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.
indicated, all Scripture quotations in this volume are
from the King James Version of the Bible.
"... Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind,
live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be
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!
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
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!
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.
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
"[And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he
made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
"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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
"For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of
peace, as in all churches of the saints."
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
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
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
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
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.
"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
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
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.
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.
"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
"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
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
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
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
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.
Psalm 119:165 "Great
peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall
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
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
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
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
Put Others First
"[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better
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,
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
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.
"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
"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
James 3:18 "And the
fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that
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
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
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
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.
"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
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
Topics for Discussion
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.
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
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
Unity of the Spirit
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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.
"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.
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]
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
"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.
"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
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.
"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
"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
"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 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
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.
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.
"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made
unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
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
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
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.
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
"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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
"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
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
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.
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
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
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
Topics for Discussion
1. Called Out and Chosen
5. Glory of the Latter House
6. Divine Destiny
Chapter 7 - We Are One Body
"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
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
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
"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
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
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.
"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.
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
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
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."
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.
"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
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
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
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.
"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
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
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
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
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.
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
"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
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
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.
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
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
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
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:"
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
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
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
The Kingdom of God Manifests
"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.
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.
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
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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