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Author Topic: Kings and Priests. Me?  (Read 1161 times)

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Dynamo54

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Kings and Priests. Me?
« on: June 18, 2022, 05:53:31 PM »


I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the off chance others have, or will, experience something similar.

I read Revelation 5:10
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

and 1 Peter 2:9
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

and I say, “Me”?

I am 67, with about 18 years of that baptized in the WWCG (1980-1998), and about 21 years in the church of You and me, Lord (1998-2019), and the last about 3 years studying through BibleTruths and Ray. I read the scriptures now and see the Truths of all Ray has preached, exposed, and identified. I SEE IT now…I KNOW it is right and true. No doubts in my mind.

I reflect back on my whole life and see NOW where without a doubt God saved my life 5 times, and multiple times where He intervened at moments where my decisions would have been catastrophic to my future. I see and KNOW I am called…but can’t put my mind around me being an elect (and that is really okay with me too as I now KNOW that all that ever lived will be in the Elohim family someday).

I say to myself “You? Get Real.” I tell myself what incredible hubris I would have to have to consider myself Elect. Me? It is not that I don’t know the scriptures about being called. I do. MANY  are called….and I know that I am one of those “many”. Then I am reminded of Ray’s Bible study where he says Christ knows those who are His…but the rub is that WE don’t. Ray said many times that if you are not going through persecution and trials then now is not your time. And that is part of my problem.

I don’t see my life NOW as persecution and trials. Oh, I have some physical and financial trials now and then. And I guess I could say there was some persecution from family and others back in my WWCG days…but nothing now that I see that would meet Ray’s bill for persecution.

Now I have considerable mental/emotional internal turmoil as I try to keep the spiritual laws and commandments of God. When I fail and start again, the failing is very stressful to me mentally. Puts me in a mental funk, a down attitude, hopeless frame of mind too. But I tell myself I am not going to give up. But I don’t know if these inner turmoils count for “the much tribulation” the elect must go through to reach being part of the Kingdom.

Now I have come to view the “Kingdom” as the government of God, and in my mind I separate being in the Kingdom from eventually being in the Family of God. Now when and if a person makes it into the Kingdom they are of course part of the Family, but I don’t see those who are not the elect (I.e. at Christ’s coming) as being in the government. I see the scriptures saying ALL will be in the Family, but only the elect will be part of the Kingdom (government).

Now it may be that my “much tribulation and persecution “ lies in the future…but that does not help me now wonder about being elect. I tell the Father that I really don’t have a desire to rule anyone. I want to help others all I can, but I have never been able to get excited (don’t know if that is the best word to use) about the part of the promise of ruling. I sure would like to eventually help others see Gods truth and help them overcome the beasts that we all are (not that I am making a tremendous amount of progress on that), but the “rule” part holds no enticement for me. That may be a wrong way for me to look at it, but that is the way it is.

So, I keep rewatching all of Ray’s videos, reread the LoF, read past questions and answers to/from Ray, and read many of the Forum postings and answers from way back to current. I do find that my “free”time is spent more and more on these activities and less on other things. I don’t intend to give up. I am of a mind of a Beach Boys song that starts “wouldn’t it be nice…”

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have some intimation that we are elect?
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2022, 12:21:19 AM »

Much of what you've shared here resonates with me.  Ultimately I'm very restful leaving it all up to the Lord.  I don't want to "rule" anybody either.  I am truly terrible at it.  Not that I can't sometimes affect behavior, but I cannot change minds and hearts.  Nothing I say sticks.  Nothing I do has any deep and lasting effect...not even on myself.

BUT...I do want to make a comment that may be encouraging.  The way I read the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the ones who accuse the brethren day and night have been the ministers of Satan and their"gospel" which is no good news at all.  I sat for 30+ years sinking ever deeper into depression, confusion and loss.  If you spent all those years in the WWCOG, you WERE persecuted... you just didn't recognize it at the time...at least not always.  Same as me.  Your primary "persecutors" weren't those from outside the affiliation, they were from within it.  Same as me, though I'd never heard of the WW before I came here.  Some are in bondage and some enjoy putting others in bondage.  The Lord will sort them out.

