Repentance and Overcoming

Whenever Israel followed God, they were victorious; and whenever they tried to fight the enemy their own way, while not being faithful to God, they were defeated. 

This is also true in the spiritual sense, concerning our fight against sin. Satan is far smarter and stronger than we are; and whenever we try to fight sin on our own; we are guaranteed to fail! 

No matter how we struggle on our own with temptation and sin, we fail and continually slip, to do the thing that we are struggling to stop doing.  Paul presents the  answer in Romans 8 where he says that we must walk [live] in the spirit, and the flesh must be brought into submission to the spirit of God to overcome sin.  1 John 2:6 also says that we are to walk [live as Christ walks [lives].

 

The solution for full victory over sin

The solution is to follow Jesus Christ and be zealous for the whole Word of God; then Christ the Overcomer, will dwell in us through the Spirit of God; and he will go before us to give us the victory over Satan and sin; IF we will only follow him! 

We must make a full dedicated commitment to go and sin no more, and then we much seek HELP! the help of our Mighty Deliverer the Captain of our Salvation, in our struggle with sin. 

We cannot overcome Satan on our own any more than Israel could deliver herself out of Egypt on her own.  We need the full power of Jesus Christ in us to overcome, and if rely on and diligently follow the ultimate Deliverer:  Ultimately Full Victory over Satan and sin is assured!

Consider that in a good marriage we are totally committed to our spouse, in such passionate love that we have eyes for no other!  If we have the same passionate love for Jesus Christ our espoused spiritual Husband and the whole Word of God; the struggle against sin would be so much easier because nothing would be a temptation for us to sin, sinning against and offending our LORD.

The very first point is the real depth of our commitment to Christ and the Word of God.  You see, it is a matter of loving our LORD and his Father’s Word, MORE than we love the pleasures of sin.

2 Timothy 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

3:5  Having a form [An appearance of godliness but no substance like the church of God today] of godliness, but denying the power thereof [Not accepting the authority of scripture to obey it, and therefore lacking any power to overcome.]: from such turn away.

When we call the Sabbath holy and proceed to habitually pollute it, when we pollute High Days by buying in restaurants, and by observing days as God’s days which are not sanctified by scripture but on the dates that the heathen choose.  When we idolize men, exalting their word above the Word of God and we are full of many willful sins; how is it that we expect to overcome other sins? 

Brethren, we struggle with some select sins and cannot overcome, lacking the power of the Holy Spirit, because we are committed to our idols of men and corporate entities, and are NOT committed to passionately love and live by every Word of God!

The church of God groups today are full of sin and have rejected the Word of God for their own false traditions, and then they complain that they have no power to overcome and must struggle with personal issues! 

The very first means to overcome sin; is to follow Jesus Christ in living by every Word of God, and to repudiate our idols and collective sins; and then follow on to sin no more, to zealously learn, live by and teach the whole Word of God ! 

Only then will Jesus Christ go before us to cleanse us and give us victory over sin! 

We struggle with sin and cannot overcome, because we love the pleasures of sin more than we love the Word of God.  Therefore we find ourselves tempted to sin, and seeing sin as pleasurable we fall to temptation, because we are not fully committed to live by every Word of God. 

We ask and receive not, because we are not pleasing to our God!

Let me be absolutely clear; if we show contempt for the Word of God by buying in restaurants on Sabbath or High Days; and we exalt the false words and false traditions of men above any part of the whole Word of God;  We have quenched God’s Spirit and the power to overcome some specific personal sin has left us. 

The very first thing that is needed to be victorious in a personal struggle over sin; is to sincerely repent of all the many sins of the church of God groups, and to adamantly and passionately commit ourselves to turn from ALL SIN; and to zealously learn, keep and teach the whole Word of God; and to follow our Mighty Deliverer without turning aside.

Then ASK for, and use the Spirit of power which God the Father has promised.  Only then will Christ empower us to overcome, for the breaking of one point of the law is the breaking of the whole law. 

