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A
rm In Arm
Walking In The Unity Of The Faith

By Diane Jurino
 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

About The Author
Disclaimer
Dedication
Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1 – An Enemy In The Camp
Chapter 2 – A House Divided
Chapter 3 – Peace Be To You
Chapter 4 – Unity Of The Faith
Chapter 5 – Brotherhood Of Believers
Chapter 6 – The Church Of The First Born
Chapter 7 – We Are One Body
Chapter 8 – Arm In Arm

 

About The Author

Diane Jurino is a Spirit-filled Christian who resides in Erie, Pennsylvania. She is the mother of three grown children, and four grandchildren. Her professional background is in Copywriting, Sales, Advertising, and Marketing. She has developed and conducted custom training courses in Human Relations, Communications, Personal and Professional Development.

  

Disclaimer:

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in this volume are from the King James Version of the Bible.

 

Dedication:

2Corinthians 13:11 “… Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

To all my brothers and sisters in Christ – may we walk in love and unity as we usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth!

 

Preface

Romans 3:17 “And the way of peace have they not known:”

The Lord is appalled and dismayed at our lack of love. We are letting a spirit of strife and division separate us in the church, when we should be joining together in love and unity to usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth. Offenses of all kinds have crept into our fellowships and destroyed our peace. This is an insidious problem that must be addressed and corrected immediately.

God is very clear on the standards He expects of us. Our goal is to walk as Christ walked on the earth – in total unselfish love for others and dominion over all things on the earth. We should be preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom with sincerity and conviction and bringing in the end-time harvest. We are to heal the sick, cast out demons and even raise the dead.

We should be performing miraculous signs and wonders so that men everywhere will see the manifest glory of God. But we cannot accomplish any of this unless we are totally consecrated and sanctified for His purpose, and operating in the divine power of God Himself. Where there is no peace, there is no power given. It’s that simple…

Psalm 29:11 “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.”

The Lord is dealing with each of us. He’s purging us of our own individual agendas, sanctifying us in the flesh, and reinforcing the command to unity. He will bless and strengthen His church if, and only if, we rise above our petty grievances and lay aside our differences. God wants us walking in love and peace with all men, particularly those in the brotherhood.

We should strive towards more unity among us than we have ever experienced before. We must be lifting each other up and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ to walk in all the fullness of their callings. We ought to celebrate our unique differences rather than permit them to drive a wedge between us.

Psalm 122:8 “For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace [be] within thee.”

Some of us will be called out to serve as the Body of Christ on the earth. These individuals will take an active role in the destruction of all demonic strongholds that try to prevent the coming of the Kingdom. They will be consecrated and dedicated to walk in the miraculous as they bring in the full harvest of souls required.

Others will be members of the church, the very Bride of Christ. Their focus will be sanctification and preparation to meet the Lord at His coming. They will be dedicated to unselfish intercessory prayer for the coming of the Kingdom itself. They will work at perfecting themselves in the faith, and seeking the Lord’s revelation and direction for their lives.

Regardless of our calling and purpose in the Lord’s eternal redemption plan, we all have important work to do in the days ahead. Nothing should separate us from our divine destinies. Now, more than ever before, we must be willing and obedient to His lead, and walk together arm in arm in total love, peace and unity to help birth the Kingdom of God on the earth!

 

Introduction

Isaiah 59:8 “The way of peace they know not; and [there is] no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”

The Lord is reprimanding His people and sending us a clear-cut message at this time. He is extremely displeased because we have not been walking in peace and unity in the church. We are being carefully scrutinized and held to a much higher standard of accountability than ever before. We must judge ourselves so that we will not have to be judged by Him. We must repent and return to our first love, for Him and for one another.

Every sinful behavior that leads to strife and division in the church must go now. All pride and arrogance, chaos and confusion have to be rooted out at their origin. The Lord deplores dissension of any kind, and will not tolerate bickering, gossip, backbiting and offense in His people. This threatens to destroy us altogether and it deeply grieves the Holy Spirit of God.

1Corinthians 11:18 “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.”

The church is comprised of individuals from many diverse backgrounds, denominations, callings and gifts. It is time we exercise spiritual maturity, discipline and self-control, and overcome our differences. We must rise above our proud and haughty spirits and esteem one another more highly, as is fitting and proper in the family of God.

While it may be typical human nature to find fault and criticize others, it is not acceptable to the Lord that we behave that way as His people. We are chosen and elect; we have an eternal destiny. Our behavior must be beyond reproach and serve as a godly example to the world. Our very love and unity should be what attracts the unbeliever to us.

Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

We must repent of all unrighteousness and consecrate all our efforts to ushering in the Kingdom of God. If we refuse to cooperate with the Lord and walk in love, peace and unity with one another, Jesus Christ Himself will disqualify us from His Kingdom altogether. He has told us that not everyone will enter in, but only those who are obedient to do the will of the Father.

We have individual roles in the Lord’s eternal redemption plan, but we are called corporately as a body of believers, as well. Regardless of our different functions, we will all face the same sure and equitable judgment. Only Christ is capable of determining whether we hit the mark, or missed it, in our walk with Him. We will be rewarded based on our obedience and performance.

So too, we must respect and protect the anointing power of God by agreeing to pursue peace among us. The Lord will not entrust us with His awesome power to usher in His Kingdom, unless we are self-disciplined and have sanctified ourselves for its use. That requires that we walk in total righteousness with Him, and in love and unity with one another.

Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

Individual differences should not divide and separate us from our hope and calling. It does not matter what our denominational background or religious affiliation is, there is but one God as the source of all truth. We are one body of believers. We should seek our commonality of interest, and let love and peace serve as the standards by which we associate with one another.

We are all equally valuable to the Lord, and each of us in necessary to His eternal plan and purpose. We all have important functions in the church. We should encourage one another to fulfill our individual callings. We must learn to trust and rely on one another, and look to Him for guidance and direction as we usher in the Kingdom of God.

We will be promoted and advanced depending upon our obedience and humility. If we would be of any use in establishing the Kingdom, we must assume the role of a servant, and minister to others – both fellow believers and unbelievers alike. If we are to rule and reign with Christ for all eternity, our motives must be pure and we should use right judgment in our dealings with others.

Isaiah 26:12 “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”

Everything we are and everything we have, we owe to God’s loving mercy and provision for our needs. None of us is inherently worthy to have been blessed as we are. It is only by the merits of Jesus Christ, that we are acceptable to God. Our reasonable service to Him is to obey His commandments and walk in love and peace with all men, particularly those of like precious faith.

As we hear and obey the Lord in the days to come, we will link up with other believers and walk in full authority on the earth, just as Christ did. We will demonstrate the divine power and glory of God in the earth realm for all men to see and marvel. We will heal the sick, set captives free of enemy oppression and even raise the dead. We will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and together we will bring in the full end-time harvest of souls.

Our spiritual maturity perfect and complete, we will be quick to respond to others’ needs for prayer, healing, encouragement or exhortation. We will be loving and compassionate to all those with whom we come in contact. We will usher in the Kingdom of God by learning to walk together in Kingdom principles of love and righteousness, peace and unity for all eternity.

 

Chapter 1 – An Enemy In The Camp

 

1John 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.”

We know that the devil is real and that he can and does come at us with spirits of deception and illusion. The Bible tells us that in these last days that not only the church, but also the entire world, will be deceived by him and shrouded in darkness. His mission is not just to harass and annoy, but to steal, kill and destroy all that is good in us and around us.

Mind-blinding and hindering spirits bind themselves together to oppress, attack and wreak havoc. For example, deception and denial attempt to blind us to the truth. Strife and division go hand in hand to split us. Hatred, anger and bitterness create dissension in our midst. Chaos and confusion bring turmoil to our fellowship.

Demonic spirits team up in strongholds that are not easily broken, and they do irreparable damage if they are left unchecked. They cloud our minds to the truth, disturb our relationships with one another, and keep us in weakness and sin rather than in the Lord’s divine strength and righteousness. They paralyze our effectiveness and neutralize our love walks.

Colossians 2:15 “[And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

We must remember, however, that the devil is a defeated foe, vanquished forever by Jesus Christ through His victory over sin, death and the grave. Very soon, he will banished from our midst altogether and cast into the lake of fire. For the time being, we can overcome all temptation to evil in the Name of Jesus Christ and by the power of His Blood.

We don’t have to give Satan or any of his minions access to our lives; we can resist all demonic efforts to oppress and hinder us, both as individuals and as a group. We don’t have to permit him to blind us to the truth or hinder our efforts in serving the Lord. We can and should bind and cast him out of our affairs totally and unequivocally. We have the anointing power of Christ Himself that removes all burdens and destroys yokes.

A Defeated Foe

Since we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, we know that the enemy has been put under our feet by Jesus Christ Himself. We should be looking down on him from our vantage point at the right hand of God. We have authority in Christ, and we could take a united stand. We can exercise control and dominion over him, penetrate all enemy strongholds, and run him out of our camp forever.

Why then, are we permitting him to gain ground at a time when we should be preparing to enter the Kingdom of God on the earth and meet Christ as our Bridegroom? It’s sad to say, but we have allowed a serious enemy infiltration to occur. It is one that threatens each of us as individual believers, and the future of the church as a whole.

We play right into the hands of the enemy in our relationships within the church. We have gotten into the flesh and succumbed to the demonic temptation to find fault and accuse others. We scrutinize others’ character and behavior, criticize and accuse, judge and condemn them. Yet we conveniently overlook our own faults and make excuses for our bad behavior.

We are causing strife and division in our midst and horrible rifts are occurring that weaken and separate us. Our group solidarity is threatened and we open ourselves to even more demonic attack. We have lost our first love and are walking in suspicion and hatred for one another. The church, as we know it, is in danger of extinction at the very time when we should be seeking our eternal destiny and attracting new believers.

Lack Of Love

1John 3:10 “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.”

There is a deplorable lack of love and unity among the brethren these days, and the Lord is warning and confronting us with this sin. Anger and hatred have crept into our relationships. Strife and division are running rampant. Chaos and confusion are creating a nightmare for God’s people both inside and outside the church. Peace is becoming a thing of the past.

We are arguing over moot theological points and vague eschatological theories that have no major impact on our eternal destiny. They are irrelevant at best and anti-Christ at worst. The traditions of men blind us to the truth, and controlling religious spirits attempt to keep us in bondage. The gospel message has been diluted and watered down to suit man’s purposes rather than to glorify God. It bears very little resemblance to the truth that it was meant to be.

Not only is there dispute and competition among the different religious denominations, but we are also at war right within our own church bodies. We are walking after the flesh instead of the Spirit in worldly competitiveness. We are proud and haughty and refuse to negotiate and compromise our differences. We squabble over minute issues and argue about doctrines of faith, and we drive a wedge between ourselves and our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

In many instances, we steadfastly refuse to submit ourselves to spiritual authority at all. Pastoral leaders are being slandered, and are challenged over the most trivial matters. We put their behavior under a microscope, but excuse our own. We judge them mercilessly and violate the perfect law of liberty in all of our lives. We think we are acting righteously, when all we are doing is defaming others and creating division amongst us.

Spirits of Lawlessness And Rebellion

Congregations are splitting over personality quirks and subtle differences in values. People everywhere are becoming ungrateful and lawless. They are suspicious of their brothers and sisters and start all sorts of vicious rumors. They criticize and condemn, ostracize and isolate others. They cause rifts and divisions that never seem to heal.

Proud and haughty spirits look down on others they deem less spiritual than themselves, and they call that godliness and righteous judgment. They criticize others and condemn them if they hold to different beliefs. They are in competition to see who will get the last evil word and look the best to their peers. Their intent is to impress men rather than please God.

Many are even leaving the church altogether in a spirit of open rebellion, or perhaps to escape the defilement that’s going on. They are disgusted with the status quo, and are feeling isolated, lonely and disenchanted. They become easy prey for the enemy to attack them without their church covering to guide and protect them.

Although these individuals may love the Lord, they detest religious politics and hypocritical, sanctimonious Christians that talk the talk, but refuse to walk as Christ did. They become like lost sheep in search of a shepherd. They are in desperate search of truth and meaning for their lives and they lack purpose and direction.

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].”

Whether the devil or the flesh, such manifestations are outrageous and unseemly in the children of God, and they need to stop before they get worse. We are no different from the children of the world if we engage in such behaviors. We know better; we will be held accountable for every thought, word or action that does not line up with the Word of God. Our love walk must never be compromised if we hope to be righteous before the Lord.

We should sharpen our skills of spiritual discernment and determine where we have missed it. If the enemy is responsible for what is currently going on in the church, then we should join together and resist him in all his efforts to divide us. If we have allowed the flesh to overcome us, then we should crucify it with all its lusts. We need to lay down our personal agendas. We should develop our spiritual maturity so that we walk in the Spirit instead of the soul or the flesh.

We are to walk in the light of Christ, not only as individuals, but as a corporate group as well. We have been bought with a dear price, the Blood of Jesus Christ Himself. We are to be above reproach if we will attract new believers to the Lord in the days to come. And we must function as one – in love and unity – so that we are shining examples of God’s power and glory to the ungodly as we usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth.

A Spirit Of Offense

Corinthians 10:32 “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”

Why then are we are allowing a spirit of offense to come in and overtake us in our dealings within the brotherhood? Every offense that is given or received is a walk out of love into conflict with one another. This creates strife and division in our midst, and opens us up to even more demonic activity. It will be our undoing if we fail to take an aggressive stand against it.

