top of page
  • overcomer41

Contrary Winds; Straining To Get To The Other Side

(See chapter 51; Come To The Other Side in my book The Resurrected Bride.)

 

   In early March, 2021, covid-19 swept through our home with a vengeance. Even though we had, with great confidence, been depending upon God’s promise of protection revealed in Psalms, chapter 91, everyone became very sick. In fact, my wife’s 73 year old cousin who lived with us was overcome with the virus and passed away. Thankfully, my Mother who also lives with us, our youngest daughter, Shelley and I all recovered. There was a great sense of darkness that enveloped all of us.

   At one point, as I lay on my stomach attempting to get more oxygen in my damaged lungs, I told my wife that I felt as though the Lord had forgotten us. There was a tangible sense of hopelessness through which the devil appeared to be attempting to destroy us. Praise the Lord, though, for His mercy. After about three weeks, in a state of great weakness both physically and spiritually, He restored our health.

   Afterwards, believing that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28), I began to ask the Lord for wisdom as to why this sickness was allowed to afflict us. On Saturday night, May 1, 2021, while in a low spiritual state, I forced myself to open my Bible with no place in particular to go to, and “randomly” turned to Revelation, chapter 12. Immediately I began to receive an answer from the Holy Spirit as to the reason why this demonically induced disease had been allowed to infiltrate our home.

 

 

                                    Related Bible studies, articles, and books:

 


The Resurrected Bride (book)

911; God’s Last Offer To The Church (book)

The Final Healing (book)

Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen (book)

The Morning And Evening Sacrifice

Freedom In Christ

The Appearing And Perfecting

Wholly Illumined No Dark Part

Worthless Men

Outer Darkness

Reprobate

The Spirit Of Antichrist

Elul; The Season Of Preparation And The 40 Days Of Favor

Acknowledging God

The Right To Possess

Stumbling Blocks

The Test

Holding Fast To The Lord

The Signal (article)


  

The Woman And The Serpent

 

Revelation 12:1-6 See the note below.

1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet [see Romans 16:20 below], and on her head a crown of twelve stars;

2 and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor [5605- “to feel the pains of childbirth, to travail”] and in pain [928] to give birth [5088- “to bring forth, bear, produce”]. [See Hosea 13:13. Also, these are the “burden bearers” (Gal.6:2, Neh. 4:10, 2 Chron. 34:13), the colaborers.]

3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.

4 And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour [2719- “to eat up, to devour, to consume; to exploit, to prey upon”] her child [5043- “offspring, posterity”]. [This is the origin, from Satan, for “live birth” abortion.]

5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness [2048- “solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited”] where she had a place prepared by God [see John 14:2-3], so that there she would be nourished [5142- “to nourish, support, to feed, to make to grow”] for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

NASU

 

NT:928 basanizo (bas-an-id'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:931; to torture:

KJV - pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   properly, to test (metals) by the touchstone [See chapter eight called The Touchstone in my book 911; God’s Last Offer To The Church.]

2.   to question by applying torture

3.   to torture

4.   universally, to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment [severe physical or mental suffering]: tina (Matthew 8:29)

5.   Passive to be harassed, distressed (Mark 6:48)

 

basanizo [NT:928] - properly signifies "to test by rubbing on the touchstone" (basanos, "a touchstone"), then, "to question by applying torture"; hence "to vex, torment"; in the passive voice, "to be harassed, distressed"; it is said of men struggling in a boat against wind and waves (Matthew 14:24), RV, "distressed" (KJV, "tossed"); (Mark 6:48), RV, "distressed" (KJV, toiling). See PAIN, TOIL, TORMENT, VEX.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

   As in Genesis, chapter 3 (see right below), the woman and the serpent appear in great opposition toward each other, but this time the outcome is different. God uses her to bring forth His purpose on earth which the devil always attempts to destroy. He is always attempting to devour that which the Lord gives birth to on earth. In his first letter, Peter wrote the following;

 

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering [3804- “an enduring, undergoing, suffering, misfortune, evil, calamity, affliction”] are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”

(1 Peter 5:8-9/NASU)

 

   The woman in this passage is said to be “with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.” I believe this is where we are today. She, the one in the Body of Christ who is the most intimate with her Bridegroom, is again in labor (see Galatians 4:19, and Mark 6:48 below) and is currently undergoing much pain and affliction in her life. Through this revelation we can understand the times we are in and why the true church is being so vigorously opposed at this moment in history. As with Mary in the birth of Jesus, it is through the Bride’s labor and pain with that which the Lord has impregnated/infused within her that the purpose of God will be birthed on earth.

 

 

Genesis 3:14-16See the note below.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat [398- “to eat, to devour, to burn up, to feed, to consume”; see 2719 above] all the days of your life;

15 And I will put enmity [342- “hostility, hatred, opposition”] between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise [7779- “to bruise, to crush, to gape upon”] you on the head, and you shall bruise [7779] him on the heel."

16 To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply your pain [6093- “pain, labor, hardship, sorrow, toil”] in childbirth, in pain [6089- “pain, labor, hardship, sorrow, toil, hurt, offense”] you will bring forth children; yet your desire [8669- “desire, longing, craving”] will be for your husband, and he will rule [4910- “to rule, to have dominion, to reign”] over you."

NASU

 

   Pain in giving birth, as in Revelation 12:2 above, was part of the judgment of God against Eve for disobeying God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God had said to the serpent; “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise [7779- “to bruise, to crush, to gape upon”] you on the head, and you shall bruise [7779] him on the heel.” This means there will be pain involved in our crushing of the devil through the power of God.

   God’s command to Adam was, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17/NASU) Having the knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, gives mankind the freedom to choose which brings the consequences of our choices. Death came through disobedience to the truth. To restore us back to life as it was in the beginning, Jesus Christ came, defeating our enemy through His death on the cross.

   The writer of Hebrews declared;

 

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too [Jesus] shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

(Hebrews 2:14-15/NIV)

 

Jesus’ victory over “him who holds the power of death” can be our victory when we repent of our sin and surrender control of our lives to Him.

   Before the Lord’s declaration against Eve regarding pain in childbirth, He described in the judgment of the serpent the relationship that would transpire between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. From then on they would be enemies, opposing one another. The offspring of the Seed, who is Christ (see Galatians 3:15-29), is always opposed by the serpent’s seed.

