* Luke 17:6 – And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
* The Sycamine-tree, is also called the sycamore tree, and the “mulberry-tree.” This tree bears a certain species of figs. This tree was common in Palestine. It is probable that Jesus was standing by one as He addressed these words to his disciples. This tree is generally planted by the wayside, in the open space where several paths meet.” It is a remarkable tree. It not only bears several crops of figs during the year. These figs grow like no other. They grow on short stems along the trunk and large branches, and not at the end of twigs, as in other fruit-bearing trees. The figs were carried to market in large quantities, and appeared to be more valued then other figs with taste and the poorer classes eat them. The tree is easily propagated, merely by planting a stout branch in the ground, and watering it until it has struck its roots into the soil. This it does with great rapidity, to a vast depth and the roots or enormous. Our Lord selected it to illustrate the power of faith. Essentially this sycamore tree could not be uprooted and its roots were very large and went deep into the ground. (Again this shows us that in Christ our faith can never be uprooted, stagger or waver, unless we leave the enemy an opening to do so, through fear, anxiety, doubt or unbelief.
* Notes: This tree produced much fruit, WHY? because of its enormous root system. Is our faith firmly root in a manner that it will never fail or be uprooted through circumstances and whiles the devil that he tries to impede us with? John 15:7-8 – If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8) Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
* Why was it found in a place where several paths met? 1) Jesus Christ represents the likeness of this fig tree, which bore much fruit that the Father would be glorified. 2) All mankind ever born on the earth will pass through this place where several paths meet having the fig tree at its center, in the likeness of Christ, of which they will be confronted with a decision for Jesus Christ or against Him. Some will partake in the fruit of this incredible fig tree and disdain it, because it had no taste and because of the sensual nature of the flesh, which only desires those things that tantalize or excite the flesh, making it feel or taste good to the senses of which the devil uses to steal, kill and destroy. * Why will the poor love it so? Within the parable is shown both the good and the evil of mankind, those that hunger and thirst for righteousness and those that reject Christ and chase after the pleasures of sin. 1 Cor 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Natural means beastly or animal nature, sensual, earthy, and the lower nature as compared to the higher or heavenly nature that the righteous are being conformed to in Jesus Christ.
* The poorer class of people preferred them is referring to the willingness of the believer to die to self will, being dead in Christ, that the Spirit of God can mortify the works of the flesh in the midst of suffering and affliction. Paul said in 1 Cor 15:31 – I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. Jesus said in Matt 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. The poorness of the believer gives way to embracing suffering and affliction, which brings forth meekness and lowliness, bringing death to the old nature and advancing the new creation within made in the likeness of image of Jesus Christ. * Isa 66:2 – For all those things hath mine hand made, and those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Poor means depressed, in mind or circumstances afflicted, humble, lowly, or needy. Contrite means smitten, maimed, or dejected, crushed or lame. Why would it say depressed in mind, maimed or lame? This is the condition of the natural man or old nature.
*Zech 13:7-9 – Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 8) And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Smite the Shepherd is speaking about Christ at the cross, shedding His blood and bringing remission of transgressions and sin. The sheep will be scattered is speaking about all of those that will not embrace the cross and the suffering there of, causing them to be scattered. Strike the little ones is speaking, not about children, but the sons of God that are willing to embrace the cross, bringing suffering, affliction, and persecution, but to our greater benefit to embrace being abased, humbled, meek, in Him allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our life as the Spirit did also with Jesus Christ. In this we are refined us as silver is refined, and tried us as gold is tried. When it say’s that two thirds will be cut off it means to cut off, down or asunder; by implication, to destroy or consume. * The big question here is will be with the two thirds or the one third? One will reject the cross and the suffering and the other will embrace to their own death that they mighty have life eternal in Jesus Christ. It is our choice! 2 Peter 3:9-11 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. We are very close to this time!
