|1 Peter 4 |
1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin, [From the Word of the Lord within: "Any of you whose sting to bear has been hard, use these facts: 1) all have suffered before you; 2) sin is excoriated; 3) God will remove the burden in time; and 4) the same is experienced by every cleanliness-desired heart in the nations."]
2 So that you should not live the rest of your time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but [live] to the will of God.1
3 For the time that is past is sufficient for us to have done what the Gentiles do, when we walked in sensuality, lusts, excess of wine, reveling [partying], banqueting, and abominable idolatries [wanting anything — covetousness]. [From the Word of the Lord within: "Modesty: be modest in all things."]
4 They think it is strange that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they speak evil of you,2
5 But they will give an account to him who is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
6 For this reason the gospel was preached to those who are dead, so that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober for prayer.
8 And above all things have fervent love among yourselves, for "love covers a multitude of sins."
9 Extend hospitality to one another without complaining.
10 As every man has received a gift, use it to serve [minister] one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
11 If any man speaks, [let it be] as God's oracles [words]; if any man ministers,[ let him do it] with the strength that God gives,3 so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom is the glory and power forever and ever. Amen. [Oracle — a message from the gods given by an oracle. From the Word of the Lord within: "A word spoken from the Spirit requires you to hear what the Spirit says to you. All and only words from Him are to be spoken." Jesus said: "whatever I speak is just as the Father has told me to speak. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him." John 12:50,7:18.]
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; [Before purification and salvation, your faith must be tested in several trials, in which you must grievously suffer in order to be purified of sin. Salvation comes after suffering in various trials. "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and scourges every son whom he accepts. If you are without chastisement [correcting rebuke and discipline], of which all [true sons of God] must share, then you are illegitimate, and not sons." Heb 12:6,8. Salvation comes after suffering; in fact, there are seven trials every son must endure before salvation and being accepted as a son.]
13 But rejoice, since you are partakers of Christ's sufferings, so that when his glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy.4
14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15 But let none of you suffer because he is a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or a busybody in other men's matters.
16 But if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God.5 And if it first begins with us, what will the end of those be who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?6
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.
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1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so that he should not live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. When he deems you ready, you enter tribulation. This is part of the cross, to destroy the sinful nature within you through suffering. This produces patience, forgiveness, faith, long-suffering, trust, humility, and even hope; for even pain can be reassuring of his love: "Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me."
Below is an explanation of how suffering helps you to become rid of sin.
When Adam fell in the garden, (he had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), he began to think for himself, deciding what was good and bad; instead of relying on the direction of God, Adam began to rely on his own mind, deciding for himself what was good and bad. From then on the thoughts and decisions of men's minds and imaginations directed their life; but the imagination of man is evil and the carnal mind of man is enmity with God and incapable of submitting to the Law of God, Rom 8:7, and so they must be eliminated by crucifixion on the inward cross of self-denial and renewed to become the mind of Christ.
When God allows pain and suffering to be applied to us, our carnal minds scream BAD!!!; our impulse is to be offended and recoil away from it. However, if we have been prepared by the Lord to expect pain and suffering as part of the way to be rid of sin, then in faith we deny our mind. We submit to the will of God in faith; in this way we are living by faith, rather than our own selfish will: "the just (or righteous) shall live by faith," Gal 3:11. The more we live by faith, the less we live by our sinful, selfish nature; until finally that sinful nature is dead, and we totally live by faith.
After we have persistently denied our impulse to be offended and run under duress, instead by quietly submitting to the pain and suffering, submission to the will of God then is very easy in normal circumstances. Our faith has been tested; and we are proven trustworthy of remaining faithful to Him in all circumstances, which is necessary before we are qualified to receive the true treasure.
But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. Mat 7:14 (Tribulation and suffering are the pressure; as you approach the gate, the pressure intensifies). Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, someone stealing something from you, you being arrested for breaking the law, a death in the family, a divorce, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed. Some of you are wrongly ascribing natural events such as a loss of car keys or being a victim of theft to be tribulation.
