Desire to be Sharpened

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17

The word “countenance” means “face” or “presence”. As iron faces iron to chip away the unnecessary parts, sharpening it for the master’s use; so does the same happen with us! When we sit face to face with friends and read the text, talk about scripture, or pray; God will chip away things, sharpening us and making us more fit for the master’s use! IF WE LET HIM.

The problem is that everyone wants to think that they are the file, the one who is unmoved, and not the knife. But the knife is the one being prepared to be used, so let the knife be you. We have to be willing to face the abrasiveness of having our own edge challenged and be willing to release some things that are keeping it dull. It may not always be pleasant, it hurts to put away our pride but it leaves us stronger and sharper on the other side of it. So be willing to face challenges, the truth, or even open rebuke, and let it do it’s work in you.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” – Proverbs 27:5-7

Allowing yourself to be sharpened will change you face and you function, as you allow things to be chipped away you’re whole presence will change. You won’t look the same as you did before, you won’t work the same, you will function in more. If this is not constantly happening then you are likely not facing that (or those) whom the Lord has placed before you to sharpen you.

This is usually a result of pride convincing you that you don’t need to be sharpened, to be make more useful then you are ready are. A refusal to allow things to be chipped. A belief in the enemies lie that your dullness is perfect and there is no need to leave your comfort the face the abrasiveness needed to improve your current countenance.

Pride is based in lies spoken by the father of it, don’t fall for it. It will rob you of both a sharper countenance and the friends that are called to help you obtain it. Lay down what you think you know and grow.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” – 2 Timothy 2:20-21

The Elect

“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:7-15

Reading the context of this passage can leave one scratching their head. Yet is ends with the commandment to study that you might righty divide the word of truth. So let us do just that.

Paul says that for the Elect’s sake he is willing to suffer much persecution and hardship that they might receive salvation. The word “elect” means “chosen”, yet if they are chosen then why must Paul suffer that they “might” have the opportunity to receive salvation? Chosen seems to be such a sure word, yet only a few sentences down we see many “if’s” which are conditions. “If” we are willing to suffer “then” we will reign with Him. “If” we deny Him, “then” He will deny us. So which is it? Are they chosen? Or do they choose?

For that answer we must study to show ourselves approved. The first “elect”, or “chosen of God” was Israel as a whole. God had redeemed them from the bondage of Egypt, called them out into a wilderness to be trained, purged, and sanctified of the mindsets of Egypt, then those who remained He chose to be a national priesthood who’s job it was to teach the rest of the world about God and redeem His lost children from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Though they were the “chosen” priesthood, they were not meant to be God’s only children, they were meant to go out and bring others into the kingdom! It was an evangelistic calling!

“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” – Exodus 19:4-6

They were the ones Elected (or Chosen) by God to bring others unto salvation. Sometimes they thrived at this, but more often then not they failed at it. The main reason they fail this mission was because they began to see their “election” as something that made them better then others rather then a servant to others. They began to think that they could not loose their sonship and others could not gain it because that they were “chosen”. Which was exactly the opposite of the purpose of it. They became, prideful, arrogant, self focused, even while they themselves fell back into bondage to the enemy they refused to see the reality that God was displeased.

So He sends Jesus, His own son to fulfill the role of this election. The only one who was ever guaranteed a calling. The only one ever worthy of eternal life and resurrection! The only one that was “Chosen” from before the foundations of the world! The Christ, which literally means the “Chosen One”, or “The Elect”.

“Behold my servant (Jesus), whom I (God) uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” – Isaiah 42:1

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.” – Luke 23:34-35

Ok, so things just either got real interesting or Infinitely more confusing for you… If Jesus is The Elect, then why did Paul have to suffer to bring the gospel to the elect? Why did they have a choice to receive or deny once he did if they were chosen? And why did God Himself say that everyone has the opportunity to be saved if they believe in His son Jesus?

I’m glad you asked, because the answer is in the questions. Remember that the chosen (or elect) were a priesthood meant to bring the whole world into the family of God. They failed because of selfishness, unbelief, disobedience, and pride. They “liked” being chosen and leaving others feeling like they were stuck “outside” and in doing so forfeited their whole purpose and mission. Then where the first election failed, Jesus steps in as the new Election! The new Chosen one! The Christ! The High Priest of a new priesthood! One that would succeed in bringing the lost children back into the Kingdom of God from every tribe, tongue, and nation!

How would He accomplish this? By releasing His Spirit into the world that all those who would believe and receive Him into them would then become the Election also! Carriers of His presence and message of redemption? Priest of the new priesthood! No more claims to partiality of God’s grace! Whomsoever will believe Him shall be saved!

