Striving, Standing & Suffering

1. Philippians 1:27 – OUR CONVERSATION
“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in ONE SPIRIT, with ONE MIND striving together for the faith of the gospel;”

a. “more needful for you” – Paul concludes we are here to spend our lives for others.

Philippians 1:23-24:
“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

b. “conversation” – We can define it here –

2 Corinthians 1:12:
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”

Galatians 1:13:
“For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:”

Ephesians 2:3:
“Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

Ephesians 4:22-24:
“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.”

c. Paul starts preaching (stirring to action) which means doctrine is already installed.

d. “whether I come … or be absent” – in whatever circumstance

e. “one spirit” – duty, driving force, instruction; “one mind” – passion, desire, will.

f. “striving together” – They are supposed to contend, fight, work, stand –

1 Timothy 3:15:
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

i. Strife (contention) is of the flesh if it is against the Spirit –
Galatians 5:17,20:
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,”

ii. We war in the spirit with truth against imaginations to captivate thoughts

iii. We do strive – lawfully by right doctrine –

2 Timothy 2:5
“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”

2 Timothy 2:14
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

2 Timothy 2:23-24
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men , apt to teach, patient,”

Ephesians 6:12
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

g. “for the faith of the gospel” – This requires we have a pure, clear, right gospel

2. Philippians 1:27-30 – SUFFERING AND SALVATION

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

a. “in nothing terrified” – there is a doctrinal reason for this –

Romans 8:38-39
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

b. “adversaries” – these would not exist if they were not striving for doctrine.

i. It will cost you to strive together and stand upon the form of sound words.

c. “evident token of perdition” – They see your position as destroying your life –

1 Corinthians 15:19:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”

i. The evidence they see is physical, natural, carnal, circumstantial.

ii. You can see their adversarial position to truth is their perdition –

2 Thessalonians 1:5-6:
“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;”

d. “but to you of salvation” – See Christ magnified –

Philippians 1:20
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”

– and also –

2 Corinthians 2:14-16
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?”

i. You will be threatened with perdition (before God and men), be persuaded.

e. “to suffer for his sake” – This is a part of being in Christ that people choose to ignore.

i. Why would God want me to suffer? Answer: you are his body –

Colossians 1:24:
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”

ii. Suffering can be in nature (chance, life), from sin, or for Christ –

Romans 8:18
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

iii. If it is your stupidity that made you suffer – don’t blame God.

iv. Those that live godly will suffer the third kind –

2 Timothy 3:13
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

1 Thessalonians 3:4
“For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.”

~ written by Justin Johnson, Grace Ambassadors

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Yes, I poo-poo Les Feldick’s Ministry

The reason I do not use Les Feldick or Cornelius Stam and the Berean Bible Society as ensamples concerning the teaching of sound doctrine:

They are Bible correctors.

Since studying and believing the King James Bible is a fundamental of the Christian faith, Bible correctors cannot teach sound doctrine from perverted Bible versions which omit or deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, along with a myriad of other God given truths, dispensationally or otherwise discerned.

Their ministries are lacking.

“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” ~ Philippians 3:17

Santa Claus Isn’t Coming to Town

We don’t celebrate or worship the helpless baby in the manger once a year, rather we celebrate and rejoice in the power of the ascended Christ’s finished work on the Cross every day.

We are not tied up in Roman Catholicism, the world, nor its denominations, neither its celebrations which compartmentalize the year into different sections.

Instead, we celebrate our lives IN CHRIST every day.

“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:29

 

 

 

 

 

Expedience

It’s a crazy, mixed up world.

The truth is seen as legalism, when the truth of the matter is, legalism is really when one turns back to the weak and beggarly elements of the law.

Legal =  law = legalism = kosher diets, water baptism, Sabbath keeping and doing good works for salvation.

The bottom-line concerning the Corinthians:

Legalism mixed with grace. Jews and Gentiles in one church. Babes in Christ unable to discern the meat from the bones.

Outcome: Chaos.

Isn’t it sad when Christian leaders themselves have swallowed the bones and spat out the meat…

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:12

If all things are lawful to me and for me, then I can rob a bank… live a licentious life… but why don’t I?

Expedience relates to self-interest, and it is in one’s best interest that one should be concerned what one believes and how one lives after being saved.

 

Profound

“If you are not saved by grace alone, stop pretending to be a Christian. Trust God’s grace alone through Christ alone by faith alone.