His chosen WERE chosen from the foundation of the world.  "We've" all endured to the end of SOMETHING and been saved from SOMETHING.  I don't count that for nothing.  If nobody ever beats me up for saying Jesus, or laughs at me for faith for the rest of my life, they already have to my spirit.  And whether you agree or can understand it, they've done the same to you.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 12:35:54 AM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Porter

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2022, 09:33:58 PM »

I used to worry that I might not be chosen, but now I'm just happy to be here. :) Just knowing the incredible things that have been revealed to me is enough for me to have peace and faith in a just and good God. 

Just the fact you're here talking about the Spirit, Dynamo, gives me great confidence that God has called you into His light, so you may know Him.

The tribulation and persecution of the saints isn't always dramatic. The 'war in heaven' is an invisible war against everything in your heart and mind that is opposed to God. Satan, the accuser of the brethren, puts us in “prison” for a while where it feels like we can't do anything right because of our sins.

What Satan doesn't know is that he is actually doing us a favor. Satan, through our tribulation, was created to destroy the carnal fleshy mind. So if Satan drives out Satan, his kingdom is divided, but how will his kingdom stand? Stay faithful by doing the good spiritual works as laid out by Jesus, and you will receive a crown of life and righteousness.

All of it is good news, Dynamo.
Rom 7:23  But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.
Rom 7:24  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.


Rev 12:7  And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.



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ralph

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2022, 03:38:02 PM »

I’ve become so accustomed to pain, poverty, chaos and dysfunction that if things suddenly cleared up, I fear I wouldn’t know how to enjoy or accept it. In some ways I might feel like a person, who when released from prison, is unable to adapt to normal society.  I am not complaining.  God has provided everything I need to survive and you can’t place a value on the spiritual blessings, but we are talking about tribulation and I wanted to share my experience.

With regards to the “ruling”.  I am of the same mind.  I have no desire to rule over anyone.  That is when I discovered something which may be already known here, but was a revelation to me:

I looked up the word “rule” in strong’s, specifically how it is used in the Book of Revelation.  It is the word “poimainō”.  Now this resonates with me.  This is how I picture God’s elect ruling:

The KJV translates Strong's G4165 in the following manner: feed (6x), rule (4x), feed cattle (1x).

Outline of Biblical Usage 
1. to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep
    1. to rule, govern
        1. of rulers
        2. to furnish pasture for food
        3. to nourish
        4. to cherish one's body, to serve the body
        5. to supply the requisites for the soul's need
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Dynamo54

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2022, 06:12:20 PM »

I like the idea of nourishing and serving others!
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indianabob

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 11:50:50 AM »

Friends on the forum
I sense that Dynamo's remarks have hit a nerve among all of those who have replied.
Great to hear and read.
I'm re-reading all that has been shared the recent few days.
I think that the time must be getting close-er!
I would like to comment in detail on each of you who have contributed to Dynamo's history and his
concerns about being one of the elect, but there is so much "meat" that I don't know where to begin.
Maybe later,
Indiana Bob  :)
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ralph

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 01:59:33 PM »

Friends on the forum
I sense that Dynamo's remarks have hit a nerve among all of those who have replied.
Great to hear and read.
I'm re-reading all that has been shared the recent few days.
I think that the time must be getting close-er!
I would like to comment in detail on each of you who have contributed to Dynamo's history and his
concerns about being one of the elect, but there is so much "meat" that I don't know where to begin.
Maybe later,
Indiana Bob  :)

Hello Bob.   :) :)   Nice to see you again bro.
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Heidi

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 05:26:39 PM »

"But I don’t know if these inner turmoils count for “the much tribulation” the elect must go through to reach being part of the Kingdom."

Dynamo, I consider our "inner turmoils" to be part of our struggle, our trials and tribulations.  1 Cor 2:11 says, "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God."

Your post speaks to me also because like you I was saying to God, "how can I be a priest if I don't know the first thing about what a priest is supposed to do?" And never mind "judging angles".