For this suffering to be effective, you must realize three things:
I realize this is extremely strange and foreign to most readers. But remember, Jesus said to Peter: Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him, that he might sift you like grain. They were all turned over to Satan for testing. Satan will be allowed to test and sift you, (a slow process), as well as inflict suffering upon you to test, try, and develop love within you. When you can suffer with faith that the suffering is your cross, but nowhere as painful as the cross of Jesus; then your pain is far, far less. This is the Ministry of Condemnation that destroys the carnal mind, which is enmity with God for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. Rom 8:7. From the word of the Lord within: "Trust Him. He will lead you and watch over you continually. He will never leave you." Tribulation is the major part of the crucifixion of your lusts and affections. The same sufferings are being experienced by all your brothers in the world. 1 Pet 5:9. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom 8:18.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- In the time of the enemy, there are difficult things to endure; despise not the cross.
- Any of you whose sting to bear has been hard, use these facts:
- all have suffered before you;
- sin is excoriated;
- God will remove the burden in time; and
- the same is experienced by every cleanliness-desired heart in the nations.
- Therefore, for the several cases, we wish you well when you suffer.;
- Take no offence; do not be offended at anything.
- Through patient endurance do you possess your souls.
- Our aim is to bear all; you must learn to bear the pain.
- Either pain in this life or the next.
- Don't ever complain.
- Stand fast in the faith.
- Be firm, not petulant.
- Never give up, no matter how good it feels looking back.
- Take no thought of yourself.
- It is blind to give up, knowing the will of God.
- Don't even think about giving up.
- Away from me, you don't want to run.
- Let patience have its perfect work.
- Remain faithful to the promises.
- Doubt not, faint not, forget not.
- Accept everything; take offence at nothing; just sit and wait.
- We deliver.
2 As you begin to deny your former evil activities in the world, the basis of your friendships will diminish. As you deny foul language, revelry, drinking, carousing, etc., your friends will become uncomfortable and begin to attack your commitment to goodness. You will no longer have anything to gain from socializing with them. For what fellowship can light have with dark or righteousness with lawlessness? Yes, they think it strange that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they speak evil of you. Your former social friendships will necessarily disappear, else they will hate you and persecute you; or worse, drag you back into the world as you seek their approval. Are you trying to win the approval of men, or of God? This doesn't mean that you won't be kind and courteous to those of the world with which your occupation brings you into association; just that you will not socialize with them, because it would be painful. Do not be deceived. Evil companions corrupt good manners, morals, and integrity. 1 Cor 15:33.
3 If any man speaks, [let it be] as God's oracles [words]; From the Word of the Lord within: "a word spoken from the Spirit requires you to hear what the Spirit says to you." The words you speak must be heard from the Spirit in the same moment before you speak, not words read or even words you previously heard a month ago, or a week ago, or an hour ago.
As Jesus said: He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. John 7:18. So, any man who speaks of God or Christ without the Spirit's specifically supplied words is seeking his own glory. Take no thought how or what you will answer or what you should say; for the holy spirit at that moment will teach you what to say. Luke 12:12. Note! You cannot just open your mouth and start speaking extemporaneously, assuming the Holy Spirit is speaking through you; you are supposed to hear from the Holy Spirit what to say first. Many people read this and assume if they don't plan a speech, the Holy Spirit will control their mouth — not true! Jesus said: take no thought; this is only possible after the Holy Spirit has destroyed your carnal mind, which is enmity with God, and your mind has been renewed to the mind of Christ. All words spoken must first be heard; and only words heard at that moment are to be spoken. Think about it: if it is not all words, is it one word from Him and then one hundred from your carnal mind; or is ten words from Him and then ten from your carnal mind? From the Word of the Lord within: "all and only words from Him are to be spoken;" and only at that moment. Realize, you will be tempted by the enemy many times to preach before you can hear so well as to speak only words heard at that moment for there are many voices; beware of false prophets; and beware of becoming a false prophet yourself, speaking from your carnal mind's memory about Jesus or God. Words spoken from the Spirit reach the heart of the listener; words spoken from the carnal mind do not reach the listener's heart and scatter because you are not gathering with Him.