Jesus Christ is coming back for a spotless unblemished Bride. The church must be above offense, and we will be held accountable if it continues. We are to give none offense – believer or unbeliever. We are to steadfastly refuse to receive offense of any kind, and we must refuse to allow it to contaminate us any longer.

We should strive for peace with all men. We cannot communicate the light and love of the gospel if we are walking in opposition with others. We will not attract the unbeliever to the truth, if we ourselves succumb to darkness and are overcome by lies. So too, none of us will enter into the Kingdom of God for all eternity if we are in strife and division of any kind.

Luke 17:1 “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe [unto him], through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

Jesus warned us about offenses coming into our fellowships. He knew that they were inevitable because of our human nature. But He also delivered a strong commentary about those who let them in and get them started. He most certainly objects to those who initiate offense, and keep it going, till it damages the peace and rapport of the entire church. He expects us to promote unity and group solidarity amongst ourselves, and the sprit of offense prevents that.

Offenses are usually initiated by individuals with lawless, rebellious spirits. They have reprobate minds that do not line up with the Word of God. They are mischievous at best, and absolutely hateful at worst. They delight in stirring people up and always seem to need the last word. They serve as agents of the enemy and are a blight in our presence, that threatens destruction from within the very infrastructure of the church.

How Offense Turns To Strife And Division

Troublemakers of all sorts lie ready to create strife and division among us. They may start out simply with non-verbal cues, such as raised eyebrows or negative facial expressions. They turn away from us when we speak to them, and avoid our eye contact. They plants seeds of doubt and suspicion in our minds. They might engage in subtle innuendo, or perhaps they are bold and make off handed remarks that hurt others.

Some openly disagree among themselves in the congregation, or with the church leadership itself. They engage in malicious lies and slanderous gossip, and are puffed up with pride. They often attempt to mask their maligning of others under the guise of claiming that certain individuals “need prayer.” Their sanctimonious interest in others is really meddling and a form of control. They are often religious and look down on those who do not think, speak and act as they do.

We cannot permit these offenses to even enter in to our fellowships because they hurt others, and they cause horrible rifts and divisions that bring damage to the group as a whole. What should be an atmosphere of prayer and praise, becomes one charged with strife and tension. The anointing is compromised and the presence of the Lord is diminished. God is holy and perfect; He cannot dwell in a hostile environment.

We must forego all offense – both the giving and receiving of it. Whatever form it takes, once we respond to offense and participate in its spread, we give it increased power to destroy. Before we know it, people start taking sides one against another, and major controversies of all types develop that give power and glory to the enemy rather than to God.

Envy Leads To Strife

James 3:16 “For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.”

Spiritual pride and envy always lead to open strife and division. Let’s face it, many of us are jealous of others spiritually speaking; this stems from feelings of inherent sinfulness or low self-worth. We don’t think we measure up to God’s standards, so we try to find fault with our brothers and sisters, thinking this will somehow make us feel more righteous in and of ourselves. Instead of focusing on perfecting our own destinies, we meddle in others’ spiritual growth.

Criticism and condemnation are the norm, while we secretly envy another’s gifts or calling. We covet their relationship with the Lord, and we diminish one another’s importance in an effort to boost our own self-esteem. Then to add insult to injury, we divide the church with gossip and backbiting and we don’t even feel remorseful. We have developed seared consciences that do not even recognize the blatancy of sin any longer.

We may boast of our spiritual accomplishments and set ourselves up as being “holier” than others because we pray or read the Bible more often, or are more active in the church. We may criticize our fellow congregants who miss services or fail to tithe and give offerings. We put their behavior under a microscope, and nit pick the smallest details. Our goal may often be to make others feel less righteous and important to God than we are.

Controlling, religious spirits are proud and haughty and attempt to manipulate and coerce. They try to force their belief systems on others. They have a tendency to silence people, hold them down, and keep them in bondage. These attitudes ostracize others and break up our churches. The Lord hates Babylonian religious systems that oppress His people, and He is bringing swift judgment against these practices.

We fail to realize that we are all important to the Lord’s plan and purpose, individually and corporately. We all hear His voice differently and respond appropriately to His call. He guides and directs all of our lives according to His express will. There is none of us that is more righteous or holy than another. He loves each of us totally and unequivocally. Our righteousness is in Christ, and before Him, we all stand or fall.

Pointing the finger at a brother or sister in Christ is not productive to change, nor acceptable to the Lord. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin; that is His role, not ours. We must examine our own consciences, confront our own sin and actively work to purge and sanctify ourselves of all known unrighteousness. When we miss the mark, the Lord is ever merciful to forgive us and forget our iniquity when we repent from the heart.

Pride And Arrogance

Luke 22:24 “And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.”

Many of us are jockeying for power and position in our churches. Proud and arrogant elitist spirits attempt to dominate and minimize others’ importance. Their goal is to look good and feel superior to others; their focus is on outward appearances rather than the inner man of the heart. The Lord disdains this practice because it causes artificial divisions among us.

Men everywhere have lost their first love – for the Lord and for others. This was predicted and we should beware of it before it destroys our group solidarity. Spiritual leaders discount the opinions of their flocks, and the congregation resents their leadership. There is a spirit of prideful competitiveness to see who will be the greatest among us when Christ returns.

In reality, there is none of us that is greater or more important to the Lord than another. We each have vital functions to perform in ushering in the Kingdom of God. Some of us are called to the Body of Christ; others will be His Bride. We each have important roles to play. Our calling is not based on our religious affiliation or our denominational background. It has nothing to do with man-made belief systems. It is determined by our degree of sanctification and consecration to the Lord’s purpose in ushering in His Kingdom.

We are creating artificial barriers among us, when we should be fostering communication in the church, so that we please the Lord and hear more clearly from Him. We need revelation; we need His guidance and direction for our lives, now more than ever. We need the very anointing power of almighty God Himself to manifest, if we will accomplish all that we must do in the days ahead in ushering in His Kingdom on the earth.

The church can accomplish much more if we work cooperatively, than we can as individuals operating alone. We need divine connections. We need a corporate covering. This is not the time to go solo; we need each other to accomplish what the Lord has ordained for us. If nothing else, we need a brother or sister to guard our back against all attacks of the enemy. Yet we bite the very hands that feed us, and scornfully dismiss those who could protect and defend us.

We each have our strengths and our weaknesses, and we need each other as complements to our own natural abilities. We must be relying on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide each of us into all capability and cooperation in Him. We should trust that Jesus Christ is our sufficiency, and our role model for successful ministry and victorious living. Then and only then will we be able to function together as one unified whole.

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Discuss Enemy Infiltration In The Church

2. Lack Of Love

3. Lawlessness And Rebellion

4. Offense – Its Causes And Effects

5. Strife And Division

6. How Envy Leads To Strife

7. Pride And Arrogance

 

Chapter 2 – A House Divided

 

Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Christ knew the subtle characteristics of human nature and He anticipated that we would succumb to our souls and our flesh. He delivered a scathing commentary against certain sins that He said defile us from within and interrupt our peace and unity in the church. Evil thoughts, blasphemy, pride, deceit and foolishness are included in this group. Yet we still participate in them. We should be ashamed and embarrassed for this to occur among us.

Believers everywhere are mistrustful and suspicious, supposing the worst of each other. And when we expect the worst, it usually manifests. At the same time, we are proud and foolish, in an effort to deceive ourselves and others into thinking we are more righteous than they are. The different sects and denominations all accuse one another of straying from the truth, when in reality we have all gone astray like lost sheep if we fail to walk in love.

We hypocritically point the finger at our brothers and sisters, but excuse fault in ourselves. Our hearts are becoming hardened and we have seared consciences. We are attacking each other openly and mercilessly, and we seem not to have any regrets. Our once strong moral fiber that identified us as the very children of God is being replaced by a secular humanism that threatens to destroy each of us.

This has to stop now. Sin is sin, and none of us is totally righteous. Too much is at stake for us to be caught up in petty controversies. We cannot retain our group solidarity that is so desperately needed in the days ahead as we usher in the Kingdom of God, if we succumb to evil thinking and maligning one another. We should not be deceived into believing that this divisive behavior is normal and acceptable to God.

The spirit of hypocritical religion has to go now. We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth – His version of it, not our brand and preference! We must repent and ask the Lord for His forgiveness. We have divine destinies that will impact the entire world. We should not be foolish enough to think that the Lord will entrust us with His power and glory to accomplish His eternal plans and purposes, when we are at odds with one another in His very own church.

Sins Of The Tongue

James 4:11 “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of [his] brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us. He came to fulfill the law, and replaced it with His commandment of love – for God and for one another. If we walk in love, we dwell in God and He dwells in us. When we step out of love in any way, we walk in unrighteousness, and we are at enmity with God and with one another.

While it may be human nature to disagree occasionally, sins of the tongue are at a new high in the church. There is quarreling and dissension of all types. Lying, bickering, gossiping, slandering and backbiting are all going on and show no signs of stopping. The Word of God condemns all of these practices, because they defile us and malign others. Yet we so easily slip into them, and when confronted with these negative habits, we become defensive, blaming others rather than ourselves.

The truth is, we all have a part in these sins. We certainly have heard rumors or malicious gossip; maybe we’ve even added to it. We have all disagreed with one another at some point or another, and made negative comments about our brothers and sisters. We probably have even lied when confronted with this behavior.

It doesn’t matter who got these practices started, nor who feeds into them; we are all guilty if we fail to proactively put a stop to them once and for all. They are a hideous blemish on the Bride of Christ, and they are beneath our dignity as His church. We should be using our tongues for encouragement and edification rather than for malicious purposes.

James cautioned us on the use of the tongue. We must read what he had to say in James, Chapters 3 and 4. He said that we bless and curse from the same mouths, and this should not be the case. There is inherent power in our words. We have to be most careful that we use our tongues only for blessing, and not criticizing and condemning others. We should avoid speaking word curses on one another.

We must guard our tongues carefully, because they have the power to wound others and bring judgment on us. They can be beneficial or malignant in their use. If we speak what the Lord speaks, we can be certain that our tongues are being used constructively to bless and edify one another, instead of defaming and destroying.

Psalm 34:13-14 “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

None of us want to accept that we are evil, yet we are literally devouring each other with our hateful, lying mouths and we fail to recognize it. We ruin others’ reputations with spiteful gossip, and we even slander them with malicious lies. We must turn from all our evil ways and get back on the right track. We should pursue peace at all costs, particularly in the church of God.

What comes out of our mouths strongly impacts the world around us. There is either creative or destructive ability in our words. We should speak what we want to see manifest, and believe in our hearts that it will indeed come to pass. Positive words will generate positive results. Negative words will bring destruction on us and on others.

We could be exhorting and encouraging one another in our like precious faith. We ought to pray for and lift each other up. We all have eternal destinies that require us to have a prayer backup. We must speak only righteousness, peace and joy in all our situations and circumstances, as befits those who would enter the Kingdom of God. Our love and unity should be beyond reproach as heaven is ushered into the earth realm.

Have we perhaps forgotten that Christ alone has the permission to judge who is righteous? We have not yet been given that privilege. He appoints and He alone anoints. He will never confer His power and authority on those who are proud and arrogant, haters and troublemakers. He will never trust His church with judgment of the nations, when we cannot even judge matters among ourselves appropriately. We have to forego all criticism and condemnation of others, and learn to judge all matters that affect us fairly and equitably.

Chaos and Confusion

1Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Mind-blinding spirits are on the rise. They want to keep us from the truth. The enemy is planting all sorts of evil thoughts and suspicions in our minds, and we are quick and ready to buy into his deception. Our imaginations run wild as we suppose the worst of others, when we could simply believe the best of them. We should view one another as the Lord sees us, covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ Himself. We should walk in peace with all men wherever possible.

However, chaos and confusion are prevalent everywhere in the church, as a result of offenses that creep in and separate us. It’s difficult to know who is responsible for the friction. We all buy into it, and we open the door to the enemy by walking in our flesh. The devil is keeping us ostracized from each other and neutralizing what we are to accomplish for the Kingdom of God. He’s created a stronghold of division among us that is difficult to break through.

When chaos and confusion enter in to an atmosphere already ripe with strife and division, there are all sorts of evil repercussions. We get caught up in fantasy instead of truth; our priorities change. Our social issues become more important than our spiritual activities. We forget to pray for one another, and we become weak and susceptible to more temptation and sin. We often forego our love and unity, and we are guilty of openly transgressing the Lord’s law of love.

Our praise and worship become meaningless; sin interrupts our righteousness with God and our prayers remain unanswered. The manifest presence of the Lord fades from our fellowship. The anointing power of God is removed and we see no healings and miracles any longer. The truth of the matter is that the Lord withdraws from us and leaves us to our own devices, because we have stepped out of His perfect will for our lives.

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace and order. He wants us to eliminate this dissension and division in His church, and join together to execute His long-term redemption plan for mankind. But first we must cleanse ourselves of all this defilement. We must lay down our souls and crucify our flesh. We should repent and get back to our first love – for the Lord and for one another.

We are chosen and called; we’ve been bought with a dear price. The Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us from all curses of the law, to include sinful strife and division. It should not even be named among us, much less openly engaged in. We must guard against chaos and confusion, bind and cast it out in all its forms, and replace it with the peace and joy of the Lord. Love and unity should be our mutual goal now and in the future.

God Hates Evil In His Church

Psalm 26:5 “I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.”

We have ignored the commandment to love and strayed far from it. As a result, we are subject to harsh judgment both as individuals and as a group. There are repercussions to every decision we make. We can choose to walk in the light or be overcome by the darkness. Every step out of love and unity is a step into the darkness.

