We, as God’s chosen people, the remnant, we have the amazing responsibility of representing the heart of God in these final days. It is a serious responsibility, that should not be taken lightly. Many people longed to see these days, when all of the prophecies would be fulfilled, and Jesus would return. We should rejoice in seeing this fulfillment, being part of it as the chosen generation, all while mourning for His lost sheep, knowing that Jesus is coming sooner that we can fathom.
All over the world, Jesus is being maliciously misrepresented; meanwhile the world grows more and more wicked and deceitful. With time so short, and all that is warring against us in the Spirit, we need to be running to win the prize all the time, in season and out of season, ready to speak a word of Life to anyone God directs us to. We should, at all times, be ready to act on His command, without fear because He has prepared us beforehand for such a work as this, for we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2). It is not by faith alone that we are saved, even the demons believe, but it is by our works, working together with our faith, and it is by our works that our faith is made perfect (James 2). Now is the time to prepare our hearts, not to veer from the narrow path, but to keep our eyes fixed straight ahead. Now, more than ever before, we should beware of false prophets, false teachers, and the ‘return’ of the the antichrist, because even the elect could be fooled. Now is the time to walk upright, in the Spirit, ready and awaiting Jesus’ return.
Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it is only through Him that we are saved, and will have our names written in the Book of Life, not only to escape the fiery pits of hell, but to be accounted for as sons of God. Ephesians 5:1 says that we are called to be imitators of God, to walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world,” and, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We are the light of the world because of Jesus in us.
Jesus is the Light, and we should let the world see Jesus working in us, shining through us, upholding the standard, walking by faith not by sight, living our lives in Christ out loud, that they may see Him and be saved. Be transparent, which is not to boast in yourself, but to humble yourselves before people, to be all things to all people, to let others see your weaknesses and flaws, so that they might see themselves in you and see the reason for your hope. Always be ready to give account to everyone who asks the reason for hope that is in you.
We are told, in 1 John, he who abides in Him ought to walk just as Jesus walked. If we are to walk as Jesus walked, first, we must look at how He walked. He walked in full submission to the Spirit, which is to deny the flesh, be blameless, and confident in His Father’s guidance. Jesus said, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” We are to walk in this same authority, not our own authority, but that of our Father, The Creator. We know, with confidence, that if we walk in God’s will according to the Spirit’s guidance, cultivating a relationship with Jesus, longing to maintain good works, we too will have life everlasting.
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. This is what 1 Peter tells us, to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be kings or governors, that by doing so, as bondservants of God, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. As a servant of God, we are to be submissive to our masters (employers, managers, etc.), not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.
There is no credit in enduring patiently when you are beaten for your faults. It is when you do good and suffer, and take it patiently, that it is commendable before God. Jesus gave us the perfect example of this because he was without sin or deceit, yet He suffered for us. He, being blameless, did not revile back when He was beaten, nor did he threaten his accusers. Instead, He committed Himself to God, who judges righteously. Do not talk back or lash out to those in worldly positions of authority over you, but submit to them, commit to God, and He will avenge His elect who cry out to him day and night.
When your master tells you to do something, and you do it, do you earn an applause for being obedient? No, because you were doing the things that were expected of you. Likewise, when God tells us to do something and we do it, we have done what was our duty to do, profiting nothing. In no way can we ever ‘earn’ the right to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is by the grace and mercy of God our Father who sent His only Son, who walked blameless and sinless on the earth, yet willingly absorbed all of our sins on our behalf, that we are free from the bondage of sin and can come confidently before the Throne of Grace.
Likewise, masters, do the same things to your servants. Do not threaten them, but remind yourself that you also have a Master who is in heaven, and He judges righteously. Do not show partiality or favoritism among your servants because there is no partiality in your Master and Creator.
How do we deny our flesh?
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” In order to deny our flesh, we must forbid ourselves to think and act as our flesh desires because sin wages war against our soul. Ephesians 4 tells us we are to put off our former conduct, which grows corrupt, and be renewed in the Spirit, putting on that which was created according to God. It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles us, but what comes out. That which comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and the heart is deceitful above all things, because out of it flow the very issues of life: evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, bitterness, wrath, sorceries, anger, and blasphemies, which will ultimately increase to ungodliness. We should avoid disputing over words that are unrighteous, because in doing so it may ruin our testimony to those listening. We must speak only what is good and edifying, that it may impart grace to the hearers (2 Timothy). We must be sober-minded, showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, and sound speech, that any opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.
You reap what you sow. If you sow to our flesh, of the flesh we will reap corruption, but if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap everlasting life. Anyone with a carnal mind is enmity against God, and anyone who is in the flesh cannot please God. We are to pursue righteousness, and to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes that generate strife and discord. We must be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, and in humility correcting those who are in opposition, so that they may come to their senses and know the Truth.
We must become blameless and harmless children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, doing all things without complaining and disputing, not becoming conceited, provoking one another, or envying one another. Jesus humbled Himself by coming to earth, to live the life of a mere human, to be the ultimate sacrifice, once and for all. He also gave us another perfect example by humbling Himself to the level of servant, by washing the feet of His brethren. This shows how we should humble ourselves and esteem others above ourselves, and cheerfully serve others. Everything we do should be done without selfish motives, expecting nothing in return. It is when we do things expecting a reward in return that we are in sin.