To minister you must only speak whatever words the Spirit gives you and instructs you to speak, at the moment before you speak. As Paul confirms: "Which things we speak, not in the words, which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit instructs," 1 Cor 2:13.
Let him minister with the ability that God gives. This is not a talent for speaking — that is natural. Peter is speaking of the ability to help people only as you have been given spoken words heard from the Spirit at that moment in exhorting, or in reproving, or in encouraging, or in correcting, etc. As Paul said: It pleased God.. to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him. Gal 1:15-16.
George Whitehead wrote on this topic in his Journal:
Thus keeping silence before the Lord, and drawing near to him in a true silent frame of spirit, to first hear what the Lord speaks to us before we speak to others, whether it is judgment or mercy, is the way for renewing our strength, and to be his ministers, to speak to others only what he first speaks to us. O! That the people were truly mindful of this; that they would seriously consider this; then would they not run after, or follow such as their ministers, priests, or prophets, who ran out to preach when God had never sent them; and who say, Thus said the Lord,” when God has not spoken to them; and, "who shall not profit the people at all."
Until you can only speak words heard from the Spirit at the moment before you speak, you are not fit to minister. If you speak from your carnal mind things about Jesus or God, they do not reach the heart of your listener. Instead you are speaking from the nature of death, and you are scattering because you are not gathering with Him. Jesus said, "Take no thought how or what you will answer or what you should say; for the holy spirit at that moment will teach you what to say." Luke 12:12. From the Word of the Lord within:
4 do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; Supernatural suffering is painful. This is the tribulation: we must go through many trials and tribulations to enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22. As John confirms: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ. Rev 1:9.
William Dewsbury has outstanding words of encouragement to those of us who are wounded and suffering in tribulation:
"Let this go abroad among all the afflicted and wounded in spirit. With care send this to them.
Dear child, who cries, over all the world, and beyond all the pleasure, pomp, and vanity therein, for the enjoyment of the light and countenance of God;—fear not, neither be discouraged, because of the violent assaults of the enemy, who seeks to draw you into the carnal reasonings of your spirit, and in it to kindle a fire to yourself, and causes you to walk in the light of the sparks that you have kindled;—and this you have at the hand of the Lord, in going from his counsel, you lie down in sorrow. Few know your great distress; but, to the Lord it is known, and to those who have walked in the same paths. Oh, you dear and afflicted soul, who live in the deep sense of the working of the evil one in your mind, and many times are ready to say,— Never was any like unto me, nor any sorrow like unto my sorrow:—and in this languishing, despairing, mourning of your soul, all things are made bitter to you as the waters of Marah. Thus are you driven from all comfort, as a child without a father, a desolate widow without a husband and as a stranger whom no eye pities, in your apprehension; sometimes saying in your heart, in the heat of the temptation, and the fire you have kindled, Oh, that I had been any creature but what I am! or, if it were the will of the Lord, that he might shorten my days, that I might not be any longer on earth to sin against him! For in your own sense and feeling, you, walking in the sparks you have kindled, in carnal reasonings, discerns not anything but wrath, on every side, horror, misery, and distress, and great languishes; secretly crying out in your heart,—Oh, that I were alone in the wilderness, or in a cave, or den of the earth, that I might never see nor hear any of the sons of men any more, but in secret retire, even roar and mourn out my days until I die. Oh, you child of the morning of the pure eternal day of the God of Israel, hearken no longer to the enemy, who said, there has none traveled where you are [traveling,] neither drunk of the cup that you are drinking. He is a liar, who goes about to destroy your precious soul. In the word of the Lord God, I declare unto you, I drank the same cup, with my faithful friends, who are born of the royal seed, every one in their measure have traveled in the same path, and have endured the same temptations, and walked in the light of the same sparks, and lain down in sorrow, in the sense of the same misery as you mourn under this day. No longer lend an ear unto the enemy, and to the thoughts of your heart. Arise, arise, in the light of the covenant, and stay your heart; and the Lord God, he will throw down the enemy of your peace, destroy the carnal