God’s Sovereignty ~ Finding Our Purpose In WORKS

💗DEAD WORKS versus GOOD WORKS

We are no longer dead in sin… But rather are being raise up INSIDE this flesh body to incorruptible BECAUSE Jesus lives within us.

Recently the Holy Spirit has been teaching us about BEING RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE… Just as it dawned on me, through the Holy Spirit, what that exactly means.  I am not so sure we all understand this, because if we did, we would be so full of joy it would not be contained.

The problem is – we have the mindset of a sinner and yet claim we are saved by Grace.  Grace is for those who IGNORANTLY sin.  That is not us, concerning most temptations we face.  We know right from wrong and still continue to choose to do wrong.  But fret not, no worries here, because we all have Jesus, the Author and Finisher of us (our faith walk) and He will complete a total work within us.

I simply love this Scripture right now:

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Do we know what this completed work looks like?  We are becoming INCORRUPTIBLE.

When something is CORRUPTIBLE it is:

Having the potential to be corrupted, tempted, perish, dishonest, one who takes bribes, unclean, immoral.

INCORRUPTIBLE means:

Honest, with convictions, moral, righteous and full of virtue.

So basically here, we see a clear demarcation in something.  Do you see it?  It is the old creature versus the new creature we are becoming in Christ Jesus.

Let’s review the Scripture we discussed last time in 1 Corinthians 15:

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (in the flesh) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on in-corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on in-corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

So this verse is a perfect complement to what we shall be… And we do not even know the fullness of that yet, except to say we shall be like HIM, speaking of Jesus.

We spent much time in Romans 8 the last time I spoke, getting to the heart of the matter in living this life here on Earth as a Child of God, because a child of God does walk in a body of flesh and bone, however, we no longer feed the carnal lusts of filthy flesh for we are counted among the redeemed of the Earth.   Once the heart changes, so do the desires of it and therefore you CHANGE from being of the Earth to a Heavenly body abiding here still on Earth.  A child carries the characteristics/dna of his or her Father. Amen.  Our lives unfold based on the “seed” we carry inside us internally.

I will show you in the Word, where it perfectly gives instruction to this truth.  So let’s get back into 1 Corinthians 15, which we have not discussed in depth before.

31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Paul is telling us here – we are to DIE DAILY

So it is true we may die a natural death – however, he is clearly speaking spiritually here in this Scripture

Paul is teaching them – he has counted the cost and follows Jesus as his apostle no matter what comes his way or challenges he must face

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Paul is telling them it is a choice whether to sin or not.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

There are actually His children on Earth today that are of His seed.

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Some are from Heaven, others are from the Earth

41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

We were ONCE dead in sin, but have been raised up into LIFE ETERNAL because it is only once for man to die.

The following tells us HOW that it is played out:

43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Here on the Earth there are natural and spiritual bodies – the actual flesh and bones does not determine the origination of the body, but rather the SOURCE of within that particular person.  There are some seeds which are “tares” and others are “wheat” of which only the Father knows, because only He knows the end from the beginning – otherwise, we judge before the time.

45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.

To be CHANGED here means:

To exchange one thing for another, to transform or to speak or react in a different manner.  To cease from discord through moods, emotions or self will of desires.

So it is in this moment – daily in each circumstance as we die to the flesh, we crucify our wants, our thoughts, our desires and most importantly, our ways and it is no longer us who live but Jesus lives in us and we are changed.  By this we are effectively applying the Gospel to our lives and we are raised incorruptible.  No longer then do we carry out or walk out that which is in opposition to our Father, we become like Him in all manners of our lives.  This is how we move… Glory to glory.

A good example would be when we get upset with someone.  It is our flesh carnal nature that is offended at their flesh carnal nature.  Jesus is not upset with anyone.  He sees past the flesh of us all into the heart and is accepting, forgiving and loving.  When we view others through His eyes we operate in the same fashion as Him, pulling down all strongholds to lash out, have our way or prove a point just to be right – we become righteous because He is righteous.  We will never win a battle fighting flesh to flesh.  All darkness is only overcome by light, in ourselves and others.

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on in-corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on in-corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

This is a NOW WORD… Not something in the way off foreseeable distance.  He is telling us here NOT TO LABOR IN VAIN, but rather to DO THE WORK OF THE LORD.