   After their fall we read the following in Genesis 4:1;

 

“Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, ‘I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.’” (NASU)

 

   The KJV says, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.” From these two passages it can be seen that to know God is to have a close relationship with Him, as pictured through the intimacy between Adam and Eve. It is through this intimacy between the Lord and His faithful servants that remain near Him (i.e. the Bride), that He gives birth through their labor (works) and pain. They are burdened by the Lord to painfully labor together with Him in bringing forth His sons and daughters on earth. They have come to understand that their labor in the Lord, working together with Him, is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

   One day Jesus was figuratively speaking to His disciples about His death and resurrection. He knew that they wanted to question Him so He said to them;

 

“Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”

(John 16:19-22/NASU)

 

This is true of all the Lord’s disciples. The pain and anguish involved with being in labor turns to joy once the “child,” the offspring/posterity of Christ which continues His seed on earth, has been born[again] into the world.

   In this declaration of His upcoming death on the cross, Jesus declared, in verse 21, that whenever a woman is in labor she has pain “because her hour has come.” Earlier, in chapter thirteen, John writes that Jesus knew “that His hour had come, that He would depart out of this world to the Father” (John 13:1). He knew the pain and suffering that lie just ahead for Him. I believe that, as His body, our hour has arrived as well. It is in knowing the hour at hand, and the Bride’s submission to the Father’s will, that Jesus will be glorified on earth (John 17:1). (See the Bible study The Morning And Evening Sacrifice.)

 

 

Truth And Birth In Christ

 

Through the following Scriptures we see how crucial truth is in the new birth process of the Lord, of our being “born again.”

 

Ephesians 6:10-17In Paul’s exhortation regarding why it is essential that the Christian “put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil”, he speaks of “having girded your loins with truth…” The Greek for “loins” is osphus (os-foos'). According to Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, it is used as “the seat of generative power” in Hebrews 7:5, and 10. It was where “the Hebrews thought the generative power (semen) resided.”

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED [4024- a state of readiness/preparedness for service, for movement, etc.] YOUR LOINS [3751] WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,

15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;

16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

NASU

 

NT:3751 osphus (os-foos')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

of uncertain affinity; the loin (externally), i.e. the hip; intern. (by extension) procreative power:

KJV - loin.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   the hip (Matthew 3:4)

2.   a loin (Acts 2:30)

 

LOINS

osphus [NT:3751] is used (a) in the natural sense in Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6; (b) as "the seat of generative power," Hebrews 7:5,10 [where the Hebrews thought the generative power (semen) resided]; metaphorically in Acts 2:30; (c) metaphorically, (1) of girding the "loins" in readiness for active service for the Lord, Luke 12:35; (2) the same, with truth, Ephesians 6:14, i. e., bracing up oneself so as to maintain perfect sincerity and reality as the counteractive in Christian character against hypocrisy and falsehood; (3) of girding the "loins" of the mind, 1 Peter 1:13, RV, "girding," suggestive of the alertness necessary for sobriety and for setting one's hope perfectly on "the grace to be brought... at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (the present participle, "girding," is introductory to the rest of the verse).

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

 

1 Peter 1:13-16See the note below.

13 Therefore gird up [328] the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

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

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

16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."

NKJV

 

NT:328 anazonnumi (an-ad-zone'-noo-mee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:303 and NT:2224; to gird afresh:

KJV - gird up.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to gird up; to gird up oneself or for oneself: 1 Peter 1:13

 

[NT:328] anazonnumi - "to gird up" (ana, "up," and No. 1), is used metaphorically of the loins of the mind, 1 Peter 1:13; cf. Luke 12:35 (see No. 4). The figure is taken from the circumstances of the Israelites as they ate the Passover in readiness for their journey (Exodus 12:11); the Christian is to have his mental powers alert in expectation of Christ's coming. The verb is in the middle voice, indicating the special interest the believer is to take in so doing.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

   In the first twelve verses of this letter, Peter writes about our salvation, “a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). He also states that, “if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7/NASU). He says that we are to “gird up the loins of your mind.” By definition, to “gird up” is to be prepared, to be in a state of readiness.

   Concerning His return, Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 12:35-36, “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” The KJV says, “Let your loins be girded about [4024- see Eph. 6:14 above], and your lights burning; 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.” It’s an internal state of the heart, a heart that is made ready through obedience, by faith, to what the Spirit is saying in this “last time.”

   In Israel’s instructions from the Lord regarding the eating of the Passover lamb and their preparedness for their being released from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, the Lord declared to Moses, “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste — it is the Lord's Passover.” (Exodus 12:11/NASU) At the end of this age, when the Lord is revealing to us His salvation instructions, I believe we too are being told to get ready to be released from our enslavement, a slavery to this body of death, crossing over into our eternal inheritance in Him.

 

 

James 1:18 – James emphasizes the significance of truth in mankind’s being born again. It is His will, His choice for us to be born again through “the word of truth” which is the gospel (cc). False teachings produce children born by the will of man, born after their image. John speaks of this, saying, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right [1849- “privilege, power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, the power of rule or government”] to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13; see the Bible study Freedom In Christ).

18 In the exercise of His will [1014- “to will deliberately, to have a purpose, to be minded”] He brought us forth by the word of truth [i.e. the gospel], so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

NASU

James 1:18

18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created

NIV

 

 

Wisdom Is Proven Through Actions/Children/Posterity

 

Matthew 11:16-19Jesus declares that His wisdom is proven by His deeds, His toils and labors.

16 "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 "'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.'

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'

19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right [1344] by her actions [2041]."

NIV

Matthew 11:19

19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated [1344] by her deeds [2041]."

NASU

 

NT:1344 dikaioo (dik-ah-yo'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1342; to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent:

KJV - free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   properly, to make to render righteous or such as he ought to be

2.   tina, to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered

3.   tina, to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be,

   a.   with the negative idea predominant, to declare guiltless one accused

   b.   with the positive idea predominant, to judge, declare, pronounce, righteous and therefore acceptable

         (Luke 16:15)

      1.   equivalent to dikaion nomizoo, to deem right or fair

      2.   with the accusative of person, to dikaion poioo tina to do one justice

 

NT:2041 ergon (er'-gon)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act:

KJV - deed, doing, labour, work.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

work,

   1.   business, employment, that with which anyone is occupied (Mark 13:34)

   2.   any product whatever, anything accomplished by hand, art, industry, mind (1 Cor. 3:13-15)

   3.   an act, deed, thing done (James 1:25; Titus 1:16)

 

 

Luke 7:28-35See the note below.