* Luke 17:6 – And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
* Matt 13:31-32 – Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32) Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
* Some actual facts of the mustard seed is that actually grew to only about the height of 9ft. It also grew in the wild or field instead of a garden, though it is improved by being transplanted, but on the other hand, when it has once been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed, when it falls, germinates at once. Also, the mustard seed has many medicinal qualities and is extremely beneficial for ones health. There are 15 medicinal benefits, but for the sake of space I’ll only post 7: Prevents Cancer,Treats Psoriasis, Relieves Contact Dermatitis, Improves Cardiovascular Health, Relief from Respiratory Disorders, Cures Aches and Poison Repulsion. Interestingly our devotion to Jesus Christ also has a medicinal effect upon the Christian, but not just physically, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally, with wholeness of body, soul, mind and spirit.
* Though the dominion of God appeared small like a seed during Jesus’ ministry, it would inexorably grow into something large and firmly rooted, which many would find shelter in and others would find obnoxious and try to root out.” This is actually taking place, right now, in our nation, but we will overcome these attacks upon us, for they only make us stronger in Christ. Inexorably grow means to be persuaded not to turn back, moved, stopped, and relentless. At the forefront of the Christian walk there must be a relentless pursuit of faith, love and good works and without it the Christian will fail in his devotion to Christ. The veracity of the mustard seed is incredible proof that Christian faith, love and good works that spreads the gospel and His kingdom on earth will never be stopped by any force in the heavens or on the earth. Veracity means the quality of being true, honest, or accurate, or conformity with truth or fact or devotion to the truth. John 2:16-17 – And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17) And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. This intensity, fortitude and veracity of Christ must dwell within every Christian if they are to be over comers and we are to become made in His image and likeness and to receive eternal life in Him. * Eph 2:8-10 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9) “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Faith is a gift from God needed to initiate us into the kingdom of God for the purpose of bringing forth good works which He has preordained for us from before the beginning of time. The real stumbling stone is that most Christians manifest good works out of the old nature. However, If we are born again of the Spirit we are a new creature, every good work flowing through us proceeds out of the new creature by way the Holy Spirit. How can we know what the Father has preordained for us unless the Spirit of God reveal it to us and then we walk in it by the grace of God give to do the good works? * Faith, like a mustard seed, starts out very small, being the least of all seeds, but grows unto the greatest of all herbs and becomes a tree, which, in this case becomes shelter to birds of the air. 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. To waver, stagger or doubt in this gift of faith freely giving to us by God is to bring Him displeasure! Heb 10:38-39 – Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39) But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Christians are falling away from God by the millions in our times and it was even prophetically spoken of by Paul in 2 Thess 2:3. The main reason for this is, because faith and love are not at the forefront of Christian lives, as well as many pastors or teachers behind pulpits throughout our nation have forsaken sound biblical doctrine for intellectual discourse, having no foundation of scripture, and propagating doctrines of demons. There is no veracity in them for the truth, they give way to false doctrines and become wolves in sheep clothing. Find a church with a pastor or a teacher that will not waver in the truth, which cuts to the heart of those hearing it, bringing repentance and change to the hearers life. Acts 20:28-30 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Again Paul say’s in Phil 2:20-21 – For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.
* As King Solomon spoke, saying that, “nothing ever changes”, throughout the history of the church, evil men will always raise up being led of the devil to tear down the good works created in God and devour the sheep as wolves. Jer 17:9-10 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10) I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. The wicked will perish and the righteous will stand, because the Lord is with them. We must realize that in these days, as it was in Paul’s, the scriptures shows us the way to continue in faith, love and good works and advance the truth wherever the Spirit leads us. 1 John 2:27 – But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. The Greek word for for seed here is “sperma”. Now I say, “how can we be led astray in these perilous times when His Spirit, His life, His DNA flows through our veins.” We are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh”. God bless and keep you all during this Christmas and New Years season.
Rev 12:10-12 - And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. One thing that is really key here is that they, “they loved not their lives unto the death”. One of the biggest obstacles within Christians is the fear of man, the fear of failure, doubt and unbelief that keeps God’s kingdom on earth from becoming a reality to believers and unbelievers.
