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MoreBloodWine

November 02, 2019, 02:37:56 AM
I rarely ever used Tapatalk to log in to the site. Not sure if anyone ever actually did as the issue of it not working was never reported.

But for our mobile uses, certain things like this chat box will not be available through the app as this chat box is an addon itself. But all boards within the forum are available and currently confirmed working.

Ty & my apologies !
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:21:06 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:49 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:20:34 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:58 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians.

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:19:21 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 03:18:57 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:57:00 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:56:30 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:42 PM
... the abundance of the glory of this mystery is among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfected in Him.
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:55:19 PM
... of which I became a servant according to the administration of God having been given unto me, for you to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations but which has now been made manifest to His saints, to whom God wished to make known what the abundan
 

Hidden In Him

August 05, 2019, 02:54:41 PM
An excellent passage I am now writing a study on in the Book of Colossians!  :)

"And I am now rejoicing in [my] sufferings over you, and filling up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His body's sake, which is the church, of which I became a servant according to the admin

Kamagiply

August 04, 2019, 11:55:58 AM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:35:37 PM
This is just a site I use for writing. We gave no one here who goes by the name "Paddy."
 

Hidden In Him

August 03, 2019, 05:34:34 PM
Sure you have the right website there, Kamagiply?

Kamagiply

August 03, 2019, 12:46:31 PM
Hellow Paddy



I wanna wish you a happy 30. birthday.. I still hope you fell fine, where ever you are.. And enjoy it.. I hope you find what you´ve been searching for..

Thanks for alle your songs.. I just love them..

Do you ever read what we write to you??

Best Regards
Lowenti

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Author Topic: 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13  (Read 2108 times)

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Hidden In Him

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1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
« on: July 15, 2013, 02:43:53 PM »
True Soldiers Withstand The Hardships Of War

     Paul was overjoyed when he received the news that the Thessalonians, whom he had invested himself in both spiritually and emotionally, were remaining faithful to God in the midst of persecution. In spite of the hardships that came with serving Christ, they were proving themselves to be true soldiers of God, and well worth the sufferings and afflictions he had had to endure on their behalf.
     So Paul now expressed his joy over what Timothy reported to him after traveling there to check up on them:

     But now Timothy has come to us from you and has related unto us your faith and love, and that you always have good remembrance of us, longing to see us even as we you. Because of this, brothers, we are encouraged over you in the midst of all our affliction and need because of your faith, in that now we live if you are standing fast in the Lord. For what thanksgiving are we able to offer to God concerning you for all the joy with which we rejoice on account of you before our God, praying exceedingly night and day to see your face, and perfect the things [still] lacking in your faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-10)

     Paul's fear that the Thessalonians might fold up under pressure was based partly on his own experience. From the beginning of his ministry, Paul dealt with the disappointment of seeing co-workers in Christ abandon him and forsake him, fearful of what they might have to endure if they continued on. The Book of Acts records that early in his ministry Paul became disheartened when Mark abandoned him, disheartened enough not to trust him anymore:

     Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. (Acts 15:36-40)

     Towards the end of his ministry, Paul was still continuing to suffer abandonment from those he trusted, even more so than ever before it seemed. As he related to Timothy:

     I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith… Do your best to come to me quickly, for because he loved this world Demas has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. (2 Timothy 4:6-7, 9-10)

     But Paul hoped for far better from Timothy, his long-time friend and co-worker in the gospel, and so reminded again him that every true soldier of Christ had to be prepared to stand his ground and endure persecution if necessary:

     You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus… endure hardships as a good soldier of Christ Jesus… [for] everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 2:3, 3:12)

     Unfortunately, instead of investing in those who can withstand the hardships of war, many Christian leaders are instead seeking to fill churches with as many superficial believers as possible, thinking they are bringing in a great spiritual harvest by doing so. But how long will it be before this strategy fails? Such converts are presently unprepared for persecution or even strong opposition, and likely to flee the battlefield when the real battle begins.