28 "I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God's justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John.

30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God's purpose [1012 – “counsel, purpose, will, a piece of advice”] for themselves, not having been baptized by John.

31 "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?

32 "They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.'

33 "For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, 'He has a demon!'

34 "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'

35 "Yet wisdom is vindicated [1344 - “to render just or innocent, to show, declare, exhibit”] by all her children [5043 - “a child (as produced), offspring]."

NASU

Luke 7:30, 35

30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

35 But wisdom is justified by all her children."

NKJV

 

   There came a time when, after Jesus’ ministry had become public, the disciples of John wanted to know if He was the “Expected One,” or were they to look for someone else? After a short dialog with them, regarding John’s role as the one who prepared the way of the Lord, He said;

 

“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)”

(Luke 7:28-30/NIV)

 

   As noted in James 1:18, to reject God’s purpose, His will, is to reject His word of truth. To reject His word of truth is to reject His salvation, His new birth for you as did the Pharisees and lawyers.

   Luke says they “rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.” John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). Repentance prepared the way of the Lord within them so that when He came they would freely recognize and receive Him and His will for them which was their salvation. It made them ready for His coming.

   The external baptism alone would not prepare them. It was merely a public proclamation of a repentant heart that would give them eyes to see and ears to hear when the Truth appeared before them. They could then, with the power and discernment of God, make the right choice. It gave them the right to choose to become the sons and daughters of God (John 1:12) that the unprepared, who refused to be cleansed, such as the Pharisees and lawyers (i.e. experts in Mosaic law), did not possess. Even then, some of His disciples who heard the terms of the covenant after choosing to follow Him would, later, choose to walk away (John 6:66, Hebrews 10:26-31). They would forsake, or fall away from Him. This is how it will be at the end of this age in the great apostasy Paul told us about (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).

   Right before His crucifixion Jesus came and fulfilled prophecy by riding on a colt (Luke 19:28-40). When He approached Jerusalem and saw the city He wept bitterly over it, declaring;

 

“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize [“to know, understand, perceive”] the time of God's coming to you.”

(Luke 19:42-44/NIV)

 

   Many today within the church will encounter the same fate as the children of Israel. Because of their rejection of God’s instruction to prepare themselves for His return, purifying their hearts by faith in submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over them, they and their offspring in the church who accept their leader’s lies as truth, will be destroyed by our enemy. Because of their devotion to these deceptions, most now believe they are better than those in Jesus’ day who rejected Him from among His own (John 1:11).

   In his letter to the church of the Thessalonians, Paul, in the second chapter, spoke of the coming of the Lord, the “revelation of Jesus Christ” as Peter referred to it (1 Peter 1:7). He said it would be preceded by the great falling away from the faith. There would be those who would oppose God (i.e. the spirit of antichrist) and exalt themselves. The reason for those in the church who will fall away from Him in apostasy, defecting from the truth and forsaking Him, and will perish is;

 

“…because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:10-15/NIV)

 

Their continued enjoyment of wickedness, refusing to repent and forsake it, will result in their being cut off from the Body of Christ. They stubbornly clung to falsehood, not allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify them in the truth (John 17:17), and will therefore be condemned with the world (1 Cor. 11:32).

   After explaining to the crowd about John, Jesus declares that those who reject the truth twist everything that is right, calling good evil and evil good;

 

“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated [“to render just or innocent, to show, declare, exhibit”] by all her children [“a child (as produced), offspring].”

(Luke 7:31-35/NASU)

 

Christ’ children, His posterity that is produced from His actions on earth, prove that He was right, that His words were truly words of wisdom.

   In a parallel passage Matthew declares, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19/NASU). The Greek for “deeds” is ergon (er'-gon). It’s defined as “toil, work, business, an act, deed.” Wisdom is always proven by that which is produced from it. The same goes for wickedness. Whether or not what we sow is truth or lies will always be revealed by that which is birthed or brought forth.

   Currently we are seeing many in our political leadership saying the same type of things as the lawyers and Pharisees did to justify their position of rebellion against God’s will and purpose for them and our nation. They are in fact a reflection of the current leadership within the church. As the church goes so goes the world. Though all this the wisdom of God, as well as their so-called wisdom, will be revealed by that which is produced in and around them. The current chaos in our nation is speaking loud and clear as to what the truth is. It has now become obvious in America for those who have been granted eyes to see and ears to hear. The hardened rebels within and without the church have been given over to a “powerful delusion” that will once and for all destroy them.

 

 

Nourished In The Truth

 

1 Timothy 4:1-20See the note below.

6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished [1789- “to train up, nourish, educate, form the mind”] on the words of the faith and of the sound [2570- “beautiful, good, excellent, affecting the mind agreeably”] doctrine which you have been following [3877].

7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.

10 For it is for this we labor [2872] and strive [75], because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

11 Prescribe and teach these things.

15 Take pains [3191] with these things; be absorbed [2468- “be thou”] in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.