The church of God groups are full of sin and the brethren exalt their idols and teach the brethren to tolerate sin for the sake of organizational unity; and then they wonder why they have no power! 

The truly converted depend on their God to deliver them and reject all temptation as an offense against their Beloved. 

Our relationship with our Mighty One is supposed to be one of intense intimate passionate love; always longing to be held in his protective loving arms and never being tempted to do anything to displease him.  To overcome sin, we must start with a proper relationship with our Glorious espoused husband! 

Please do read our Song of Songs Unleavened Bread study, about the proper relationship we should have with our Greatly Beloved.  If we would only put our trust in our Mighty One that parted the sea; we could reject any temptation to sin, as unthinkable!

 

How to Conquer Sin

Why are we tempted to sin?  Because we think that the sin is pleasurable, and we love the pleasure of sin more than we love following the Word of God.

1. Love Jesus enough to DO WHAT HE SAYS, and to live by EVERY Word of God the Father (Mat 4:4).  Make pleasing God our greatest pleasure and chief delight!

2.  Learn to loathe as hideous filth, anything that comes between us and Christ.

3.  When we are tempted by certain things, AVOID those things, and so avoid [flee] temptation.

4.  Do not let your thoughts dwell on the temptation;  but fill your mind with good things.

5.  Do Bible studies into the sin that besets you, consider how evil and filthy it really is, behind its façade of pleasure. and understand that the wages of sin is DEATH. 

6.  When you are tempted, do not think “Oh how I would like that,” but think on a field of dead rotting bodies, or eating a pot of raw sewage; and equate that with the temptation to sin.  Think how you are offending and separating yourself from your Beloved Father and Christ.  Think on the consequences of your sin to yourself and to others.  Stop and THINK before you act; and immediately, instantly;  reject those things that separate us from our Beloved Father and espoused Husband!

7.  Replace evil with good in your mind and concentrate on all the good things and benefits of godliness.

Philippians 4:8   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Overcoming sin is about who and what you love the most:  God or Satan and sin! and about putting the temptation to sin into its proper perspective, fully understanding that any sin comes between us and God separating us from God (Is 59:2) and bringing eternal death, as opposed to the eternal life that our Beloved offers! 

Once we have that established; we can proceed to overcome through the ultimate Overcomer dwelling in us! 

We must also do our part and employ the tools of overcoming:

Ephesians 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth [the knowledge of the whole Word of God] , and having on the breastplate of righteousness [which is living by every Word of God];

6:15 And your feet shod [walk and live the gospel of salvation and peace with God by being zealous to keep God’s Word as Christ kept and still lives by God the Father’s Word] with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith [believe and trust in our God, thereby quenching temptation], wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

6:17 And take the helmet of salvation [protect our minds with a knowledge of the salvation of God], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  [Destroy false teachings by the truth of the whole Word of God.]

Pray without ceasing. Even when not praying verbally, have your minds set on the Word of God and sing godly songs and psalms – carefully considering their meaning – through the day.  Meditate day and night on the meaning of the whole word of God.  And in so doing you will internalize the nature of God and cast out the temptation to sin!

6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

Be Ye Holy; For I Am Holy

In the Mosaic Covenant, the whole nation was the people of God, the church  of God of its day; and was expected to live by every Word of God.  The New Covenant consists of people personally called out by God the Father into a spiritual nation.

1 Peter 2:9   But ye [The called out into the New Covenant are called to be ] are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar [special] people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 2:10 Which in time past were not a people [a nation], but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

How much more is the spiritual Ekklesia who are supposed to have God’s Spirit, expected to keep the law in both the letter and the spirit? 

The spiritual Ekklesia are commanded to be pure and holy, as God is pure and holy; to be free from sin.  If God commanded that people die for their sins under the Mosaic Covenant; why is it so surprising that God commands us to eject willful sinners from the assembly of the New Covenant? 

We are to reject the sinner from the assembly as an act of compassionate mercy and godly love! 