Using The Roman Army For A Military Analogy

     In writing to believers, Paul frequently made reference to the Roman Army, which was the most advanced fighting force in the world during his time. They did not conquer the entire known world simply because of strength in numbers. They did so because they were highly trained, well organized, well led, technologically advanced, and used superior tactics. Though often outnumbered on the battlefield, they carried the day because they were militarily superior in virtually every way.
     Possibly the greatest demonstration of Roman military superiority in the face of far greater numbers came in A.D.60, while most of the apostles were still preaching the gospel. The Celts, led by a Queen by the name of Boudica, attacked the Romans with over 100,000 barbarian soldiers whipped up into a frenzy. But they used typical barbarian tactics, ones the Romans were well prepared for. Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the general of the Roman army stationed in Brittania, selected a piece of ground that was surrounded by forest on both sides and behind, so that the Celts could only attack him from the front. The Celts, with a ten to one advantage, believed they so greatly outnumbered the Romans that their victory was assured, so they went ahead with a traditional frontal assault. But the Romans stood their ground, and continually rotated soldiers up at the front line to keep them fresh. Eventually, Suetonius gave the order for his army to switch formations, forming what looked like a giant saw blade stretching the length of the battlefield. Then they began advancing. The barbarians, packing in like sardines, began to be forced into the wedges made by this new Roman formation. Those filing into the wedges were first trampled under foot, and then stabbing and killed as the Roman lines relentlessly marched forward. The barbarians at the back of their army had no idea what was going on at the front, so they kept pushing forward, pushing their own countrymen to their deaths in the process.

                                       
 
     The result was one of the most one-sided victories in military history. An army of only 10,000 Roman soldiers completely annihilated an army ten times its own size. Even the Celtic wives and family members who had come to witness the certain defeat of the hated Romans that day met their deaths. The Romans continued marching forward even over the barbarian caravans at the far end of the battlefield, slaughtering everything in their path.
     But this victory was made possible only because the Romans first stood their ground. This is why, in discussing the armor of God every Christian must put on, the apostle Paul stressed over and over again the importance of standing in the evil day:

                                             

     Finally, my brothers, be empowered in the Lord, and in the might of His strength. Put on the whole armor of God, so as to be able to stand against the strategems of the Devil, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against authorities, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spirits of wickedness in the heavens. Because of this, take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done everything to stand.
     Stand, therefore, having your waist girt about with the truth... (Ephesians 6:10-14)
   

     So, too, could just a few Christians turn the world upside down for Christ, but only if they stood. This is why Paul was so overjoyed to hear that the Thessalonians were standing their ground and refusing to back down to the enemy. Not coincidently, Paul commanded them in our present passage to abound in love towards all men, knowing this was part of the armor of God (See Study #18), and one of the most powerful pieces they could put on in withstanding the attacks of the enemy:

     But may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and make you to excel and abound in love towards one another and towards all, even as we also do towards you, in order to establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)


Megachurch Christianity: A Religious Numbers Game

     The lesson in all this is that it doesn't matter how large an army is if it won't stand its ground and fight, and fight effectively. Unfortunately much of Christianity today has bought into a philosophy that there is strength in numbers, and simply playing a numbers game is eventually going to backfire on them.
     The following dream was sent to me on a Christian forum in May of 2018. The imagery was of mass-producing converts to Christianity:

     My wife and I are walking on a sidewalk towards a very large church. I am in a wheelchair and my wife is pushing the wheelchair. We go into the church, many many people in there, 1000's of people. We work our way up front because I want prayer and expect healing. There is a very large podium up front with all kinds of machinery, looks like a very large control room at an oil refinery or something like it. Many bells and other noises, steam going up every where. People go up on the stage or podium, and some guys in fancy suites are pushing people through a door into a very large machine. The door closes and these fancy dressed guys are pulling on handles and pushing buttons. It's a "healing machine" with a "salvation section." People fly out of it at the other end. It's all very loud in there and disorganized, people yelling, screaming, running.....total chaos. I don't like what I'm seeing and I tell my wife to push me out of there.

