I HAVE AN ETERNITY AHEAD OF ME
GOD WANTS YOU IN FIGHTING FORM
God wants His Soldiers in fighting form
One of the most pressing and concerning issues in America today is that of available, affordable, and quality healthcare. Access to affordable healthcare and medicine is vital to most Americans. It has become a topic of heated discussion and debate, even dividing people within the same political parties.
Some people believe that universal healthcare is the answer, since, clearly, as they see it, healthcare is a civil right; a humane right that helps to define our humanity. On the opposing side are those who don’t believe they should have to take care of someone else and each man must earn his own way, regardless of his ability, or suffer the consequences. In other words, they believe in survival of the fittest, the most capable, and the wealthiest. The rest of the people must get by or survive by whatever means they can find, or perish. The vast majority of these people, who support this type of critical thinking with the political ideology of less government interference and control over the people, benefiting the people and upholding their freedom of choice, consider themselves to be strong, devout Believers and upholders of their faith and the Word of God.
WE must be aware that the enemy will harden our heart towards our neighbors and confound even our common sense to keep us ignorant, blinded, in bondage, arguing amongst ourselves and divided. A hardened heart cannot discern or rightfully comprehend the Word of God. It will find itself trying to serve two masters, loving one and despising the other.
Matthew 6:24King James Version (KJV)
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Then, the enemy will catch us off guard, unarmed, weak, and lambs for the slaughter. This need not be, if we allow God to prepare us to be preemptive in fighting the enemy and not waiting for the enemy to attack. God has promised to equip us so that we are watchful, protected, and prepared to fight. This is why He offers to arm us with His armor and prepare us to resist and persist.
If you are living in abundant and eternal life, you have not abandoned the battle, or laid down your armor. You have heard the horn sound the alarm and answered the call, telling God, “Send me.”
God is not going to let us sit around having a sense of entitlement, believing that all we have to do is wait for Him to come and rescue us, because we deserve to be rescued. God expects us to be a willing participant in our battles. No, He really doesn’t need us to defeat the enemy, but, letting God do ALL the work is not how the RELATIONSHIP with God works in empowering us to die to the flesh and conquer the world. We must realistically assess and evaluate what dying daily, resisting the enemy and conquering the sins of the world entail.
If God is doing all of our fighting, then, we should always be living in holiness and righteousness and having no problems in our lives. If God is doing all of our fighting, then, we should never be yielding to temptation and never be in the flesh. And because we’re such perfect people, is it that God doesn’t have to do much fighting for us, because we’re smart enough and wise enough to never get into trouble. No? Then, God must expect us to do something and resist the adversary.
Let us walk in one accord under the mind of Christ, with a humble heart to hear the Word of God imparted to us with clarity and truth.
Believers have become neutralized and weak because they believe they must still be helpless sheep bleating and baaing to alert the shepherd to protect them and crying out to God to save them. But, when Jesus died, He said, “It is finished.”
In our abundant and eternal life, we must never forget that we are in a RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. Partnered for eternity! He is with us ALWAYS, working through us and for us! Fighting, resisting and persisting is part of our learning to trust and believe God and part of our growth, maturity and keeping our brother.
As part of the Body of Christ, we are in coordination and collaboration with the rest of the Body. When one member is injured or attacked, we ALL are injured or attacked! We work together to uphold one another and prevent each other from falling into darkness. We are fighting with the Armor of God!
God teaches us about battle because He expects us to fight, knowing that He is with us and we do not fight alone. He tells us about the enemy so that we do not fear him and know how to thwart and defeat him. He tells us about the enemy so that we stay watchful and on our guard.
We not only fight for ourselves, but we fight in the name of God, for ALL THAT HE IS TO US and ALL THAT HE HAS DONE and WILL DO FOR US!
Our LOVE and HONOR for our Heavenly Father compels us to confront the enemy like David confronted the Philistine Goliath who defied the God of Israel.
1 Samuel 1:45,46King James Version (KJV)
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
Many Believers, especially those clinging to religion, do not know or have not been taught their heritage, inheritance, and empowering connection with God. Most religions preach separatism between other Believers as if there is more than one God.
