|Fight the Good Fight of Faith||Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God||And When Ye Stand Praying||Walking by Faith Grounded in Love||This Gospel Must be Preached||Give and it Shall be Given||Knowing the Truth and Being Set Free|
Fight the Good Fight of Faith
1 Tim. 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
In this verse we are told to fight or labor feverishly a certain kind of fight or confrontation. The Word says we are in a GOOD fight. Honestly, the only type of good confrontation is one where I win. That is what the Lord wants us to see in this verse.
Unfortunately, this is not the fight most Christians wage. God told us this is a good fight. It is one that we win. Our attitude should be victorious from the beginning. This is not a physical battle, but is one, which takes place in our minds. It is a fight of faith. Let’s explore this in more detail.
Since the fight is of faith we need to know what faith is. Heb. 11:1 defines faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This Truth needs to be revealed to you personally by the Lord so we won’t attempt to present detailed study on faith but only an overview.
· Now faith: Faith is an active force and is ALWAYS NOW.
· Faith is the substance: Substance is defined as ‘that of which a thing consists; the actual matter of a thing as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.’ Faith is the believer’s reality.
· Of things: Something you have vision of and are focused on.
· Hoped for: An earnest expectation of. Picture yourself with neck outstretched looking for something.
· The evidence: Something that provides absolute proof of the existence of the thing that is the object of the hope, i.e., a title deed.
· Of things not seen: Or rather things not yet revealed to the sense realm. A title deed held is evidence or proof of ownership of a piece of property even if you have never seen the property with your eyes.
This is a battle of the mind. Our natural mind is challenged by this God-kind of faith that calls and speaks as though it is in manifestation even before it manifests. But God gave each person the measure of faith (Rom 12:3). The Bible tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Since the just shall walk by faith, it is vital that we seek our Father and for Him to reveal to us how to do this. You cannot please Him without it.
My brother and sister this is a good fight. It is one you can and will win. Take this to the Father and ask Him to Reveal the Truth and do what He wants you to do. Be obedient to His Word and voice.
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Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
Mat. 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Many of the topics brought out in this article were mentioned in other articles in “The Implosion Series” but need to be discussed again. The Lord has a concern for His children. He sees them quoting this verse but not seeking the Kingdom of God before everything else.
One of the major reasons why His Kingdom is not being sought after is because the people of God have been poisoned and believe a very deceptive lie of the devil living in the Kingdom of God is therefore impossible until some future time which is thought to be during a future thousand-year period commonly called the millennium. Many believe this is when Kingdom of God living is possible.
Let’s look at what Jesus had to say about the Kingdom:
· Mark 9:1: “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Jesus addressed His disciples. Judas was the only disciple that tasted death before the day of Pentecost. The rest of the disciples were still alive when they saw the fulfillment of Jesus’ words.
· Luke 9:62: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Jesus illuminated one of the basic principles of the Kingdom of God: don’t look back to the way you used to be or how you used to do things if you desire to move forward in the Kingdom.
· Luke 10:9: “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Jesus was trying to impress upon the disciples that the Kingdom of God had arrived.
· Luke 17:20-21: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus reveals to the disciples the Kingdom of God is not observed but it is inside you. The very moment that you make Jesus your Lord the Kingdom of God takes up residence within your very being.
· Acts 1:3: “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:” Jesus taught his disciples about the Kingdom of God during the forty days prior to His return to heaven. He spent that much time teaching them about the Kingdom because He knew they would be living and functioning in it starting on the day of Pentecost.
· Mat. 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We must gain a thorough understanding of this Kingdom and actually live in it.
To amplify the phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ we could say that it is God’s way of doing things; how He does what He does. He told us to seek first His way of doing things. Unfortunately, we, the church, have not done that.
In order to seek first the Kingdom of God we must remove those dark-colored glasses, which are the law of sin and death. We must purpose to see things through the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ.
Here are two examples of how we seek first the world’s way of doing things and not God’s way. You may have adopted certain interpretations of these scriptures discussed because of past religious teaching. As we have mentioned before, please do not accept or reject any of this material without first presenting it to our Heavenly Father. He will lead and teach you through the Holy Spirit. Seeking Him is essential to your understanding and applying this and every article in “The Implosion Series.”
The situation: you need a new vehicle.
The world’s way (the method even a non-believer can do)
God’s way (only a child of God can do)
· Find the vehicle you want.
· Shop around for the best price.
· Negotiate the best loan interest rate.
· Negotiate the down payment and monthly payment.
· Sign the contract.
· Be in bondage and debt.
· Determine the vehicle you desire.
· Plant a seed and activate the law of seed, time and harvest.
· Receive a vehicle by faith.
· Water the seed; thank Him that you have your vehicle.
· Eagerly expect the manifestation of your vehicle.
· Get in your vehicle when it manifests.