Heidi

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indianabob

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 08:25:56 PM »

Dear Heidi,

You have nothing to be concerned about.
God does not intend to use you "just as you are" today.
And there are no more skills to learn in this life that will be needed in the next life.
God has for you and each of us a brand new personality and righteous character.
We will be changed, completely, there will be nothing remaining of our present mortal character.
We believe that we will retain our memory to some extent, but our abilities will be a gift of God.
God does not have to prepare us technically for our office in the world to come.
God will teach us all that we need to know after we are resurrected.
God is calling the lowly and base people, so that God can be honored for what God accomplishes in us,
not so that we can receive any credit for what God makes of us.
If you are called, then there is nothing more you can do to make it happen.
God doesn't make mistakes and He finishes whatever he begins.
=

If we are going to be judges, then we will be trained in that office.
By the way, judging means evaluating and not condemning to punishment.
And if we think about it, how long does it take to train an immortal being?
Days, weeks, months or instantaneously?
We will no longer have our mortal, human limitations. We will be glorified.

I hope this helps a little to put your mind at ease.
Bob


"But I don’t know if these inner turmoils count for “the much tribulation” the elect must go through to reach being part of the Kingdom."

Dynamo, I consider our "inner turmoils" to be part of our struggle, our trials and tribulations.  1 Cor 2:11 says, "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God."

Your post speaks to me also because like you I was saying to God, "how can I be a priest if I don't know the first thing about what a priest is supposed to do?" And never mind "judging angles".

Heidi
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Dennis Vogel

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 09:32:12 PM »

We will most certainly take our hard-earned lessons of 'good and evil' with us in the next life IMO. I'd hate to think I went thru all this for nothing.
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ralph

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 09:34:31 PM »

We will most certainly take our hard-earned lessons of 'good and evil' with us in the next life IMO. I'd hate to think I went thru all this for nothing.

I'm in agreement Dennis.
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indianabob

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2022, 02:11:41 PM »

We will most certainly take our hard-earned lessons of 'good and evil' with us in the next life IMO. I'd hate to think I went thru all this for nothing.

Agree Dennis,
We certainly will recall what God has put us through, but then the glory of what we will be will replace all that we have suffered with the joy of God's love for us understood in its fullness for the first time.
We will be changed to be "like" Christ.
=
1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 
=
Ezekiel 36:26 ESV /
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
=
Heb 8:10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 
Heb 8:11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 
Heb 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 
Heb 8:13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. 
=
Eze 11:19  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 
Eze 11:20  That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 
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Heidi

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2022, 04:36:41 PM »

Thank you for what you said Indianabob, you have put my mind at ease.  The scriptures you quoted does confirm that we will get a new heart and spirit and that we do not yet know what we will be but that we will be like Him.
Peace in His truth.
Heidi
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casey

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2022, 02:30:04 PM »

Thank you Dynamo54, and to all that have replied. Dynamo54 I to was in the World Wide Church of God for about 30 some years
and then about 15 years in the Church of God International( Garner Ted Armstrong). I am 80 years old and I thought as I got older
things would get easier, no no no, some things get harder, there are times when I fill dumer than a rock, something that really help
me is to read LOF over and over, and it has helped me to come here and see what others are going through.God loves us and he knows
what we need.

                           With God all things are possible.    CASEY
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Dynamo54

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Re: Kings and Priests. Me?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2022, 03:47:35 PM »



Casey,

I also find that I reread and re-listen to all of Ray’s writings. I am continually amazed at the clarity of scriptures NOW that I thought I understood in the past, and it is because of God using Ray to “foolishly preach” to those that “have an ear”.  I also like to read the transcripts of Ray’s Bible studies (which when I do I can hear Ray’s voice and emphasis from the audio/videos 😀). I get encouragement from those when I am “spiritually down”.

I know I started this thread discussing how I have trouble seeing myself as elect. Not saying I am all the way there yet, but the inputs from all on this thread got me to again looking at what Ray said about this topic. Here is an excerpt from Ray’s 2009 Mobile conference (wish I was aware of BT back then and could have been there!):


                                                 Will you inherit the kingdom of God?

(Notes) Are you sometimes overwhelmed by all the seemingly negative and what seem as almost impossible statements in the Scriptures regarding the requirements for entering God’s Kingdom? How about this statement: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
 
Whoa, I wonder if I’ve done that?’

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.

Oh I don’t know, can I endure to the end?  How much is that? How much will that involve?

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.

