist in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem but only that portion that connected to his house.

The truth is he and his family sided with the enemies of Israel.

Neh_13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

Neh_13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

Neh_13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

Tobiah was an Ammonite and a Gentile and a partner to Sanballat but married into the Jewish family of the High Priest.

Sanballat was a Moabite but his daughter was married to the son of Eliashib and would also be a priest of Israel, and what did God say?

Neh_13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God “for ever”;

We should remember Gentiles could not enter into the Temple grounds.

Sanballat was a high ranking official of Samaria and would have been much better off trying to make Samaria a proud nation but he wasted his time seeking the destruction of Israel.

*****Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

When we see those who have a sickening hatred of the Jews today, we can know it is hereditary and is from a long history.

These that have hated the Jews have seen what Jehovah has done for this tiny nation, but they have also seen how God has loved them and the prophecies of them, yet they have no fear of God and it will cost them dearly in the end.

Gen_12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This world of today is just like the those of the day of Nehemiah, and should be trying to get the blessings of God instead of the cursing of God!

Those who hate Israel will see complete destruction less they repent!

It had taken many years by great kings for the walls of Jerusalem to be built, no one could believe that these ordinary people could accomplish what Nehemiah had encouraged them to do.

When we seek God’s blessings, we can accomplish great things because He is always willing to help!

Now we see that Tobiah was also an enemy of Israel even though he was also in the family of the high priest.

*****Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

One of the first things people filled with hatred will do is to mock those they hate!

Tobiah was an enemy of the Jews but was married into a Jewish priestly family.

He actually had a room in the Temple that was reserved for the priest. This went against the Laws of Moses.

It was a mockery to the laws of God!

Remember the Jews wanted Titus stoned to death because they thought Paul had allowed him into the Temple

His son Johanan was married to Meshullam the daughter of another high-ranking Jew. They were also linked to Sanballat in causing problems for Nehemiah in rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

These two Jews and their families did not approve of what Nehemiah was trying to do.

The Samaritans and the Jews were already enemies, and these things just made the Jews hate them even more, so that by the time of our Lord Jesus, the Jews would not even walk through the nation of Samaria.

They mock and threatened the people of Jerusalem trying to stop the construction of the walls of the city.

Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

Nehemiah prayed to the Lord against these evil men.

*****Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

What is the strategy of the devil? Mockery, Scorn, Insult, Making fun of, Taunting, Ridicule, among other things in an attempt to cause us to give up the work of the Lord.

So many who begin a work for the Lord, fall into this trap and become dishearten and will just quit on the Lord.

So, what is an imprecatory prayer? It is a prayer that is prayed for some evil to fall upon an enemy.

Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This prayer is for those who are wicked, reap exactly what they sow!

Without repentance this is exactly what will happen because this is truth of the Word of God for us all!

Job_4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

We must understand that God will execute justice on all those who reject Him.

This one thing is hated by all those who are lost! They cannot stand anyone who will not allow them to do as they please!

Those who reject us, as we seek to do the work of the Lord, are not rejecting us they are rejecting God!

Nehemiah was not praying for emotional vengeance, Nehemiah was praying for God to deliver His people from these wicked people!

This is the only way this prayer should ever be prayed, for our deliverance from evil!

Jesus Christ 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.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, “but deliver us from evil”: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

What is perseverance?

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
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:

Perseverance is when we know we are kept by the power of God till He takes us home, and we just need to keep going with the work God has given us to do, no matter what opposition we face!

What did Nehemiah and those with him do? They continued to build the wall ignoring the threats of this enemy.

*****Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

What does it take to do a work for the Lord?

We need a mind for the work!

What is earnestness? We could say that earnestness is an intense desire to please the Lord.

Earnestness is a zeal to accomplish what we set out to do for the Lord!

What is the truth of this world? Our world is full of Sanballats!

All the Sanballats are not dead yet, in fact there may be more now than there have ever been!

When we criticize the work of the Lord, we have become a Sanballat ourselves!

Sanballats stand up and say, “we as Christians are not able”.
Sanballats offer active opposition even when the work of the Lord is going on.
Sanballats even cause despair to their friends who are involved in a work of the Lord.
Sanballats refuse to pray for certain works of the Lord to succeed!

