Sufferings and Persecution
Paul said “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake (meaning us): This does not mean that Christs sacrifice of Himself was insufficient or that “At-one-ment” had NOT been made at the cross for Paul or anyone else to try to complete it, but to more clearly see how each one of us can apply our afflictions today as pertaining to our own maturation and to set an example for those who come after.
When Christ went to the cross for our sins, He successfully paved the way for our crossover back to The Father. That “No testing of your faith has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able, but with the testing will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to stand under it.
The cross is our proof that payment has been rendered for all our deaths, for the fear of death to be ineffective and inconsequential for us who believe. He paid NOT just for us alone, but for ALL of mankind and their ill effects including pain, (John 3.17) especially as it has to do with our fear of physical death. Which is really just a Faith in Christ who handled that for us. So this becomes our disconnect from the threats of the gods of this age by way of proxy. Meaning Christ was our substitute sacrificed on our behalf to free us from facing death.
The way we apply this is like all the other promises to us from the Father, through faith. We have no simpler form of reliability to offer to or receive from God anyway. Therefor faith is our access point and conduit to the Father. For “Now faith is the (invisible) substance of things hoped for, our evidence that there are things that are NOT seen. By acquiring this tge elders gained re pore with God”. And “without faith it is impossible to please God: for those that come to God, must (first) believe that He is, and that He rewards those that diligently seek him” against any tangible evidence of His existence.
It is because of these rewards that we get for “pressing in to lay hold of that for why Christ has also laid hold of us” By which we learn that when Christ at the cross endured, that we are instructed to “consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls (the part you keep). Lest you become weary too.
What we must ask here is that IF He did not pay for and absorb our penalty for sin, then how could his cross really be our payment, to give us consolation not to fear death? Because if we continue to fear death, then we really don’t understand what the cross is about and that His payment for our death frees us from the very threat and the consequences of death itself. Then of course go ahead and fear death and purchase the worlds products in an attempt to safe guard yourself against the inevitable death and dying and see if that works, and ignore the very purpose of Christs death which effectually catapults us past that death and the fear of it, to now be able to “walk in newness of life” in the here and now because of Christ sacrificial death, in exchange for a new “life in the spirit” on the other side of death.
As a matter of fact, most people refuse to acknowledge our debt free gift of eternal life, to consider the concept of death as inconsequential and uneventful, of us being past the consequences of that death because He paid for it. And that was done for us to advance into our Eternal inheritance of life in the spirit NOW, and not at a second coming or the end of the world.
This is what it means when we say that “The Kingdom of God is at hand”. That “without faith it is impossible to please God”, and “faith is the (invisible) substance of things hoped for, our evidence that there are things not seen. This describes our keys to the Kingdom, on the other side of death and dying, of something to comprehend, apprehend and to “lay hold of” in the here and now. This is the gospel!
Kind of like if you inherited a piece of land. But if you still had to pay a mortgage. (mort means death, mortgage is a death by degree instrument), then you inherited death and debt that was due to another. But if you then have that portion of that death instrument obligation marked “paid in full” for you to be free and clear of any obligation thereof. Then that creditor would no longer have any demands left due for you to pay. That you would enjoy the debt free gift from that moment on beyond the mort-gage (measure of death).
That is what the Gospel provides, a life without death or debt. But then if you ignore this gift to be counted as being alive “in Christ” and go back to making the proverbial mort-gage payments on a sin debt (which would be confessions and such) you have essentially forfeited your inheritance of a life past death by going back to pay the debt of dying with all it’s coersions and fears to keep yo here, and thereby insult the Spirit of grace. The one who cleared your debt (Christ) cannot be blamed for your misery and wrangling against sin, guilt and death. But the man in the mirror can.
But because of Christs sacrifice of Himself, our obligation to death has been fully satisfied and been paved over, to never need to answer to it again. Paul calls this being dead (and unresponsive) to death and all its threats.
In this way The Cross of Christ is that “paid in full” declaration that clears you from all debts pertaining to death and dying, as seen further understood here from Romans 6.4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into His death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also can walk in a brand new life. (Like He lives now.)