reasonings of your mind, and put out the fire that you have kindled. He will deliver you forth of the horrible pit, and set your feet upon the Rock of Ages. You shall tread down the enemy of your soul, in the sensible feeling of the bowels of the love of the Father, who will manifest himself to be a father to the fatherless in you, and a husband to that mournful widow, and a comfort to that immortal babe that mourned in you, in the uprightness of your heart, to do the will of the living God. So, in the power of his might, stay your heart; and tread upon all doubts, fears, despairing thoughts, questionings, reasonings, musings, imaginations, and consultings. Arise over them all in the light of Christ. He will lead you into the banqueting-house of the pleasure of our God, where you shall sit down with me and all the redeemed of my Father, who are born of the immortal seed, and have passed through great tribulations, and have washed our garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore do we now stand before the throne of God, praising him day and night in his holy temple. And this shall be the portion of your cup, if you diligently hearken to the counsel of the Lord, which calls you to trust in him. He will embrace you in the arm of his love, and you shall praise his name forever! God Almighty, in his light and life, raise up your soul, and establish your heart in his counsel, steadfastly to wait for his power to lead you, in the cross, out of all unbelief, and cause you to lie down at rest in obedience to his will: where you shall drink the cup of the salvation of God forever."
so that, when his glory is revealed, you may be glad with exceeding joy. Peter is talking about Jesus being revealed as an imminent event, not thousands of years later. For the revelation of Jesus Christ is a personal experience of individual purified believers. The New Testament is full of references to the second appearance of Jesus being then, not thousands of years later. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming in the clouds with the Kingdom before they died. In addition Paul, Jesus preaching, Jesus in Revelation, Peter, James, and John, — all said, soon, the time is near, a little while, he stands at the door. Christendom blithely ignores this gaping incongruity between what the Bible plainly states vs. what they are taught by their blind guides. It would be a cruel hoax to be waiting on Him to appear if the past 100 generations of believers actually had no hope of ever seeing Him.
There is an entire web page on this site devoted to this second appearance: The Second Appearance of Jesus is Within the Hearts of Purified Believers.
5 the time has come that judgment must begin with the household of God. Your suffering is part of judgment. Everyone must go through the fire — on earth the unquenchable fire of the Holy Spirit's purifying baptism of death, which is part of the final judgment. Those who submitted to the cross in the household of God undergo the final judgment while they are still alive on earth; the rest of men are judged after their physical death.
Messages from the Word of the Lord within which apply to the judgment are:
In gross error, Christianity teaches their listeners that they will bypass judgment because they believe in Jesus. The final judgment is further detailed in the footnote below.
6 And if the righteous can barely be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners? Those crucified and purified to become righteous, experience the Day of the Lord, which for them is the baptism of fire, the baptism of death. The Lord appears, he comes, and he brings salvation; but first he has to literally burn away all the remaining sin in them, and he snatches them from the fire in the last minute; they are barely saved.
He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire;
whose winnowing fork is in his hand,
and he will thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat into the barn;
but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Mat 3:11-12
The Lord separates the wheat from the chaff, the precious from the vile. The wheat is the words of life that he has spoken to you, which words are grafted into your heart to form Christ within; the chaff is your selfish, sinful nature of its lusts, affections, and pride, which after separation is then burnt to oblivion by the devouring fire and everlasting burnings of Jesus, the pure word of life, which is fire. This is the baptism of death, to then be resurrected with Christ as a new creature.
Gentle reader, do not think this baptism of death is strange for: 1) the Lord told us several times we must lose our life to save our life; 2) the baptism of death and subsequent burial is stated in the scriptures, and 3) we are advised to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual service and worship, Rom 12:1. The Lord will prepare you for this day, teaching you how to keep your mind still, and giving you confidence of your eventual entry to the kingdom. He wants our minds to be still by habit and full of confidence.