     He added that this dream was given to him decades earlier, some four years after he had just gotten saved. My interpretation to him was as follows:

     This was a dream foretelling the megachurch movement, which was already well underway in the mid-80s, but was not as watered down as it is now. The machinery represented a very mass-produced and mechanical form of "salvation" being offered, and in a very stressful machine-shop type environment where it was all about numbers. The fancy suits fit well with the presentation megachurch leadership usually put forward, which is largely about appearances. The chaos with all the loud screaming and yelling is indicative of the strife engendered by superficial Christianity (ambition leads to chaos and disorder. James 3:16).

     Certainly more is better than less if what we are talking about is genuine conversions, and training new converts up to become true disciples and warriors for Christ. But as some point out, when Christianity for the most part becomes a numbers game, the results will be a lukewarm church at best; a church completely unprepared for spiritual war:

     I have found that churches, pastors, seminaries, and parachurch agencies throughout North America are mostly playing the numbers game—that is, defining success in terms of numbers of heads counted or added to those that were there before. Church-growth theorists, evangelists, pastors, missionaries, news reporters, and others all speak as if numerical increase is what matters most... Orienting all Christian action to visible success as its goal, a move which to many moderns seems supremely sensible and businesslike, is thus more a weakness in the church than its strength; it is a seedbed both of unspiritual vainglory for the self-rated succeeders and of unspiritual despair for the self-rated failures, and a source of shallowness and superficiality all round. (Justin Packer, Too Many Churches In North America Are Playing The Number Game)

     Rather than seeking to build an army of spiritual soldiers, smaller in number but highly trained and discipled, and truly prepared for battle, the focus now appears to be on strength in numbers. But the question is, how many will actually fight for the truth when the going gets tougher?


How Many Will Be Left Standing?
 
     Satan attacks those truths which stand most in the way of his agenda, and in our time his agenda is to paint Christianity as a religion that encourages hate, ignorance, prejudice, bigotry and hypocrisy. As a result, those who speak out concerning the falseness of Islam, the impurity of homosexuality, or the reality of Hell immediately become targets of the enemy.
     The Spirit has prophesied that eventually few churches will remain who are willing to stand for the truth on such issues, and we see such prophesies already taking place today. The more our ministers become prominent on the world scene, the more they back away from subjects that are "too controversial." Those under their influence in turn follow their example of acquiescence.
     If leaders and their congregations are backing away from the truth already, what will happen when the prophesied great humiliation comes? As already covered in Studies 1 and 3, a time is coming when Satan will wage a systematic attack against the church by bringing accusations of the most vile forms of perversion, unethical behavior and sin against hundreds of highly visible Christian leaders. This will create a worldwide revulsion of Christianity in general, and lead to satanists and other cult groups eventually becoming so bold as to enter into Christian churches en masse and spit on people, even urinating and performing lewd acts in front of them in mockery of the Christian faith. It is also said that this will become a fad until such incidents become commonplace throughout the world, which will reduce many congregations and movements to a figurative Gideon's three hundred; a small fraction of the number currently identifying themselves as "Christian" today.
     This dark period in the church's history was depicted in another of Rick Joyner's end-time visions entitled The Torch and The Sword. In it, he was spiritually translated to a future America where churches teaching the truth were rare in the extreme. He meets up with a young girl at a riverside where pure water is still flowing freely (symbolic of a church where the truth is still being preached), and as they look on together an evil horde crosses over the mountain and begins advancing towards them:

     A great multitude appeared at the top of the mountains all around. It was an army of some type. As I watched they began to descend from the top slowly, even tentatively, but relentlessly... The banners that I could see were named after different philosophies, religions, and strange mystical teachings, which I had heard about but was not very familiar with. I began to feel very strongly that this was an evil army with evil intent. Then thousands of vultures appeared like a cloud above them, circling as if waiting for a slaughter. I was appalled by what they would do to this beautiful place, not to mention afraid for myself since I was obviously hemmed in by this evil horde... As we continued to watch, the confusion increased until some of the divisions started fighting with each other. A huge cloud of dust was rising, and battles were breaking out in all directions. Soon the entire horde was disappearing back over the tops of the mountains. However, they did not go far because I could still hear them and see the dust rising from the great commotion which was obviously going on among them. So it seemed we were safe for a while. (The Torch And The Sword, P.49, 52)

     Led by the Spirit, Joyner begins a conversation with this girl, and soon learns that she had confronted this army numerous times in the past. She was able to spiritually survive, however, because instead of backing down she simply stood her ground on the truth no matter who disapproved of it. In fact, she had had to fight through opposition just to get to the location she was at now, a rare church where the truth was still being taught.