First. so that the sinner wakes up to the enormity of the need to repent and make a change in his life, and can be brought to a sincere repentance; Second, to protect the assembly especially the spiritually weak and the novices, from his sinful example;  Third, to protect the LIGHT [example] of the Ekklesia, that our example for the world be one of godliness and not an example of sin.   

Removing the sinner is not demonstrating a lack of love, it is the exact opposite.  It is a demonstration of love for God’s teachings, love for the flock and love for the sinner, to make him aware of how serious his sin is, so that he can then take the necessary action. 

The sinner is forgiven the instant that he realizes the enormity of the need to change and sincerely repents.  If he does that immediately after the sin, as he thinks about what he has done, then there is no need to expel him; but if this sin is done not just once but several times; he needs to be told to take time out for his good and the good of the flock to consider the seriousness of his actions, in the hope that he will sincerely repent and go and sin no more. 

The Word of God and especially God’s Commandments, laws, statutes, judgments and ordinances is to be diligently taught in the assemblies:  Which is NOT being done in the COG organizations today.

2 Timothy 4:1   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

4:3 For the time will come [That time has come today.] when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Sound doctrine and faithfulness to live by every Word of God is to be diligently taught by the shepherds, and those who continue in sin, or who justify sin,  or cleave to false doctrine, are to be rejected from the congregation after the third warning.

Titus 3:10    A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 3:11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself. 

We are to mark out and avoid those who turn away from the Word of God! 

The condemnation of bringing division, is about bringing division between God and man; which all the major COG groups do today, as they insert themselves between the brethren and God and teach the people to sin.  These COG groups divide man from God to follow themselves; and then they falsely accuse those who teach the truth of God of dividing the brethren!

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned [from the Word of God.]; and avoid them.  16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 

First they make the people spiritually simple by NOT teaching sound doctrine, and then they deceive the brethren into idolizing themselves, and so turn the brethren away from sound doctrine and the Word of God into sin!

Isn’t it strange that they call the Sabbath holy and then habitually pollute it; and do not rebuke this sin?  and then they go and persecute those who do want to keep the Sabbath holy?  The COG Groups persecute the godly righteous and justify their own sins.  They call evil good, and call the holy evil!  then they wonder why they have no power to overcome.

They have lost their footing and have built their spiritual house on the shifting sands of the doctrines of a man (Mat 7). 

Love for the keeping of the Word of God has gone cold and has been replaced with a hot zeal for the words of idols of men; this mix makes us lukewarm and disgusting in the mouth [body] of Christ. 

We have a kind of form or appearance of godliness to the unconverted eye; and lack the substance of zeal to live by every Word of God! 

We embrace sin and reject the godly!  when we are commanded to reject the sinner and embrace the godly! 

1 Corinthians 5:11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Today the COG is full of sin, because we think ourselves wiser than the Word of God!  It is for this cause that we will be rejected by Jesus Christ and thrown into the furnace of correction.

Brethren put out all sin from among you and be pure from all sin, as God is pure from all sin.

Leviticus 11:44  For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: 
 
1 Peter 1:15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
 
Recommended word Study:  Be ye holy

 

As God’s Called Out, Do We Have The Right Goals and Purpose?

The vast majority of people attend services and are involved with a church congregation, because of the social benefits and because they want to get to heaven. 

In the church of God this is no different; most just go along for the social benefits and because they want eternal life and a reward of leadership over others for eternity.   The brethren are constantly reminded of these rewards for holding fast and continuing with their organization.  

Of course this is a deceit, for all spiritual reward comes from God and is given by God, for our loyalty to God; not because of any loyalty to any idol of men or corporate entities.  The statement that “We are God’s chosen leaders and you must obey us” becomes nonsense as soon as they depart from the Word of God. 

Was not king Saul chosen by God?  That episode was recorded for us so that we would learn to prove all things by the Word of God and NOT to follow any man in sin. 

Back to the subject of goals.  What is the godly goal that all the called out have been called to focus on?  Was it really this selfish “GET” motive of acquiring eternal life and a kingdom and dominating others?  NO! 