And remember the warning to the Seven Churches. It is only “…to him that OVERCOMES…” Seven times we are told to overcome. That entrance into the Kingdom is promised, (Rev. 2 & 3).

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
v. 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
v. 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.

Acts 14:22 …that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Maybe some of you think you’re not going through much tribulation and wonder, ‘gosh I wonder if God’s even concerned, He’s not putting me through much tribulation.’

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Do you obey the gospel of God? How do you obey it? A subject for a lecture.

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you workers of iniquity.

Matthew 10:38 And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

This is getting pretty tough, isn’t it?

Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.

Ever been guilty of that? You know to do good, but you don’t do it, that’s a sin. The wages of sin? [Death.]

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to His will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:

1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Now we even have to figure out who are the heretics among us.

Mat 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.

Had enough? Do you ever read your Bible and say, ‘this is a pretty hard row to hoe.’


Well, there are a lot of scriptures saying, if you don’t do this, if you don’t do it right, if you don’t keep on doing, if you don’t overcome, if you don’t endure, you’re not fit for the kingdom of God.  Except you forsake husband, wife, family (Luke 14:26 ), everything you have and follow Me, you cannot be My disciple… that’s tough.

(Notes)
How many are sometimes bothered by such Scriptures and think that maybe we just won’t make it? We just won’t be acceptable to God?  We fold every time a severe trial comes our way? You want to live godly, but you just can’t conquer some sins and then all these many Scriptures condemn you. Am I talking to anyone in this room?

It’s not a very peaceful or rewarding life living like this with so many uncertainties, is it? Never ever being quite certain as to where you stand with God. We see too many areas where we know we fall short and then we condemn ourselves.  

It’s not very soothing to live a life like that, living in kind of fear and trepidation as to whether or not you are ever going to make it into this kingdom of God.
Maybe when He says “few,” what He really means is hardly any.

Well I want you all to leave this conference with a confidence from God that will enable you to live in peace with himself/herself. A feeling like you learned some stuff, some important stuff and I want you to leave the confidence with, that if God has begun a work in you, He will finish it. To be assured that you will be in the Kingdom of God and receive a reward. God did not call us to a life of uncertainty, doubt and frustration. Ninety-nine percent of those in Christendom ‘know’ for a fact that when they die they are going to heaven, when in reality and according to the Scriptures they know NO SUCH THING. Is your assurance that you will be in the Kingdom of God built on any more solid ground than these?  Even if you fall, God is able to make you stand up.  

So I gave you kind of the negative side. But there is a real positive side, isn’t there? The positive side is this; yes, you can’t fall away... you can’t look back… you can’t refuse to continue on… you can’t refuse to overcome the trials that are put before you. But if God is truly calling you, He won’t let you! That’s the good news. But even if He lets you fall, it will teach you a lesson, that we don’t have the strength to rely on ourselves.  

You know, the longer you live a godly life and you overcome your pulls of the flesh and you try to be more loving and kind and all the things that Jesus is…  If you’re not careful, you get kind of spiritually cocky and think you’re a pretty good person and ‘I’ve got this thing pretty much in tow.’  Just about then, you could fall flat on your face.  That’s why it says, beware when you think you stand lest you fall (1Cor. 10:12).

                
                                                 What Paul has to say about QUALIFYING:

Paul said I bring anything that is sinful or wrong under “subjection” in my body, unless I speak to you on how to do all this stuff and “I myself should be a castaway.”

1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

So yes, he was aware of that and he kept that prod on himself, but was he negative about it? Did he said, ‘Boy, I hope I make it. But He put me through some stuff. I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end. I don’t know if I can endure all this stuff God put me through. I got this demon smacking me up side the head (spiritually speaking), every day of my life. I’m in hunger and thirst, nakedness and problems, troubles, threats of robbers and killers and shipwrecked, in the swamp…  I don’t know if I can make it.’ No!

He says, I KNOW there’s a wreath of righteousness waiting for me (2 Timothy 4:08). “I KNOW.”  So what do we learn from that? We can KNOW!

Paul talks about qualifying. It doesn’t use ‘qualifying’ but one time in the King James, it uses the word ‘approved.’
 
2 Tim. 2:15 Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)

The Concordant uses the word “qualified,” that’s a little closer to the Greek.