Instead of being equipped, most Believers are kept under the false belief that God is far off, beyond their reach, so, they must go through clergy, canonized saints, the mother of Jesus, or in some religions, prophets or lesser deities for protection and blessings. They are stripped of the power God has given them to CONQUER the world and the darkness therein through the example of Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit.
BRIDGING THE GAP, COMPLETING THE GRAFT
If we are to truly understand WHO we are in Christ, we must understand the identity of ALL those who Believe in the God of Abraham and ALL those who confess Christ Jesus as God’s Son and the Messiah. What are our roots, commonalities, and relationship to one another?
Many who believe in God still believe there are many faiths and that religion is a vehicle to salvation. Jews, Muslims and Christians see themselves as separate entities of different faiths stemming from the same origin but with conflicting theology and ideology.
Yet, how can you separate the Jew, the Christian, and the Muslim from the God of Abraham whom they worship? Why does man continue to separate the faith and belief that established Abraham as righteous in God’s eyes? Where has man’s religion taken him and what has he gained or lost because of it?
How many centuries or millenniums will it take to convince man that his religion cannot take the place of a relationship with God? Abraham had a relationship with God, as did all the prophets who followed him.
My Brothers and Sisters, THERE IS ONE FAITH! God did not separate FAITH into religions, denominations and sects! One cannot change the MEANING of faith! You either have FAITH as defined by God or you don’t have FAITH. You cannot be of a particular faith or persuasion. You either BELIEVE and TRUST in God or you don’t believe and trust in God. That is what established Abraham’s relationship with God!
AT WHAT POINT WILL MAN FINALLY SEE AND UNDERSTAND…
LOVE AND OBEDIENCE to God is the HIGH POINT of WORSHIP (in Spirit and in Truth), whereby BELIEF transcends EARTHLY AND CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, wherein we begin to WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT. Moreover, our walk, led by our faith can ONLY lead in ONE direction to a SINGLE DESTINATION–to Abba Father, our Heavenly Father!
There is one God and Holy Spirit! One cannot change or alter them! Do I sound naive in my assuming that we should all have the same perception of who God is? To most people I’m sure that is the case, nevertheless, it cannot and should not prevent me and you from standing firm in TRUTH.
There is but one VINE, Yeshuah, to whom we become connected!
We must understand that Jesus the Vine is a JEW. He is a Jew not only because of his bloodline, being that we are ALL connected to the bloodline of Abraham, who descended from Adam. Jesus is a Jew because He was part of the chosen people of God who were set aside to be HOLY! This is why God speaks of those who call themselves Jews, but, are not Jews, because they fail to follow His commandment, to set themselves apart from the world to be HOLY. This is also why outsiders were allowed to be converted into Judaism. This is also why God extended the salvation given to Jews through the sacrifice of His Son to Gentiles, also.
God sees us all as being descendants of Adam who was made in His image.
Please allow me to repeat myself. There is only ONE VINE! There is not a Vine for Jews and another for Christians and other religions. Jesus is not given another name or identity just for Christians and other religions. God established a nation for Ishmael and a nation for Isaac, but, He did not establish or allow them separate gods to worship. Now, after many centuries, man cannot undo what he has done to himself, neither does he desire to do so, for each man feels he is just in his belief to establish his religion as being right. But, how can it be right, if God did not create it and establish it as right?
When God gave new laws and doctrine to the Jews, He did not recreate or change their identity! Yet, each time men find themselves in disagreement, they form new doctrine and take on a new identity for themselves and their newly founded religion.
Christians betray themselves by trying to distance themselves from the Jew! Jesus, the Vine was a Jew! WE as those GENTILES who follow Christ are GRAFTED INTO THE VINE OF THE JEWS WHO WERE CALLED CHRISTIANS!
So, this is where it becomes even more contradictory when Christians say they are not Jews. The first people called Christians at Antioch were Jews. They did not deny or denounce their Jewish heritage and inheritance, they remained Jews. Are Christians now saying that these Jews called Christians were not true Christians? Think about this.
Remember the dispute in the Bible over the Gentiles being circumcised to become followers of Jesus? The Jews were not demanding circumcision to make them Christians, it was to make them Jews who were followers of Christ in order to obey the law of Moses, as it was believed only Jews could be saved. Gentiles were considered to be UNCLEAN–UNHOLY. It wasn’t because people believed Abraham wasn’t their father and they weren’t from his bloodline.