16 Pay close attention [1907] to yourself and to your teaching; persevere [1961] in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

NASU

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

NIV

15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

NKJV

 

NT:3877 parakoloutheo (par-ak-ol-oo-theh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:3844 and NT:190; to follow near, i.e. (figuratively) attend (as a result), trace out, conform to:

KJV - attain, follow, fully know, have understanding.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   to follow after; so to follow one as to be always at his side

2.   metaphorically,

   a.   to be always present, to attend one wherever he goes: tini (Mark 16:17)

   b.   to follow up a thing in mind so as to attain to the knowledge of it (Luke 1:3)

   c.   to follow faithfully namely, a standard or rule, to conform oneself to (1 Timothy 4:6)

 

NT:2872 kopiao (kop-ee-ah'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from a derivative of NT:2873; to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard:

KJV - (bestow) labor, toil, be wearied.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   to grow weary, tired, exhausted, (with toil or burdens or grief) (Matthew 11:28; Rev. 2:3)

2.   to labor with wearisome effort, to toil (Matthew 6:28)

 

NT:75 agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:73; to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or genitive case (to endeavor to accomplish something):

KJV - fight, labor fervently, strive.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   to enter a contest; contend in the gymnastic games (1 Cor. 9:25)

2.   universally, to contend with adversaries, fight

3.   figuratively to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers antagonistic to the gospel

4.   to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strife, to obtain something; followed by an infinitive (Luke 13:24)

 

NT:3191 meletao (mel-et-ah'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from a presumed derivative of NT:3199; to take care of, i.e. (by implication) revolve in the mind:

KJV - imagine, (pre-) meditate.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to care for, to attend to something carefully, to practice: ti (1 Timothy 4:15)

 

NT:1907 epecho (ep-ekh'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1909 and NT:2192; to hold upon, i.e. (by implication) to retain; (by extension) to detain; (with implication of NT:3563) to pay attention to:

KJV - give (take) heed unto, hold forth, mark, stay.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   to have or hold upon, apply: namely, ton noun, to observe, attend to, followed by an indirect question

      (Luke 14:7)

2.   to hold toward, hold forth, present (Phil. 2:16)

3.   to check to delay, stop, stay (Acts 19:22)

 

NT:1961 epimeno (ep-ee-men'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1909 and NT:3306; to stay over, i.e. remain (figuratively, persevere):

KJV - abide (in), continue (in), tarry.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to stay at or with; to tarry still; still to abide, to continue, remain

a.   properly, of tarrying in a place (1 Cor. 16:8)

b.   tropically, to persevere, continue; with the dative of the thing continued in Romans 6:1

 

   In this fourth chapter of Paul’s first letter to Timothy he uses certain phrases that support what we have been discussing. In verse six he speaks of being “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.” The Greek for “nourished” is defined as “to train up, nourish, educate, form the mind.” So, to be nourished spiritually is to renew our mind by “sound doctrine”, allowing the Holy Spirit to shape our mindset rather than the world, so as to be transformed (see the Bible study Spiritual Metamorphosis). It is to educate and train us in the “healthy” ways of God.

   In the fall of mankind, Adam and Eve ate that which was forbidden by God, resulting in their being cast out of the Garden of Eden. They partook of that which was not nourishing, not beneficial for their walk with the Lord causing them to hide in shame from His presence. It wasn’t sound, or healthy for them and resulted in a separation from Him that can only be restored through acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

   Part of the Lord’s indictment against the serpent was, “On your belly you will go, and dust you will eat [“to devour, consume, destroy”] all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:14) To Adam the Lord declared;

 

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil [6093- “labor, pain, hardship, sorrow, toil”] you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

(Genesis 3:17-19/NASU)

 

   After telling the serpent that he would eat dust all the days of his life, He then declared to Adam that he was dust, “and to dust you shall return.” This means that man is taken from a cursed place, the ground that naturally produces both thorns and thistles.

   Without Christ we are by nature dust that feeds and nourishes the serpent. It is our dust, our fallen natures that the devil preys upon. Like a bird of prey, he feeds, in like manner, on our decaying fleshly nature. It is that which empowers him, that which keeps him alive and gives him the right of dominion over us.

   In chapter six of Hebrews, the writer describes the extreme dangers of a Christian who falls away from the Lord. He says;

 

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

(Hebrews 6:4-8/NIV)

 

   By definition of the Greek, to “fall away” is “to fall beside a person or thing; to slip aside; hence, to deviate from the right path, turn aside, wander.” As with Adam and Eve, this is what the devil, through deception, is always attempting to do with the Lord’s children. His goal is to get a follower of Christ to wander from obedience to Him, thereby producing thorns and thistles so to speak that our fallen natures produce without Christ. We become what the Holt Spirit refers to as “worthless” and are in danger, if unrepentant, of once again being cursed after being blessed, and in the end being burned (see Hebrews 10:26-31).

   The Greek for “worthless” is adokimos (ad-ok'-ee-mos) which means “unapproved, i.e. rejected; not standing the test” (see the Bible studies Worthless Men, Outer Darkness, and Reprobate). According to Paul in Titus 1:15-16, a professing Christian who is “worthless”, or “reprobate” has a defiled mind and conscience. Their deeds do not stand the test. They are disobedient and stand “unapproved” before God. They do not pass God’s Quality Control (also see Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-27, Hebrew 6:4-12, Romans 1:28, and James 1:26).

   The good news is that the curse proclaimed by God on Adam can be reversed through faith in Jesus Christ if we will surrender our lives and make Him Lord of our life. It is only through Him that we can stand firm and not be consumed by our adversary, starving him and weakening his power. Instead of being over us, he falls under our feet and is crushed by the power of God that defeated him at Calvary (see Romans 16:17-20 below, Hebrews 1:13).

   In Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Rome he said;

 

“And do not be conformed [“to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern”] to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable [“fully agreeable (see 1 Tim. 4:6 above), well pleasing”] and perfect.”

(Romans 12:2/NASU)

 

   According to Paul, you cannot be transformed except by the renewing of our mind. This takes effort and devotion on our part. It’s the pain he refers to that is not optional, but necessary in bringing our faith to completion (James 2:22). Without spiritual discipline/training a Christian will inevitably remain in conformity with the world’s thinking that will keep us from being transformed (“to change into another form, to transfigure”).

      Paul made an interesting statement in his letter to the church in Galatia. After their conversion, when Paul had left them to spread the gospel in other places, the Judaizers had slithered in per the devil’s leading in order to put the newly, set free Galatian Christians back into the bondage of the law without the Spirit. After receiving word of this he wrote to them, at one point saying in all seriousness, “My children, with whom I am again in labor [5605- “to feel the pains of childbirth, travail”] until Christ is formed [3445- morfoo- “to fashion, to form”] in you.” (Galatians 4:19/NASU) He knew that without the fashioning and forming of Christ within them, and us, through the renewing by the Holy Spirit after turning to Christ, we will not be saved (see Titus 3:5, 2 Peter 2:20-22).

   This is the essential, not optional process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit that is rarely taught these days. It takes constant nourishment from words of truth that we can only receive as we continue diligently persevering in obedience to the revealed word of God in truth. Every Christian will struggle against the spirit of this age that desires to conform our thinking to the pattern of this world or be swallowed up by it.