How are we to react to Sanballats?

We are to work together to succeed.
We must be willing to strive for success.
We must pray to the lord for His help.
We must set our minds to the work.
We must have a courageous trust in the Lord!

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

When the Sanballats of the world have been ignored and that work is near completion, then we as Christians must be prepared for a frontal attack!

*****Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

The truth is, the more we know about our enemies, the better we can resist them.

What does the Holy Spirit say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
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.
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 always understand, we will never have the strength to stand against this evil world alone, we must have with us, the Power of God!

Praying and standing guard are the very first things we must do to protect against the enemy’s attack!

We must understand that the enemy cannot take away our salvation, so we should know that our enemies want to ruin our testimony, and stop or hinder any progress we may have in our ministry for the Lord.

Knowing these things, then we know what to prepare for!

Satan is a persistent foe, but he is also already a loser, so we must understand a wounded lion is still a very dangerous enemy.

1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We must never forget we are in a war!

*****Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

We should get one thing very clear as we approach the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord.

We will have to fight for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will have to fight for our sons and daughters.
We will have to fight for our spouses.
We will have to fight for our homes.
We will even have to fight to keep our nation, remembering our true home is in Heaven.

The war with Satan and his followers is getting closer every day. In fact it has been going on since the time of Christ!

When these things are firm in our minds, then we can continue on with the work of the Lord because He wants us to succeed!

If we are too scared to fight then that fear did not come from the Lord!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We cannot allow the works of Satan and those rulers in high places, to cause us to fear for our lives because our lives are already in the hand of the Lord!

It is well that we should know our enemies then we can better resist them!

We must understand that some of our greatest enemies are already inside the Church!

Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

There was only one answer then, and there is only one answer now!

*****Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

How did Nehemiah counter the enemy?

Nehemiah placed people to work whose sole job was to look out for the enemy, and be prepared to fight to preserve the Children of God!

Every working soul was also given a weapon to keep near him or her.

We must be very clear. our God is much mightier than all the foes of the Church and if we will make our stand on the Word of God and not give in to the world, God will show His might to our enemies!

Confidence and faith go hand in hand!

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

We must clearly understand that as far as life is concerned. salvation is much stronger than anything our enemies can throw at us!

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 is the truth of our world?

*****Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Throughout history life has been to work and life has been warfare.

Most of these things are because of the curse of Adam.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

These things will not change until after the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord.

As Christians we will face these things every day, but we will find that our greatest enemy is ourself.

Our internal wars are our most severe battles and the most painful.

If we overcome this our greatest enemy, we will be ready for the Lord. If we cannot overcome these things, then all our lives we will be subject to the fear of this world.

Our enemies of the world are all those who oppose the Word of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ even though some of those we may call our friends and even our family.

The one thing we need to remember when the trumpet sounds, we will be going home.

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

Our strength will always be the Lord!

*****Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

There are things that happen today that when the world observes them, they can only say that it had to come from God.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to hold back the evil in this world and He cannot do that when the children of God are either too lazy to do the work or the church has quit on God.

We can say what we will, but both these things are happening in our Church today.

There is in reality a great falling away from the Church.

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There should be no doubt that we are in the day of that “falling away”.

Since this is true, then we could see the “man of sin”, the Antichrist come onto the scene at any time and he might already be here and has gone unnoticed.

The enemies of Israel in the day of Nehemiah had missed a great opportunity to cause harm to God’s people, not because they were afraid of Israel, but because they were afraid of the King of Persia.

Today the Children of Israel are safe from a true attack because they are allies of the United States of America.

If America ever withdraws the help to this tiny nation, or if America becomes too weak to help defend Israel, we will see that Israel will be attacked and then we will see that the prophesies of God will become a reality.

The job of the Church, at least here in America is more important now than ever, because we need to place our watchmen and gird up our loins, for we are in a war with the evil in our own nation.

We are foolish if we do not let our voice be heard.

God does not need any of us nor does He need our nation, His plan is going forward every day, but if we are on the Lord’s side, then we need to get busy!

Amen

Let’s Pray!