Yes, God’s kingdom will come and it will be glorious and it would be great to have a part in it; but we are putting the reward before the job!  Eternal life and an office of responsibility is the reward; and that is great to remember; but we cannot allow this reward to be a distraction from our purpose! 

The destination is wondrous, but the issue for us is: “The Getting There!”  We have been deceived into a certain idea that if we just obey the elder we have a ticket to enter eternal life and the kingdom of God. 

No, we must each work out our own salvation personally, and we will each be held accountable for what we personally do, and the excuse that “I was only following the elder” is not going to get anyone anywhere at the judgment. 

Jesus warned that just going through the motions and doing what we feel we must; is NOT ENOUGH!  We must consistently and diligently seek treasure in heaven [eternity]. We must focus on overcoming all sin and on becoming LIKE God our Father in heaven and becoming LIKE the Son!

Brethren, our calling is to the hard work of internalizing the very nature of God the Father through a continual night and day zealous study of and meditation on God’s Word; and passionately living by every word of God, and through teaching the Word of God to others; thereby practicing for the job of kings and priests; practicing to be teachers of the Word of God to humanity in the kingdom!

Yes, keep the goal in mind, but do not neglect the job at hand; which is to: 

Philippians 2:12    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed [God’s word], not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The harder you work, the more you overcome, the more you internalize the very nature of God; the greater your treasure in heaven.  If we sit back and depend on getting eternal life on someone else’s coat tails, we will be rejected by Christ.

Matthew 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.  25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.  25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

Let us all be profitable servants; doing all we can to become fully like Him, to become holy and pure from all sin, as God is holy and pure from all sin; let all people diligently seek to please our God with all our beings.

If we do that, we shall someday hear the words:  Matthew 25:21  Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Brethren, following men is not the same as following God!  Today the COG Groups are full of sin because we are willing to follow self-willed leaders full of pride, in place of living by every Word of God!  

 

Will we obey the Word of God?  The  COG Groups do the exact opposite of these four commands of scripture!

1 Thessalonians 5:19   Quench not the Spirit.  5:20 Despise not prophesyings.  5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good [every Word of God]. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

If we do these things and focus on becoming like God the Father, we will receive eternal life!  If we do not do these things we will not receive eternal life!

What of Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you

Do not let people deceive you by quoting “But seek ye first the kingdom of God,” and not mentioning “and his righteousness.”

This statement by Christ means that we are to focus on seeking that the Spirit of the kingdom of God the Spirit of godliness, and to internalize the nature of God within ourselves.   We are to diligently work to become holy as God is holy, to become holy as his kingdom is holy!  

Do not let anyone distract your from your enthusiastic pursuit of spiritual holiness, or distracting us from the work of overcoming sin and becoming like God[ which task we have been called to.

Its all about the focus and the emphasis:  The ultimate goal of the kingdom is wondrous; but we must not neglect “The Getting There!”

 

Principles For Victorious Overcoming!

In Mosaic Israel the whole nation was the church of God and people of God of that day. The army of Israel was supposed to be the host [army] of the Eternal; and YHVH was the commander of the host [army] of God [the army of Israel] .

Joshua 5:14   And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord [YHVH] am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?  5:15  And the captain of the Lord‘s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

The Eternal was the captain of the host of Israel, and is often described as the “LORD of Hosts”: meaning the LORD or captain of God’s armies.

In the fight against the Canaanites; Israel as the people of God called out of Egypt, was a type of a spiritual Israel called out of the spiritual Egypt of bondage to sin: while the Canaanites were a type of sin, which is to be totally destroyed.  God used these people as an allegorical example for our instruction, yet he will raise up both physical Israel and the Canaanites in their time and they shall all have a chance to sincerely repent and enter into the spiritual Israel of the New Covenant.

The Eternal was captain over the armies of Mosaic Israel, fighting to destroy the wicked Canaanites as a type of sin; this an allegory that the Eternal is the Captain of our Salvation; going before his faithful to fight against Satan and sin for us, just as he went before Israel to fight the Canaanites whenever Israel was faithful and followed their Captain.