· The blessing of the Lord is powerful and there is no sorrow with it.
The situation: your body has disease.
The world’s way (the method even a non-believer can do)
God’s way (only a child of God can do)
· Make a fear statement: “I am sick!”
· Tell others how sick you are.
· Ask others what they have done when they had the same thing.
· Go to the doctor.
· Get a shot or take a pill.
· Evaluate you physical condition based on how you feel.
· Keep talking about your symptoms.
· Go to the Word of God.
· Ask Him for wisdom in application of the Word.
· Start declaring, ‘…by whose (Jesus) stripes, I am healed.’
· Remind your body that no sickness or disease can live in your body.
· Praise the Lord because you have been made whole and you walk and live in divine health.
· Listen for any direction the Holy Spirit may give you. i.e., drink water, take a day off and rest, meditate upon the Word, ignore the symptoms, etc. His instruction to you will be specific and will address the disease.
· Continue praising God and declaring that the Word is True and you are healed.
These are two examples of how seeking first the Kingdom of God could play out in your life. There are hundreds of situations where we must decide which system we are going to depend and act on. We choose between the world’s system, which is Satan’s kingdom, or God’s system, which is seeking first the Kingdom of God. The world’s system is based on sense knowledge and is rooted in fear. The Kingdom of God system is based on Revelation knowledge and is rooted in faith and works by Agape love.
We read in Josh. 24:15: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Do you want to do things God way? Try to do what the Word encourages you to do in 2 Cor. 13:5: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Operating in the Kingdom of God is a normal thing for a born again believer who has made Jesus their Lord. If Jesus Christ lives in you, Agape fruit will be evident. Jesus is the vine; we are the branches so look at Mat. 7:17: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Take this to the Lord and ask Him to speak to your heart.
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Jesus made these comments at the end of His dissertation on the subject of prayer: Mark 11:25: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” We usually leave off verses 25 and 26 when we talk about prayer. This is because we get caught up in the thrill and power of the previous verses. Let’s take a look at them.
Mark 11:22-24: “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
We have a tremendous conditional promise in these verses. If we utilize the God kind of Faith we can speak to a situation and command it to do or be something different. Jesus explains how this works. He clearly states the action is prayer. We must have a desire, subject or objective. First, define the desire. Jesus tells us we must believe we receive that desire when we pray. Then He tells when we utilize the God kind of Faith we shall have what is desired, believed and received while praying. This is where we leave the teaching on prayer. But there is more.
Mark 11:25: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Several years ago while reading Mark 11:23-24 the Lord prompted me to continue reading. After reading verses 23 and 24 the Lord made this statement to me, “Answered prayer is an act of forgiveness.” My response to Him was, “Yes Sir, I agree!” For years I agreed with what He told me but had little additional revelation until now. Let me explain.
If we try to function as a Christian while operating under the law, fear or obligation is at the root of everything we say and do. It is as though we wear rose-colored glasses. Our vision is tainted because of the tinted glasses. The same principle is activated when we have unforgiveness in out heart. Unforgiveness can be toward someone else, yourself or God. Harboring unforgiveness will taint how we perceive situations and ultimately how we pray.
You will individually need to converse with the Lord about how this applies to you and what you need to do to rectify things. Our Lord’s desire is that you have all your prayers answered according to His will. Because of unforgiveness in the heart of the person praying He is limited in answering your prayers. As brought out in the article “Pray Without Ceasing,” when we pray anything less than His will He cannot respond thus leaving our foe, Satan and his (fallen) angels, to hearken to and cause something to happen. Please understand what Satan and the demons cause to happen is NOT God’s will. Take these things to the Father and ask Him to give you Revelation on these things and do what He tells you to do.
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Walking by Faith Grounded in Love
In the article, “New Creatures in Christ ” we learned once we are born again and made Jesus the Lord of our life we become a new creature. The attributes of this new creation are discussed there as well. Now that we have Revealed knowledge of these Truths, we need to know and understand how to walk in this life as a new creature. The following scriptures tell us. Read and ponder them. Ask our Father to make them real and part of your life.
Rom. 4:17: “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
Rom. 10:8-10: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Heb. 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Heb. 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Rom. 1:17: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.”
Rom. 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Rom. 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Rom. 4:3: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
Rom. 4:16-17: “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
Eph. 4:22-32: “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you”.
Eph. 5:1-21: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience: Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
When we were born again we were made a new creation or a new species of being. We must allow the Holy Spirit to help us change. The Holy Spirit came to teach us all things. If you are willing He will teach you how to put on the new man.
John 14:16-17: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; then the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
Eph. 3:17-21: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
Jesus summed it up as follows: If you love Me, love one another, and are rooted and grounded in love, you walk in the new creation. [DP1] Col. 2:2-14 gives us encouragement. Take these things to the Father and ask Him to Reveal the Truth to you so that you can begin to walk in the Truth.