God rebukes His own people for the fear of man, those who oppress them: Isa 51:12-16 – I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; 13) And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? 14) The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. 15) But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name. 16) And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. God has created every Christian to boldly be a vessel that He can use to do His awesome works through each of us, Darkness is established by the devil and his hordes of demons that have brought great darkness in the earth and heavens. God puts His words in our mouth to deal with the darkness and the devil and his kingdom on the earth. He will be defeated!!. Eph 2:2 – Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: The devil and his demons operate in this level or the first heaven or air, who’s purpose it is to keep God’s people from planting the heavens and lay the foundation of the earth, and becoming all that He has ordained each to be. To plant means to fasten, to fix, to to establish and to “lay the foundations” means to found, to fix, to establish, to appoint, or to ordain. (Christians should be about planting the heavens and laying the foundations of which are under the control of the devil causing darkness to increase and all forms of evil to increase through out the earth.)
Isa 59:19-21 – So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. 20) And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. 21) As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever. In vs 19 the word standard means to vanish away, make to subside, to chase, to cause to abate, flee away or put to flight. (I believe this standard raised against the devil causes the him to flee comes from the words He puts in our mouth.) Matt 24:22 – And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Ever feel like the days, weeks, months and years are going by faster?) Matt 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (This is happening in this nation right now!)
* Isa 60:1-3 – Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. 2) For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. This glory arising on believers means honor, glorious, abundance, riches, splendor, dignity or reputation. This arising is speaking of the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who’s life and glory becomes manifest in every born again of the Spirit believer, fulfilling the Fathers desire to plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, that He may be glorified by the Son who lives and abides in us. Every born of the Spirit Christian is called to manifest His light in them into the darkness covering the earth with the purpose of destroying the works of the devil on the earth and in the air/heaven and setting the captives free from the bondage of the devil who holds them captive to do his will. Arise means to stand, to rise up, to arise (hostile sense), to become powerful, to be established, to be confirmed, to endure, to be proven or to be validated. 1 John 3:8 – He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. His Spirit abides in us to destroy the works of the devil.
Col 1:27-28 – To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Matt 5:14-16 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Light of the world means to give light, light as seen by the eye, and, metaphorically, as reaching the mind; English word is phosphorus meaning light-bearing. Light requires an organ adapted for its reception. (Has our life as a Christians been fitted by the Spirit to be adapted for the reception of this light coming forth out of us from good works flowing out of us?) (Important note: We can’t glory in the good works that proceed from us for it is God by the Spirit that is manifesting the good works out of us and the Father is glorified through the Son in those good works. We know these works are from God because the word “good” means means beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends, beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence, praiseworthy; morally good, noble, honorable, conferring honor, affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming. (It should be obvious to all that this is not speaking of good works coming forth out of the natural man, but works manifesting by the unction and power of the Holy Spirit establishing Christ’s works in and through us on the earth, of which only these kind of works can glorify the Father in heaven.)
We must remember that the devil will resist the work of God in us, causing us to be distracted by circumstances and people around us. Matt 6:22-23 – The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. Single means simple, single, used in a moral sense, referring to the singleness of purpose which keeps us from the snare of having a double treasure and consequently a divided heart. The evil eye is one that can be compared to the sower of the seed, where the seed is sown among the thrones, referring to being distracted and caught in the snare of the devil through cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches and the lust for other things, which chokes out the word and become unfruitful in their labor for God.
* Acts 10:37-38 – 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. (Note that doing good is connected to setting the oppressed free from the devil through the power of God residing within us.and much more. The word power (dunamis) means universally, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth: specifically, the power of performing miracles:
Zech 13:7-9 – Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 8) And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9) And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Unfortunately there are many that God will not be able to use for two thirds will be cut off or destroyed. When it says, “I will strike the “little ones”, little ones is speaking of the humble, meek and abased. These God will us for this great work can only be accomplished by these, but they will be brought through the fire and will be refined as silver is refined and tried as as gold is tried and then God will say I will say, it is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
Mark 4:1-3 – And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2) And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3) Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: This is a critical parable to all Christians, because in it we see the pitfalls of the slothful and the reward of the diligent regarding the importance of the word of God working and advancing our daily life in the Lord and in the world around them. Two vital verse regarding the word of God in us are Rom 10:8 – 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; Deut 30:14 – But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. The sower in Mark:4-3 sows the word of God, of which He puts in our hearts and God places in all mankind’s hearts from before time. Giving each a choice to abide in it or reject it. Gen 2:7 – And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. “The breath of” means a puff, vital breath, but more important, divine inspiration and intellect. Mankind knows good from evil!