You will notice that when Israel faithfully followed the Eternal as they did all the days of Joshua, that they never lost a battle, except when sin was among them;  yet when they strayed from a zeal to live by every Word of God, they began to lose the fight.

So it is with us; when we stray from zealously, enthusiastically, following our LORD; and turn to our own ways, or try to fight the battle on our own; we begin to lose the fight against sin and are overcome by it. 

It is ONLY when we are faithful to obey and diligently follow the whole word of God; that the Captain of our Salvation will  go before us to fight all sin and give us his gift of victory over our greatest enemy, Satan, sin and the wages of unrepented sin which is death. 

In line with this allegory, the Captain of the LORD’s host gave Joshua some instructions at the beginning of his service, that are equally fitting for our spiritual battle against sin.

As Joshua was to keep the whole Word of God in the physical Mosaic sense; WE are to keep the whole Word of God in BOTH the physical Mosaic sense AND in all of its spirit and intent! 

If we do that, then the Captain of our Salvation, will dwell in us and fight the battle against sin with us; and the Mighty Deliverer will give us the victory over sin; IF we will only follow His example and His lead! 

This is the first of the principles of victory over sin; Absolute commitment and loyalty to the Captain of our Salvation; to follow the Lamb of God withersoever He goeth!  Without any hint of compromise or of any hint of turning aside to the right or to the left!

Joshua 1:5    There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

This principle of warring against all sin; is to “Be Prepared!”  To properly train for the fight!

This means that we are to study day and night!  Study does not mean just reading the scriptures; It also means meditating and thinking about their meaning, while praying for understanding from God.  It means to have our minds focused on the word of God, its physical and spiritual meaning and how it applies to the situations that we encounter day by day.

Like a good soldier; we are to learn, learn, learn and then practice, practice, practice; until the lessons become our very nature!

A good soldier first learns Absolute  Loyalty and Obedience unto death, to his Commander; and a good soldier of the LORD of Hosts [armies] in the battle against Satan and sin, is to be Absolutely Obedient and Loyal to the whole word of his Mighty Commander, even unto death. 

The next thing a good soldier learns is complete dedication to accomplishing any mission given to him.  Regardless of the price or hazards, a good soldier will continue moving forward to accomplish his mission. 

The same is true of the spiritual soldier; he is totally dedicated to his mission to overcome all sin; whatever the cost in trials or persecutions, in sickness or poverty; in every situation he marches on in the battle against Satan and sin; totally loyal to his LORD and to his mission to achieve complete victory over all sin and to become like his Father in heaven!

Brethren, religion is not some kind of social game!  This is FOR REAL!  It is a serious matter of life and death for eternity! 

May we all be good soldiers of the LORD of Hosts against Satan and all sin; following our LORD to total victory!  Be Strong and Persevere for the battle belongs to the Great Overcomer the LORD of Hosts! 

Though we may be battered in this world, let us be strongly encouraged; for we know that our redemption is very near: 

Let us prepare for the fight, fully grounding ourselves on the Sound Doctrine of the whole word of God, and internalizing the very nature of God; so that the temptation to sin is so repellant and vile to us that we can reject it without another thought! 

If any are rejected by their brethren who presently lack the light that guides us; let us go forward in godliness, being courageous to set a shining example so that in their time they will see the light of God and turn to him with a whole heart!

Another principle of being a good soldier is having the courage to acknowledge errors and to do what is right, always.  A good soldier knows that his mistakes [his example] could affect the lives of many others; so he rejoices for correction, and is quick to right his errors,.  The spiritual soldier is to be quick to continually correct his faults and to learn and progress in his spiritual growth.

Each sin that is corrected is another victory in the war against satan and sin; while each refusal to accept truth and to change for the better, is a lost battle in the war.

My dear friends, let us be strong to pursue the truth of God, and be full of a good courage to acknowledge error and follow our Commander and King of kings, to total victory against the  Adversary and all sin!

James Malm

 

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