   Much of the church has been given over to this spirit which is the spirit of antichrist (see the Bible study The Spirit Of Antichrist). The Greek for “antichrist” is antichristos (an-tee'-khris-tos) which means “an opponent of Messiah, the adversary of the Messiah.” Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words states that it can mean either “‘against [anti] Christ’ or ‘instead of Christ,’ or perhaps, combining the two, ‘one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ.’” This is why it is so dangerous to remain in a state of rebellion against the Lord, to continue sinning against Him.

   As a person who has surrendered their life to Jesus Christ through repentance, you have been given the right of access to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Holy Spirit reveals His will to us which, when painstakingly accepted and put into practice (i.e. doing it), begins to transform us into the image of Christ. As Paul said, “It is for this we labor and strive,” that we all should be “absorbed” in “the words of faith and of the sound doctrine” that is able to transform us through the renewing of our mind. Without our continuing in “these things” we cannot be renewed/transformed. It is His nourishing words of truth that raise us up to a place of maturity in Him.

   In Paul’s letter of rebuke and encouragement to the Christians in Corinth he said;

 

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. ‘O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O  DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

(1 Corinthians 15:54-58/NASU)

 

   Hang on tightly to the Lord, Christian. Though we are presently being buffeted by our enemy as we head to the place commanded by the Lord, we will eventually land on the other side. The Lord will not let us sink in despair, but will in time raise us up in His victory over death and the devil, crushing him under our feet, thereby allowing us to give His life to many in the final and greatest harvest this earth has ever witnessed. Our God will have the last word.

 

Two Opposing Seeds

 

   In Galatians, chapter four, Paul refers to the hostility between two opposing seeds. He uses Isaac and Ishmael, allegorically speaking, as two different covenants, the first being the son born by the free woman through the promise that was given by God to Abraham, and the second by the bondwoman/slave (Hagar) who was born according to the flesh, per the will of Abraham and Sarah. He then says that the bondwoman’s offspring are, like her, children of slavery, but those born to the freewoman are, like Isaac, children of promise. This is what has now occurred in the majority of the church. Most are children of slavery because of who gave birth to them. It wasn’t from God but instead the will of man (John 1:13). This the clash that we see today. In fact, Paul said in his letter to the Galatians;

 

“But as at that time, he who was born according to the flesh [by the persuasive will of man] persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.”

(Galatians 4:29/NASU)

 

Yes, and “so it is now also.”

   Speaking of God’s will and our being birthed in Him, James wrote, “In the exercise of His will [“of His own will”, NKJV] He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” (NASU) According to Paul, the word of truth is the gospel of our salvation (Col. 1:5, Eph. 1:13). The reason for there being so many births in the flesh is the absence of the truth of the gospel. Another gospel from the mouth of the devil has been accepted as truth (2 Cor. 11:4, Galatians 1:6-9).

 

The Life Giving Bride

 

   Eve’s name, by the way, means “life giver” (for more insights on this see the Bible study Eve; The Life Giving Bride). As with Adam and Eve, God works together with His bride that knows Him (in my book Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen, see chapter seven called Knowing God; Gaining His Presence) in order to bear His life in others. Intimacy with God is the only way to possess and then reproduce His life to others. We cannot give what we do not possess. This is the present crisis within the church in America. Much of what has been reproduced is the image of man, according to the flesh rather than God, by the Spirit.

   One of the definitions for the Hebrew word we interpreted into English as “knew” and “had relations” in Genesis 4:1 is “to acknowledge.” As we’ll see in Mark 6:53-56 below through the citizens of Gennesaret, to recognize someone is to acknowledge them for who they truly are.

   Paul refers, in Romans, chapter one, to those who at one time “knew God,” or acknowledged Him as God in their life. At some point along the way, though, they no longer looked to Him in their daily walks for guidance, submitting to His lordship over them, but instead chose to not acknowledge Him through obedience to His will, the result being that “their foolish heart was darkened” and He “gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper” (Romans 1:21). To not acknowledge God is to not recognize Him, and to not recognize Him is to perish (Luke 19:44). This is what occurs to Christians who forsake God, falling away in apostasy (defection) without repentance as seen in type by the Israelites who rebelled along the way to the Promised Land and did not enter in (Hebrews 3-4, 1 Cor. 10:1-12).

   The following statement is part of the Bible study Acknowledging God;

 

   In this passage [Romans 1:28], Paul speaks of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (v.18), who knew God but did not honor Him as God in their life (v.21), who exchanged the glory of God and the truth of God for a lie (v.22-25), and were then given over to a depraved mind “since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,” or “to acknowledge God any longer.”

   To acknowledge is “to have, to hold fast, keep, own, possess.” It is the right to possess given only to those who receive Christ as their Lord and Savior that is relinquished due to not continuing in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit (see the Bible study The Right To Possess). This is also part of the right to become children of God in John 1:12 that is forfeited (see the Bible study and article called Freedom In Christ.)

   By definition of the Hebrew words, to not acknowledge is to not keep in hand, to not hold fast but to let go. It is to not recognize Jesus Christ as Lord in your life. According to Merriam Webster, to “recognize” is “to acknowledge formally, to acknowledge or take notice of in some definite way such as; to acknowledge with a show of appreciation; to acknowledge acquaintance with.” [See the study for more insights.]

 

 

Romans 16:17-20In his exhortation to the Christian’s in Rome, Paul warns them to look out for those in the church who create division and are a stumbling block, causing others to stumble and fall (see the Bible study Stumbling Blocks). He says they are slaves of their own “appetites” which was Adam and Eve’s downfall. The “smooth and flattering speech” of the serpent seduced them into disobedience to God.

He warns them to not be “unsuspecting,” or trusting of everyone which is what Eve was with the serpent’s “smooth and flattering speech.” Discernment is critical, especially in the days immediately preceding the return of Christ. Paul says something very similar to the decree of God in regard to Eve “bruising” or “crushing” the serpent on the head.