Mark 4:4 – And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. Mark 4:15 – And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Satan comes to sow unbelief, doubt, condemnation, fear (of alienation from family and friends, etc.
Mark 4:5-6 – And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6) But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Mark 4:16-17 – And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17) And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. There is no root in themselves, because the word, without reading, studying and meditation upon it can’t bring forth the root of the word in their life. Also it is the responsibility of every Christian to remove stones of the old heart through grace and the inward working of the Holy Spirit to establish ground that can receive the root of the word in us. Heb 4:12-13 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. It is paramount that the word be active within us establishing good ground to sow in and receiving the reward there of. Ezek 36:26 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. We will wither and die without the word being firmly rooted in a new heart of flesh received when we are born again of the Spirit.
Matt 12:35-36 – A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36) But I say unto you, That every idle (unfruitful) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. These idle words are those that come out of the heart of stone and speak words of unbelief, doubt and fear. These say they are Christians and love God, but the words from their mouth speak the language of world not of heaven. How can they be saved? 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. And without faith the word cannot be firmly planted in the heart. Satan either takes away the word or it withers and dies!
Mark 4:7 – And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Are we more concerned about this life or the next life? If we trust in God and prevail in the word and faith, abounding in the love of God, things in this world are of little concern when we trust fully in Him, trials, tribulation, persecution and every other form of harassment of the devil can’t keep us from our heavenly home, it only makes us stronger. Matt 6:25-26 – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26) Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Christians must be fruitful, because the word, faith and love of God planted in our hearts should naturally bring forth much fruit and if it doesn’t each will be judged for the lack of it. The lack is a witness against them. John 15:1-2 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Taketh away means to take out of the way or destroy. What is very exciting is that the branch that beareth fruit He purgeth! Purgeth means to cleanse, from filth, impurity!) Gal 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. When the word, faith and love, is establish in our inner man of the heart it should become our natural inclination to daily seek, “living as witnesses of such and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit.” From this labor of the Spirit, God purgeth us, cleansing us from filth and impurity from the old nature making us to walk more in the new creation established in Jesus Christ through oneness with God.
Mark 4:8-9 – And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9) And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Only when we become fully rooted in the word of God, faith and love can this good ground come forth. Eph 3:16-20 (Being rooted and ground in love is the key to the word and faith working in us, bringing God’s promises and provision in all circumstances and causing the vital life of Christ to abound in us more and more. A fearful reminder! James 4:4-6 – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5) Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain,”The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
The Rod of Righteousness (Part 3)
One of the greatest issues with Christians in these days as it was throughout scriptures was the unequal yoking of the people of God being unequally yoked with those in the world and the world itself. We could actually say that much like the fallen angels of Genesis taking the daughter of man contaminated the seed of the ones that were once righteous. 2 Cor 6:14 - Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? Unequally yoked together implies to be yoked together with another who’s moral and ethical belief’s and character are contrary to one another. One has been born again of the Spirit and values serving God and His kingdom on the earth and the other believes that this kind faith and obedience to God is all in vain. This unequal yoking is not just with people, but with the ways of the world as well. The devil uses and manipulates the lost and Christians alike through the common fallen nature within each to snare and take them captive to his will. Amos 3:2-3 – You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. 3) Can two walk together, except they be agreed? This disagreement with God and His people had to do with the evil in their heart’s contracted by the wicked among them, just as it had been in previous generations before of which God also brought His judgment because, their ways were evil. The seed became contaminated from the wicked through previous generations and because God is love He had to remove the contaminated seed.