2 Tim. 2:15 Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth. (CLV)

1 Corinthians 11:19 …that those also who are qualified may become apparent among you.

James 1:12 happy is the man that is enduring trial: for becoming qualified, he will be obtaining the wreath of life, which the Lord promises those loving Him.

[attendee: do trials and tribulations help you to become qualified?] Why, yeah, but it all has to do with attitude. There are old people who are supposed to be mellow, on their deathbeds who curse God.

You know that poem…
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light
Do not enter softly into that sweet night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

In other words, don’t let God take your life without putting up a fight.  


                                         THE KEY TO ACCOMPLISHING MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:

Jesus told the disciples, when He talked about the rich man… “Peter said, who then can be saved?”

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Peter said, but what about us… we have forsaken homes, families and livelihoods.

v. 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Or in another parable, over ten cities or five cities or two cities.

v. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

But, we have to ask ourselves, have we forsaken all those things? We have the sure promise, but have we forsaken or are we willing to forsake all those things?
 

….Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.

You have to believe. Jesus Christ said;

Pro 23:7  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:

So what is it that you think about most of the time? Because that’s what you are.
If you think about materialism, pretty girls or power, fame or fortune then that’s what you are. That’s not what the Bible says is good.

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

There’s kind of the ideal. “Charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.“ Loving people, so that you want to give and share and you want the best for them. Like on one occasion, Paul said, counting those surrounding you as superior to yourself.  And having a good conscience.

I kind of have a custom at the end of every conference session, I tell everybody have a clean conscience. Whatever you do today, tomorrow or until we come back and meet again, don’t let anything pollute or pervert your conscience. You can’t live a good life - a godly life - a faithful life if you have a guilty conscience. It just ain’t worth it.

You know, I used to have my pet sins of youth. You say, ‘I just can’t help it, you know.’  So you commit these sins and then you feel guilty. I got tired of feeling guilty… it ain’t worth it. There’s no sin or pleasure that you can lust after that’s worth a guilty conscience. It just ain’t worth it.

How many times have you done something and you say, ‘I’d give anything to take it back, so I wouldn’t have this heaviness weighing on me that I did this thing. I wish I could take it back.’  Well, you can’t take it back. You can’t unring a bell.  But you can stop ringing the bell, you see.

I get a lot of emails and I really sympathize and empathize with the people. They say, ‘Ray I can’t stop watching pornography.’ Or ‘I married a woman, but I think I’m a homosexual.‘ I get so many pathetic emails like that, ‘what can I do?’ I say, well probably just feel dirty about it, until you get so sick of it that you’d sooner have a clean conscience than satisfy that stupid lust.

…Just get rid of it.

You might say, ‘I tried and I can’t.’ When you get sick and tired of it enough, you will, God will come to your rescue. God will give you victory over your sins, eventually. Just keep begging Him.

(Notes)
2Tim 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Have you fled all your youthful lusts?  Do you follow “righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart?” Are you becoming PERFECT as your heavenly Father is perfect?

Is there ANYTHING that is more important for you to know right now sitting here in this room at this conference? We all want God’s approval.  We all want to hear God say: “WELL DONE.”

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
v. 18  For he that in these things serves Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
v. 19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

How well do you read and study God Word?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study (that means put forth effort, to be prompt, to be earnest, to be diligent, to endeavor to study, to labor) to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Therefore, we should be doing right, not just to avoid wrath or to receive a reward, but rather because doing good to others IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Read the entire chapter of Matthew 25. You will see what Jesus says, He’s going to separate the sheep from the goats, the called from the chosen and some of you are going to say, ‘wait a minute, when did we ever not visit You in prison or when did we not…’

Matthew 25:45 Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.

And likewise with the good things. The Golden Rule is a great place to start your Christian walk.

Matt 7:12  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:
 
Luke 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

A conference like this is a great place to start a new beginning. So that you can say next week, next year… when I left that Bible conference in Mobile, I made some changes in my life and I haven’t been the same since. I feel better about what God’s doing in my life now. I don’t have a guilty conscience any more. I’m not perfect, but I try to be. I work hard at doing what’s right. There’s more satisfaction in that than in any sinful pleasure you could ever conceive of.

I am more encouraged lately!
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The Eternal, He is God!
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