17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions [1370- “division, disunion”] and hindrances [4625] contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites [2836- “a cavity, the belly, the innermost part of a man, the womb”]; and by their smooth and flattering speech [2129- “fine speaking, polished speaking”] they deceive [1818-“to seduce wholly”] the hearts of the unsuspecting [172- “without guile or fraud, harmless, free from guilt, distrusting no one”].

19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet [see the note above for 1 Timothy 4:1-20]. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

NASU

 

NT:4625 skandalon (skan'-dal-on)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

("scandal"); probably from a derivative of NT:2578; a trap-stick (bent sapling), i.e. snare (figuratively, cause of displeasure or sin):

KJV - occasion to fall (of stumbling), offence, thing that offends, stumbling block.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon”)

a.   properly, the movable stick or tricker (“trigger”) of a trap, trap-stick; a trap, snare; any impediment

      placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall (Romans 9:33)

b.   metaphorically, any person or thing by which one is (“entrapped”) drawn into error or sin

      1.   of persons (Matthew 13:41)

      2.   of things (Romans 14:13)

 

 

Joshua 3 – The order for the people of God to cross over is revealed in this chapter. Per the word of the Lord, the Israelites were to consecrate themselves in preparation of what was about to occur. We need to do the same today. God is about to lead us into His promised place of our eternal inheritance as we hear and then do what He is commanding us. When discerned and accepted as from God, these are the “words of the faith” from 1 Timothy 4:6 above that, when applied by faith, will prepare us beforehand so as to be protected in the time of judgment that will engulf the entire earth.

   The priests were to take up the Ark of the Covenant and cross over ahead of the people. When the Israelites saw this they were to set out from their “place” and go after it. Today, Christians are to be watchful, dressed in readiness, looking in the same manner.

   The priests were commanded to “stand still” in the Jordan River (v.8; [OT:5975] – “to stand, to remain, to endure, to take one's stand, to establish.”) When the soles of the feet of the priests “rest in the waters of the Jordan” the waters that flowed down to the Dead Sea (death) would be cut off. The priests did what God had said and “stood firm” (v.17: [5975]) on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan until all the nation crossed over (see the article The Signal).

 

 

Straining And Pain

 

Mark 6:45-52See the note below.

45 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida [“house to hunt or fish”/“place of fishing, place of hunting”], while He Himself was sending the crowd away. [See Mark 8:22-26 about Jesus healing a blind man at Bethsaida.]

46 After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray.

47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.

48 Seeing them straining [928] at the oars [1643- “to drive, impel, urge on”], for the wind was against [1727- KJV: “…for the wind was contrary unto them.”] them, at about the fourth watch of the night He came [2064- “to come; i.e. to appear, make one’s appearance, come before the public”] to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them.

49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed that it was a ghost, and cried out [like the woman in Rev. 12:2];

50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and said to them, "Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid."

51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished,

52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

NASU

 

NT:928 basanizo (bas-an-id'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:931; to torture:

KJV - pain, toil, torment, toss, vex.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1.   properly, to test (metals) by the touchstone [See chapter eight called The Touchstone in my book 911; God’s Last Offer To The Church.]

2.   to question by applying torture

3.   to torture

4.   universally, to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment [severe physical or mental suffering]: tina (Matthew 8:29)

5.   Passive to be harassed, distressed (Mark 6:48)

 

basanizo [NT:928] - properly signifies "to test by rubbing on the touchstone" (basanos, "a touchstone"), then, "to question by applying torture"; hence "to vex, torment"; in the passive voice, "to be harassed, distressed"; it is said of men struggling in a boat against wind and waves (Matthew 14:24), RV, "distressed" (KJV, "tossed"); (Mark 6:48), RV, "distressed" (KJV, toiling). See PAIN, TOIL, TORMENT, VEX.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

NT:1727 enantios (en-an-tee'-os)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:1725; opposite; figuratively, antagonistic:

KJV - (over) against, contrary.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon”)

over against; opposite

1.   used primarily of place; opposite, contrary: of the wind (Matthew 14:24)

2.   metaphorically, opposed as an adversary, hostile, antagonistic in feeling or act (1 Thess. 2:15)

 

enantios [1727] - "over against" (en, "in," antios, "against"), is used primarily of place (Mark 15:39); of an opposing wind (Matthew 14:24; Mark 6:48; Acts 27:4); metaphorically, opposed as an adversary, antagonistic (Acts 26:9; 1 Thess. 2:15; Titus 2:8; Acts 28:17), "against."

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

   The disciples, while attempting to go to “the other side to Bethsaida [“house to hunt or fish”/“place of fishing, place of hunting”], as commanded by Jesus, found themselves “straining at the oars, for the wind was against them.” When a follower of Jesus Christ attempts to cross over per His will, the enemy will be allowed to test, harass, and torment you. A seemingly hopeless situation will be used to deal with the imperfections of the flesh, and to build your trust in Him. It is not to destroy you. It is God’s way of cleansing and pruning you so that you will be made perfect, lacking nothing necessary to completeness in Him (James 1:2-4), finished, of full-grown stature in Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13), made ready for the place of your calling, your place of “landing.” (See the insight from Deuteronomy 2:26-31 in the Bible study The Dominion Mandate. One of the definitions for King Sihon’s name is “tempestuous” which means “turbulent; rough with wind; as tempestuous weather; a tempestuous night; blowing with violence; as a tempestuous wind.” He is a picture of the devil’s contrary winds that come against every believer so as to protect his stolen dominion over mankind. The good news is that through our obedience to His will, the Lord will, as He did with Sihon, deliver him into our hands, under our feet, under our dominion.)

   This is the way of suffering that Jesus showed us so as to be made ready for His glory as He was through the cross. You cannot avoid it, it’s the only way to become stain free and gain His glory. It is in the times of extreme weariness of toiling against the “contrary winds” (KJV) during the extreme exhaustion of the “fourth watch of the night” (3-6am), that Jesus will come and calm our storm by removing that which has come against us. It was the last watch before the dawning of a new day. (See 1 Thess. 5:23 below and the Bible studies The Appearing And Perfecting, and Wholly Illumined No Dark Part.)

   This is where “striving” against our adversary, the devil, comes into play for the Christian. We read in Luke 13:24 where Jesus said; “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” (NASU) The Greek for “strive” is agonizomai (ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee) which is defined as “to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), to contend with adversaries, to fight, to endeavor with strenuous zeal.” To not contend against our adversary is to not make it to the other side. The Lord is the only one who can calm that which has come up against us on our way, safely delivering us to the promised place of our eternal inheritance in Himself. (See the Bible study Outer Darkness.)