2 Tim 2:25-26 – in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26) and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. Through sin within and temptations from without, many Christians lose their sense of direction and purpose and turn aside from God, with much of this being due to their word and the way they think. “There is a language connected to heaven and a language connect to earth.” If our thinking and words do not agree with that of heaven and remains connected to the old nature and the world around us our Christian walk will stay contaminated and our faith will flounder causing many will fall away. Matt 12:36-37 – But I say to you that for every idle word (unfruitful) men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” This should make us separate ourselves from the old nature and world it clings to. Choosing rather to cling to the new creation in Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit within us. All of our labor in the kingdom of God is established by the word of God and faith in that word, being activated out of our life. 1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 2 Tim 2:25-26 – In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Prov 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. What we must realize though is that “life” (vital life), which proceeds from the tongue, proceeds only from the heart of them whose heart is the temple of the living God, empowered by grace and instructed and chastened by the Spirit. Real “life” can only be found in God! 1 John 2:16-17 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Christians go astray because they linger around the influences in and of the world, neglecting convictions of the heart and yielding to the lusts of the flesh. Unless they awaken from trap set by the devil and come to their senses and repent of their sin they will fall away from God. 2 Cor 6:15-16 – And what concord hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Infidel means without faith or trust, unfaithful, incredulous (refusing or reluctant to believe.) Idols are things or people that can become more important than our life and labor in Christ. 2 Cor 6:17 – Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Separate means to mark off from others by boundaries, to limit, to separate from. Realizing also, that from this we will suffer persecution for it by those we separate from.
Luke 17:26-27 – “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it shall be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27) they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Why did God destroy them all? Gen 6:1-2 – And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them 2) That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. Most that have researched this, believe that the inner marriage of the son’s of God and the daughters of man, brought forth the giants called the Nephilim whom we find mentioned through much of the old testament scripture. These inner marriages brought forth great wickedness in the land. Gen 6:4-5 – There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5) And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The seed of mankind, at that time, became totally contaminated and because “God is love”, He had to make sure this contaminated seed didn’t find its way into the next generation. Luke 17:28-30 – Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
The New Testament points out prophetic words by Jesus, Paul, and others, that this evil of which they prophesied and spoke about is happening today as it was then, with many Christians falling away from God, because of the darkness that is covering this nation. We find the reason for this darkness in Ps 123:3 - For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. From the beginnings of this nation it was founded upon the rod of the righteousness in our Lord guiding and directing our fore fathers in it’s formation. When this foundation is ignored and trodden by the wicked, bringing darkness, the rod of the wicked will prevail in governing and the righteous will put forth their hands unto iniquity, bringing the falling away of many Christians. Matt 24:12-13 – And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Many means largely, mostly, abundant, altogether, great, or plenteous). In other words Jesus prophesied that a “large number” of Christians would fall away! 2 Thess 2:2-3 – That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Falling away is the Greek world “apostasia” or the English word “apostasy” meaning defection from truth or to forsake God.) This is happening today in large numbers, actually by the millions! Paul says in 2 Tim 1:15-16 – This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. Asia was were the church of Ephesus was capital of Asia, of which Paul under great duress said in Acts 20:29-31 – For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. Nothing ever changes, mankind always seems to return to it’s vomit to repeat the same evils over and over again and this even so in His own people, because the rod of the righteous is relinquished to the wicked without even the knowledge of it, because they are dull of hearing. Matt 7:13-14 – “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Ps 125:3 – For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. There is a clear understanding of the word wicked in the Hebrew the word “rasha” used to know that these wicked people on the earth are nonredeemable to God. “Rasha” denotes the category of people who have done wrong, are still living in sin, and are intent on continuing with wrongdoing; The “wicked” does not seek God; he challenges God in his way of life; he loves violence; oppresses the righteous; does not repay his debts; lays a snare to trap the righteous; the way of the ungodly/wicked shall perish.” The expectation of the righteous includes God’s judgment on the “wicked” in this life that they might be ashamed and overcome by sorrows. They fall by their own devices, and die a premature death, and is expected that at the time of their death there will be great shouting: “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: when the wicked perish, there is shouting”. Psalms 58:3-4 – The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. 4) Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear. Ps 10:4 – The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
In Psalms 125:3 the word “rod” is speaking about a tribe or a clan of people having the scepter (a mark of authority). This nation was established through the faith of our Forefathers as a Christian nation. Their guidance for the establishment of this nation came from the Bible and a sovereign God who directed them by His Spirit to bring forth the Constitution of the United States as well as the Bill of Rights. It was the intent of God that Christians would maintain the rod of His righteousness over this nation, but wicked people began to creep in little by little to mingle and contaminate the seed that birthed this nation, this seed originated from God. Jude 3-4 – Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Out of this came the separation of Church and State, a perverse illusion originating from ungodly people and conspired by the pit of hell. Even now this has become so perverse that its intent is to trodden under foot the biblical foundations of our nation, this same contaminated seed is thriving in our nation to rewrite the history of this nation. These whose minds been darkened by satan himself, attempt to exclude Christians from free speech and public prayer, as well as moral conscious causing them to hauled into courts, in a perverted justice system that levis huge fines on upstanding Christians in the community that will not go against moral conscious, because of their faith in God and their conscious, which come by His Holy Spirit. In these days there is an onslaught of the ungodly in this nation against Christians who will not bend to disintegrating moral conscious of the masses around us to achieve their goals making Christians a non-factor in this nation! We must know that this evil is conceived by satan.