And Romans 6.6-9 “knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. (No more payments to make) Death no longer has dominion over Him (nor us because He died for us and NOT Himself). 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all (of us); but the life that He lives even now, He lives to God (EXPECTING US TO DO THE SAME THING 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead to (have to acknowledge) sin, but alive to God (by placing your hope and trust) in Christ our righteousness, meaning, right way of getting things done. Anytime our morale character is challenged, we point to Him.
And when your old person working off the old principles of sin and dying accuses you? Like Christ showed us to say “get behind me Satan for you are not mindful of the things of God but man”, because only Satan keeps track of that stuff as “the accuser” who gets “cast down” as soon as you apply the provision by faith by reiterating it as a profession of faith. This is how you activate that promise on your own behalf and NOT confessions.
Like 2 Corinthians 4.13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore we speak; for a thing to become true.
This is how ALL Gods provisions to us become real for us. Meaning that Gods completed package has been made available for you NOW! So, beware, lest there be in any of you with an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God (by disrespecting these promises and thinking this can’t be so); 13 but exhort one another daily (on how to apply these promises), while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of (the) sin (of unbelief to go back to your old ways). For we are ALREADY partakers of Christ by holding the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.”
Now that you have seen with your intuitive perceptions, the true gift of Eternal life, which was given to us as a result of our debt PAID IN FULL and retroactive the moment you leave it at the cross. But beware. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
How can you go back to the weak and beggarly acts of repentance and contrition and self abuse and abasement, as though that can clean you better then “the blood of Christ through the Eternal purge your conscience from dead works (of confessionals and sacrifices) to (instead) serve the Living God’, to consider His blood a common thing? And by doing so, do you think there will be another re-conning as though the cross was insufficient to satisfy the demands of death? before you can detach from the accusations and short falls of this age? That is a form of blasphemy!
So back to our opening statement when Paul said that “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake (being a body of believers): That which is lacking for the body”, is only because of an imbalance of maturity of those who still fear death because death still has power over them because they are afraid of the pain of death. Paul showed them and us that persecution and suffering belongs at the cross! Paul was NOT making another installment for death as though Christs death was insufficient. That is blasphemy as well!
This is the lesson, and it is the strong who have led by example. And in this case, Paul had been tracked down relentlessly by the Jews. He had been beaten, flogged imprisoned and chased time and again. Keep in mind that he began as “chief among sinners” and “chosen last as least of the Apostles’, because he came from the brood of vipers and needed to be saved, thereby displaying what may be required from any one of us. But not so much us, but “Christ in us” because He bought that privilege with His blood. It pleased Him and it pleased the Father to do this because “He was stricken for us and on Him was laid the iniquity of us all. So we too can quit fearing and running, to stop and for each one of us to say too, that ” I (also) have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live (to protect myself), but Christ lives in me (to deal with my enemies and fears as He sees fit); and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith (trust and peace) in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. To preserve me blameless from the fear of sin and death, to then experience a fulfilled life in the Spirit before a physical death and departure from creation. That the threat of death and dying becomes inconsequential and a mirage or just a bad dream. And NOW we hope you are fully awake to the gift from God the Father of life in the spirit that we can realize, activate and own in the here and now, RIGHT NOW!
So our main point here is that every ill effect that we inherit from Adam and Eve and the spiritual death that they died for trusting another, are all wiped clean for us to be restored to what Adam and Eve had BEFORE trusting another through the wreck we call “the fall”. And because our trust is restored in the spirit of our mind through understanding (Romans 12.1-2( the exchange at the cross to “that which is from the beginning” we are raised back up in the spirit of the mind where the fall took place. And the only way this can be violated as believers in Christ, is if you fail to adopt these methods and to learn how to apply them NOW as the gift from God. The human body was NEVER the problem but your thinking was. Your body was the innocent bystander.
So we say “in your patience possess your soul”, as the only you that makes it through the fire. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Meaning that whatever you hold on to here and whatever attachments and entanglements you have here that you won’t let go of will burn you. They all create resistance and cause complications at your testing called persecution. For if you in fact have NOT learned how to “put off the body of the sins of the flesh” by faith (not the human body but a body of beliefs)” of doubts and fears and methods of self protection and “put on (trusting and believing) Christ” then your testing for departure will have you wrangling with your carnal attachments. So settle it in your hearts ahead of time because if you are Heaven bound, then there should be no reservations to keep you here because you understand that the outcome will be fully pleasing and all your fears have already been worked out on the other side before God ever said “Let there be light”. God is that thorough.
