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Hidden In Him

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Hidden In Him

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Hidden In Him

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Hidden In Him

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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

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... 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
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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

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Author Topic: 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11, Part 1  (Read 1589 times)

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Hidden In Him

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1 Thessalonians 5:8-11, Part 1
« on: April 14, 2015, 01:27:51 PM »
Putting On The Whole Armor Of God, Part 1

     Between now and the time Christ returns, believers will need the armor of God to deal with the attacks of the Devil, which is why Paul now urged the Thessalonians to make sure they were dressed in the spiritual armor of faith, hope and love:

     But we who are of the Day should remain sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of deliverance, for God has not appointed us unto wrath but to obtain deliverance through Him who died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ, that whether you may watch or we may sleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore exhort one another and edify each other, even as you are doing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11)

     Under what circumstances do we need to dress in the armor of God? Many think it is to engage in spiritual warfare, but this is a common misunderstanding. In reality, spiritual armor was needed to defend against the slander, false accusations, and character assassinations being leveling against believers when they were dragged before city magistrates and interrogated. In other words, it was needed to endure persecution. This is clearly evident in Ephesians, Chapter 6, where the apostle Paul taught that Christians need to be prepared to stand "in the evil day":

     Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the strategies of the Devil, because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against [spiritual] authorities, against the world rulers of this dark 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 subdued all, to stand. Stand, therefore, having girded your waist about with the truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped your feet with the readiness of the gospel of peace. Above all, having taken up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the wicked one. Also, through all prayer and supplication, receive the helmet of deliverance, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying in the Spirit at all times, and remaining wakeful unto all perseverance and supplication so as to pursue this same need for all the saints, and for me, that in the opening of my mouth with boldness there may be given unto me utterance to make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:11-19)

     "The evil day" was a reference to when persecution would flare up in a region. The reason most teachers today assume this is a teaching on spiritual warfare is because the enemies Paul said believers were fighting against were demons, i.e. "the spirits of wickedness in the heavens." But Paul's point was simply that these ruling spirits were the ones ultimately inciting men to persecution against believers. Paul knew this because he was fully aware of the angel Satan had been assigned to him to incite men to persecute him no matter where he went (see Studies 5 and 6):

     I will [now] come to visions and revelations of the lord... because of the excellency of the revelations [which I received], there was given unto me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan, that he might assault me so that I not be lifted up. (2 Corinthians 12:1-2, 7)

     That this angel was assigned to Paul so that he "not be lifted up" was not a reference to this angel trying to prevent him from "becoming conceited." This runs contrary to common sense. The sin of pride is the first thing Satan wants God's servants to fall victim to. Rather, Satan wanted to keep Paul from being lifted up in the eyes of men as a great teacher (see 1 Peter 5:6). The angel Satan assigned to Paul, therefore, was charged with raising up persecution against him so that the exceedingly great revelations God had given him might not be heard. As Paul also testified to a chapter earlier in Second Corinthians, the angel was doing a good job of t:

     Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. (2 Corinthians 11:24-27 NIV)

     Since Paul's description of God's armor was more thorough and complete in Ephesians, I will first explain the passage there before turning back to explain how he described them here in First Thessalonians, Chapter 5.   


The Belt of Truth: A Protection Against False Witnesses

     When the saints of God were dragged before city magistrates or the Jewish Sanhedrin and interrogated, the proceedings essentially took the form of a public trial, where they would have to answer for the "crimes" they had supposedly committed, either against the state (among the Gentiles), or against the God of Israel (when before the Sanhedrin). The Accuser of the brethren was always ready for them. If no real dirt could be found to incriminate a saint of God, false witnesses were sought who could publicly testify that the believer had committed some sin worthy of scourging, imprisonment or death.
     Such was the case when the Lord Himself was brought before the Sanhedrin:

     Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false evidence against Jesus so that they might put Him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I have the power to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And having stood up, the high priest said to Him, “Have you nothing to answer? What about these witnessing against you?” (Matthew 26:59-62)