There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day. A 2014 study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year. This came from a study from 2014 by Barna Research and the Fuller Institute, however, as darkness increases due to the darkness in the heart of mankind this “falling away” increases. Remember Ps 125:3, if the wicked usurp authority over the land and turn the heart of the nation to greater darkness the righteous will put forth their hand to do iniquity! This is what the word tells us, so the greater reason for Christians leaving the Church is that they have allowed this spiritual darkness around them to effect their faith and love for God. Also we can’t leave out the prophetic evidence of Paul’s writings and others. (Read Part 2)
Rom 8:29-30 – For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. The Greek word for conformed means having the same form as another, the “conformity” of children of God “to the image of His Son, and of their future physical “conformity” to His body of glory. Being conformed to the “image of Christ”, actually is speaking of being made in the exact likeness of a prototype. As in a prototype of a certain kind of vehicle, it becomes duplicated in the exact likeness of the prototype in was conformed to.
Gal 6:14-16 – But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15) For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but “a new creature”. 16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. The Greek word for rule means a rule (“canon”), a standard of faith and practice; a boundary, a sphere (of activity). When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus about being born again, Jesus told him in John 3:8 – The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit; Jesus was speaking of the new creature which is conformed by the Spirit of God into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. This image and likeness is in the new creation not the natural man of flesh and bones. The natural man is perishing, because sin and death that abides in its nature. No matter how healthy we are one day we will all die, but to live again in the new creation eternally with God, because we heard the call of salvation through redemption by His blood and we were born again of the Spirit.
1 Cor 15:53-55 – For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? All mankind will choose the direction they will go in life, but to forsake the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ is to believe a lie from the devil who is the “father of lies” and cut ourselves off from a loving Father who grieves over the death of all that reject Him. Nothing that is worth having is without cost. Christians will go through much suffering to enter into eternal life and this only as we are fervent in faith and in love, determining in the heart the putting off the old nature and putting on the new through the grace and power working in us through the Holy Spirit. Eph 4:22-24 – That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Rev 19:6-9 – “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7) “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8) And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”
Without proper direction and teaching we tend to miss out on the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. (Jesus speaking) John 3:6-8 - ” That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7) “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8) ” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Unless there is a supernatural conversion manifest by the Holy Spirit through our surrender to Jesus Christ there can be no escape from sin, corruption, death and slavery to the devil who easily manipulates sin in the flesh to be his slave. 2 Cor 4:3-4 - But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4) whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
John 14:25-26 - ”These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Sadly even when we are born of Spirit we can go astray in our own good works and labor thinking that God approves of such works. Well, He doesn’t, however, he will allow us to continue on this path in the flesh to teach us His ways. For me this went on for a several years until I became dissatisfied with my Christian life to such a point that I was ready to return to my old life in the world. I thank God for He is merciful, kind and gracious. Just at this point of my life other circumstances where arising in that was breaking my heart. One morning I got up to “practice my daily routine” of bible reading, praying in the Spirit and seeking Him for direction. Suddenly, I heard what seemed to be an audible voice, which said to me, “That’s how my heart feels about you.” Immediately the Spirit of God said to me, “You have left your first love.” He then took me to the scripture Rev 2:2-5 - ”I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3) and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent. Needless to say I was repentant and the Holy Spirit began teach me how this was able to take place, to such a point that I was even ready to turn my back on God and return to the world.