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” – John 1:12

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Born Again

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” – John 3:5-7

Nicodemus asked Jesus, what must he do to see the Kingdom of God. To which Jesus tells him that we must be born again. Being born once of fallen and rebellious man, that birth imparts to us a fallen and rebellious spirit. One bent toward sin and selfishness and guilty of death for it, under the law of Moses. So then must that man fulfill the law by crucifying that old man and giving up the ghost (spirit) even as Christ did on the cross. Then he must be born again by receiving a new spirit, a holy one, Jesus’s!

When this happens every sin and guiltiness of that old person that you once were is laid to rest! Every wrong thing it ever did, and every wrong thing ever done to it. We forgive and or forgiven and receive a new spirit, a new life, a new purpose and commission, a new family, a new future, a new everything!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

We step into this new life with relief, refreshing, and excitement! Then we begin to grow in the Spirit and our new Father begins to teach us how to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom!

Jesus told Nicodemus, in regards to this experience, that you might not understand it. Like the wind in the trees, you might not know the end from the beginning like He does. You may not know exactly where this moving that you a feeling stirring you up is coming from or where it will cause you to end up, but when it happens you will feel something and you will see the present effects of it.

Things will be different, the wind can’t blow through the trees and them not be moved and effected by it! They come alive and don’t look the same as they did before the wind arrived. So for a person who has truly been born again, what exactly does it look like?

Like a new life, a fresh start, a hunger for God’s word, and a love in their heart for His presence. In fact, just like a physical new born baby, Spiritual ones cant get enough of this!

When a baby is born the first thing they do is cry. When a person is born again it usually comes with tears of joy and repentance as they leave the old life and emerge into the new.

The next thing that all new born babies have in common is an immense hunger, and when someone has truly been born again you will see this in them! Do not starve a spiritual new born, the more they eat, the faster they will grow! First the milk of the simple gospel, then later the meat as they mature and are more able to receive it.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-2

(To the spiritually young, Paul preached:)

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

(To the spiritually more mature, Paul preached: )

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:” – 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 6-7

New born babies also burn for the love, cuddles, and presence of their parents. So that those who have been born again will yearn for church, worship, prayer, and personal time with Jesus! They will seek it, they will burn for fellowship. It will not be a burden to them but a passion!

Remember that Jesus was talking to Nichodemus, a Pharisee and teacher of the Priest in this passage. So simply knowing about God or the scriptures is not enough. This was Jesus’s message to him in this conversation. But rather that all must be born again and have this spiritual experience. A life changing conversion. A new beginning, and an encounter with His Holy Spirit. I can assure you of this, even as Jesus often did, that if you have never had a hunger for the words and presence of God as desperate as a new born baby does, then you’ve never been born again and Jesus said that being born again is a requirement for seeing the Kingdom. So meet with Jesus alone, in the quiet, like Nicodemus did and ask Him for it.

Once a baby is born, they cry, begin to feed, and experience the loving embrace they so desperately need. Then their eyes begin to open up for the first time and they start to see things they never saw before. A bit blurry at first but the more they are nourished with the first things, the more clearly they begin to see the latter things!

Yet even before they can see, they begin to hear the voice of their parents ringing in their ear. However a new born baby does not understand what is being spoken to them. At first they only understand the loving embrace they are feeling and the voice that is so comforting to them. Yet over time they start to understand a few important commands. “No”, oh how we hate that one! “Stop”, “Come”, “I love you”, then our understanding increases from their depending on how much time we spend listening to the voice of our parents. And so we learn overtime to communicate, interact, and even eventually work with God as we grow and spend quality time with Him as a child does with their father.

For a new baby, Hearing and listening (shama/obeying) comes simotaniously with learning to walk. God designed them this way, to have to be carried until they are able to listen. This is the purpose of discipleship. A walking/running baby with no ability to understand basic instruction is a danger to itself and others.

So it is with us. No one is saved and immediately expected to outpace veterans in the race, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Babies fall down a lot. Toddlers get corrected a lot. Their parents still love them, they are just preparing them for the greater things that are coming.

In fact correction is usually a sign of maturing (though it may not feel like it.) Think of it like this, toddlers get corrected more then newborns do, so don’t get discouraged by correction it just means you’re growing in spiritual things.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” – Hebrews 12:5-7

From toddlers to children, as they grow and mature they get more responsibilities. They are entrusted with more of the fathers and the families house hold duties. From children to positions in their fathers priesthood and kingship where they are equipped and entrusted with the tools and authority of their Father’s house and Kingdom. Mature sons and daughters with power and purpose because that they have gone through the process of growing in grace that all started the day they realized that they could be born all over again into God’s Kingdom and be one of His children.