If you are saved by grace, stop pretending to be a sinner. Start serving the Lord.” ~ Justin Johnson

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” ~ Acts 26:18

“And they glorified God in me.” ~ Galatians 1:24

 

Give More Than Love

You may have heard it said that love is the answer, but is it true?

It surely sounds good, and with all the hate, war, and contention couldn’t we all use a little more love? What could possibly be wrong with love?

Actually, a lot can go wrong with love without Christ. Love can be perverted, distorted, and used for evil.

Who does not know “the love of money is the root of all evil” in 1 Timothy 6:10?

The Corinthians were living in love of fleshly indulgence (1 Cor 6:13-16). What’s wrong with love and happiness, if it does not harm anyone? Paul called it sin that did not glorify God (1 Cor 6:18).

Sinners can love each other without God, live darkened lives in love, and love pleasure more than God (Luke 6:32John 3:192 Tim 3:14).

Love is a message preached by every religion and secularist without Christ from Bahai to Buddha.

The pagan-Catholic Valentine’s day of love is celebrated across the world without Christ.

Loving people perish if they do not love the truth (2 Thess 2:10).

God is love, but Love is not God. Love without God is ungodly.

Love must be tempered by truth. Without the truth all our loving words and deeds become worldly. You cannot have the truth without Christ (Col 2:3).

Love is not the answer. Christ alone is as God commended his love toward us in Him (Rom 5:8).

If you want to show someone godly love, give them more than love. Speak the truth to them in love (Eph 4:151 Cor 13:6Eph 5:25-27).

Warning: this message may make people hate you.

Israel’s Five Step Slide To Moral Apostasy

We as Saints can learn from this.

The Slide to Moral Apostasy
G. Williams makes this the 5 step path to apostasy:
i. Lust after evil things like they did – Numbers 11:4-6
ii. Idolize: replacing God with something else – Exodus 32:6
iii. Adultery, fornication: fellowship with the world – Numbers 25:1-9
iv. Faithlessness, infidelity, tempting God – Numbers 21:5-6
v. Murmuring against God, opposing him – Numbers 14:2-4

Flee these things and pursue purity – 2 Timothy 2:22, 1 Timothy 6:11

Taken from http://www.graceambassadors.com

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” ~ Romans 15:4

Suffering

It gets said of marriage, “first comes the engagement ring, then the suffe ring”.

I say, the only suffering most Saints participate in, is this:

“For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:19

And not this:

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” ~Philippiand 3:19

I once had a brother in law who was into Eastern religion, some Swami fellow was his guru who taught him how to levitate 1 metre off the floor…. he always said that he rejected Christianity because Christians were meant to suffer…. big joke.

I, at the time was a clueless Pentecostal, lost and religious… and I laughed back at him because I believed I had God’s promises to stand on…. who was meant to suffer?  Not I.  Of course, he was right, and I in my ignorance was wrong, those promises were given to Israel, not the Body of Christ.

We currently suffer on this earth in order for our innermen to be strengthened to rule in heavenly places.

Israel will suffer in times to come for her flesh to be strengthened in order to rule over a physical, earthly realm.

Thank God For Your Fellowship

Christians use the word ‘fellowship’ loosely.

When Christians invite church friends over to watch the game, have a backyard picnic party, or go on a relaxing vacation they call it fellowship.

Many churches contain a banquet hall and kitchen that would match most restaurants. They call them fellowship halls.

When Christians want to just hang out or shoot the breeze under the guise of ministry, it is sanctified by calling it fellowship.

They keep using the word fellowship to describe fun, friendships, and food, but I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Fellowship in the Gospel

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, … For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now…” – Philippians 4:3-5

Paul was grateful for their fellowship in the gospel.

Paul was tasked with “making all men see the fellowship of the mystery” (Eph 3:9). The Philippians saw it and were partakers of the gospel of grace given to Paul (Phil 1:7).

There is a comfort that comes when two people have in common a mutual faith (Rom 1:12). More than simply sharing the same hobbies or preferences, having a mutual faith means that you are both standing on the same foundation and have a unity of Spirit (Eph 4:3).

As more brothers and sisters are established on God’s word without error rightly divided it is a joy to see their confidence increase, their assurance of salvation, and their growth in spiritual understanding.