Jesus told us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. How easy is it to love those who love you back? Even unbelievers do that. It is more righteous to love those who hate you. He also said that if someone strikes you, to turn the other cheek, not to lash out and fight back. It is commendable before God to deny repaying insult with insult, and to suffer for doing good.
We should always strive to be lead by the Spirit, not by the flesh. Just because we want to do a thing, or say a thing, doesn’t mean that’s what God is asking of us. In fact, it seems to be the very things we don’t want to do, for fear of rejection or embarrassment, that God is asking us to do. Where we are weak, He is strong. We must find our strength and confidence in Jesus, who will fulfill all things, will never let us down, leave, nor forsake us. We should be in constant prayer about what we should do, when we should do it, and how it should be done, so as not to jump ahead of God’s will and perfect timing. That is why we are not to make plans for the future, but to say, “If it be the will of God,” we will do a thing.
In 1 John we are told not to love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The world is passing away, and the lust of it. Do we really want to pass away with the world because our flesh deceives us into believing the only real things are what we can taste, feel, and see? Matthew 13:22 says, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, but cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches which choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
We are not to take part in the actions of worldly people. In 2 Corinthians we are told to come out from among them, because evil company corrupts good character. Jesus said “Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever is not gathering with Me is scattering.” Anyone not working with us to bring the light of Jesus into the world is working against us, bringing deceit and corruption — which live in darkness. We are told not to associate ourselves, not to be equally yoked together, with unbelievers who are guilty of sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, reviler, drunkard, or swindler. In fact, we are told that we take part in their sin if we so much as eat with them or invite them into our home.
Jesus said, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” This is very important because we must confess Jesus before ALL men, both the righteous and the wicked, and since the righteous and the wicked are contrary to one another, the people of the world will hate you in the same way they hated Jesus. Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that it’s works are evil.” He also said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you, falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” We should rejoice in that He chose us out of the world and set us aside as His own, protected amidst their destruction.
There is one body and one Spirit and anyone who makes up the body of Christ is a brethren. They are your brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers in Christ, and we are to be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind, looking out for each other’s interests, esteeming each other, encouraging one another towards good works, and praying for each other that God will continue to do His mighty work through us all.
We are to prove our own work and bear our own burdens, not forcing them onto others, yet we are to bear one another’s burdens willingly, in love. We must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace. Nothing should be done through selfish ambitions or conceit with only selfish motives in mind. There must not be partiality shown, so as we have the opportunity, we should do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. We are not to speak evil of one another. James 4 tells us that he who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. However, there is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. First Timothy says do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.
The ten commandments tell us not to murder or we will be in danger of judgement, but Jesus said that if we are angry with our brother without cause we will be in danger of judgement, and whoever says ‘you fool’ to his brother shall be in danger of hell fire. We should not hold grudges against one another, but be quick to forgive the offense because as you forgive you will be forgiven, and as you judge you will be judged. Jesus told us to not to repay reviling with reviling, nor insult with insult, but to be quick to forgive. If your brother sins against you seventy times in a day, forgive him seventy times over, and if someone compels you to go a mile with them, go with them two. Go out of your way to help people, willingly and selflessly.
We are even commanded to withdraw from every BROTHER who walks disorderly or does not work but acts like a busybody, not to count him as an enemy, but to repremand him as a brother. We can follow the example of the prophets who were before us. They did not walk disorderly or eat anything free of charge, but they worked night and day that they might not be a burden to anyone.
On the sixth day, God created man. He formed him of the dust of the earth, in His image, in His likeness, and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. He gave man dominion over all the earth, and everything on the earth. Then the Lord God said “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” So from the man, He made the woman. This is why a man shall leave his father and mother, to be joined to his wife, and become one flesh. God blessed them, and told them to be fruitful and multiply. Man is not independent of woman, nor woman independent of man. All are from God, and should be of one mind, having compassion for one another, being courteous, gentle, and kind.
Husbands are to dwell with their wife in understanding, giving them honor, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together. They are to be a covering for their wives, just as Christ is the head of man, and God the head of Christ. Just as Christ is head of the church (ekklesia, the body of Christ), and the Savior of the body, so is the husband head of the wife. Husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for her that she should be holy and without blemish, having been washed by the Word. Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. How then does Jesus love the church? He loved us enough to die for us, to take on our shame, our sorrows, our burdens, our grief, our sins. He loved us enough to humble Himself, to be mocked, beaten, and left to die on the cross. So husband, love your wife as yourself, and do not be bitter against her.
As a helper, made from man, wives are to respect their husbands, being submissive to their husband, that even if some do not follow Christ, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Wives are to be in subjection to their husbands, as the church is subject to Christ. Wives are to bear children, guide the house, and careful not to give adversaries any reason to speak reproach or blasphemies. Wives, let your adorning not be that of outward apparel, but let it be the hidden woman of the heart, that which is not corruptible, the ornament of a meek, and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Children, obey your parents, honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment that comes with the promise, “That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6).
In closing, we should all look inward and examine our hearts. Every one of us is guilty of these sins, probably on a daily basis. Now is the time to go into our prayer closets and ask God to show us where we have sinned, for a wise man loves correction. We all need to hit our knees, praying fervently, repenting, seeking the face of the Lord, working out our salvation with fear and trembling. We need to rise up, and walk in our calling because time is at hand, Jesus is coming soon. 1 Peter 4:17 — “For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” If we are not prepared He will come like a thief in the night.
What do you want to be found doing on the day He returns?