     What Jesus actually said was simply, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19), speaking of the resurrection in response to Jews asked Him what sign He would give that he was indeed the Messiah. But Satan didn't care about the truth. Already demons had used wicked men to claim that Jesus cast out demons merely by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons, in effect turning Jesus into a sorcerer. Now through false witnesses, Jesus had also supposedly threatened to use his powers of sorcery to destroy the temple of God in Jerusalem and rebuild it in three days. None of this was true, of course, but such are the tactics Satan uses to incriminate the just.   
     Years later demonic spirits moved wicked men to bear similar false witness against Stephen, who was performing great supernatural miracles to confirm the word of God with signs and wonders following:   

     Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) - Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia - who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.” So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They produced false witnesses who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” (Acts 6:8-14)

     But Stephen was armed with the truth, and so responded by essentially pointing out that God did not desire to live in man-made temples but in the hearts of men, yet those now interrogating him were so stiff-necked and rebellious against God that the Holy Spirit could not find room to dwell in their hearts. As a result they had murdered Israel's Messiah, just as their fathers before them murdered the prophets:

     Solomon built a house for [God]. However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me?" says the Lord. "Or where will My resting place be? Has not My hand made all these things?" You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered Him. (Acts 7:47-52)
 

Wearing The Belt Of Truth In The End-Times
 
     Certainly there will be numerous applications of wearing the belt of truth in the end-times. Satan never shrinks from using lies and false witnesses to slander the character of believers when he has no there options. But as is referred to in other studies, one clear instance where this tactic will be used against the faithful in the end-times is the great humiliation that is coming to the church. False accusations of sinful behavior are prophesied to be leveled against even the most highly visible and respected Christian ministries at some point in the future, fanned by the media until the hatred of Christianity in general becomes so severe that most who call themselves "Christians" will distance themselves from the faith. True soldiers in Christ must be prepared for this by arming themselves with the truth, knowing that false accusations are a common tactic of the enemy and not simply accepting blindly all the incriminating stories being hyped by the media that are causing many to depart from the faith:

     Before the great ingathering Christianity will experience a great humiliation… The "accuser of the brethren" will go forth with unprecedented rage against the Body of Christ. The "revelations" of immoral and unethical behavior by hundreds of highly visible ministries will bring about a loathing of Christianity throughout the world, for a time. These "revelations" will include child molesting, rape, and the most vile forms of perversion. Some of these will be true, but most will not be true.… In many cases, even when all the evidence appears irrefutable, there will be entrapment and the accused will be innocent. Some of those who will appear as champions of righteousness by exposing others in order to "cleanse the temple" will be deceivers themselves who actually will have helped set up the entrapments, or to have brought fabrications against Christian leaders… After an atmosphere of revulsion has been created, the enemy will then move against even the most respected Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant, Charismatic and Catholic leaders with charges of the most base forms of perversion and ethical failures.
     In conjunction with this, hoards of cults and satanic worshippers will begin attacking congregations and meetings. They will enter services en masse, spitting on people, urinating and performing lewd acts in order to humiliate the church. This practice will be publicized until it becomes a fad... What begins as a few isolated incidents will soon become common throughout the world… [and] this humiliation will ultimately reduce many congregations and movements in the church to a figurative Gideon's three hundred. (The Harvest, P.139-142)

     Even now, Christians are regularly depicted in the media as sinners, murderers and terrorists. Devout Muslims, however, who actually are committing violent murders against infidels on a daily basis, are having their murders covered up as merely being the actions of "extremists" or "radicals" who in no way reflect upon the true religion of Islam. "True Islam," they say, is a "religion of peace and love." The truth is that New Testament Christianity in no way condones any violence against unbelievers while the Quran clearly does. The truth is that Islam is at its heart "the religion of the sword," and incites men to perform beheadings and video-tape them for all the world to see. The truth is that Islam is a religion that openly promotes the extermination of the Jewish race (See 2 Thessalonians Study 4), a fact the world's media gives no attention to whatsoever. But this increasingly violent rhetoric being spouted by Muslim leaders is a sure sign that the religion of Islam was originally invented, not by a loving God but by the Devil himself, as a vehicle to use even well-intentioned people to carry out the ultimate annihilation of the Jews.
     As for the major media, particularly in the US, the truth is that they have been since their inception instruments in the hands of Satan, created by Luciferian globalists for the purpose of not merely entertaining but brainwashing the American public into accepting satanic viewpoints. But those who continually vilify Christianity will one day be held accountable to God for the souls they deceived into Hell for foolishly listening to them.
 