It is hard to change what someone else likes or dislikes, but we can establish one another in true fellowship of the gospel when we work to make all men see the fellowship of the mystery.

Fellowship in Ministry

All those who are saved by the gospel have fellowship in Christ, but the Philippians were also fellow laborers with Paul in the Lord’s ministry (Phil 4:3Phil 4:15).

They understood the gospel, the importance of the ministry the Lord gave the church, and were participating in doing the work.

Ministry requires a change of mind and heart, and when others in mutual faith work with you in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, they become extremely desirable.

“For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” – Phil 1:8

There are some bonds that are only forged by fire, and ministry produces the fellowship of suffering that fellow soldiers face as they strive together (Phil 1:27).

There are fewer folks who can claim this fellowship, but for everyone that is involved in the work I am extremely grateful to God for working in them to do His pleasure.

Faithful Fellowship

This fellowship is rare and goes beyond hanging out or sharing a coffee. Fellowship that is thankworthy is the kind that endures from the “first day until now” in the truth (Phil 1:4).

Frequently, fellowship starts on the right foot, but then many start to partake of other ministries that are not God’s, preach another Jesus, receive other spirits, or preach other gospels (2 Cor 11:3-4). Fellowship is broken.

Fellowship requires having something in common. Fellowship in the gospel requires the same gospel message. Fellowship in Christ requires the same Christ. Fellowship in ministry requires faithfulness to perform the right ministry with the right heart.

What Paul had in common with the faithful Philippians was a common faith, partnership in ministry, unity of the Spirit, and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ. That they continued from the “first day until now” was cause for thanksgiving.

Thank God

Bible fellowship is more than fun, food, and friends. You do not need God for that kind of physical enjoyment.

Fellowship is what God provides when His word works effectually in those that believe the gospel and grow up in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing…” – 1 Thess 2:13

Thank God for fellowship with like minded believers who will fight with one mind for the love of the truth.

If that is you, thank God for your fellowship.

~ Justin Johnson ~ http://www.graceambassadors.com

The Role of Women

There are many roles for women in the ministry, like teaching children for instance (boys up to the age of 15 years) as well as other women. The role of a woman just isn’t that of a Pastor-Teacher.

There is a huge difference between getting people saved by the preaching of the gospel and standing and teaching them from a pulpit and calling oneself a Pastor and having AUTHORITY over men.

One can measure the Baptist tendencies in some who go to the extreme of forbidding women to wear jeans, pants or shorts, or even forbid women to cut their hair.  Bottom-line: One cannot dictate another person’s personal preferences.

Their version of women keeping silent in the church also adds up to women keeping silent when abuse (emotional, spiritual, mental or physical) rears its ugly head and women are expected to submit to that too since it is dished out by their husbands….

Once upon a time there was (and still is) a Baptist preacher who claims God has nothing to say about a husband being physically abusive to his wife.  He claims, the Bible is silent on the matter, yet legally speaking, Family Law calls it “family violence”….. and God has plenty to say about violence…… look it up…..  what some Baptist pastors condone, God hates.

Generally speaking, a women is saved IN childbirth (not by it) from the cruelty and evil of the world.  Her role is to bear children, but at the same token, she is definitely not saved from the world in being in an abusive marriage either.  Which brings me back to the Baptist minister or ministers who see divorce as the unpardonable sin and excommunicate those from their Assemblies for not towing the line in submitting to their abusive husbands.  (Such excommunication of course, being a blessing).

Divorce is a big deal in Baptist Assemblies because they kow-tow to Israel’s levitical law.  Put bluntly, they are religionists who are trying very hard to please God by their own performance.

Today, in the 21st century, when there are no men to do the teaching (as is the case in certain cities, towns and countries), a woman can teach men up to a certain point, that is…. meaning once the men are competent, she chooses the strongest one (doctrinally speaking) and he takes over the reins from her.

It makes me wonder how come some Baptist Right Dividers (identified as such due to their beliefs) call all women who spread the gospel of God’s grace, “teachers”.  “How come there are so many women teachers these days?”, they ask…. not realising the difference…

It is the calling of each and every single Saint, male and female to spread the good news.  Hypothetically speaking,  if there aren’t any saved men in China to preach the gospel, only saved women, are they to keep silent? How would men in China, for that matter,  be saved then?