And herein lies the purpose of sufferings and persecutions in their many sorted varieties, your maturation. To test your carnal disconnect capabilities and purity of spirit as you face the fire. And for picture purposes, it is for you to understand more clearly your Heavenly calling. For this we have accounts like Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego who faced the flames of fire. That to those who were watching, they counted 4 men, and one of them was The Savior. And the other 3 were dancing and have a good time on “whose bodies was found no hurt.” It was because they were able to disassociate from their dependencies on Babylon. For if they hadn’t, that fire would’ve had a smoldering effect as it burned the dross, “but not a hair on your head shall be burned!” Is what we have been promised.
And that’s the point. Why? Because as we previously said that all the ill effects of our death was dropped off at the cross. When the Only Begotten said “Eli, Eli! Why have you forsaken Me?” The answer is, FOR US!! Meaning the pain and agony Christ endured was so that WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO! When you understand those cry’s of pain are Him taking them from you, then you truly no longer deal with the sin of unbelief because unbelief is the main obstacle for you to be able to disconnect from the various “FIG LEAVES” that you trust in that come in the forms of coverage’s from the gods of this age who have duped you into thinking they can save you from ANYTHING that threatens to harm you from anything when it comes to safety, wealth, health or life ending. And if you can get this point, and understand the payment rendered on your behalf, and if you can believe in it, why in the world would you insult the spirit of grace that covers you so completely against all loss and harm of those things that really matter. And we will punctuate this by saying “those who seek to save themselves (with their assorted savings and saviors of the world) will loose it (all of it) and those who give up their lives for My sake, will gain life for eternity.” This is a pretty good trade off. And the way that God causes our carnal disconnect we call “death of the old man” and “dying to the world”. We do this one tether at a time, one contract, one terms of service, and one entanglement at a time for us to come clean as we become dead to those service providers for the provisions though applying the promises of God we see in scripture.
Then maybe you can say like Father Abraham when some were trying to give him of the spoils of war and he said “I lift my hand to the Lord God possessor of Heaven and Earth that I will take neither shoes or a stitch of clothing lest you say YOU made me rich”. He considered the promises to be more of a safer place to be.
This is the process that separates the sheep from the goats. That the command to “come out of her (Mystery Babylon) My people lest you partake of her sinful counterfeits to receive of Her judgments for God has remembered Her (Mystery Babylon)”. “Then you shall be My sons and Daughters, says God”. 2 Cor 6
As for a persecution of the saints, there are many documented persecutions and however history may present them in another light, those that went through those persecutions, likely knew this intuitively and spiritually made the disconnect. That the pains, sufferings and tortures that those bodies endured, was because The Son of God was in them on their behalf taking on that death from them. And just as a caterpillar does not understand the life and the flight of a butterfly (of what a caterpillar becomes), so too our association with the visuals of this age are a huge distraction and the reason we are giving you these transfiguration tools, is so that you are not found fighting for the things of this age that will all just be burned up anyway. So go through the fire now by putting off the death instruments that promise you false protection for your doubts and fears of health wealth and life because “those who fear have not been perfected in love”, meaning the love of God. “Because fear involves torment” because fear is grounded in unbelief”. But we know Him who said “I will never leaf you as if to be forsaken”.
Here are a couple more verses for confirmation:
And For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so you are also of the consolation.
And “we see Christ, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; so that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man (THIS IS THE POINT). 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Because He takes it from you while you go through it. Think of the stoning of Stephen. Scripture describes Stephen, “and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
Because God is the Father of GLORIES, we are those glories!!
And 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holds fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Now then knowing these things, maybe it can be said of you too? 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown (of victory I’ve already given you). 12 To those overcome, I will make them pillars in the temple of My God, and they shall go out no more. I will write on them the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God (not the silly counterfeit on earth). And I will write on them My new name. 13 “Those who have an ear, let them hear what the Spirit says to the ekklisia.”
The Kingdom of God is always “at hand” if you know what to look for.