The Breastplate of Righteousness: A Defense Against Accusations Of Wrongdoing

     Whether they were brought before Jewish religious authorities in Jerusalem or rules over Gentile cities, Christians would be interrogated for having supposedly committed "unlawful acts." Their righteousness was at issue, since this was essentially a legal term. In Judea, believers were assumed to be "sinning against God" if they disobeyed the Jewish leadership. But the response of the apostles was that it was better to obey God than men. Such confidence served as a breastplate of righteousness against accusations of "unlawful" behavior.
     For instance, when Peter and John healed a blind man in the name of Jesus and all Jerusalem heard about it, the Jewish authorities tried to stop the spread of the gospel, and so they warned them not to speak any longer in that name:
 
     Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you or to God? You be the judges. For we cannot help but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)

     What they had seen was Christ transfigure before them on the mountain (Matthew 17:1-3). They had seen and handled Him after He rose from the dead (Luke 24:36-43). They had watched Him ascend back into Heaven before their eyes (Luke 24:50-53). And Stephen would soon see a vision of Him seated at the right hand of God in Heaven (Acts 7:55-56). As a result, they refused to remain silent, but continued to preach Christ as the Son of God, Israel's Messiah. Thus, when the Sanhedrin had them brought in again, they responded as those wearing the breastplate of righteousness:

     And having brought them in, they set them before the Sanhedrin. And the high priest asked them, saying, "Did we not give you strict orders not to teach in this name? And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring upon us the blood of this man. But answering, Peter and the apostles said, "We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you murdered, having hung Him on a tree. This man God has exalted to His right hand and made Him a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance into Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit, whom God gave to those obeying Him." (Acts 5:27-32)

     Paul's defense was very similar when he was brought before Gentile rulers. Authorities who failed to maintain proper order over cities in the Roman Empire would be replaced with those who could, which is why city officials moved quickly to torture and silence anyone whose presence in their city began creating an uproar, including Christians. Such was the case when Paul cast a demonic spirit of divination out of a young girl, and her handlers raised havoc over it in Philippi:

     When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:19-24)

     On this occasion Paul was not even allowed to give a defense, but on occasions when he was Paul consistently cited his Damascus experience, asserting that he was under obligation to obey God in preaching the gospel because Christ Jesus had appeared to him in a vision. As a result, those accusing Paul of wrongdoing never penetrated the breastplate of righteousness he wore.
     One instance of Paul using this defense is found in Acts 21, after the Jews falsely accused him of unlawfully bringing Greeks into the Jewish temple with him:

     And when the seven days [of Paul's purification] were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him the temple, stirred up all the people and laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people and the law and this place, and has even further brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place"… And the whole city was stirred, and there was a convergence of the people. And having laid hold of Paul, they dragged him outside the temple and the doors were shut. And as they were looking to kill him, word came to the chief captain of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar, who at once took soldiers with him and ran down to them. And, they, having seen the chief captain and the soldiers, ceased beating Paul. (Acts 21:27-32)

     After being put in chains and dragged to the barracks, Paul eventually convinced the chief captain to allow him to speak to the people. Addressing them, he offered them the following:

     Men, brethren, and fathers: Hear my defense which I now make before you… I am a man who is a Jew, having been born in Tarsus of Cilicia, having been brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and instructed in accordance with the strictness of the ancestral law, being a zealot of God, even as all of you are today. I persecuted this way [which I now preach] unto death, binding and delivering up both men and women into prisons, as also the high priest and all the elders bear me witness, from whom, having also received letters for the brothers, I was going to Damascus to bring those who were there bound to Jerusalem in order that they might be punished. But journeying and drawing near to Damascus, it happened to me that at about midday suddenly a great light began to shine about me out of Heaven. And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And I answered, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said unto me, "I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting." And they that were with me indeed saw the light, but they did not hear the voice of the One speaking to me. And I said, "What shall I do, Lord?" And the Lord said to me, "Rise up, go to Damascus, and there it will be told to you concerning everything which has been appointed for you to do." (Acts 22:1-11)
     
     Paul would give virtually this exact same speech to King Agrippa in Acts 26:13-22, an indication that this was the standard defense he was always prepared to give to authorities when interrogated. Again, that these public uproars were repeatedly being stirred up against Paul was no accident. The angel of Satan assigned to him was doing everything in his power to silence the apostle, and if possible have him killed. 