Everyone passes through the fire on that great and terrible day of the Lord. The sun will have been darkened by the bright light of His coming, but then you are immersed in fire; at the last second, before you are totally consumed by the fire, in fear and hope you call on the name of the Lord, and he snatches you from the fire. Realize, be aware that the bright light appearing in you is not to your detriment, it is the beginning of your entry into the kingdom, which begins with the light exposing and judging the remaining evil in you. From the Word of the Lord within: "The light shows us our image, however fanciful we have become; neither is it pleasant what the light exposes. The arising of the light will be unmistakable; it is an ego-shattering experience."
When the Day of the Lord appears in you, and the light reveals the remaining evil in you, (prior to the Lord's burning it all away), do not be upset and shocked; rather marvel at the light that is revealing those things. From the Word of the Lord within: "This occurs, not to produce fear, but to produce repentance. Be not afraid, be not dismayed, be calm, be of good courage. Be submissive. Be of good cheer. Keep smiling until you enter the kingdom and exchange it for a crown."
We are to approach this judgment with confidence and boldness — not falling on our face weeping and begging for forgiveness — nor does He want us to draw back in fear. We are to stand in confident, joyful expectation — even as we behold His fearful, awesome presence. And as we are surrounded by fire, instead of running, we remain confident He will save us; and so He does save the remnant whom he has been purifying and cleansing, preparing them for this, his appearance. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire."
"Is not my word like a fire?" says the Lord; "and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jer 23:29
For our God is a consuming fire. Heb 12:29
But who can endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;
And he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi [priests],
and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. Mal 3:2-3
This is the Day of the Lord, with final judgment; in which the Lord makes a finish of sin in you with fire; where you die and are buried; but you are then quickly resurrected with Christ as a new creature, a son of God, and translated to the kingdom; this is the completion of your salvation. However, even for the righteous who have been waiting, hoping, and expecting salvation, this day begins without joy and peace. The brightness of the light exposes all the remaining evil in you, which is sadness and sorrow; but that sorrow can be controlled if you focus on the light that is showing you your remaining sins, not worrying about what you might lose; and most important, never lose sight that this day will end in great joy, peace, salvation, seeing the Lord, hearing his voice for the first time, and entering the kingdom. If you find your mind drowning in sorrow, come back to the reality that this day is for your success, and return to being still.
In this day of judgment you may be shown other sins you had forgotten, plus you will listen to all your evil (non-edifying) ever words spoken, which you must not dwell on; instead, focus with thanks on how different you now are, and will be forever — far more pure. Remain confident that this is all in His control for your supreme benefit.
From the Word of the Lord within: "The end is sympathetic judgment and release from sin. All the help of the tested word cannot exceed that of judgment."
All the help (grace) we receive by hearing, and accepting what we have heard as having come from the Lord, and then obeying — the sum total of all that help, (which grace is unbelievable to most people), does not compare with the changing help we receive at judgment. At judgment, the head of Satan is crushed, the residual sin is burnt away by the brightness of his coming, our heart is completely circumcised, the purification is complete — and then we receive the fruit of the Spirit, which frees us from the laws we have been given, and lets our heart hear, see, and feel the Spirit continually — so that we walk in love, according to the continual promptings of the Spirit, while energized by the Spirit — we cease from our own works, our mind is completely destroyed and ceases operation, as we receive a new heart, mind, and Spirit.
The Lord wants those who have journeyed to the end of grace, to approach His judgment with boldness and confidence, buoyed by the wonderful, purifying operations of his grace already received, and certain of even greater help to be received in final judgment.
The righteous first knowing the terror of the Day of the Lord in themselves is witnessed by, (from his actual experience), kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker Francis Howgill:
"They who have not yet seen this day of the Lords vengeance in themselves, have never seen the day of salvation. The prophet cried out: 'Who may abide the day of His coming, and who shall stand when He appears?' And many have been eye-witnesses of the dreadful day-of the Lord, which has appeared in them, wherein all peace has been hidden from their eyes; and all who ever came to see that day of joy and gladness, first knew the terror and the terrible day of the Lord in themselves. Therefore said the apostle: 'We, knowing the terror of the Lord, persuade men.'"