The Lord wants to take up residence with us on the earth in the Kingdom of God. He wants our original fellowship restored and He will be our God, while we will be His people. He is all holy, and He cannot abide in the presence of evil. If we choose to be in close relationship with Him, we must purge ourselves of all this wrongdoing, and reconcile ourselves to one another. We should strive not only for righteousness, but holiness and spiritual perfection.

If we refuse to acknowledge our sin, repent and turn from it, and line up our lives with the Word of God, we will be disqualified from entering the Kingdom of God altogether. We will end up consuming one another in our own offenses. The anointing will leave our churches and the Lord will ultimately withdraw His holy presence and leave us to our own devices. He will seek out another people whose values and thoughts line up with His own.

Romans 1:28-32 “And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Sin is sin, and we have to recognize that we have brought it on ourselves. We have allowed our minds to wander from the truth, and forgotten the fundamentals of our faith. We have also developed bad habits that hurt ourselves and others. It’s true that the “little foxes spoil the vine.” These often grow and escalate to ultimately destroy us as individuals and as a church.

Our minds have been deceived into thinking that these petty sins are normal behaviors, and that the Lord will overlook them. But nothing could be further from the truth. These are mind-blinding spirits that tell us this, and they will bring a curse on us and be our undoing if we permit them free reign in our lives. In reality, the Lord is holding us to a much higher standard of accountability than ever before. He is now actively engaged in judgment of the household of God.

Scripture says that these sins are worthy of death sentences. That’s pretty harsh perhaps, but it is actually how the Lord views them. We must not choose death over life; we’ve been redeemed from the curse of death. Yet spiritual death is a certainty if we refuse to repent and change our ways. We need to overcome our pride and arrogance, and develop humble, contrite hearts. We must get back to love and unity; these are the ties that bind us together and keep us walking in righteousness.

A House Divided Cannot Stand

Matthew 12:25 “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”

It takes only one or two individuals to influence an entire group – positively or negatively. We have the responsibility to impact positive change in ourselves and in our fellowships. We have power through the Blood and the Name of Jesus Christ to resist all attacks of the enemy to divide us. We have the law of love to show us how we are to interact with one another.

We have the conviction of the Holy Spirit to tell us when we have been wrong, and we have the strength in our inner man to repent and change our ways. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We have His very own wisdom and compassion available to us. We must also have the Christ-like character to make restitution to all those we have hurt, and firmly resolve not to be involved with any more contention.

Not everyone will enter in to the Kingdom of God, Jesus told us. We have to line up with the will and purpose of God. Some of us will be turned away as unfit for peace, righteousness and joy for all eternity. If we have chosen strife and division as a permanent way of life, we will be rejected. The choice is ours, and the time to act is now. We can choose love and peace, and get back on the right path. If we fail to do so, we will be on the outside looking in and endure everlasting punishment for our sins.

The Love Remedy

Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

There is no excuse for all this fussing and fighting among us. There is no legitimate reason for strife and division to ever occur in the church. We are simply playing into the hands of the enemy, by allowing our souls and our flesh to take predominance over our spirits. We are permitting malicious offense, anger, bitterness and evil speaking to come in and contaminate us. And if it continues, it will be to our total destruction.

We are held accountable for the knowledge that we have, and we all know better than to engage in these behaviors. We were not taught to hate and find fault, but rather to love and bless others. It’s time we remember who we are and what we stand for. We can listen to the convicting influence of the Holy Spirit. We can overcome our souls and flesh, and put others’ needs on an even plane with our own. We can become proactive in correcting this situation.

It is time to repent and turn away from all evil thinking and speaking that separates us. We can develop the mind of Christ and see the best in others. We can steadfastly refuse to give offense or become offended in our dealings with others. We can also stop listening to individuals that spread lies, gossip and slander. We can redirect conversations, ignore what’s being said or cease speaking with divisive troublemakers altogether.

We must guard our minds and hearts and manage our tongues. Discipline and self-control, temperance and longsuffering should be our goals. We can put others’ needs and feelings on an even plane with our own, and work from within the church to effect the necessary positive change in our fellowships. If we will accept the challenge to do so, we can walk in total love and unity and be a shining example to the world around us.

1Thessalonians 5:15 “See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].”

We should not be interacting with our brothers and sisters as we have been. We’ve been guilty of everything from pettiness to overt evil. We would not tolerate this behavior in our families, so we should not permit it in our churches. We are forbidden to treat even those in the world in this fashion. We are to be examples to the ungodly, loving and building others up, instead of cursing and destroying them.

We must forgive and forget all our grievances. We have to take the higher road. Love is not an option, but rather a command. The requirements of the law of love state that we are to care for others as we do ourselves. We would not want to be the object of maliciousness; therefore, we must guard against being evil toward others. We should not participate in anything that divides us and separates us from our God or from one another.

Although the Lord is infinitely forgiving and merciful, He will not tolerate a continued lack of love in His children. He will not intervene and override our free will either. He will simply withdraw His presence from us instead, and take the power of His anointing away from our midst. There will be no miracles and healing wonders that take place in our meetings.

Without God in our lives, we will be powerless to withstand evil and we will relinquish our blessings. We will end up as open prey to more attacks of the enemy, and the darkness around us will threaten to overtake us. We have to make a life-changing choice to love at all costs; our eternal destinies depend on it.

Choosing Good Over Evil

1Peter 3:9-12 “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it, For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil.”

If we want to enjoy peace, joy and prosperity forever in the Kingdom of God on this earth, we must turn from our wicked ways. We must walk in love and peace with all men, to include our fellow believers. We should bless and not curse them. Although others may stir up strife, we ought to avoid it in every instance, knowing that it will prove to be our downfall. We should refuse to participate in anything that defiles us or harms others.

We should confess our sins to God and to one another. We ought to realign our thoughts to line up with the Word of God, and avoid all sins of the mind and the tongue. We must seek and pursue peace with all men in order to remain in right standing with God. If we want our prayers answered and our needs met, we must purposely choose good over evil. If we fail to do so, the heavens will turn to brass and we will be left with no access to our God.

Psalm 34:14 “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

We know the truth; we have no excuse for our current behavior. While it may not be easy for us to swallow our pride and admit our wrongdoing, it is essential to our love walk. We must repent of all our evil thoughts and words that have damaged others and the church as a body of believers. We have to make restitution wherever it is needed. We should seek the Lord’s forgiveness and vow never to sin with our minds and mouths again.

So too, we should forgive and forget all wrongs done to us by others. If we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, it will cause a root of bitterness to spring up. We also ought to make amends to our brothers and sisters that we have personally wronged and make an effort to see their point of view. Their needs are as important as our own. We must change our negative behavior, turn from all known sin and unrighteousness and embrace peace and unity once again.

Good Fruit

3John 1:11 “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”

We are known by the fruits of our thoughts, words and actions. Whether we choose evil or good determines our destiny. Those who dwell in God, walk in love. Those who do not know God and His way of doing things and being right, walk in evil. We must be careful with whom we associate in the days to come, because others’ bad habits rub off on us. Bad company makes for bad morals. We don’t need any negative influence in our lives at this time.

We should cleanse ourselves of all defilement of the soul and flesh. The corruptible cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. We must judge ourselves, so that we will not be judged. And we should permit nothing and no one to defile and disqualify us from the promised blessings that are laid up for us for all eternity.

Even if all the other members of our fellowship sin with their minds and their mouths, we should refuse to enter in to this sort of behavior. While it may make us feel temporarily alone and isolated from others, we can and should seek fellowship with those of like precious faith in a congregation that builds itself up rather than destroys itself from within.

Matthew 7:17-18 “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

All roots of bitterness, rebellion and lawlessness have to be destroyed. We cannot and should not tolerate these in our midst. They contaminate the whole church body and bring only chaos and confusion with them. Troublemakers have to be confronted and reprimanded with a spirit of firm, but gentle correction. If they refuse to repent, we have no choice but to put them out of our fellowship or they will defile all of us.

The Kingdom of God is being ushered in soon. Judgment has begun with the very household of God, and the Lord will reward each of us according to our works. He holds us to a much higher standard of behavior because of the truth we have received. We are to emanate the love of God in all our interactions with one another. We will either be disqualified or justified, based on our thoughts, words and actions.

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Division In The Church

2. Defilement From The Heart

3. Sins Of The Tongue

4. Chaos And Confusion

5. God Hates Evil In His Church

6. The Love Remedy

7. Choosing Good Over Evil

 

Chapter 3 – Peace Be To You

Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

We are to be light and salt in the world. We must not mirror the darkness around us. We should be continuously renewing our minds in keeping with the truth. It’s time to realign our thinking with the Word of God. The Bible says that we are to walk in love and peace, and this ought to be our goal. It can become our permanent life-style, if we call ourselves Christians. It will attract many unbelievers to us, as we become living gospels of the Kingdom of God.

All change begins first in our minds. We must purposely choose to think about what is good, rather than dwelling on what is bad. We ought to believe the best not only of ourselves, but of others as well. We should think on pure, true, lovely things of good report. Our focus should be on the positive, rather than the negative in this world. We must think positively and speak positively, in order to see good things manifest in our lives.

We must treat others with deference and respect. It is possible to root out the spirit of offense totally and completely by simply refusing to engage in it. We should avoid all gossip, put an end to all rumors, and guard our tongues from speaking evil to and about each other. This promotes peace among us, and it pleases the Lord to see us walking according to His ways.

1Peter 3:11 “Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.”

We must repent and turn from all evil. That requires some effort on our part. We should all submit our consciences to scrutiny. We need to determine where we have missed it. We have to crucify our flesh and all its desires. We ought to purge ourselves of all selfishness and lay down our personal agendas. We must re-establish lines of communication within the church, and attempt to fellowship together without strife and division.

Unity of the brotherhood is critical to the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth. Christ is returning for a pure and undefiled Bride without spot or blemish; He insists that her behavior be beyond reproach. He is calling out the Body of Christ to help usher in His Kingdom. They will be sanctified and consecrated to His plan and purpose. Their job will be to overthrow major demonic strongholds; they have no business engaging in border skirmishes in their home churches.

We should all work together for the common good. This earmarks us as the people of God; it shows positive purpose and direction for our relationships. It demonstrates our love and unity in a practical way. Group solidarity will also fortify us against all attacks of the enemy, and restore our righteousness with the Lord. It will yield peace and order in our lives and bring joy to our fellowship with God and with men.

It’s All About Forgiveness

Luke 11:4 “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

We cannot hang on to grudges of any kind; they only poison our relationships. It’s time to forgive and forget, and move onward and upward to the high calling of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us to ask for forgiveness and to show it towards others. He reminded us that we can not be forgiven if we hold anything against a brother or sister; this will interfere with our relationship with God and hinder our prayer lives. Anything less than total forgiveness for others is sin, and has serious repercussions.

Forgiveness benefits others, as well as us. We must forgive others unconditionally and purposefully, without expecting anything in return. That lets them off the hook, and frees them to begin afresh. They may not change immediately, but the example that we set cannot be denied. Demonstrating forgiveness shows us to be persons of integrity and love. It elevates us from behaving as mere men to the divine nature and calling on our lives.

So too, when we forgive others, we experience a release from any mental stress and tension that may have plagued us. We rid ourselves of guilt and condemnation that we experienced in taking offense and nurturing grudges. We forego anger and bitterness and replace it with love and compassion. We restore ourselves to peace and joy in the Lord. This causes us to be positive in our outlook and more effective in our Christian walk.

Luke 17:3-4 “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

Jesus was most specific about forgiving others that offend us. He has given us a blueprint for effective interaction here. While it may be necessary to speak up and draw the line in some instances, we must never be harsh and condemning; nor should we hold a grudge against anyone. Unforgiveness only leads to anger and bitterness, which hurt us immeasurably.

There are some times we simply cannot overlook what someone has said or done to us. Their behavior may be so egregious that we need to take a stand. But it is critical how we confront an individual that offends us. We must be tactful and rebuke them gently. If they repent of their wrongdoing and ask us to forgive them, we are obligated to respond affirmatively and forgive them as many times as they repent from their sin against us.

While it is important to forgive, it is also advisable to forget all wrong done to us, as well. We should sincerely try to blot it from our memory, as the Lord does when He forgives us our sins against Him. It is always a good idea to wipe the slate clean and begin again in renewed fellowship with others, and refuse to be offended in any of our relationships.

Refuse Offense

Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

We must guard against a spirit of offense, both in the giving and receiving end of it. We cannot be so touchy or overly sensitive to what others think and say, that we build walls instead of bridges between us. The truth is that we desperately need the Lord and one another. We should overlook all personal differences and focus on our commonality of interest instead.

We should never succumb to the evils of sectarianism or promote competition between our denominational beliefs. The Word of God settles all disputes between men, and it should be our ultimate authority. It has nothing to do with religious affiliation, but cuts right to the mind and heart of God Himself. We all love the Lord and seek to serve Him in Spirit and in truth. That is our common goal, and nothing should deter us from reaching it.

The law of love was given to us for our express benefit. It stimulates peace in our dealings with one another; it fosters unity among us. Love of God and others should be our priority. It is the primary Kingdom principle that we should use as a guide for all our behavior. Love ought to be a life-style that we purposely choose. It has great benefits to us for the short-term in all of our relationships, and it will bring us blessings for all eternity.

Let Peace Be The Umpire

Psalm 85:10 “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed [each other].”

Our minds, wills and emotions need to line up with the Word of God. We know that it is wrong to walk outside the law of love, so we must do everything possible to ensure that we live by its precepts. Truth is demanded of us in our inward parts, and mercy should always manifest in our dealing with others. The Lord is ever merciful towards us. We ought to follow His lead and show mercy for each other.