 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – See the note below.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely [3651]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete [3648], without blame [274- “faultlessly, blamelessly, so that there is no cause for censure”] at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

NASU

 

NT:3651 holoteles (hol-ot-el-ace')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:3650 and NT:5056; complete to the end, i.e. absolutely perfect:

KJV - wholly.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

perfect, complete in all respects (1 Thess. 5:23)

 

holoteles [NT:3651] - "wholly," 1 Thessalonians 5:23, is literally, "whole-complete" (A, No. 1, and telos, "an end"), i. e., "through and through"; the apostle's desire is that the sanctification of the believer may extend to every part of his being. The word is similar in meaning to No. 4; holokleros [3648 above] draws attention to the person as a "whole," holoteles, to the several parts which constitute him.

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

 

   Paul refers to our being “preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are now in that final moment, before the coming of the Lord, when His body is being made ready through the “contrary winds”, or “straining at the oars” so as to be able to enter His presence and live (Hosea 6:1-3). If we will continue in steadfastness toward Him, we will be raised up with Him. We will finally be transformed into His image; spirit, soul and body. Otherwise, we will be cast out from Him into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth with those who did not stand firm until the end (see the Bible study Outer Darkness).

   One of the definitions for “without blame” is “so that there is no cause for censure.” “Censure” is defined as “an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism; a judgment involving condemnation; the act of blaming (the opposite of “without blame”) or condemning sternly.” It is the act of the Lord against those in His kingdom who forsake Him and will, therefore, shrink back in shame at His coming (see the Bible study Elul; The Season Of Preparation And The 40 Days Of Favor).

   In Hebrews 10:35-39 we read the following warning regarding those who shrink back from following the Lord with an apostate heart;

 

“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY. BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM. But we are not of those who shrink back [5289- “apostasy, a withdrawing”] to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.”

NASU

 

 

The Place Of Our Destiny; Of Our Final Calling And Healing In Jesus

 

Mark 6:53-56See the note below.

53 When they had crossed over [1276- “to cross entirely, to pass over”] they came to land at Gennesaret [defined in note below], and moored [4358] to the shore.

54 When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized [1921- “to acknowledge”] Him,

55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was.

56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch [680- “to attach oneself to, to fasten to, to adhere to”] the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured [4982].

NASU

 

NT:4982 sozo (sode'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saoz, "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively):

KJV - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

a.   universally, tina, one (from injury or peril); to save a suffering one (from perishing), e. g. one

      suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health (Matthew 9:22)

b.   to save (Matthew 1:21)

 

NT:4358 prosormizo (pros-or-mid'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:4314 and a derivative of the same as NT:3730 (meaning to tie [anchor] or lull); to moor to, i.e. (by implication) land at:

KJV - draw to the shore.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

to bring a ship to moorings (Mark 6:53)

Moor – (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

  • To confine or secure a ship in a particular station, as by cables and anchors or by chains. A ship is never said to be moored when she rides by a single anchor.

  • To be confined by cables or chains.

 

   This explains why the devil fights against us, attempting to thwart our effort to cross over. According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Gennesaret (ghen-nay-sar-et') means “a garden of riches… The plain of Gennesaret has been called, from its fertility and beauty, ‘the Paradise of Galilee.’” Other Bible Dictionaries call it “the garden of the prince.” I believe this refers to what it represents at the end of this age.

   We are drawing near to the time of our crossing over to the Paradise of God, the garden of our Prince, Jesus, that is filled with His riches (Romans 10:12, Eph. 3:8, Phil. 4:19, Rev. 5:12). It will be the place of the final healing where all who choose to fasten themselves to the Lord will be made whole, entirely sanctified in spirit, soul, and body in order to be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23; see my book The Final Healing.) As with the disciples, though, He will appear first to those who hear and then do what He says in these crucial moments before His return. Like Moses, it will be revealed along the way what they are to say and do in order to deliver others once we arrive at our divinely appointed location (Exodus 4:12, 15).

   It appears, by the way, that they did not land at the exact location they had originally set out for. Bethsaida is about fifty miles northeast of Gennesaret. Mark seems to confirm this a couple of chapters later, saying, “they came to Bethsaida”, which means they weren’t there at first. A storm, through which Jesus revealed Himself as the Lord of the storm, had driven them to the place the Lord desired for them to land first. Like the Pilgrims who were driven farther north by a storm to the place of God’s choosing, I see this occurring to the church in America today. The storm we are now in, and will continue to increase, will be used to get us to the place of God’s choosing rather than ours. The storm we now find ourselves in will be used to reroute His people to the Divinely appointed place of landing.

   We are told the people of this region immediately “recognized Him.” To recognize someone is to acknowledge them for who they truly are. In Acts, chapter four, Peter and John were arrested for healing a man, in the name of Jesus, who had been lame since birth. We read the following regarding the reaction of the rulers and elders in Jerusalem when they spoke in front of them; “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13/NASU) The Greek for “recognize” is epiginosko (ep-ig-in-oce'-ko). It’s defined as “to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge.” In this same manner, at the end of this age, the Lord will raise up many “nobody’s” to confound the so-called learned among us, especially in the church. They won’t be from their denominational seminaries, but will be simple people with great anointing. They will be forced to acknowledge them as having been with Jesus.

   Paul wrote in Romans, chapter one, of those who “did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper [“forbidden, shameful”]…” The following insight is from the Bible study Acknowledging God;

 

   In this passage, Paul speaks of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (v.18), who knew God but did not honor Him as God in their life (v.21), who exchanged the glory of God and the truth of God for a lie (v.22-25), and were then given over to a depraved mind “since they did not think it worthwhile to retain [“to have, to hold fast, keep”] the knowledge of God,” or “to acknowledge God any longer.”

   To acknowledge is “to have, to hold fast, keep, own, possess.” It is the right to possess given only to those who receive Christ as their Lord and Savior that is relinquished due to not continuing in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit (see the Bible study The Right To Possess). This is also part of the right to become children of God in John 1:12 that is forfeited (see the Bible study and article called Freedom In Christ.)