From the Word of the Lord within: "First the terror, then the suspect." The suspect is "the man of sin revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God [your heart], proclaiming himself to be God." 2 Thes 2:3-4. This refers to the evil spirit in you, the man of sin, being revealed. Every man starts with the spirit of Satan sown in his heart. This selfish spirit must be crucified before Christ can reign. Before Christ is revealed, the man of sin is revealed, showing you all manner of evil on the earth (that is in you); this is the abomination of desolation, standing in the holy place, (your heart's temple), where it should not be. But this is the end of your fleshly self, as Christ then comes and slays this residual spirit of Satan within you by the brightness of his coming, by his breath, and the splendor of his coming, by his crushing the head of Satan under your feet [heel]. From the Word of the Lord within: "When you see the abomination of desolation, do not be afraid; stand your ground; I will come within five minutes to destroy him."
And as Howgill continues, the day becomes one of great joy.
"The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light. He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, 'Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.' Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, 'and his reward is with Him;' and those who see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those who have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming."
William Dewsbury, another kingdom-dwelling, early Quaker, also left a testimony of the terror in the Day of the Lord:
"I was slain and baptized, and lay as a little child under his heavenly chastisements; as soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my humiliation. Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was taken away, and the book of life was opened unto me, and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;' and I was made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and of burning as an oven; and the haughtiness and pride of man in me was brought low."
(Dewsbury had just experienced the baptism of fire and death to pass over from death to life as he heard the Voice of the Lord for the first time.)
Know you are going to die in this process and rejoice at the culmination of all your efforts to arrive at this moment. Because we hate our life, we have no fear of losing our life; for when we lose our life, we save our life, the new life, the eternal life of God. Be glad the Lord is going to completely eliminate that mind and spirit that dwelled in evil; look forward to that being the complete end of your old self. The man of flesh dies, but the new man rises.
Messages from the Word of the Lord within that apply to this baptism are:
The body dies in this baptism of death, but the believer is raised (resurrected) with Christ and translated into the kingdom of God. Though raised with Christ to live in the heavens, you will still walk the earth as a new creature together, in union with the Lord, showing the power and love of God to the world, to your great joy and to the pleasure, honor, and glory of God. Be glad the Lord is going to completely eliminate that mind and spirit that dwelled in evil; look forward to that being the complete end of your old self. The man of flesh dies, but the new man rises.
The following is from kingdom-dwelling, early-Quaker Stephen Crisp's The Necessity of a Holy Life, which gives us further first-hand knowledge of the baptism of fire and the resurrection of the believer with Christ:
"There is no coming to obtain this baptism, but by sinking down into what will slay you, what will kill you. But there is such a shifting to save one's life, there are so many twistings and twinings of people to save their lives, that at last they lose them. But no one can ever find life that is eternal, but those who are willing to be given up to the dead, and submit to this baptism — that is, by the Holy Ghost and by fire. Only such come to life; they come to the resurrection. For you never knew any that died this death but that they rose again; it is as impossible for death to hold any one down that is buried in this baptism,* as it was impossible to hold Christ down, when he was in the grave. The same power that brought again our Lord Christ from the dead, the same power it is that quickens us, while we remain in these mortal bodies, after we have sustained this death and crucifixion."
[* Your resurrection is very quick, and your burial is not in this physical world.]
Messages from the Word of the Lord within which apply to this day are:
All others will be taken completely by surprise at his fearful appearance after their death. He is so pure and holy, they will instantly know they are hopelessly evil. He will cause them to panic and lose all reason — just wild, uncontrollable fear. See Howgill's description of what happens to those still sinning when they die.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11 (there must be a "dying daily.")