“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” – John 3:12

Live Your Message

“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” – Galatians 2:14

Paul brought a public rebuke to Peter because that after he had preached against the dividing of the congregation of Christ, he then by his actions showed it ok to do so. After having preached that God is just and is no respecter of persons with his words, he taught the practice of the opposite with his actions. After having preached humility he demonstrated pride. After preaching unity he encouraged a divid. After preaching that the Jews and gentiles were now one, brothers in the Lord, and that there was no power in a physical circumcising, his actions showed them that in that moment he believed different. This is what warranted a public rebuke of Peter. (Of which I’m sure he then repented)

It is good to remember that what we do preaches louder then what we say, and public demonstrations of our faith is what molds those who follow after us more then merely our word does. Little eyes are watching far more closely then their ears are hearing. Walk worthy of the calling for we will give an account for both every idol word and action. Do nothing in vain glory, assumption, selfishness, or haste. But in all things seek the Lord, what He has to say, and follow after His way. Love mercy, live humbly, trust God, and obey. Don’t just preach the right words, live the right way. You are the truest demonstration of your faith.

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:21-22

“… let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” – James 5:12

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” – Ephesians 6:6

The Brass Serpent

“And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth (hates with disgust) this light bread (Manna). And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” – Numbers 21:5-9

Wether these fiery servants were physical or spiritual are unclear, but what is clear is that the people’s sins, selfishness, ungratefulness, lust, bitterness, hatred, and out right blasphemy opened the door to these evil things. It was sin that let this plague of death in. These Israelites were bitten by serpents, poisoned, and dying; and in order to save them from perishing in this judgment that their own sin had set in motion under the justice of the law, did they have to have faith that the sin itself could be crucified. They needed to “see” the serpent lifted up on a tree. They needed to believe that it was the sin within them that had been let in from the beginning, that old serpent in the tree in the garden, that infected them and caused them to parish, and it was this that needed to die that they might live.

Fast forward a few thousand years and Israel is in bondage yet again, this time to the Romans. Jesus walks the streets preaching a message of repentance, forgiveness, deliverance, and being born again into new beginnings! This is a very different message then that of the Zelotes that had come before Him seeking political and military deliverance from the enemy. Jesus begins His public ministry when God starts pouring out miracles in order to validate this very different message but the people just didn’t get it.

Many began to believe that He could be the Messiah they had been waiting for! The deliverer! They wanted Him to ride in and destroy the Romans, their enemy and source of oppression! But God wanted to save the Romans, just like He had spared His own children so many times in their wildernesses.

The deliverer was here, but His deliverance would not be from this physical enemy but rather from the demonic influence that poisoned them. Jesus was here not just to save them (the chosen) but all men by the hands of those chosen. Just like He did that day in the wilderness through Moses.

The Jews would lift this pole up once again so that all men could be kept from perishing in the judgment of the sin within that had bitten and poisoned them into death and damnation! In order for Jesus to do this, He would have to crucify their sin upon a cross in the sight of all men, tribes, tongues, and nations to give them faith that it has been completed. The serpent is defeated, the law fulfilled, the body of sin crucified that we might live. The source of sin judged and condemned that the men it once influenced might be redeemed and forgiven, set free from bondage to it, born agin into liberty, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed! If they would only believe!

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” – John 3:14-17

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” – John 12:31-33

Bitten by the serpent, poisoned by sin, and dying a spiritual death. God wanted to crush the serpent without killing the children of Adam that this serpent had poisoned unto death by injecting their soul with lies, pride, disease, selfishness, and most importantly, twisted concepts of who God really is. Jesus came to set the record straight. To demonstrate who God is, that He desires to save all, that whomsoever will believe Jesus will be saved. Look to Him today, His words, His teachings, and His demonstration; and the bites of that old serpent will amount to nothing. They won’t poison us anymore. Jesus paid for our freedom, we need only to look at what He did, and believe it.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” – 1 Peter 2:24-25

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians 2:13-15

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” – Galatians 3:13-14

Cause a Scene

“And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee…. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.” – Luke 5:18-20, 25-26

When is the last time you caused a scene and got some Pharisees uncomfortable pressing through to get someone else’s breakthrough? I love the image of these friends. Someone they cared about was unable to stand on his own two feet. He was unable to fight through for his own need. He was wounded, feeble, and week. So his friends caused a scene to bring his need to King Jesus.

This, to me, is a beautiful picture of intercession! Total abandon of self to help someone else! No fetters of tradition, no callus indifference because of selfish ambitions, no concern for reputation! They were willing to make a commotion to get to Jesus for the sake of one that had not the strength to pursue Him himself!