The Holy Spirit began to teach me what had happen that would cause such a radical turn in my life. Within all mankind, there is an deep need within us to be approved by others. Our tendency is to do things to gain the approval of others. This is really just the working of the self referential nature within us. When I was growing up I sought the approval of my Dad and my friends. I have always been one that would serve and help others for the need of approval. I was in the military for 4 years, Fire Department for 26 years and now my wife, Pat and I have been pasturing an inner city mission in North Charleston, SC for 22 years. It is really serving that brings fulfillment in our lives as long as long as we are seeking no gain out of it. However, the devil hates it and will bring every form of adversity against us you can think of. However, this too is for our benefit, causing us to grow up in Christ. I have recognized over the past years that there is only one we need approval from and that is our Father in heaven. What is awesome about our Father in heaven is that He approves all mankind through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In this we surrender and become slaves of righteousness just like Jesus Christ who didn’t come to be served but to be a servant of all. Christians must learn to serve without putting expectations upon those we serve. Rom 13:8-11 - Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9) For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. We die to self in serving one another, because we are naturally self referential and full of pride. John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. This is how the Holy Spirit mortifies the deeds of the flesh. (Rom 8:13) Like Christ we take up our cross daily no matter what the cost, for in every test there is there is upgrade of the new man in Christ, becoming more and more like Him in character and nature while putting off the old man. Like Christ, a Christian will go through intense trials and suffering, putting on Christ, while putting off self. Matt 11:28-30 - Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
When Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus and was thrown to the ground. Jesus told Paul that He would go through great suffering for Jesus’ name sake. Paul went through suffering above and beyond others, but most important was that in the suffering He would be established and built up in the new man, within him made in the likeness of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:7-12 - But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8) We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9) persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 10) always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11) For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12) So then death is working in us, but life in you. The greatest point to be made here is that in all of Paul’s trials, tribulations, and testing he was putting off self and putting on Christ, while the love of Christ within him, through his own death, was bringing life to others. This is the true vocation and purpose of every servants life who is in Jesus Christ. We live to die but in dying to self, we gain the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10.
When I say, “the heart of man”: I mean the heart of the natural man. Jer 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Even in this there is hope for all mankind. Jer 17:10 – I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. God’s desire is that all mankind choose life over death, but many choose death over life and these will perish. The natural man, of which we are all created, is an incipient state of mankind birthed out of the seed of Adam in disobedience, resulting in sin, corruption and death. 1 Cor 2:14 – But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. The Greek word for natural actually means “beastly”, sensual or the lower nature. The natural man is from beneath the new man of the Spirit is from above. John 8:23 – And He (Jesus) said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. Don’t argue with a person in their natural state about Christianity, because they have no spiritual discernment of such things for those born again of the Spirit think, speak and act as if they are foreigners from another world, and they are just as Jesus said, “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” When I was born again of the Spirit, it was late one evening in the fire station where I was employed. Everybody else was asleep. I was reading a book by Hal Lindsey called, “Satan is alive and well on planet earth”. At the end of each chapter, He had an invitation to receive Jesus as Lord and savior. I had already been contemplating doing this, but this was the night that the Lord had chosen for me. I read a short invitation receiving Jesus as Lord and savior and all of the sudden the Spirit of God fell on me and I knew I was connected to another dimension or world not of this earth. That morning when I got up my whole life was different and the guy’s in the fire station thought I had lost my mind, and it truly had, I receive the mind and the life of Jesus dwelling in me. I didn’t realize at the time, but I had been translated to another kingdom not of this world. Col 1:12-15 - Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.
1 John 3:9-10 – Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10) In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. “Doth not commit sin” actually means to not continue in sin, for if we continue in sin without repentance and turning away from sin we prove we are not the sons of God. We must realize, however, that this is a process that takes a life time, of which we ourselves can’t change. It takes the power of God through the Holy Spirit to mortify the deeds of the flesh. (Rom 8:13) It is impossible for mankind to redeem themselves from sin. Rom 3:9-12 – What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. The dilemma that dwells within all mankind is self will and pride, thinking that they can, in their own efforts, rise above the sin and corruption within them. Our natural condition from Adams seed is dead in sins and trespasses and It can’t be raised from the dead unto righteousness from any work or labor of mankind. Isa 64:6 - For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.