Wearing The Breastplate Of Righteousness In The End-Times

     Not many believers experience the Lord Jesus Christ manifest Himself before them personally. In the West those who do are very few and far between. In Middle-eastern countries, however, instances of such events happening are becoming increasingly more frequent from a percentage standpoint. As author Tom Doyle wrote, the increase of visions and dreams amongst Muslims who have turned to Christ is noticeably on the rise:

    These days, Jesus is introducing Himself to Muslims. The phenomenon is not limited to a few isolated locations. It's not happening in just one or two African nations… What we see is Jesus presenting Himself to Muslims everywhere. Dozens of Islamic countries and countless Muslim cultures have been invaded by Jesus' love. (Dreams And Visions: Is Jesus Awakening The Muslim World?, Introduction, P.xiv)

     Why would Jesus again be manifesting Himself supernaturally to former Muslims? The most logical answer is that He knows they are going to face persecution. Any Muslim who apostatizes and denounces his faith is usually immediately be disowned by his family, and soon thereafter imprisoned, interrogated, and eventually put to death unless he recants on his decision. The death penalty for those who apostatize from Islam is clearly laid out in their teachings:

     Execution of the apostate is something that is commanded by Allaah, when he commanded us to obey the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as He says: “O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those (Muslims) who are in authority” [al-Nisa’ 4:59]. And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has commanded us to execute the apostate, as in the hadeeth quoted above: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Islam Question and Answer, General Supervisor: Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid)

     The Lord knows that such believers will need the armor of God to stand in the face of interrogation, and not denounce faith in Christ's Divinity when their lives are threatened. They will be accused of wrong doing for apostatizing from the "true" faith, but citing the supernatural experience of witnessing the real Jesus Christ manifest before them in power as the Son of God serves as a breastplate of righteousness, a proof that they're not in the wrong for denouncing Islam's belief that He is merely a prophet but in the right.
     Such happened to Saeed Abedini, an Iranian Christian who had the Lord Jesus Christ manifest Himself to him Divinely not long after getting saved. His and his wife's testimonies have both been well recorded through numerous Youtube videos, some of which include his supernatural encounter with Christ:

     In the park two men shared the gospel with me, and they prophesied. And that was strange, because I believed the last person God spoke to was Muhammad. But to my surprise, after a month the prophesy came true. I came to know Jesus. Not long after I became a believer, one night a Voice woke me up and said, "Saeed. I am coming back soon. Go preach My gospel." This happened twice, but because I was tired, I fell back asleep both times. But the third time, the voice was so powerful that I woke up, and I saw a bright light in my room. Because of my great fear, being in God's presence, I said "Amen," and from the next day I started sharing the gospel in streets, universities and parks. (A Muslim Converting to Christianity: Saeed Abedini's Story)

     As he related in a slightly more detailed account of the experience:

     The last time I heard a Huge Voice shaking the room, and I was scared. The presence of God was heavy and scary. I saw a Huge Light in the room, [so bright] I couldn't look at it. The Voice told me again, "Saeed, I'm coming back soon. Go preach My gospel." When I accepted that, I said "Amen, and then I could look at the Light. I was shaking and very scared, and I saw Jesus from the back…  I fell down and went to sleep like a dead person. (Saeed Abedini's Story: Depressed Muslim to Christian Humanitarian)

     Saeed would indeed face interrogators in an Iranian prison, but despite being threatened with not only his own death but the rape, torture and death of his wife unless each of them repented and turned back to Islam, Saeed refused to be convinced he was in the wrong for rejecting Islam. He knew better, and as a result nothing the interrogator could say or do would dissuade him from standing for truth in the face of their threats.
     As has been prophesied, Christian persecution is destined to greatly intensify as we draw closer to the time of the Antichrist and the Lord's return, and to counter this persecution the entire body of Christ can expect to begin receive increasing visitations from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. These will not only confirm all the more that He is indeed the Son of God, but that obedience to Him supersedes obedience to any man.
     Because both the testimony of Saeed Abedini and his wife illustrate not one but several pieces of the armor of God in use, I will be referring back to their testimonies again in Parts 2 and 3.   





_______________________________
Links to Youtube videos cited in this study:
http://islamqa.info/en/20327
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2N8c0sCl58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sR4g6IG8YFg

« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 02:33:01 PM by Hidden In Him »