Righteousness demands that we forgive and forget all wrongs committed towards us, and strive to walk in love again. Only then will we be restored to our original fellowship with the Lord and with one another. Peace follows that righteousness, and we need to pursue peace at all costs if we would work together to usher in Christ’s Kingdom.

We must strive for peace and unity among all the brethren. We should seek the ties that bind us, rather than the differences that split us. We have no time for games, and should entertain no patience for devils. Ours is a high calling and it requires sanctification and consecration to the Lord’s plan and purpose for us – both individually and as a group of believers.

The Holy Spirit guides us into all righteousness, and enables us to walk in peace and cooperation despite our differences. We should cultivate all the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, particularly gentleness and temperance, patience and longsuffering. We should lead quiet lives of prayer and contemplation, rather than participate in divisive nonsense that destroys our fellowship.

Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

It’s a full time job just to keep ourselves on the right path; we cannot be scrutinizing our brothers and sisters. Whether they are righteous or in error, we still owe them respect. They are responsible for their own walk. We should be praying for, encouraging and edifying one another in a spirit of humility. While we are on different paths, we all have the same goal. So too, we all have the same temptations and human frailties.

If we see another in danger of falling, we should lift him up with gentleness and in the love of the Lord. None of us is exempt from mistakes. We all fall short of the glory of God at one time or another. We cannot afford to criticize and condemn others, because we will be judged by the very same standards to which we hold them accountable. Our righteousness is nothing in comparison to that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Put Others First

Philippians 2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

None of us is more important than others in the Kingdom of God. We must not succumb to spirits of pride and boasting; these only lead to needless strife and division. We should aspire to mutual up building in the Lord. All of us are important to His eternal redemption plan; we have eternal destinies that must be fulfilled. We each have a significant role in the smooth operation of the whole body of believers.

We must always try to see the best in others. While they may be significantly different from us, they are still God’s creation. We should celebrate our uniqueness, and praise and encourage each other in the Lord. We ought to prefer our brothers and sisters over ourselves, and treat them as we hope to be treated. This stimulates love and peace in our personal lives, and in the church at large.

Speaking Peace And Unity

Psalm 85:8 “I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.”

We can renew our minds through the power of the Holy Spirit, and our thoughts about others will automatically line up with the Word of God. God is love and if we say we love God, then we must also love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can speak words of love and peace to each other. We can build one another up, instead of tearing each other down. We do not have to behave as we have in the past. It is foolish and counter-productive to God’s purpose for our lives.

We know that the Lord commands love and unity of us. Our tongues should speak that to all our situations and circumstances. Love and peace can be the focus of our conversations. We ought to be affirming and encouraging, warm and sincere in our interaction with others as befits children of the living God. We will relate better to one another in the church. So too, we will attract many unbelievers to the faith because of our gentle, loving ways.

Jesus only spoke what He heard the Father say. We should also be tuning in to the voice of God before we speak. The Lord will never direct us to speak negatively. Our tongues will be used for promoting the common good rather than for spreading evil. We ought to be encouraging and exhorting one another according to the Word of God. We must speak the truth with one another in all love and compassion.

We can speak words of praise and thanksgiving, love and hope for the future. We can pray and worship the Lord together. This will reinforce group solidarity. We can and should use our mouths constructively to promote the coming of God’s Kingdom on the earth, by making spiritual decrees that will help it to manifest. We should preach the gospel and share its good news, so that all men have hope and confidence for the future.

2Corinthians 4:13 “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;”

Instead of our former sins of the tongue, we should be employing our mouths for godly purposes. We can speak life to the church and obtain glory for our former shame. We must exhort and encourage each other in the faith. We can and should pray for one another in private, and participate in corporate prayer as well. We can share words of prophecy and revelation as they are given to us, and edify the entire body of believers.

We ought to make spiritual decrees of love and unity, health and prosperity over the church. Even if conflict still exists, we can call those things that be not, as though they were, and make tremendous strides in both spiritual and natural realms to restoring peace in our ranks. We should compliment and praise one another. We can discuss the promises of God, and preach the good news of the Kingdom to new believers. Whatever comes out of our mouths should be uplifting and edifying to others and appropriate to our hope and calling.

Holiness And Righteousness

Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

Holiness is required of all of us; without it we cannot enter into the presence of the Lord. We must each focus on our own sanctification, by laying down our personal goals and agendas, in favor of the Lord’s will for our lives. We should purge ourselves of all destructive habits that interfere with our fellowship with the Lord and with each other. So too, nothing defiling will enter the Kingdom of God, because the Lord Himself will take up residence with us. We must prepare ourselves now to enjoy our future for all eternity.

It is always God’s express will that we walk in love, peace and unity with one another. We should strive for peace with all men, not only fellow believers. There is a huge harvest of souls to be brought into the Kingdom. We should work on developing our compassion and persuasiveness. Our sincere and heart-felt love for others will bring light to a world darkened by sin and hatred. Love always overcomes hatred, as light always overcomes darkness.

James 3:18 “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”

Peace is not something that just falls on and overtakes us. Sometimes we have to work at it, and deliberately bring peace to our situations and circumstances. We ought to overlook supposed slights and insults. We must refuse to offend or be offended. We should forgive and forget all wrongs done to us, and treat others with deference and respect regardless of how they behave towards us.

We have to choose to believe the best, rather than the worst of our fellow men. We cannot be suspicious and paranoid in our dealing with others. We should avoid all gossip and negative reports. These slyly and subtly prejudice us in our dealing with others. We may have to swallow our pride and arrogance to become sincere and humble. All of this will bring peace and order to our lives and unity to our relationships with others.

It is always worth our effort, and we have an excellent role model in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Regardless of whom He encountered, He always chose the way of peace over dissension and division. He had a peaceful, gentle spirit, which attracted others to Him and inspired them to change their lives to be more like His own. He used persuasion, rather than confrontation and opposition, in His communications with others.

Jesus not only walked in peace with all men, He also preached peace to His followers. He knew that they would have to learn to overcome their differences and walk in love and unity. The Kingdom of God itself will be built on love, unity and peace; nothing defiling will reside there. We should embrace and practice all of its principles even before we actually enter into it on this earth. If we fail to do so, we may never enter the Kingdom at all.

The Peace Of Christ

Jude 1:2 “Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.”

Christ taught us that to be forgiven, we should forgive others. Just as God is ever loving and merciful to us, we must always be loving and merciful to others regardless of what wrong is done to us. That will promote peace and joy in our interactions. When we seek peace and pursue it, we purposely choose to see the best in all people, situations and circumstances. In so doing, we will experience increased favor with both God and men.

Jesus walked in mercy, peace and love wherever possible with everyone He met. The Bible tells us that He forgave men their sins, and always went about doing good to others. His peace radiated from Him in a gentle stream of attraction that drew men to Him and the Gospel of His Kingdom. We are to emulate Christ and walk as He did on the earth. Love, joy and peace are contagious, and cause us to attract many to our faith.

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Jesus wanted us to have His very own peace deep within us. We are not to be anxious, troubled or afraid about anything. We sometimes slip out of peace, because we fear others will take advantage of us. We should not be fearful, nor expect pain and hurt from others. We must embrace all our relationships in the knowledge that the Lord will protect and vindicate us as long as we walk in love.

Worldly peace is never lasting, but the peace of God defies logic and understanding, and it endures through all our trials and tribulations. It’s an inward knowing that God is in charge of all that we face and that He will never let us down. This knowledge fuels us to serve Him and others with enthusiasm. It bolsters our self-confidence and enables us to withstand any type of opposition that may come at us.

It is possible to have the peace of the Lord regardless of our situations and circumstances. We are able to tap into this supernatural peace if we surrender everything to God. No matter what comes at us, we can have what the Bible calls the “peace that passes understanding.” It gives us great comfort and creates hope for the future. This is peace without measure; it can literally bring heaven to earth and joy to all our relationships.

Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Faith is not simply head knowledge; it is a deep-rooted heart-felt understanding of the truth. It is belief in God backed up by our actions, and defines who we are and whose we are. Our faith should promote love and peace in us. We have a blessed hope that the Lord will reward us in all that we do if we operate in faith and confidence. If we walk in unity with our fellow man, we fulfill His law of love and we can expect His approval.

In the flesh this may seem impossible, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have the faith to walk as Christ Himself walked. We can follow His example and show love to all men. His own anointing power will enable us to do what He did on the earth. We must minister relief and hope to all those we encounter. We should spread the gospel of peace in all that we say and do. If we observe the Lord’s law of love in our dealings with others, we will have eternal rewards.

Peace In Divine Service

John 20:21 “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

It is interesting to note that Christ sent His disciples out in pairs to do His work. He told them not to take anything with them; His grace was sufficient to meet all their needs. They had His anointing and they had each other. He expected them to get along and complement each other. The early followers of Christ did great exploits because they walked together in love, peace and unity as they were instructed.

Jesus has commanded us to go forth and do the things that He did while on the earth, as well. As the Body of Christ on the earth today, we are to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, heal the sick and cast out demons. We are to walk in His full power and authority as we usher in the Kingdom of God. We cannot do any of these things unless we are at peace within ourselves and with each other. Peace brings unity, and ushering in the Kingdom will require a united front.

The Lord is getting ready to pour out His glory all over the face of the earth, and He needs us to be ready to do His will in all things to demonstrate His love for mankind. First and foremost, we must seek the peace and preserve it. God will not trust us with Christ’s power and authority to work mighty signs and wonders as long as there is strife in our ranks.

The use of power requires discipline and self-control. The Lord will not permit us to use His power to destroy one another or ourselves. The anointing is meant for tearing down demonic strongholds and working creative miracles of healing and raising the dead. We ought to pursue personal and corporate peace in the Body of Christ, if we would be entrusted with the Lord’s power and authority in the critical days that lie ahead.

Perfect Peace

2Peter 3:14 “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

We have excellent promises in Christ. We already have ours sins forgiven, but we are also promised total redemption of our souls and bodies with the coming of His Kingdom. Christ will return for His church as a spotless, unblemished Bride. We are to be righteous and holy, and spiritually mature. We are to be at perfect peace within ourselves, with Him and with each other.

Love, unity and peace are not optional in the church; they are commanded and expected of us. If we would be found worthy to rule and reign with Jesus Christ for all eternity, then we must crucify our flesh and subdue our souls. We ought to walk in total love and peace with all men, particularly the brethren. Nothing less will be accepted; the Kingdom of God is based on righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 55:12 “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands.”

If we will repent of all known strife and division, both as individuals and as a church, we will enter the next phase of the Lord’s plan of salvation with overwhelming joy. Sanctified and justified, we will be glorified with Christ. All creation is waiting for the children of God to be revealed. If we want the Lord’s power and glory to rest on us, then we must walk perfectly with Him and with our fellow man.

The world, and everything in it, responds to peace and order. As we assist Christ in ushering in the Kingdom of God on the earth, we will help restore nature to its original balance and beauty. We will judge nations and help to reform world governments to line up with Kingdom principles.

We will not be qualified to do any of this unless we walk in total righteousness. We will go out in peace and joy and have all of our needs met forever in the Kingdom of God. 

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Forgiveness

2. Peace As The Umpire

3. Speaking Peace And Unity

4. Holiness And Righteousness

5. The Peace Of Christ

6. Peace In The Church

7. Perfect Peace

 

Chapter 4 – Unity Of The Faith

 

1John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

The Lord fully anticipated that we would be lost in sin, but transgression has had no permanent effect on us. Our forgiveness was provided for us from the foundation of the world, when the Lord formulated His eternal salvation plan for all mankind. Jesus Christ was obedient to the Lord’s plan and willingly took all our sin upon Himself, so that we might be made righteous again when we fall and miss the mark.

Every step out of love that we take is sin. It negatively affects our righteousness. We are held accountable for every raised eyebrow, every cross word, every evil thought that takes us out of fellowship with God and with one another. But every time we repent, turn from our transgression and correct our ways, we are forgiven by the Blood of Jesus and our right standing with God is restored as if it were never breached.

Righteousness demands that we walk circumspectly and avoid all sin. We are responsible to walk in the light we have. The Word of God is most specific when it comes love and unity. We have to guard our hearts against any thoughts or actions that don’t line up with love for God and others. We have no excuse to ignore the Lord’s requirements for peace and unity in the church. It is His command to us, and the real test of our obedience to Him.

We should crucify our flesh and all of its lusts. We must lay down our very souls and forego our individual agendas in favor of the Lord’s plan and purpose for our lives. If we walk in the Spirit instead of our flesh, the fruit of the Spirit will manifest in our lives. We will become spiritually mature, perfected in love and peace, and this will positively impact all of our relationships. It will enable us to walk as Christ Himself walked on the earth.

Unity Of The Spirit

Ephesians 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

The Lord requires love and unity of us for a very distinct purpose. He designed us to be God-dependent and interdependent. First and foremost, we need the Lord in our lives to lead and guide us, and His anointing power to overcome all things. We need one another’s intercessory prayer, strength and spiritual gifts to complement our own, in order to fulfill His divine plan and purpose for all mankind.

We can stimulate each other’s peace and promote unity through mutual encouragement and fellowship in the Lord. We should be loving and compassionate, polite and courteous in our dealings with others. We should bear one another’s burdens and share all our joys. We should steadfastly refuse offense of any kind, but rather, be giving and forgiving. We can do all things in Christ; we can walk in heaven on the earth with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

While it may not always be easy, remaining in unity is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us. We can promote love and peace in all our interactions if we will walk in the Spirit instead of our flesh. We should strive for perfection and spiritual maturity by purposefully cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. These manifest as we walk in love, peace, meekness, gentleness, temperance, long-suffering and joy with all the brethren.