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This Gospel must be Preached
Jesus said in Matt. 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” To which Gospel was He referring? For many years the church assumed that Jesus was talking about the Gospel (Truth) of salvation. Although this is a vital and important Truth this is not the subject to which He was referring. Jesus spoke of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
What is the difference? The Gospel of salvation is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom, not the other way around. Strong’s dictionary defines the word kingdom as used in Matthew 6:33 and 24:14 this way: “932. basileia, bas-il-i'-ah; from G935; prop. royalty, i.e. (abstr.) rule, or (concr.) a realm (lit. or fig.):--kingdom, + reign.” The Gospel of the Kingdom indicates this is a kingdom or a realm in which we are to rule and reign as royalty.
Jesus told us this Word was to be preached in the entire world before the end comes. It is critical we understand what we are to proclaim. We will share with you part of what this Kingdom is. You will need to need to receive personal in-depth revelation from the Lord. The Holy Spirit through Revealed Word or Rhema is the Teacher and not man.
The Amplified Bible gives an indication as to the spectrum of this Kingdom. Read Matthew 6:33 in the Amplified version. To summarize, the Kingdom of God is God’s way of doing what He does and His way of being right.
What is God’s method of operation? He operates by faith. In Heb. 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Rom 4:17: “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
· Faith is NOW! Faith is not future, i.e., by Jesus stripes I AM healed. - not going to be healed.
· Faith is the substance of our hope (desire or object of our prayer).
· Substance is tangible.
· Hope is our blueprint or mental image of the will of God.
· Faith is our evidence that we have the things not yet revealed to the sense realm. It is like a title deed for a piece of property we have not seen.
As one looks at the elements of the God kind of Faith we understand the world cannot function in the faith realm. We, however, function in this world’s realm. That is where the breakdown and error occurred. Read Acts 2 - 4 to see how God intended the Kingdom of God to function. This is the only example we have of the functional Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God is nigh. Contrast how churches function today. Most churches function in the world’s system.
Take this to the Lord and get His Revelation on what the Gospel of the Kingdom is. Do not limit your preaching, teaching and life to the Gospel of salvation. Repent and make any corrections He reveals to you. If someone (believer or non-believer) in the world system can execute or accomplish the same plan, strategy or action then it is not the Kingdom of God way of doing things.
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Give and it Shall be Given
Luke 6:38: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Most of us are familiar with this scripture. It is used in conjunction with almost every offering taken in the contemporary Christian church. Money is not the context of this verse but it can be included.
The verse is the summary and practical application of the previous verses Luke 6:23 –38.
Luke 6:23-38: “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
There are two active elements at work: Your reward and with same measure you give; it will be given back to you. The verbs were changed to add clarity.
This can be applied to money and you will be rewarded accordingly. But in looking at the full context do not forget that the very same principle we use to receive blessing can also bring us cursing as well - pressed down shaken together and running over. If we harbor bitterness toward another we will get it back running over. If we hold unforgiveness in our heart then unforgiveness will be returned to us. If we have done evil or have evil thoughts, these will also return to us in abundance. This Truth applies to every area of life.
It is time for us to wake up. Every time we confess the words of Luke 6:38 we set in motion all of what is included in Luke 6:23-37. Do you experience all that you want in your Christian life? Are you growing up in the things of God? If the answer is no, then repent and change your thinking. Go to the Lord and get His feedback and do what He says. You will not regret that action.
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Knowing the Truth and Being Set Free
John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Every Christian desires to be made free from bondage, the constraints of the world and sin. We have a quest to know the truth of the Word of God. We overlooked the most important part of that verse which contains a semi-colon linking verse 31 to verse 32. John 8:3:1: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” Now let us put it together with John 8:31-32: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It has been the common practice to think and say, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth will set us free,’ and leave it there. The implication is that when we get head-knowledge of the Truth we will be set free. If that is the case then we should all be free. In reality we are not free. The church is more in bondage now than ever before. The obvious conclusion is we misunderstand the meaning or have taken the Word out of context.
The word ‘continue’ in verse 32 implies more than just reading the Word of God. It means to continue earnestly and expectantly in the Word. When one meets that criterion the Word, which is sharper than any two-edged sword, will come to life and the Logos (written) Word will be made alive in our hearts. Then we can come into a knowing of the Truth. That word know indicates an intimate interaction. So if you know the Truth and are intimate with it you shall be set free.
Take this to the Lord and ask Him to Reveal the Truth in these verses. Let’s repent, change our thinking and continue expectantly in the Word knowing when intimacy with the Word comes alive in us we will walk in true freedom.
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God anoint you with all spiritual understanding and revelation as you read this series. We pray you have ears to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches. This is free. This material may be copied and distributed but NEVER sold not even to recuperate production costs.
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