So I ask again… When is the last time you tore the roof off for someone else? When is the last time you prayed the heavens down? When is the last time you made some church folk uncomfortable by your passion, pursuit, and determination to breakthrough? When is the last time you looked like a fool, received ridicule, was lied about or slandered for the sake of selflessly pursuing the physical, spiritual, or emotional healing of an other? When is the last time you caused a scene to bring someone else’s need before the King?

When is the last time you interceded?

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” – Isaiah 53:12

Straying From the Faith By Hate

“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:15

Under the old covenant God commanded that “thou shall not murder”. Yet Jesus narrows the mark under the new covenant because that we now have access to the instant personal voice of conviction by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Therefor, simply allowing ourselves to think these things is rebellion against His leading. So that Jesus tells us very clearly that to simply hate your brother makes you guilty of the sin of murder. Whether you take the first step or the last, you are still on the wrong path. Narrow is the way that leads to life and few are they that find it. I believe this is one of the main reasons why so few stay on it. Because of offense.

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” – Matthew 5:23-24

This is a big part of our personal ministry and responsible that is greatly ignored or overlooked in the word. It actually says in the following scripture to take the fault even if it is not your fault to make peace if need be. Simply apologize and let all parties be released. If they will not hear you and except then the judgment is on them but you have been freed from it and will receive a reward for your humble obedience and righteousness in obeying the word of the Lord and the teachings of Jesus.

It is a serious thing to stray from the right way because of hate. It will prevent you from hearing God clearly and more importantly, it will prevent Him from hearing you. Your prayers which are of great effect when prayed by a righteous man or woman, will become empty and useless when polluted by offends.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” – Isaiah 59:1-2

Hate toward anyone, no matter how seemingly justified will destroy your walk of righteousness in and instant. This is why Jesus preached so hard against it. Repent of it. Don’t allow the sun to go down on your wrath. Forgive as soon as you feel it creeping in and pray for them like Jesus did. They are being led of an other spirit and they really don’t know what they are doing, but you do, so the responsibility lies on you.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: …” – Matthew 5:43-45

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto (God’s) wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:18-21

Silenced

God never condoned violence or arrogance, but He also never condoned compliance with the enemies tactics when it comes to his relentless attempts to silence the Saint. The mouth is the gate by which the Holy Spirit can enter a place or situation since faith comes by hearing.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:13-14

Christians through the ages (including the disciples, apostles, and even Jesus) have been killed by demonic men and oppressive governments for refusing to be silenced. They did not fight back, they did not attack, they simply refused compliance and kept opening their mouth no matter what it cost them. Don’t let the enemy shut your mouth, it’s the thing that defeats him in the end, proves your faith in the teachings of Jesus, breaks satan’s lies, and grants you access to your eternal prize.

“And they overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11

“For whosoever will try to save his life shall lose it: but whosoever is willing to lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:24-26

“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans 10:8-11

Whatever it cost, do not be muzzled by fear or by force. Keep speaking, keep signing, keep teaching, keep preaching, keep witnessing, keep healing, keep praying, keep believing, keep testifying, keep confessing, keep connecting, keep smiling, keep shinning, keep changing lives for the Kingdom of God. Christianity is spread my mouth, don’t let the enemy put that light out.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” – Matthew 5:13-15

“And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:27-29

“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.” – Matthew 28:18-20

Accuser

Do you know what the Hebrew word for “accuser” is? …. “Satan” That’s right, Satan is not the “name” of the devil but more a title or description of him in the same way that we call God “Father“, the “Rock“, or the “Good Shepherd”. These are titles that paint a picture describing to us the attributes, or character, of the one holding it.

One of the interesting things about the Hebrew word “Satan” is that it is a plural word which often actually encompasses an entire class of powerful demonic beings of which that old twisting serpent is the Cheif.

“He (Leviathan) beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.” – Job 41:34

Pride holds on to lies and accuses others of why it did not turn out right, rather then humbling and coming into agreement with the truth. When the serpent first appeared in the garden he twisted God’s words then slipped in a sideways accusation to break Adam and Eves trust (or faith) in the only one who truly loved and helped them; God. The serpent said that God did not want them to eat the fruit because it would make them like Him. Basically “accusing” God of not loving them and holding out on them for selfish power greed. Which was not at all the reason.