Even though we may not have an emotional attachment or genuine affection for others, we must still interact in brotherly love and peace with them. Every man, woman and child on this planet is God’s unique creation. He loves each of us with a deep abiding love. We are all vital to His plan and purpose. We must do all that is necessary to remain in spiritual unity with others, despite our individual differences.

The Holy Spirit takes up residence in a body of believers that walk in love, peace and unity. We become a role model for the ungodly in all of our words and actions. We reach out in oneness to impact a sick and dying world, and we attract many unbelievers to us by our love for one another.

We should cultivate and practice patience and understanding, and develop compassion and empathy for all men.

We should minister to one another unselfishly in the days ahead. We are to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God and bring in a might harvest of souls. We will encounter people of all types, with all sorts of personalities and afflictions. They will require everything from healing to deliverance from evil spirits. We will have to be tenacious and sensitive to their needs and feelings, if we would positively impact their lives and convert them to the gospel of peace.

The Early Church As An Example Of Unity

Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

The early Church of Acts walked in great power and authority because of their love and unity. When the Holy Spirit fell on them at Pentecost, it produced increased love for God and for one another and stimulated a genuine zeal for their faith. They shared all things in common, and there were none with any unmet needs. Everyone looked out for his brother, and the Lord was able to do a mighty work in them and through them.

There were many miraculous signs and wonders performed by the Acts church that walked in close fellowship with the Lord and with one another. Healing took place effortlessly; Peter and John would simply walk down the streets and people received their healings from the shadows they cast. The light of Christ manifested that brightly through them. The Bible tells us that their numbers greatly increased, all because of their love and unity.

So too, our faith prospers and is strengthened when we walk in love and unity in the church today. Our spirits are buoyed and we have the joy of the Lord when we are in close intimate fellowship with one another. Our problems are minimized, as we work together for the common good. We please the Lord with our love walks, and He amply rewards us for our faithfulness. We experience God’s power in our lives, and our service to Him and others is seemingly effortless.

We are able to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom most effectively when we walk in love, peace and unity. Our communication skills are enhanced because we are sincere and compassionate to the needs of others, and we add many new believers to our numbers through our cooperative efforts. There is a powerful manifestation of the anointing of Christ for all sorts of miraculous signs, wonders and healings when we are obedient to the Lord’s law of love.

Unity Of The Faith

Hebrews 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.”

The Lord requires that we have faith in Him and in His Word. He insists that we forego all known sin and walk according to His ways. His law of love is not arbitrary; it demands that we love Him and one another unselfishly. If we have faith and act on it, we promote peace in all our interactions. The tenets of our faith demand love, peace and unity among us. The test of our faith is in our daily interactions with one another.

The church should share a common faith in God and in His promised rewards. The Lord will not disappoint us. We will have all our needs met – both spiritual and temporal – as we strive for peace with one another and the unity of our faith. Our churches will grow and flourish; we will prosper in all things. We will do the very will of God, inherit all the promises of Christ, and enjoy life in His Kingdom forever.

If we have cleansed ourselves of all unrighteousness, repented and turned from our sins, then we will be imbued with divine power and authority to do the works that Jesus did. The Lord expects us to simply walk in love, reach out to others and do them good. We will lay hands on the sick, cast out demons, preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and even raise the dead as Jesus did, when we work together for the common good.

In the days to come, the church will learn to rule and reign with Christ. We will be called on to render judgment of the nations and assist in the reformation of world governments to line up with Kingdom principles. It is imperative that we learn to discipline our thoughts and render fair and equitable judgment of others in all matters. Our churches are excellent proving grounds for exercising righteous judgment.

Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”

The Lord desires to bring each of us to a new level of faith and holiness. Spiritual maturity should be our common goal. We are to walk as Christ walked, think and speak as He did. We should strive for spiritual maturity, holiness and perfection in all things. We must be light and salt to a sin-filled world, and we cannot compromise even one of our Christian principles if we would be godly examples to others.

We must strive for love, peace and unity in all our interactions. We should love all men unequivocally. We cannot be swayed by prejudice or hard feelings towards others – either fellow believers or those in the world – simply because they are different from us. We must remain unbiased, seeking the Lord for His guidance in every situation. We are to have the love, compassion and wisdom of Christ Himself.

Jesus had no time or personal inclination for pettiness, and neither should we in our dealings with others. He condemned all the Pharisees’ and Scribes’ efforts to engage him in endless debate and pointless controversy. He spoke with authority and said only what He heard the Father say. Christ said we would be held accountable for every idle word we speak. We should do what He did and only speak the words of the Lord; they settle all disputes.

We cannot afford to get caught up in doctrinal disputes or argue about the traditions of men. We have to forego all of our differences as we prepare to enter the Kingdom of God on this earth. We must overcome all spirits of religion that tend to be judgmental and hypocritical. We need to grow up and mature into Christ-like believers if we would be effective in the days ahead. Our faith should be exemplified in sincere loving service to others.

The Bible tells us that Jesus went about doing good. He walked in peace and love with all men, not just His followers. While His is a challenging example to follow, through the unity of our faith we can work the same miracles for mankind. We will preach the gospel, heal the sick and set captives free of enemy oppression. The Bible tells us that we can do all that Jesus did, and even more, since He has gone to be with the Father.

Pray For One Another

Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

One way to promote peace and unity is to put ourself in someone else’s position. We all have needs for spiritual enlightenment and strength. We are to intercede for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and encourage them in the faith. Love requires that we place their needs and interests on an even plane with our own. Intercession is a great way to overcome our individual differences, since it is impossible to harbor ill feeling for someone when we pray for them.

So too, we must guard against spirits of lawlessness and rebellion. We should pray for those in spiritual authority over us and encourage them in fulfilling their divine callings. Our pastors, teachers, apostles and prophets need ongoing revelation and a full impartation of the anointing to perform their duties in the church. They deserve and require a significant intercessory prayer covering from the church.

We must also pray for ourselves. We should ask the Lord for a spirit of patience and self-control, so that we can overlook any offenses that come at us. We must be strengthened in our inner man, and be able to overcome all attacks of the enemy that cause strife and division among us. We should practice meekness and gentleness, temperance and longsuffering in all our interactions with others.

We are a brotherhood of believers, and we must walk together in unity at all times. Aggressive, ongoing prayer for others and ourselves ensures that we are walking in cooperative fellowship. We can and must overcome all our differences and work together for the common good. Love and peace are not optional; they are essential to us in the church and will positively affect everything that we accomplish in the days ahead. 

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Walking In The Light Of Christ

2. Unity Of The Spirit

3. The Early Church’s Unity

4. Unity Of The Faith

5. Why Pray For Others?

6. Prayer For Ourselves

 

Chapter 5 – Brotherhood Of Believers

 

1John 3:14-16 “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.”

The Bible tells us that hatred of a brother is like the sin of murder. None of us wants to be accused of that; it means we walk in death and destruction. Hatred is a hideous sin. It leads to full-blown iniquity of all types. Anger and bitterness, strife and division are all extensions of hatred that manifest to destroy our fellowship with one another.

Hatred should not even be named in the church. It is an emotion that comes straight from the devil himself. It starts as simple feelings of dislike and disdain, but rapidly escalates to full-blown malice. When it is directed towards an individual or a group, it takes on disproportionate power and results in destruction of all concerned.

If we walk in less than perfect love for God or others, we are risking death to all our relationships, and we face spiritual death ourselves. We should purposely walk in love regardless of our situations and circumstances, and despite how others behave towards us. We are to humbly lay down our lives for one another, just as Christ laid down His life for us.

We must willfully and continuously die to self, and regard others’ needs as important as our own. We ought to submit to one another as unto the Lord, and guard against all emotional tendencies that would separate and divide us in any way. We should seek our common good and promote our mutual welfare.

1Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:”

Brotherly love and close camaraderie are essential to us in the church, if we would function as one unified whole in ushering in the Kingdom of God. We are to love each other unselfishly, just as Christ loved us. He was our role model for pure undefiled love of all men. He had a deep affection for all of His followers that He wants us to imitate in our dealings with one another.

Our love is to be genuine and unpretentious, never contrived or insincere. We are required to do more than just put up with and tolerate one another; we are called to actually treat others as if they were family. We are bothers and sisters in the Lord, and our love for one another should be warm and unfeigned, particularly since we will spend all of eternity together.

As with every natural family, friction develops between the members over time and it needs to be effectively resolved. We should always be ready to overlook offenses, and quick to forgive, forget and move on as a team. Peace and unity are of the essence at this point in time as we enter into the Kingdom of God.

We must negotiate and compromise our differences. We ought to be willing to see the best in others and love them despite the negative circumstances we may incur. It’s not an option for us; it is a commandment. Love and unity are what the Lord expects of us, and we should expect it from each other as well.

We should hold one another accountable in our love walks. If we see others who are in strife and division among us, then we should gently reprove them and remind them of our common goals. If we are to walk in divine power and authority in ushering in God’s Kingdom on the earth, our love and unity must be beyond reproach.

Brotherly Love

1Thessalonians 4:9 “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

Once again we are reminded of our commandment to walk in brotherly love in the church.

Dissension and division will no longer be tolerated. The Lord is taking us to a much higher standard of accountability. He expects us to not only get along, but to walk in pure and undefiled love for one another. We should treat others with deference and respect, regardless of our individual differences.

It is possible to love this way, if we will walk in the Holy Spirit and not in the flesh. If we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we will have patience, gentleness, meekness, longsuffering, temperance and joy in our relationships. We will enjoy peace and righteousness, and forego all that divides and separates us from one another.

God Himself is consummate love and He expects us to abide in that type of love on a continuous, ongoing basis with Him and with others. There should be no sloppy affections among us; we must purposely choose mature, filial love as a way of life. It’s only natural for us to want the best for ourselves. It is equally vital that we love others as we love ourselves, and want the best for them as well.

Romans 12:10 “[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

We are to show respect and honor for our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our differences, and despite how they may treat us. We should put their needs on an even plane with our own. We are to have compassion and empathy for them and mercifully overlook their faults. The law of love must never ever be an issue with us, as we exalt one another and build each other up in our most precious faith.

If we walk in love, we regard others as better than ourselves. We forego all pride and envy, and esteem one another in the Lord. When we think more highly of others, we will pray for and encourage them. We will be trusting and open to communications with them. So too, we will be more polite and sociable. Warmth and affection go a long way in stimulating camaraderie among us, and promoting love and unity in our service to the Lord.

1Peter 3:8 “Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:”

Familiarity sometimes breeds contempt, but this should not be the case in the church. We must not fail to be courteous or respectful. We should be sincerely warm and friendly towards our brethren. It’s the little things that build or destroy our relationships. It takes practically no time or effort to be pleasant and agreeable, yet it reaps a powerful harvest in our fellowship.

We should be of one mind, reaching out in unselfish love and compassion towards each other. We ought to always encourage the weary, strengthen the weak, and lift the fallen among us with a spirit of love and gentleness. We must never criticize or condemn. We are required to build each other up in the faith and persuade each other to be all that we can be in the Lord.

Strengthening One Another

Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

Jesus prayed for Peter as the church leader He had appointed. We should also pray for our spiritual leaders, so that they may be strengthened in their faith, and in turn, reinforce that strength in the church. This is not the time for fear and trepidation to set it in; we must boldly proclaim the good news of the Kingdom and be about the work of Christ.

We have not been given a spirit of weakness or hesitancy. Fear, doubt and unbelief must not even enter our minds or conversations. We ought to believe and decree great things to come in the Kingdom of God. We should strengthen one another in the knowledge that the Lord has everything under control, even to the smallest detail.

Our faith has to reach an all time high, as we walk in total obedience to the Lord jn the days ahead. We will be challenged to do things that may be a stretch of our natural talents and capabilities. We will need each other to complement our own individual gifts. Through faith and mutual up building, we can do all things through the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us and through us.

Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

With strife and division a thing of the past, the Lord can pour out His glory and power on us with total confidence that we will not use it to hurt one another. The anointing of Christ is essential for us to accomplish what He did when He walked on the earth. It will be available to each of us individually and as a corporate group.

If we will continue to walk in brotherly love and unity in the days ahead, we will perform miraculous signs and wonders to glorify God and attract all men to the gospel message. We will destroy enemy stronghold that would deter us in our efforts. The Lord wants us to walk in total dominion over the earth as we usher in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ victory on the cross bought that privilege back for us for all time. Satan has been defeated, and we are to strip him of all power that interferes with the coming of the Kingdom. Since we now have our own power and authority over the earth being restored, we are to walk worthy of our calling and present a strong unified front.

The Lord will accomplish great things through us, if we will be obedient and love one another. We will usher in the Kingdom, witnessing of His great glory and unfailing love for men. Millions will be attracted to our godly examples of faith, joy, love and unity as we preach the good news of the Kingdom and baptize countless new believers.

We will tear down demonic strongholds that would impede all our efforts in setting up God’s Kingdom on the earth. We will heal all those who are suffering and afflicted in our midst; we will set captives free from demonic oppression of all kinds. The entire earth will be re-created and renewed with God’s almighty power, as it works through His obedient, strong and unified church.

Ephesians 5:8-21

Paul had some excellent advice on walking worthy of their calling that he gave to the followers of his church in Ephesus. They had been walking in darkness, in close association with those in the world who had defiling habits. He cautioned them to come out of the world and into close unity with the brethren, submitting themselves to one another in the Lord.