     "How did you get past the evil army?" I inquired. "Are there still gaps that you can get through?"
     "No. They have us completely surrounded now. But anyone with the courage to keep moving even when they are attacked can make it through their ranks. I chose the weakest part of their army and walked right through the middle of it."
     "What was the weakest part?"
     "There was a large division called 'Ridicule.' I chose to walk through it because I knew they could not really hurt me. I was told when they saw my resolve they would give way before me, and they did. They raved and screamed insults and obscenities, but they parted and let me pass."
     "Who told you that you could do that?"
     "My Mother."
     "Is she here, too?" I asked.
     "No."
     "Where is she?"
     "She didn't make it through. When we were passing through the ridicule, she stopped and said she was going back to get more people and lead them through. She said she would join me later. I don't think she will though."
     "Why not?"
     "She taught me very well, but she could not do what she taught. I saw her waver from the insults and ridicule. She went back to get more people because she needs the approval of people. No one can make it through who cares too much about what others think of them… when she hesitated and started to retreat she was quickly overcome. She then began ridiculing me with the rest of them. Once you begin to retreat before the evil ones, you are easy prey for them. She is now one of their prisoners."
      I watched the little girl drift far off in her thoughts. Then quickly she snapped back to the conversation.
     "I knew when we started it would be hard for her and that she probably could not make it. I also knew I could not let that stop me… myself and others like me are the only hope for people like her. We are here to defeat that evil horde and set its prisoners free. I do believe the time will come when she will drink with me at this stream - she and many others until this is a great river again. It will then flow to the sea and bring life to all." (The Torch And The Sword, P.54-55)

     As the final sentence alludes to, this dark time in the church's history is not how the story will end. When it appears the church has all but been eradicated, the Lord will pour out His Holy Spirit upon those faithful few who remain; those having proven themselves to be true soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ by refusing to back down no matter what the cost. These will go forth performing greater miracles in the power of God than this world has ever seen before, and begin the true harvest as prophesied in scripture (Matthew 13:39). As a result, the true church of Jesus Christ will rise to a place of unprecedented glory and honor not long after her time of greatest humiliation.
     The question is, who will still be standing when the day to turn the tables on the enemy finally comes?


A Lesson To Be Learned: Investing In True Warriors

     To repeat from Study #1, it was no coincidence that the first man and his family chosen by God from among the Gentiles was a soldier, a Roman centurion named Cornelius (Acts 10:1-2).  Peter was sent by God specifically to this man's house, and in the midst of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to him, the Lord baptized Cornelius and his family in the Holy Spirit as Peter and the other Jewish believers looked on:

     The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even upon the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. (Acts 10:45-48 NIV)

     So, too, is the Spirit again promising that God is going to choose out soldiers for His end-time Army. But only a select few will be chosen. As Pittman prophesied in Placebo:

     God is now in the process of recruiting an army with which He will shake this old world one more time. By working through His soldiers, God will produce great miracles that will shake the established hierarchy of the so-called organized religion that is in this world today. These soldiers that God is now recruiting will demonstrate the power of God to a greater extent than did the disciples in the Pentecostal age. Some will be even greater demonstrations than that of Elijah.
     Know this also: There shall be a time or process of "culling" those who are not qualified to be a member of this "Gideon's" army. Just as in Gideon's army in the Bible, only a select few will be fit for service in the army of Christian soldiers the Lord will use in the battle of the latter rain. (Placebo, P.43)

     Why will only a few be chosen? Because only a few will be able to stand through the humiliation that is coming. In fact, it is the very means by which God is going to cull His true soldiers out from amongst the superficial multitudes of "Christians" now being cheaply mass-produced through the megachurch and seeker-friendly movements. Those chosen to have the power of God poured out upon them will be those who stand the tests of their training, and are worthy to have such powerful weapons placed in their hands.
     Quoting again from Joyner regarding when the great humiliation comes, and believers are publicly mocked, spat upon, and subjected to lewd insults for believing in Christ:

     There will be such an onslaught of this type that it will cause many to flee the ministry because of fear of these confrontations. But the true ministries will soon embrace this type of confrontation because of the harvest of souls it will produce. (The Harvest, P.161-162)

     By giving themselves to prayer instead of fleeing, those who stand for the truth will begin to manifest the power to cast out demons, and this will bring forth a harvest of souls from among the very satanists trying to humiliate them, as well as from among those who witness these supernatural confrontations or hear about them (see The Harvest, P.141)
     Who, then, should we be searching for in seeking to train true soldiers of Christ for the end-times? Look for those who are proving themselves to be true soldiers now by giving themselves to prayer and devotion to the word, and who stand for the truth when others are backing down in fear. Joyner went on to prophesy in The Torch And The Sword that only those who live like soldiers dedicated to God now will survive the times that are coming.
     As the young girl, by the Spirit of God, prophetically informed him:

     "It is better to have a few who are in unity than many who are divided and who do not have a single, focused vision. Many of those who were with us before seldom drank from this stream and I hardly ever heard them pray. I felt they would not last long and I was right. Such people are more of a detriment when the battle begins. Our leaders had to spend more time trying to encourage them than fighting. Many of the weak ones even turned on us. I determined before the next battle that I would not encourage anyone too much, trying to get them to stay and fight. If they want to leave, then they should because we would be better off… those who seek this river are always outnumbered. Like I said, I don't think the numbers are that important. We need more warriors, but we need more who are true warriors." (Torch and Sword, P.58-59)

     Who will these soldiers be who stand for the word in one of the darkest times in church history? Surprisingly, according to the Spirit of God, many will not even come out of superficial Christianity at all. They will come from the ranks of those now most vehemently attacking the church. The 19th century evangelist John Wesley also appeared in this vision as a type of military adviser to the girl, and began answering questions about how to raise up an army for God when there are so few left.
     The girl began by asking him:
 
     "How do I gather an army if there are just a few wells in this region? Are there enough faithful ones to build an army?"
     "No, there are not. You may gather a few from them, but your army is the very one that is descending on you here. Your victory over this evil horde is to convert its soldiers… [and then] train, equip and release them to go and recover the wells that the enemy has stopped and heal the streams that have been polluted and buried." (P.63)

     Who are the church's most vehement enemies at the current time?  Where the West is concerned, a few groups immediately come to mind: Satanists, Muslims, Atheists, and militant homosexuals.  All are fully capable of openly ridiculing, mocking and even publicly humiliating believers whenever the social climate affords them the chance. Indeed Muslims and homosexual activists are notorious for doing so whenever political battles become especially heated. Many from these groups not only strongly oppose Christian teachings but intensely hate all who ascribe to them.
     Are such people to be avoided in fear, or are they the very ones we should be seeking to convert the most? Though they may be set in their opinions, to their credit they at least hold to their beliefs enough to fight for them. And if converted, they would just as quickly fight for the Christian faith rather than shying away from conflict, something that unfortunately cannot be said of most superficial Christians today.
     So to the wise, the exhortation is as follows: Whenever you encounter such types, see them not as enemies but potential allies, for this is what many of them will become. This will especially be proven out where militant Muslims are concerned. It is prophesied that those who convert to Christianity during the last days are going to become some of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith:

     Ultimately Islam will become the greatest threat to peace, world order and freedom… Their main targets for attacks will be upon denominations and institutions with political influence… [but] some of the greatest apostles, prophets and leaders of the church will come out of Islamic countries. These will rejoice greatly in the truth that sets them free, preaching the gospel with a  commitment and abandon which will inspire the entire body of Christ. (Harvest, P.170-171)

     These will be the apostle Paul's of the coming end-times, encouraging others to stand for the truth no matter what the cost, and rejoicing in that fact that they are standing faithfully despite everything the enemy is throwing at them.






Links to sources:
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/packer-too-many-churches-in-north-america-are-playing-the-number-game/





« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 03:03:13 PM by Hidden In Him »