I find it strange how Baptists still expect most women in this day and age, in this current economic environment to be stay at home moms and wives, and in so doing put women on a tremendous guilt trip for holding down a job and helping to support their families.

If one’s family was starving and in need of basic necessities, would you as a woman still prefer to be a stay at home mom, or would you look for a job?

I’m of the opinion that 1 Timothy 2:12-15 are the verses abusive men twist and use to put women down.

“How to shut a woman up and make her tow the line in one easy step” : 1 Timothy 2:12-15, ripped out of context, of course.  As far as they’re concerned, women are not allowed to have an opinion or disagree with their husbands on certain issues apart from the ministry.

I might sound like a feminist, but I am far from being one, if anything, I am a realist.

It would be nice though, to be 100% in line with God’s word concerning one’s Christian service as a woman, but life on this planet in the 21st century regrettably dictates otherwise…. so….. suck it up buttercup.

Men & Women

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:12-15

The role of saved men in this dispensation reflects Christ and His authority, and the role of saved women reflects the church, His body.

Addiction

I am convinced that no matter what one is addicted to, it’s all the same.  Addiction has the same symptoms, be it to coffee, cigarettes, booze or drugs.  People who are given over to addiction cannot live without their “crutch of choice”.

They are slaves, and slaves have masters which rule over them.  I cannot see myself being ruled over by a packet of cigarettes, a can of beer or a bottle of wine.  I do not have an addictive personality.

I am thankful I do not have any chemical masters.  I can live without tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, or any other chemical or ingredient that “helps one cope with life”.

When one is saved and one learns and matures, eventually one is changed from the inside out, as opposed to religion which dictates a person must change on the outside for the world to see.

Let God’s word strengthen the innerman in order for it to control the flesh.

Dare to be different.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16

 

 

Work Out Your Own Salvation

The Apostle Paul says to WORK OUT one’s OWN salvation with fear and trembling, which does not mean one is left to figure out how one is saved, like a science experiment where people come to many different conclusions and all so happen to be right, meaning one person believes Acts 2:38 is the gospel, another believes 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the gospel and so forth….

God’s salvation isn’t a gamble where one believes and does what one thinks is right and by doing so, takes one’s chances……

If one does not believe dispensational truth, it can be dangerous, not only by way of handling poisonous snakes and drinking poison today, but also by believing the wrong gospel which can damn one’s soul to an eternity of hell in the lake of fire.

Once one is saved, one is told by Paul to work out one’s salvation, aka running the race, aka one’s service to the Lord. There is a huge difference between working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling, and working for one’s own salvation with fear and trembling….

If one is saved and is under the impression that one need not fear the Lord, think again.  How will one fare at the Judgment Seat of Christ knowing one led people astray with one’s very own rendition of wrongly dividing the word of truth as a Saint?

Contrary to popular belief, being in heaven won’t consist of “Let’s Cuddle a Moment” politically correct sessions, nor will there be countless ongoing “Let’s Ask Jesus and Paul ” group sessions.  Instead, and to begin with, one will ceremoniously have one’s tail feathers set alight and be ashamed, especially those who turned back to the weak and beggarly elements of the law. (Galatians 4:9).

As a Saint, one can lie, deceive, manipulate, back-stab, gossip, ridicule, reject people for telling the truth and bear false witness, but it will all be laid bare at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” ~ Philippians 2:12-13

Behavioural Science 101

We do not do good works in order to be saved, we do good works  because we are saved.

The Saint’s ultimate goal concerning his/her work on this planet apart from getting people saved by preaching the gospel:

“Let all your things be done with charity.” ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14

© Audrey Henry – 12 Sep 2018

Blameless and unreproveable

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;” ~ Colossians 1:22-23

Those who depart from the Faith and those that are moved away from the hope of the gospel remain saved, but are nonetheless blameable and reproveable in the sight of God, and will face the consequences thereof at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” ~ Galatians 1:6

“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:15

“And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:4

© Audrey Henry – 22 August 2018.

 

 

 

 

It’s a heart thing

2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

The three things Saints were not given on this earth

1. Justice – “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

2. Comfort – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” ~ Romans 8:18

3. Instant change – “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” ~ Philippians 1:6

The reason why the Judgment Seat of Christ is a heart issue – no-one will attain to perfection in the flesh, no matter how hard they try.  After all, God judges the heart.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” ~ Romans 8:27

© Audrey Henry – 5 August 2018