He knew that they would encourage and exhort one another in the faith, and hold each other accountable. It was his desire that they walk in love and unity and build one another up, rather than criticize and condemn. There is strength and power in unity, and the early church demonstrated that again and again.

We must heed Paul’s advice and relate it to our current situation and circumstances in the church. We should take note of what he said, and make the necessary changes in our behavior as individuals and as a corporate body.

Ephesians 5:8-10 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light: For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

Our minds have all been deceived and clouded with darkness in our dealings with each other in the church. There’s been too much of the world in us, as we succumbed to bickering amongst ourselves. Now we have seen the light of the truth and walk in righteousness, peace and unity as brothers and sisters in Christ. Only this type of behavior is acceptable to God.

Ephesians 5:11-12 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them]. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”

We need to take a solid unified stand against all mind-blinding and hindering spirits that would deceive and separate us. So too, we must discipline our souls and overcome our flesh. Too much is at stake for us to slip back into our old ways. We have eternal destinies to fulfill in the days ahead.

We are not of the world that we should walk in evil surmising, bickering or gossip. These sins promote strife and division among us. All this behavior will be revealed and brought into conformity with the light of Christ. We have to walk in such a way that we are above reproach in our dealings with others.

Ephesians 5:13-17 “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].”

These are trying days because the enemy knows that his time is short, and he wants to wreak as much havoc as possible. He has attacked us all, but we have the light of Christ, which banishes all darkness far from us. We are to be wise and walk carefully in the days ahead, giving no opportunity to the devil to make inroads of strife and division among us.

We should seek the Lord’s will in everything we do. We are children of the light, and ought to be worthy of that calling. We need a full anointing of Christ’s very own power and authority to perform His works on the earth. The enemy will then steer clear of us, causing no impediment to the service the Lord will assign us in ushering in His Kingdom.

Ephesians 5:18-21 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit rather than the things of this world that defile and destroy us. We should perfect our holiness by cultivating Spiritual fruit in our lives. We must encourage ourselves with praise and worship, both as a corporate group and as individuals. This will bolster our faith and elevate our spirits.

We can also be strengthened in our faith by getting deeper into the Word of God. We should seek the Lord’s presence in fervent prayer and meditation. We must be thankful to Him for all that we have, and give Him the praise and glory that He so rightly deserves. So too, we ought to reverentially submit to one another as we do to Him.

One Mind And One Spirit

2Corinthians 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

Peace and unity among the brethren is not optional. It is expected of us, and a sign of our spiritual maturity. It is essential that we be of one mind and one spirit, and move forward in the same direction as the days progress. We all share a common goal and a single purpose to enter into the Kingdom of God. We are to love one another and serve the Lord in all that we do.

We are to strive for spiritual perfection, holiness and maturity in the things of the Spirit. This will produce great power both in us as individuals and as a corporate unit. We must overcome our soul, flesh and the devil and dispense with senseless controversies. We must be godly examples in all that we think, say and do.

We know that if we walk in peace and unity, that the Lord will be with us in all that we are called to do in ushering in His Kingdom. He will show forth His power and glory in a unified church, that will shake up the nations and cause all people to give honor and praise to His Name. The entire earth will be positively impacted by our love, peace and unity in the days ahead.

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Anger, Bitterness And Hatred

2. Brotherly Love

3. Unity Among Believers

4. Strengthening One Another

5. Ephesians 5:8-21

6. One Mind And One Spirit 

 

Chapter 6 – The Church Of The First Born

 

1Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

We are the elect, the church of Jesus Christ. The Lord called us from the very foundation of the world to be destined for salvation and sanctification by the Blood of Jesus. He knew who would respond to His call, and we are the apple of His eye and the desire of His heart. He wants nothing more than to join us on the earth in His Kingdom, where He will be our God and we will be His people.

However, the Lord cannot and will not overlook what He has in the past, as we enter a new season in His plan and purpose for us as the church. The household of God is now being judged and refined. We are being purged and sanctified. He is holding us to a much higher standard now, as we will be glorified with the coming of His Kingdom to the earth.

We have to relinquish all that we are and all that we have, to gain everything in the future. We must lay down our very lives in favor of the Lord’s eternal plan and purpose. He chastises those whom He loves, and He is purging and cleansing us of all defilement of spirit, soul and flesh. We are to strive for holiness and perfection, and rid ourselves of anything and everything that does not line up with the Word of God.

Called Out And Chosen

Hebrews 12:22-29 “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God [is] a consuming fire.”

We are the “ekklesia,” the called out and chosen of the Lord, the assembly of just men made perfect. We have come to Mt. Zion and the New Jerusalem, which are but types and shadows of the church. We have an important eternal destiny that must be fulfilled in these last days. We will help usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth with all divine power and glory.

As the mediator of a new covenant for us, Jesus Christ speaks to us from His throne at the right hand of God. He has full authority over His church, and tells us that He will once more shake heaven and earth, so that what cannot be shaken remains. This is a good thing, because only defilement will be shaken out. Those of us who are serious about the things of God will cling to His Word and His way of doing things.

We are being made righteous and mature in Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit that works in us. We are crucifying our fleshly desires and denying our souls’ ambitions. We must renounce all known sin, and choose to go up higher in our reverence for the Lord. We have to let the fire of God purge us completely. The fear of the Lord should motivate us to be wholly sanctified and consecrated to serve Him in ushering in His Kingdom.

Sanctification Of The Church

Daniel 12:10 “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

The church is under careful scrutiny right now to see if we are qualified by Kingdom standards. We should willingly and obediently submit ourselves to the Lord to be tried and tested. Nothing evil will enter the Kingdom of God, so it is important that we renounce all sin and unrighteousness, and cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and defilement of the soul. Christ is coming back for an unspotted Bride, and we should be prepared for Him.

We should deliberately ask the Lord for His purging fire. Those whom He loves, He chastens. Those who do wicked things will continue to do them because they walk in darkness. But we are wise and realize that sanctification has its benefits. The righteous will shine on the earth as they walk in the light of Christ, cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness.

What we must desire more than anything is that the Kingdom of God comes to the earth as soon as possible, and that we would be found worthy to usher it in and dwell there. That requires that we lay down our personal ambitions and goals in favor of the Lord’s eternal purposes. It will cost us everything to gain everything. It is the high calling of the Lord Jesus Christ that we ought to desire and imitate.

1Corinthians 1:30 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”

We have been sanctified and made righteous by the Blood of Jesus. Through Him we were redeemed from sin once and for all, and our fellowship with the Lord was restored. But our personal sanctification and purification is an ongoing process. It requires our continuous attention and the sincere application of godly principles in our lives.

Jesus Christ is our Savior and our role model for righteous living. Through Him, we have wisdom and knowledge of good and evil. We are responsible to walk in that knowledge and forego all unrighteousness. If we judge ourselves, we will not have to be judged by the Lord. If we repent of all known sin and dedicate ourselves anew, we will not require further correction. Nor will we be disqualified from entering in to His Kingdom.

2Thessalonians 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”

The Lord chose us from the foundation of the world. He called us and sanctified us through our faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Holy Spirit continues to convict us of sin, as we miss the mark. We should fully cooperate with Him, knowing that sanctification will mature and refine us, and that the truth will set us free.

We need to have more of Him in us, and less of our own selves. We need to forego all personal goals and agendas, in favor of the Lord’s plan for our lives. Our spirits should take ascendancy over our souls and our flesh, and we ought to walk after the Holy Spirit in all that we think, say and do. We should give ourselves to prayer, meditation and study of the Word of God, so that we are found approved and strengthened in our spirit man.

Our sanctification is continuous, as we repent and turn from all unrighteousness on a daily basis. It will never be complete until we totally submit ourselves to the Lord. That will require a total catharsis or self-emptying on our part. In the natural that is impossible, but with God we can achieve that goal. We will overcome the flesh, the world and the devil before Christ returns. We will be totally sanctified and consecrated as we usher in His Kingdom

Justification Of The Church

Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

We are justified by our faith in Jesus Christ and in the Blood that He shed on our behalf. He bought back all that was stolen from us by Satan in the Garden of Eden. His victory over sin was our victory too. Our right relationship with the Father has been restored. We have full fellowship with God again. All power and authority in the earth realm has been given back to men; we destroy all demonic strongholds that would impede our progress and interfere with God’s plans for us.

We are now heirs to better promises than Moses and Abraham had. We have a covenant of peace forever with God; only sin can interrupt that. We must earnestly guard our peace by remaining righteous before the Lord, and by walking in love with Him and with one another. As we grow and mature spiritually, we will become more like God Himself, and effortlessly walk in love and peace with all men.

Acts 13:39 “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

Through one man’s sin, we all became guilty of transgression. The good news is that we are saved from our sins and justified by our faith in Christ. He conquered sin, death and the grave expressly for us. He would have done it if there were only one person that needed salvation, but by His death many were made righteous.

The law is now obsolete, because by it no man was made righteous; it was impossible to attain to its standards. Christ came to fulfill the law and He summed it up by telling us to walk in love for God and one another. Through our faith in Him, we are justified and set free from the requirements of the Mosaic law, through which no man could be perfect.

However, our justification in Christ doesn’t mean that we can knowingly and purposely sin. If we do that, we are in direct disobedience and outright rebellion. Justification does not allow for lawlessness to occur. We remain righteous and justified, as long as we continuously repent and turn from all known sin, and walk in love for God and others.

Titus 3:7 “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

We have been justified by the merits of Jesus Christ, and Him alone. None of us is righteous in and of himself. Grace is unmerited favor with God, and we abound in it as joint-heirs with Christ, through our faith in His atoning work on the cross. Our redemption was bought for us once and for all. Our fellowship with God has been completely restored.

We also have been promised eternal life in the Kingdom of God as it comes to the earth. All of our needs will be met, both temporal and spiritual. Our physical bodies will be redeemed as disease and death are abolished. Our flesh will put on the incorruptible and we will live forever through the power of the Holy Spirit.

There will be no more pain or sorrow in the Kingdom of God. The Lord will wipe away all our tears. We will dwell in righteousness, peace and joy. Love and unity will prevail in our midst; prosperity will be available for all of us. The righteous and just will rule and reign with Christ and help Him to restore all things on the earth to their original beauty and balance.

Galatians 3:11 “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

We are justified only by our faith in Jesus Christ, and not through any works of the flesh. As long as we remember who we are and whose we are, we will continue to remain justified in the Lord’s eyes. Our justification could never be by the law, because the law was imperfect. It gave men guidelines for living that were all but impossible to attain.

Christ came to fulfill the law, and in so doing, set us free from the curse of the law. He summed up the law with two commandments that ratified His Blood sacrifice on our behalf once and for all. We are to love the Lord with all our mind, heart, soul and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As long as we walking circumspectly according to the law of love, we remain righteous and justified in God’s sight.

Romans 2:13 “(For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

So too, faith without corresponding works is dead. It just gives lip service to our belief in God. We must be doers of His Word as well as hearers. There is much for the church to accomplish in the days ahead. We should be living examples of the law of love in action, not only among ourselves, but to the world as well.

We were created to fellowship with God and serve one another. We should be preaching the gospel and getting men saved. We ought to be casting out demons and setting captives free. We can be laying hands on the sick and getting them healed. And yes, we should also be raising the dead as Jesus did when He walked the earth.

If we say we have faith and shrink back from doing all that the Lord has commanded of us, we are only fooling ourselves. Our justification is based on faith in action. We are to be light in dark places, living testimonies to the saving power of Jesus Christ in the days ahead. The very anointing of Christ will be transferred to us as we walk in power and glory to usher in the Kingdom of God on the earth.

Glorification Of The Church

John 17:10 “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.”

We are one with Christ and the Father, and we are one with each other. Whatever affects one of us, affects all of us. When we are walking in love and unity we fulfill the just requirements of the law of love, and we know peace with God and among ourselves. We give God glory when we obey His love commandment.

Christ is coming back for His church; she will be pure and undefiled, spotless and perfect. He calls us His Bride, and He will be glorified in us, just as we are glorified in Him. He will show us off to the entire world and boast of our works. He is coming for a church that has sanctified and purified herself in His Blood, and walks in love and unity by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.”

We are joint-heirs with Christ to all of His covenant promises. But first we must share in His suffering. While we will never be called to lay down our physical lives for others, we must still suffer in laying down our fleshly ways and our personal ambitions. That requires that we die to self, and earnestly strive for spiritual perfection.

It is not easy to overcome the flesh and all its desires. It is often painful to lay down our soul lives, putting the Lord’s goals before our own. It is equally challenging to forego all selfishness in dealing with others. All of that is extremely difficult, and the reasonable sacrifice that we make to rule and reign with Christ so that we might be glorified with Him.

Romans 8:30 “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.”

We were predestined to be members of God’s own family. He knew us from the foundation of the world. He called us and knew exactly who would respond. His plan of salvation was designed to benefit us in every way. With Christ’s death we were sanctified, and we are justified by our faith in Him. We are now approaching the time when the church will be glorified in Christ.

God’s people have been mocked and scorned for centuries, but our finest hour is coming. He will come back for His Bride and boast of us to all creation. We will be vindicated as Christ overthrows all of our enemies, and elevates us to a position of kings and priests with Him in His eternal Kingdom on the earth. We can and will overcome all things, and share in the Lord’s own honor and glory for all eternity.