   By definition of the Hebrew words, to not acknowledge is to not keep in hand, to not hold fast but to let go. It is to not recognize Jesus Christ as Lord in your life [after turning to Him]. According to Merriam Webster, to “recognize” is “to acknowledge formally, to acknowledge or take notice of in some definite way such as; to acknowledge with a show of appreciation; to acknowledge acquaintance with.”

   To be given over is “to be given into the hands, or power, of another.” In this reprobate state (see the Bible study Reprobate), they have a “depraved mind” which is defined as being “unapproved, not standing the test” (see the Bible study The Test). As with those in Jeremiah 17:4 (see below), they have loosed themselves from God, which means he is referring to a person who was bound to God originally but through continued rebellion against His Lordship has now been given over (loosed) into the hands of the devil.

   You cannot be loosed from that which you were not bound to at one time. Paul is saying they did not keep (retain) God in themselves and have become rejected which, by implication, means “worthless (literally or morally)” (see the Bible study Holding Fast To The Lord). Paul refers to this same type of person in his letter to Titus when he declares;

 

“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds [“works”] they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:15-16/NASU)

 

   You might say, “See, they are unbelievers. Paul is not referring to Christians in this passage.” The Bible tells us, though, that a believer can revert back to being an unbeliever. Using the example of the children of Israel in the wilderness, the writer of Hebrews warns us, saying;

 

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly [which means we can let go, see Jer. 17:4] till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.’ Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?”

(Hebrews 3:12-16/NIV)

 

   The Old Testament type of this is found in two passages that refer to the Israelites journey out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Exodus 14:31 says, “When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.” (NASU) Later, the same “believing” Israelites would have a different heart. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?” (Numbers 14:11/NASU) These unbelieving-believers would be denied entrance into the inheritance in Christ. Their dead bodies would be strewn across the desert for their desertion.

 

   Because of their acknowledgment of Jesus as their Deliverer, the people in the Gennesaret region brought the sick to wherever they heard He was. All who reached out to touch the fringe of His cloak were healed. The definition of the Greek for “healed” is defined as “to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.”

   Tying this together with Revelation 12, I understand the Lord revealing to us the reason for what we are currently going through. The woman represents those servants of the Lord, like Mary with Jesus, who are being used to give birth to the image of Jesus within many people. Their current suffering in a storm of sorts is for the salvation of many. They do not save them, but, because of what they have been brought through, are used to lead others to the One who can. Like their Savior, the glory of God that rests upon them can only come after suffering (1 Peter 1:11).

   It is the final revival before the return of Christ. Those who acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior, reaching out to attach themselves to Him through a surrendered life, will be delivered and protected in the storm of the Lord that will soon engulf this world. They too will pass over with Christ, safe and sound.

 

 

 Corinthians 15:58 – In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul exhorts them to stand firm in the Lord, abounding in His work, knowing that their labor (i.e. work) is not in vain in the Lord.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil [“labor”] is not in vain in the Lord.

NASU

 

 

1 Timothy 4:7-11Paul speaks of the laboring and striving involved with the disciplining of ourselves “for the purpose of godliness” which holds promise now, and in the life to come. The majority of today’s teachings do not involve much of either.

7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness;

8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

11 Prescribe and teach these things.

NASU

 

 

Matthew 14:22-36In his account of the same event, Matthew adds in his account Jesus walking on the water and then calling Peter out of the boat who also walked on the water. It’s strange to me that Mark, this being such an incredible sight to see, didn’t put it in his account.

   It was Peter who stepped out by faith from his safe position in the boat and started, miraculously, toward the Lord, actually walking on the water. Yes, he started to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves instead, but at least he got out of his “comfort zone” when commanded to. The waves represent very tangible, frightening things that come at us when we head out in faith toward the Lord when He calls us. It is very easy to get distracted, and even fearful by them. Every Christian has his or her moments when this will occur on their journey as Christ followers. It is in these moments that I have learned to trust in Jesus as the Lord of all the storms.

   Although all the twelve disciples were in the boat, on their way to the other side, it was only Peter that would experience the more extreme testing. The same type of trials and provings are being experienced today among those who will be the leaders of what’s next. (See the section The First Flag Raising in the Bible study Iwo Jima And The Flag Raising On Mount Suribachi for more on the leaders God will use.)

22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.

23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.

24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.

25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.

26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear.

27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."

28 Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

29 And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!"

34 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.

35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick;

36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.

NASU

 

 

John 6:15-21Again, John, in his version, never mentions Peter walking on the water. But he does say that after Jesus was willingly taken into the boat that “immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.”

15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake,

17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.

18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.

19 When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified.

20 But he said to them, "It is I; don't be afraid."

21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

NIV

 

 

John 6:22-29See the note below.

22 The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone.

23 There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.

24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.

25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"

26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal [4972]." [See the Bible study The Seal Of The Holy Spirit.]

28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?"

29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

NASU

 

NT:4972 sphragizo (sfrag-id'-zo)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from NT:4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:

KJV - (set a, set to) seal up, stop.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

a.   for security: ti (Matthew 27:66)

b.   to hide keep in silence, keep secret: ti (Revelation 10:4)

c.   in order to mark a person or thing; hence, to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal, to stamp (Revelation 7:3)

d.   in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing; to confirm, authenticate, place beyond doubt

 

   In the verses that follow from John, he tells something the others didn’t in their versions. Jesus, after hearing their seemingly innocent question regarding how He got there, confronts the motives of those who sought Him. This rarely happens, if ever, from today’s preachers, evangelists, etc. They don’t want to “offend” anyone, so as to cause them to go away (and not give most likely). In the verses that follow these, Jesus explains to them that, like the manna that came down out of heaven for their forefathers in the wilderness, He is the bread of life come down out of heaven. He then said the following;

 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”

(John 6:53-58/NASU)

 

   Many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60) It was at this point that many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:66) He confronted the motives of their hearts, which He already knew, causing many to walk away. This is occurring right now within the church. Many will be offended by the words of Jesus that will, and have been coming out of the mouths of His true servants. They are concerned whether or not you like them, but that your heart is in the right place. The false prophets tell you what your flesh wants to hear, not what you need to hear.



19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page