However, God showed Peter in his visions that circumcision of the Gentiles to become Jews was no longer necessary because what He had cleansed, no man could call common or unclean. How did God cleanse them? –By the blood and sacrifice of Christ Jesus! And by receiving Him and His Holy Spirit, they were given new life, cleansed and purged of sin. Can a Muslim become cleansed and purged of sin the same way? What does your heart tell you? Does he have FAITH in God? Does he live and act in faith to God?
God didn’t make Jesus a Christian. Neither Jesus, nor His Apostles founded Christianity. Christians became a Brand Name to brand the Jewish followers of Jesus who believed He is the Son of God and the Jewish Messiah.
Messianic Jews don’t become Christians, but, are they a part of the Vine, having accepted Christ Jesus? Or, should they have to become Christians? Tell me, where do they fit in, in mans idealism of sects and denominations in relationship with Jesus and God? Are they false Believers because they cling to Judaism? Or, is the Christian a false believer because he denies his heritage and his true inheritance?
How long will we be caught up in the religious politics that is tearing the world apart? Can we return to ONE FAITH?
If it were not for the fact that God did not create a SEPARATE VINE and the gentiles were instructed to follow various laws of Judaism, I might agree that God intended the Christian Gentiles to remain separate from the Christian Jews. However, God came to Peter specifically to show him that He had no respect of person and it was no longer unlawful for Jews to mix with the CLEANSED and HOLY Gentiles.
A better understanding is to realize that the Messianic Jew is the result of the fulfillment of prophecy by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ Jesus! Those Gentiles chosen to be part of the Vine no longer maintained a SEPARATE IDENTITY, otherwise, they would bear DIFFERENT FRUIT than that of the Vine.
THUS, UNDERSTAND THIS PLEASE IF YOU WILL:
God created man and a plan for his life, so that one day EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT CHRIST JESUS, IS THE SON OF GOD, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!
Philippians 2:10-11 King James Version (KJV)
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When I look at my neighbor who hasn’t confessed Jesus, I see his knees bowed and his tongue confessing! There is no need for me to hate him or shun him because, GOD HAS IT ALL UNDER CONTROL!
Therefore, as BELIEVERS, UNITED and TOGETHER, let us resist and persist and fight the true enemy and betrayer, who continues to wreak havoc and cause chaos and confusion to keep us in ignorance and bondage, divided, and killing one another; none other than the adversary Lucifer, Satan, the Devil and the fallen Angel.
God needs Believers who KNOW who they are in Christ. God needs TRUE BELIEVERS, TRUE WORSHIPPERS and TRUE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS for:
- Missionary Work
- Strategic planning
- Training and Equipping and Empowering the Saints
- Instruction in wearing and using the Armour of God
- Fighting with the Sword, God’s Word
- Commanding the troops
- Aiding and healing the wounded
- Praying throughout the battle
- Providing Food for the soul
- Encouraging the ranks
- Loving your neighbor and even your enemies
- And having the power, courage and unconditional love to LOVE and FORGIVE
REST ASSURED THAT THE TRUE ENEMY WILL ATTACK YOU PERSONALLY
GOD WANTS YOU IN FIGHTING FORM
- Put on your armor daily
- Stay connected to God, always prayerful
- Always be prepared
- Shine your light
- Remember you’re not alone
- Spread the Good News
- Be Bold
- Do EVERYTHING in God’s Love
- Help make Disciples and build up the ranks and the Kingdom
When you are witnessing to others, edifying, and helping others to glorify God, you are on the battlefield! You are fighting back the darkness that would capture, kill, steal and destroy. When you live for holiness and righteousness, praying, holding and pushing back darkness, YOU are a SOLDIER in God’s Army. If you say you wear His Armor, YOU are a SOLDIER in God’s Army, because you were BORN into an ONGOING BATTLE, where the outcome has already been determined. Nevertheless, we must continue to hold our ground, ANCHORED and STANDING, raising the banner of holiness and righteousness, in the name of God!
With all love and hope for you, your servant and fellow soldier, united with the One
Acts 10King James Version (KJV)
10 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
The Dispute over Circumcision
(Genesis 17:9-27; Leviticus 12:1-8; Joshua 5:1-9)
Acts 15 King James Version (KJV)
15 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
21 For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.
24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
34 Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.