The Glory Of The Latter House

Haggai 2:9 “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”

The early church of Acts walked in great power and authority on the earth after Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension and the feast of Pentecost. They had the full unction of the Holy Spirit to perform miraculous signs and wonders for the people to whom they ministered, because they walked in total love and unity with one another. However, the church of the Kingdom age will far outshine the glory and wonders performed by the early church.

The Lord is glorifying His church today as we prepare to usher in the Kingdom of God. We will exceed the accomplishments of the early church in the days ahead, only if we walk in love and unity with one another. The Lord Himself will grant us a full anointing of His power and glory as we demonstrate His awesome goodness to a sick and dying world.

All men will look to us in the days ahead. They will be astounded at the healings, signs and wonders that we perform. They will enthusiastically receive the Gospel of the Kingdom, and learn Kingdom principles for daily living. They will follow our godly example and walk in love, peace and unity as we do. Heaven will come to the earth as we have been promised, and the full harvest of souls will be brought in to the Kingdom.

We will reorganize world governments to line up with godly principles and help to restore all of creation to its original beauty and balance. We will take full dominion over the earth and rule and reign with Christ for all eternity. We will be just rulers and able teachers in God’s Kingdom; we will have the heathen for our inheritance. All of the world will marvel as we walk in intimate fellowship with our holy God for all eternity.

Divine Destiny

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

The Lord wants to make His dwelling place on the earth with His people that are called after His Name. He is holy and perfect; we should strive for spiritual maturity and perfection, as well. We must repent of all unrighteousness. We need to walk humbly with the Lord and with one another. The Lord Himself will revive and restore us from all that we have experienced in the world.

Ours is a great and glorious calling; we are the Bride of Christ. We are also the “ekklesia,” the called out assembly – the church that the Lord has called from the beginning of time for such a day as this. We are special to Him and we should be special to one another also. We must avoid all occasions of sin and strive to remain of sincere, contrite hearts and spirits.

We have a divine destiny, yet it is vital that we walk in love, peace and unity. Without that, we will not see God, nor dwell in His holy presence. If we are willing and obedient, and cooperate with the Lord and with one another, we will share His divine glory as we rule and reign with Christ for all eternity in the Kingdom of God.

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Called Out And Chosen

2. Sanctification

3. Justification

4. Glorification

5. Glory Of The Latter House

6. Divine Destiny

 

Chapter 7 – We Are One Body

 

Ephesians 4:22-27 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

The early church was susceptible to strife and division, just as the church today is troubled by it. Paul gave sound advice to those at Ephesus, when he told them to put off the “old man” and its former lusts. We are to correct our speech and renew our minds in Christ. If we contend for anything, let it be for the unity of our faith. We are intimately connected with one another and we share a common destiny.

Our “new man” ought to refuse to engage in lies, gossip and slander. We should refuse offense of all types. Anger should not last for longer than a moment. We must never allow it to turn into bitterness and hatred. We should attempt to resolve all controversies quickly, in a peaceful manner that promotes love and cooperation in our relationships. We must forgive and forget all wrongs done to us, because we are indeed one Body in Christ.

One Body In Christ

Romans 12:5 “So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 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;”

The church is comprised of many members from all walks of life and religious affiliations. Believers of every tongue and race are represented. Single mindedness is difficult to attain when we are part of a diverse group of people, with different ideas and experiences. It takes a concerted effort on our part to overcome our diversity and function together as a unified whole, that thinks alike and moves as one.

With God, all things are possible. We need not be put off by others that think differently than we do. We can overcome controlling religious spirits and the traditions of men. We are to be single minded and unified in the faith we share. We can celebrate our very uniqueness, and benefit from each other’s contributions to the corporate body. We must build one another up in our like precious faith, encourage and pray for all our brothers and sisters.

We are called to be members of the Body of Christ that will usher in the Kingdom of God prior to Christ’s return. The same Holy Spirit indwells each of us to function as He wishes. We all have different gifts and callings, but it is the one Spirit that gives to us all. We complement one another and add to the power and effectiveness of the whole.

As we approach the coming of the Kingdom of God on the earth, we should be walking in total love, peace and unity. It is critical that we function as Christ did during His earthly ministry. We ought to be preaching the gospel and seeing multitudes of new believers flock to our churches. We should be walking in supernatural healing, signs and wonders. The Kingdom of God is being ushered in with divine power and glory; we should be willing and obedient to assume our role in the Lord’s plan and purpose.

Diverse Gifts And Callings

1Corinthians 12:4-14 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”

We each have different callings and significant spiritual gifts. Therefore, each of us is important to the smooth operation of the whole. We need and depend on one another to get the total job done. If we walk in love and unity, we can accomplish much more than we could as individuals operating in the gifts of the Spirit alone.

For example, Christ sent His disciples out in teams. He knew that they required protection, encouragement and support to serve others. He designed it so that each follower depended on his brother for the gifts of the Spirit that he himself was not given. They were able to accomplish great things for the Lord through their combined efforts, because they walked in love and unity.

Paul always worked cooperatively with others in his efforts to build churches wherever he traveled. We know that he teamed up with Silas, Barnabus and Timothy to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and work miraculous, signs and wonders so that men’s hearts would be changed by the power of God at work in their midst.

He preached for the initial conversions and planted churches, and the others often remained behind to oversee things. He maintained his close personal contact with them over the years through letters and visits. They sustained their love and unity through periods of separations, imprisonments, shipwrecks and all sorts of adversity. Paul was able to accomplish much more through their combined efforts, than if he had worked alone.

Ephesians 4:11-16 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

We must all pray for each other, and encourage ourselves in our faith. We should exhort one another to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. We are to become spiritually mature, speak the truth in love and cling to sound doctrine, so that none are led astray by the false and damaging traditions of men. We should eliminate all hypocritical, controlling religious spirits that attempt to divide us and destroy our solidarity.

Christ has structured His church so that each member plays a significant role. The Head cannot function without the Body. So too, neither can the Body function without the Head. We have to be functioning as one unified whole in order to accomplish all that we are assigned.

Each member of the Body has his or her own unique gifts and calling. Our goal should be to grow and develop these to their full extent. Our very differences complement one another and add to our overall effectiveness as a group.

Some plant churches and preach the gospel, while others teach and edify others. Some members of the Body are called to exhort and encourage. Many individuals intercede, speak in tongues or render service to others. We need to grow and develop in Christ as our Head, walking in total love and unity with our brothers and sisters, regardless of our individual callings.

We ought to view others as equal or better than ourselves. Every member is important and plays a vital role in the smooth operation of the whole Body. The different gifts and callings are not meant to separate us and exalt one person over another, but were designed for the benefit of perfecting and maturing the entire group.

We should never compare ourselves with others, nor should we be jealous or covetous of another’s gifts or function. We are all members of one another, and should work at fulfilling our own destiny. The smooth functioning of the group is what is important, and our willing obedience to do our particular part in the Lord’s redemption plan determines our overall success.

The Body of Christ And The Church Of Christ

Jesus Christ is now recruiting and mobilizing the Body of Christ to usher in His Kingdom. Unfortunately, not every member of the church is ready and willing to make the sacrifice required to serve in this end-times army. Only those who have purged and sanctified themselves in the fire of the Holy Spirit and are willing to sacrifice everything will be called as members of the Body of Christ. They will function as one with Christ as their Head.

The Body of Christ will receive a full anointing of divine power and authority to destroy demonic strongholds that would interfere with the coming of the Kingdom to the earth realm. They will walk in the miraculous realm as they bring in the harvest of souls through conversion by the gospel. They will minister total healing, and work restorative creative miracles for those in need. They will set all men free of demonic oppression and even raise the dead!

A much higher decree of sanctification and consecration is needed in the Body of Christ compared with the church. There are many in the church who must still work on their purification and spiritual maturity, so that they will be prepared to meet Christ as their Bridegroom. However, at any given point in time in the future when their maturity is complete, Jesus Christ can and will use them to assist His Body.

One very important function that the church can perform is to pray and meditate on the promises of God. We should be praying fervently and passionately for the coming of the Kingdom to the earth. We must remind the Lord that it is His promise to us, and make demands on His Word for the Kingdom to manifest. We should wait expectantly for the answer to our prayers and eagerly await the return of Jesus Christ to consummate all things.

The church can also intercede for the Body of Christ to receive clear and direct revelation from the Lord, so that the Kingdom is ushered in as quickly and expediently as possible. The Body will require increased strength, stamina and endurance to do all that is required of them in the days ahead. They will need a full anointing of Christ’s power to accomplish their goals. They must serve humbly and unselfishly or risk disqualification.

They must walk arm in arm in total unity, with Christ as their Head and Commander-In-Chief. They cannot break ranks; nobody can do his own thing. They must be quick to hear their orders and prompt to obey. Total synchronization to the Lord’s timetable is of the essence. This will be a forcible overthrow of the planet; the enemy will do everything in his power to prevent heaven from coming to the earth. But we will work together as one, and the Lord’s plan will succeed!

The Kingdom Of The Saints

Daniel 7:27 “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him”.

If we would be heirs to the Kingdom of God, then our very thoughts, words and actions must be beyond reproach. They should all line up with the Word of God, and be an expression of His will for our lives. We must serve as a fitting example of love and unity to all of mankind as we assume our individual and corporate roles in the Lord’s eternal redemption plan.

The Kingdom of God is our inheritance and our reward for walking in obedient love, peace and unity with one another. The Lord will take vengeance on all our enemies. He will destroy all evil off the face of the earth. He will give us the heathen for our inheritance. We will enjoy righteousness, peace and joy for all eternity. We will have safety and security; all fear and oppression will be a thing of the past.

There will be no lack, as all our spiritual and temporal needs will be met. We will enjoy good health and longevity in our glorious, resurrection bodies. We will have peace and prosperity in all that we do. All earthly kingdoms will be absorbed into the Kingdom of God. There will be one world government; we will rule and reign with Christ. We will abide in the presence of the Lord Himself for all eternity, right here on the earth.

 

Topics For Discussion

1. One Body In Christ

2. How The Members Of The Body Interact

3. Different Gifts And Callings

4. Discuss Ephesians 4:11-16

5. The Body Of Christ And The Church

6. The Kingdom Of The Saints

 

Chapter 8 – Arm In Arm

 

1John 1:3-7 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

Our righteousness has been bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ for all time. While we may occasionally miss the mark and fall short of God’s glory, we always have the right and the responsibility to repent and turn from all known sin. The church has been given an opportunity turn from all darkness in its relationships with one another and embrace the light of Christ.

If we walk in the light as Christ is in the light, we have patience and forbearance in our dealings with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are compassionate and understanding, and prefer one another over ourselves. We enjoy close fellowship, and no petty controversies can separate us or interfere with the Lord’s plan and purpose for our lives.

The Lord desires that we fellowship with Him in love and peace as well. That requires us to follow His commandments. They are never burdensome, and always have our best interest as their goal. He wants to know and relate to us intimately, and we will dwell with Him for all eternity in the Kingdom of God.

Christ came to fulfill the just requirements of the law. The single most important commandment that we have been given requires us to walk in love for the Lord and for one another. If we will enjoy fellowship with Him and each other for all eternity, then we must begin immediately to practice love in all of our relationships.

1Corinthians 1:4-8 “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in] all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul prayed for the early church that they might walk in love and unity with one another as they were called to fellowship with Christ Himself. He wanted them to be of the same mind and spirit, and all believe and speak the same things as Christ Himself had taught them. It was his desire that they remain blameless until Christ’s return so that they might share in His glory.

Our gifts and callings in the modern church are from the Lord Himself. Although we have not earned them through our own merits, we will lack no good thing in the days ahead. Jesus Christ will equip us in all that we are called to do, and provide us with a full measure of His divine power and authority to usher in His Kingdom.

We will think like He thinks, speak what He says and do what He did on the earth in the days to come. We will draw men of every nation to the Gospel of the Kingdom, and baptize them in the faith. We will heal the sick, set captives free of demonic oppression and even raise the dead. We will demonstrate the light and love of God to a people that have been enshrouded in darkness, death and destruction. We will give them eternal hope and confidence for their future in God’s Kingdom.

Hate Evil And Love Good

Romans 12:9 “[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

If we are to dwell together for all eternity it is critical that we overcome our differences and learn to seek our common welfare now. Our love walk in the days ahead must exceed what it has in the past. Anything less than perfect love and total unity is evil in the eyes of the Lord. We are to shun all evil and cling to that which is good. We should forgive and forget our past differences, and walk in peace with all men wherever possible.

The Lord is calling us to come up higher in our love walk. Unity is not just a buzzword, but must be our ultimate goal in the days ahead. We should join together in fellowship with Jesus Christ, and walk as one with Him and His church. Close fellowship and cooperation will be critical as we usher in Christ’s Kingdom.

If we are willing and obedient to walk in love and do the will of the Father, we will walk in our eternal destinies. Our individual and joint callings are to be fulfilled in the days ahead, as heaven comes to the earth. We will be generously rewarded for our loyalty and devotion, and share in Christ’s glory for all eternity as we rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom.

1Corinthians 1:9-10 “God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

We cannot be engaged in any more controversy amongst ourselves. We are called to a perfect fellowship with one another based on our relationship with Jesus Christ as Head of the church. We are to be so perfectly meshed and united as a church body that we will be of one mind and judgment in all things.

There are to be no superficial divisions among us. National backgrounds, different religious sects and denominations will mean nothing in the days ahead. There is but one truth and the Lord will reveal that to each of us in progressive fashion as we need to know it. Individual callings and gifts will be enhanced and perfected, as we join together in total unity to usher in the Kingdom with the Lord’s purpose and plan as our focus.