Then we see that after Adam comes into agreement with this lie by putting his trust (faith/belief) in it, the first thing he does is to accuse others himself. In other words, once he had consumed this bad fruit, he then produced the same bad fruit. When God asked for a confession from Adam, he instead said “it was THAT WOMAN that YOU gave me.” He accused Eve for his sin whom he was created and called to cover and protect, and even accused God by pointing out that He was the one who gave him the problem. In this was it made evident that Adam was now under the influence of the accuser of the brethren.

The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins, Jesus loved His bride and died covering for her sins. Adam let offense in when he listened to the accusations of the serpent in that garden and the selfishness that it breeds has ravaged people, relationships, and whole kingdoms ever since.

The next story in scripture it surfaces agin when God is pleased with Abel’s sacrifice of obedience more then Cane’s offering of ambition. God tells Cane to just do better next time but also to be careful because “sin lieth at the door”. That old serpent was speaking accusation against his brother to his heart. When Cain chose to entertain these blames, hatred came in and murder followed after it.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” – John 8:44-45

“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. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 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.” – 1 John 3:10-16

Brother, sister, I assure you of this, that anywhere that there are abundant accusations, there the devil is. Where the truth is twisted, that serpent is spitting lies, deception, and control through manipulation (which is witchcraft, the nature of bewitching). This is why all liars will have their part in the lake of fire, and why forgiveness is required with repentance at salvation. You cannot be in agreement with Satan the accuser, and with Jesus the redeemer. You must choose one and flee the other.

It is not an easy thing, for through the accusations that old serpent will cement your pride in the lies he has spoken. This is why salvation only comes to the humble and broken. Grace to overcome will only come once you have humbled and put your trust (or faith) back into Jesus, His words, His actions, His teachings, His forgiveness; and have abandoned all of the accusers accusation and justifications for sin that are only meant to trick you into staying a slave to him.

“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” – Galatians 3:1

My friend, choose today to repent and forgive. In-fact, humble yourself and admit that the accusations against others that this serpent has been speaking into your ear for years are lies and let them die so that truth can be revived in you; and Jesus (who is the Spirit of truth) will come alive through you.

“But God giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:6-7

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan (the accuser) standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” – Zechariah 3:1-2

“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. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:10-11

Examine Your Leadership

“And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul. But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Beth–lehem.” – 1 Samuel 17:12, 14-15

David was promised Kingship by God but yet was still unseen and unknown but by the prophet and by God. You might think he would want to follow the prophet, be where the important people are, seek out attention, platforms, connections, no… he went home to feed his father’s sheep.

“Lovest thou me? And Peter said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” – John 21:17

David got nothing out of this lowly and laboring job, no money, no glory, no attention, no grandeur. But he loved his father and he loved the sheep and they needed a shepherd so he gave up everything to go tend to them while his older brothers chased after the prophet.

God saw this. God is always watching for those who are faithful in the small things, the un-glorious. The labor that was unseen by men is what heaven rewarded him for. David was the one that God trusted to call upon because he proved his willingness to labor in faithfulness and selfless sacrifice to the least, even at the cost of his own life and desires. David was a true shepherd, a man after God’s own heart.

David never jockeyed for position, he never lied or manipulated, he never chased the crown, in-fact when having had chances to take it he willingly laid it down in faith that it was God’s to give him and He would do it in the right time and season. There was no selfish ambition in him and this is exactly why God trusted him.

Israel flourished under David’s leadership. David in his glory was a shadow of the character of Christ. Therefor did the church flourish under the leadership of Jesus and those humble servants that rightly represented him. Yet there came a time when bad shepherd took charge over God’s flock. Evil kings, selfish priest, ambitious prophets.

“Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.” – Micah 3:9-12

In the same manner that Israel was blessed, flourished, built up, and protected under the Christ like rule of David, so was it cursed, diminished, torn down, and allowed to be overtaken by enemies under the selfish ungodly rule of the wicked shepherds. So is it with any nation, and so is it with the church. When selfish ambition is allowed to take leadership the sheep will suffer for it and God will be forced to deal with it. Yet while He is allowing the Goliaths to rise up to oppose and expose the cowardice, weakness, and selfishness, of ungodly faithless leadership; so is He raising up David’s to set the example of righteousness once again. This is the way God has always done it and the church of today is no different.

Ask yourself with all honesty today, is my spiritual or political leader a Saul or a David? Did they abandon selfish ambition, did they give up money and position, do they walk away from glory and attention to feed the lambs like Jesus? Or do they feed on them and teach those who follow them to do the same for the sake of selfish gain, or a little fame? Did they abandon the lambs when the wolf, the lion, the bear, or even the Goliath’s rushed in?

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.” – John 10:11-12

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.” – Ezekiel 34:2-10

“Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them. Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.” – Jeremiah 14:13-18