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12, Eph 2:5-6
George Fox from the Cambridge Journal:
If you wait in what is pure in you, you will find and see, because God has given you a measure of his spirit, by which you can comprehend things and see the deceits. Now when the mind goes forth from that pure measure, which lets you see deceits, the simplicity is ensnared, and God is not in your thoughts any more; instead, the son of perdition in you sits in the temple of God, where he ought not to sit. With the birth of the Lord [in you], this son of perdition is discovered, and with the brightness of the Lord's coming [in you], he is consumed; that man of sin is revealed [in you], and so shall you witness the scriptures fulfilled. But you must wait in that which is pure, which will show you when your mind departs into disobedience, setting up Baal's priests (outward) before God, and that brings a distraction in the mind where there is a halting between two (you and God); for all of the troubles are outside in the world, but Christ said that "in me you shall have perfect peace." Wait in Christ and mind him in yourself, (there is where you wait for his appearing). Keep focused inward, (stay seeking Christ within yourself), and do not follow the cries of lo Christ is here and lo Christ is there to distract you to outward seeking, you will have peace in a short time. You will later witness Christ, who is the substance of the prophets and apostles. The scriptures are shown to you within you (by Christ) to guide you to the Father, the Lord God of heaven and earth. By waiting for the Spirit of the Lord within you to guide your mind, you will find your strength renewed daily by the one Spirit that gave forth the scriptures. There is no confusion, but instead perfect peace. This Spirit baptizes into the one body, and this Spirit is the unity of the saints, who though absent in body, yet are present in Spirit, all being made to drink into one Spirit. This Spirit circumcises and puts off the body of sin from you, and you are sanctified through your obedience to the Spirit. You will come to witness the scriptures pure and clear, as they are without any mixture [of man's interpretations], as holy men possessed them and gave them forth. So holy men possess them and give them forth again and witness them again.
This is the appearance of Christ to you, bringing his Kingdom and salvation. This is to see your savior, to see God. This results in Jesus resurrected in you, (by today's terminology, a spiritual cloning), and having His glorious Kingdom established in your heart. The world as you see it ends. It is gone. You will not see it again. You step into another dimension, and walk by the Light of God, not the sun or the moon. This is He and the Father with you in fellowship. You are not only restored to the image of God, as were originally Adam and Eve, but you are later elevated beyond their state, beyond temptation. We sit down in Christ to enter the rest; to enter the rest from fighting our enemies, like Israel entered the rest after they had purged their land of the surrounding peoples, only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and then later to be protected from evil, sanctified from our enemies of sin; never to fall to temptation again.
That he would grant to us,
that being delivered out of the hand of our enemies we might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-5
You will enter the rest, to cease from your own labors, to walk in the spirit, under the power and promptings of the Father, through Christ, with whom you have joined in union; the pure church, sanctified, washed by the water of the word, at the wedding supper. This is to have Christ as your King forever. This is to be a priest to God forever and being next to Him as you worship Him. This is to worship Him in spirit and truth. This is to love God and be loved by Him. This is to be translated into paradise, while still residing on the earth — to step into another dimension of sight, awareness, and consciousness, being sanctified, separated, protected. This is everlasting peace and joy. This is the prize of the creation; you are God's crowning glory. This is the ultimate step in the creation. This is why the world was created. This is the purpose of life. This is more than you ever hoped for, and you will be overwhelmed with still more. This is overcoming evil. This is winning the war. This is becoming one with Christ and the Father. This is becoming his agent on earth, a soldier under direct command from Him, and with Him and His power leading you. This is no longer you who live, but Christ who lives in you. You have lost your life and found LIFE.
From the Word of the Lord within:
"There is a treasure trove of experiences behind a locked door;
no one knows what is set before them.
You are raised to a new life, not just an imitation.
He is one with us and ever-present."
But as it is written, "Man's eye has not seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined,
the things that God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Cor 2:9
You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy,
at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psa 16:11
Who has delivered us from the power of darkness,
and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Col 1:13
2000 years ago, Jesus said, "Truly I say to you,
there are some standing here, who shall not taste death,
until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
Mat 16:27-8, Mark 9:1, Luke 9:26-7
Now, if those who choose to suffer by obediently following the Lord in love can barely be saved, imagine the difficulty of those who finish their life living in their lusts and ungodliness' to lose their soul; to lose the small measure of light they had, be banished from heaven, and to be in total darkness;, to experience the pain and harm all their life's actions have caused; and to learn the hard way about love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness.
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