We should present a unified front in every effort to restructure and reorganize the earth. We are to use the same sound judgment that Christ Himself uses to judge both angels and men. If we are to rule and reign as just rulers and able teachers of all Kingdom residents, then we must purposely choose good over evil in all our dealings with others.

Unity In The Bride Of Christ

The Bride of Christ will be made up of individuals from many different ethnic and denominational backgrounds, gifts and callings. We are all vital members of the church of Jesus Christ, and our doctrinal differences should evaporate in His light and love. He alone is our source of truth, and all man-made traditions must bow to His Name.

The Lord is coming back for a spotless, unblemished Bride. We must be walking in full maturity, in love and peace with one another. We must not simply tolerate our differences, but rather embrace them for their uniqueness. We ought to uplift our brothers and sisters, and prefer one another to ourselves. Only then can the law of love be fulfilled in us.

Jesus Christ is the only righteous judge. He has begun separating the sheep from the sheep in the judgment of the household of God. Only He can determine our qualifications and suitability for entering the Kingdom of God on this earth. Very soon, He is coming back to judge the nations and destroy all the ungodly and their ungodliness. Nothing defiling will enter the Kingdom of God. Only the loving and the righteous will reside there.

Unity In The Body Of Christ

The Lord is pouring out His glory all over the face of the earth, in preparation for ushering in His Kingdom. He needs men and women who will respond to His call and fulfill their divine destinies. We have the opportunity to be members of the Body of Christ who will walk in all the divine power and authority that Jesus walked in on the earth.

Jesus did not do what He did without the Father’s say so. God anoints and He appoints. Not every member of the church of Jesus Christ will be called into the Body of Christ. Only those who have totally emptied themselves of themselves, laid down their individual purposes and agendas, will be called and chosen to function as Christ did.

The anointing requires a greater degree of dedication and sanctification than the average believer is willing to embrace. Only the willing and obedient will be entrusted with the same dynamic power and authority that Jesus walked in during His earthly ministry. His anointing will take leave of impure vessels and rest only on those who are consecrated for its use.

It will be a sad commentary if a large portion of the church is disqualified from being part of the Body of Christ, because they failed to sanctify themselves and devote their lives to the Lord’s plan and purpose. Although their salvation may be secure, they will be on the outside looking in while those who have prepared themselves will serve the Lord in power and glory to usher in His Kingdom.

Power In The Holy Spirit

Zechariah 4:6 “… Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Jesus did not do the things that He did as God while He walked the earth. He laid down His deity in total obedience to the Father. He was human in every way. He functioned as a mere man, doing the works of God in full power and authority. He was sinless and perfect, loving and compassionate in His dealings with others. And while none of us will ever become as pure and holy as Christ did as a man, we should aspire to that standard. Sanctification and consecration to the Lord’s purpose ought to be our common goal.

Our natural talents and abilities, or the lack thereof, will not matter as we serve the Lord in the days to come. All that will be required of us to function as Christ did, is perfect obedience. The Lord will equip and enable us to do all the works that He calls us to do, as long as we remain faithful to His law of love and devoted to His plan and purpose.

We are to take back the planet for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through a display of miraculous signs and wonders. But ours will not be a physical overthrow through the use of natural methods. It will be forcible, but all conducted in the spirit realm. Satan and His minions will be annihilated for all time.

All demonic strongholds will be destroyed as we move forward arm in arm in total unity. All earthy power and authority will be restructured and realigned according to Kingdom standards. Christ will send His angels to remove all iniquity from the face of the earth. He will destroy all the ungodly and their ungodliness in the wrath of His coming.

The earth and all of its inhabitants that are destined to live forever in the presence of the Lord will be taken for the Kingdom of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Millions will hear the Gospel of the Kingdom preached, repent and be baptized. Many will be won to the faith through our godly example of love and compassion.

The Divine Commission

Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”

We have the mind of Christ; we have His righteousness. There is nothing that should stop us from fulfilling His command. He has told us to go forth and teach all nations the principles of the Kingdom of God. He expects us to win souls to conversion, by preaching the gospel and baptizing in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He wants our lives to be beyond reproach for the sake of His Name.

Christ has delegated His power and authority to us who believe. We are to preach and teach, every one of us – from the greatest to the least. The Lord will hold us responsible for every unbeliever that slips through the cracks because we were lax in our duties to perform all that He has called us to do.

Teachers are held accountable to very high standards. It will not be sufficient to just talk the talk. Our very lives have to be living gospels of God’s saving grace. We must walk circumspectly in all that we do, since evil surrounds us in these last days. Many will be converted and emulate our sincere faith and devotion to the Lord because of our godly example of love and unity.

Doing What Jesus Did

Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”

Jesus only did what He heard His Father tell Him to do. He only said the things He heard His Father speak. He was perfectly obedient, and He walked in God’s ultimate love and power as He went about in His earthly ministry doing good to all men. He preached the Gospel of the Kingdom; He laid hands on the sick and they recovered. He cast out demons and set the captives free. He even raised the dead and comforted those who mourned.

We are delegated to do the works that Jesus did with the very same explosive, divine power that created the universe. That will require us to be disciplined and obedient, fair and just. In return for our service, we will have the ultimate in divine protection and help for our every need. The Lord will dispatch angels to minister to us, and assist us in doing His work. No evil will in any way harm us or impede our progress.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”

We must submit to the Lord and to one another, as our reasonable service in the days ahead. We must lay down our personals goals and agendas in favor of the big picture. We must continue to purge all unrighteousness from our souls and fleshly desires from our bodies, and strive for a higher degree of holiness. We must work as a unified whole to accomplish all that the Lord directs us to do in ushering in His Kingdom.

The Lord Himself will provide us with divine connections to get the job done quickly and efficiently. We will not have to struggle in doing His work. We will be an extension of Christ’s Headship, His hands and His feet. He will pave the way for our successful overthrow of the planet. It will all be accomplished by the Holy Spirit, which moves over the face of the earth to reform and restore all things.

Joel 2:1-11

The prophet Joel foresaw this day and marveled at it; we are blessed to be able to walk in it as the Body of Christ!

Joel 2:1 “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand;”

The day is rapidly approaching when the people of God will take back the earth for Jesus Christ to rule and reign for all eternity. This will not be a friendly takeover, as Satan will oppose being totally stripped of all his authority on the earth.

He is already a vanquished foe, as Christ spoiled all principalities and powers with His death and resurrection. But soon it will all play out in the natural realm as well. All evil will be eradicated from the face of the earth. We will make an open show of Satan, once and for all time.

Joel 2:2 “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations.”

The army of the Lord will be comprised of the Body of Christ that has joined itself to Jesus Christ in total oneness. We will be linked together as a vast army, a strong and mighty group, that follows the Lord’s lead wherever and however He directs us. We will be a formidable group – the likes of which the world has never seen – that stops at nothing to take the victory for our Lord and Savior.

Joel 2:3 “A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.”

The purging fire of the Lord is our vanguard and our rear guard as we devour all enemies and obstacles in our path. Behind us is a dark and decaying world, while the land in front of us is beautiful and idyllic – it is the Kingdom of God on the earth! It will overtake all earthly kingdoms and destroy the demonic kingdom, and it will last for all eternity.

Joel 2:4-5 “The appearance of them [is] as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.”

This is a spiritual army that presents a united front. We know no fear or limitations as we forcibly take over the earth and usher in the Kingdom of God. Heaven and earth will spiritually collide in this takeover and all the power of the heavens will manifest on the earth as the Kingdom of God is ushered in.

Joel 2:6 “Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.”

The people of the world will be frightened and alarmed as the Body of Christ advances. We will be a huge army that walks in awesome power and authority, and the very world will be shaken in our path. People will not be able to comprehend such a show of manifest divine power that rocks kingdoms and shakes up world governments. They will be astonished and afraid.

Joel 2:7 “They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:”

Peacefully and orderly, the Body of Christ will advance like a disciplined army that takes its marching orders directly from the General and Commander-In-Chief, Jesus Christ. We will present a unified front that overcomes all obstacles in its path. Everyone will remain in his assigned place. No one will break ranks; we will link up arm in arm to accomplish our mission in total unity with Christ as our Head.

Joel 2:8 “Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”

There will be peace and order in the Body, with no opposition in the ranks. Everyone will accomplish his own individual assignments without disturbing his brothers and sisters. There will be no injuries or casualties of this war, because it will all be done in the spirit realm by the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

Joel 2:9 “They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.”

Radical times call for radical measures, and the Body of Christ will be well prepared in the methods of spiritual warfare. We will take ground using spiritual techniques for the entire overthrow of demonic strongholds. We will spread the good news of the Kingdom to all that we encounter. We will boldly and effectively accomplish our task.

Joel 2:10 “The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:”

The Lord will be in charge of both the battle strategy and the techniques that He uses to accomplish this victory. There may be attending signs and wonders in nature that facilitate the

Body of Christ in ushering in the Kingdom. Time will appear to stand still, as the sun and the moon are stopped in their paths. It’s all in the Lord’s plan and strategy for the redemption of mankind.

Joel 2:11 “And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp [is] very great: for [he is] strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”

Christ Himself will give the command to advance, and we should be ready and obedient to follow His orders. He knew who would respond to His call to be members of this end-days’ army. He called us as individuals and corporately as the Body of Christ to assist Him in this redemption plan. It will not be delayed or thwarted. There is a perfect plan in place that covers all details.

The army is huge and nothing will stop it, because it is imbued with the Lord’s very own power. Total victory is effected as the army advances to take back all that the enemy has stolen over the years. The Word of God will be manifested all over the earth as we usher in the Kingdom of God in all its divine glory.

The Restoration Of All Things

The day of the Lord is to be welcomed by the righteous, but will be dreaded by those who still choose to do evil. There is hope and confidence for the future for God’s people, and eternal punishment for those who are disobedient. The Kingdom of God will level all playing fields. Those who choose God’s way of doing things and being right will have joy, peace and righteousness in the Kingdom for all eternity.

The Lord has planned this from the foundation of the world. He knew that we would be lost in sin, and that the enemy would steal our original dominion over the earth. He intends to restore all power and authority over the earth back to men, under the leadership and guidance of His Son, Jesus Christ, who will rule the nations with an iron rod.

The Kingdom Of God Manifests

Revelation 12:10 “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.”

The Lord has drawn a line that no one will cross. Satan will be totally annihilated and the Kingdom of God will be ushered in simultaneously. All evil will be abolished from the face of the earth. Peace and righteousness will prevail for all eternity. This is imminent and we should be preparing ourselves for our part in it by banding together in unity and prayer.

Luke 11 tells us that we ought to be praying for the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. There is no mention of our being evacuated out of here to heaven itself. Heaven will rather come down to the earth, as we spread the good news of the Kingdom and gather in the total harvest of souls that has been ordained from the beginning of the world.

I believe that there is an exact number of people whose names are recorded in the Book of Life. (See Revelation 3) It becomes the task of the church and the Body of Christ to fully evangelize the entire world until this number is complete. Then Israel will be converted and called in, and together we will serve the Lord as one people for all eternity.

In the meantime, we should walk as Christ walked and prepare ourselves to hear, obey and act on a timely basis when the battle cry is sounded. Even today, the Lord is pouring out His glory all over the face of the earth to attract the full number of believers in. Miraculous signs and wonders will not only get men’s attention, but be instrumental in their immediate conversion as well.

There will be mass healings and creative health miracles. Missing limbs and body parts will be replaced. Restoration of all that’s been lost over the years will result. There will be many instances of the dead being raised, and a huge ingathering of souls that come into the Kingdom of God even before we see it established on the earth. All men will have an opportunity to praise God and give Him the thanks and glory that He deserves.

Occupational Army

Luke 19:13 “… Occupy till I come.”

The Body of Christ is an occupational army that refuses to give ground to the enemy kingdom on the earth. We should consecrate ourselves continuously to the Lord’s holy purpose. We must prepare ourselves for this final takeover by dedicating all our efforts to the Lord’s full salvation plan. And we ought to walk in total peace and confidence that the Kingdom of God will prevail.

Jesus illustrated what He expects of us in the parable of the ten talents. We are to be faithful over whatever He gives us. He has given us power and authority to do all that we are called to do to usher in His Kingdom. We must remain alert and hold our ground until He gives us the order to advance. Then He will applaud our efforts as faithful servants.

We will be rewarded not for the natural talents we possess, but for our willingness and faithfulness to follow His orders. He Himself will provide all our capability through the anointing power of the Holy Spirit. He will join us together in perfect unity, and send legions of angels to pave the way for our success. The entire universe will applaud our efforts as we systematically take back the earth.

The Body of Christ will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom so that men and women from every nation of the world have an opportunity to repent and be baptized. We will heal all the sick and infirm; no disease will enter into God’s Kingdom. We will raise the dead back to life so that they can praise God for His goodness and face the future with hope and confidence. We will set all captives free of enemy oppression and affliction, so that they are free to enter into the Kingdom.

All that is necessary to be a member of the Body of Christ is that we be perfectly obedient to the Lord’s lead. We must be totally consecrated to walk as Christ walked on the earth. He has called us to a new level of love, brotherhood and unity – our minds and hearts must be perfectly meshed as one. We should be walking arm in arm with one another and with Jesus Himself to usher in Kingdom of God on the earth!

Matthew 25:23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

 

Topics For Discussion

1. Fellowship With God And One Another

2. Hate Evil And Love Good

3. Unity In The Bride And In The Body

4. The Divine Commission

5. The Works Of Jesus

6. Joel 2 – How The Army Of God Will Usher In The Kingdom

7. The Kingdom Of God’s Occupational Army

 

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