The WORK OF THE LORD is done IN US – daily, moment by moment.

THESE ARE GOOD WORKS – and every other WORK IS DEAD.

So today we are going to discuss GOOD WORKS vs. DEAD WORKS.

The Kingdom of Heaven surely is within YOU

LUKE 17

19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

We so often look for an outwardly sign of the Kingdom just like the Pharisees, becoming demanding and such, but the truth is – THE KINGDOM IS WITHIN US, a hidden mystery that many cannot grasp.

We often battle internally with these WORKS…  Which is why the Lord placed upon my heart to share exactly what type of works He has spoken of and is looking for – because these WORKS He speaks of enter eternity with us, they do not perish and are so hidden most often He is the only One Who can observe them because they are internal – Wholeness and completed by Him.

I can promise you right now this message will crucify your flesh and your flesh and mind will resist it in parts, just like mine did – But if you can spiritually grasp this concept you will have a pearl of understanding today that you possibly did not consider before.

Sadly, the truth is…  Some people need to get saved for real.  To be truly saved, it is no longer I who live, but Jesus lives inside me.  I am dead.  He is risen within.  And when this happens, repentance becomes natural as He exposes, delivers and consumes all that within us that is not of Him.  We are changed (made whole) from the inside out.

Peace comes into our lives when OUR WILL is ONE WITH HIS and it surpasses all understanding because we should be upset, running to and fro and worried and yet instead we are walking in full submission to His sovereignty…  That is when the peace comes.  One cannot have peace and be inside their own will, it is only when HIS WILL IS BEING DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN that real peace is felt and it is then and only then that we grasp how Sovereign our Father actually is – until that time, we will question everything and worry continually.  In these cases we also will fret over who is saved and who isn’t deceived believing it is a part of our WORKS TO SAVE THEM.  It is the ENEMY who tells us to save ourselves and others while Jesus said TO DIE TO SELF.  We need to get out of the way when God is dealing with another, not intervene to save them from what the Lord is using to save their souls and He uses the pains of flesh to destroy it.  When our labor is in vain, so are our works.

The Now Word for the season we are currently in is:  Die to self because as we decrease He shall increase within us.  The truth of it is – A person is not anointed but rather Jesus is the anointed One and to the measurement that we have decreased – He is increasing within us as a demonstration of truth by what is said through us, not by us.

Today we are going to talk about one part of this process – getting rid of all DEAD WORKS IN OUR LIVES.

As the Lord continues to prepare us to receive Him fully into our hearts, souls and minds it seems like lately not a day goes by that He is not revealing and purging something within…  He is truly “preparing His dwelling place” within us.  It was at this point last week I realized…  The impossibility of no matter how much I gave of myself to others it still was laced with a bit of carnality.  This explains why all of OUR works are DEAD WORKS, they are mingled with —- SELF gratification.  He began to show me just how impossible it is to do anything that does not have fragments of my carnal nature mixed in because even though we may be compassion driven – we are still gratifying something of ourselves and usually it is a self-centered desire to BE NEEDED.

Now before you just throw up your hands…  Hold tight for just a little bit, because there are VERY VERY GOOD WORKS which the Lord directed me to in His Word.  These PERFECT WORKS are actually the only ones that are pure into a transference into our Eternal life.  Jesus set the prime example for us as a demonstration on how to walk continually giving the Father Glory.

But before we look at that…  Let’s look into the Book of Ecclesiastes because for the first time in all my life I am seeing that all truly is vanity.

It is interesting to note that King Solomon wrote this book, even calling himself a preacher.  I don’t think I ever noticed that before.  I encourage you to read Chapters 1 and 2 in Ecclesiastes soon because to save time I am going to use just a few passages and do a lot of paraphrasing.

Chapter 1

Vs. 2 tells all that all is vanity and in Vs 3 he goes on to talk about labor and asks what does it really profit a man?  Then in Vs. 14 he says he has seen ALL THE WORKS that are done and ALL OF THEM ARE VANITY.  In other words – people labor in vain because in the next verse it says – that which is crooked cannot be made straight and there are so many wanting it is a number that cannot be numbered.  It is important to note in Vs. 18 he says – in much wisdom is much sadness and as our knowledge is increased so is our sorrow.  I believe many of us can relate to that even today.  The Father alone makes our paths straight and others to be in line with Him.

Chapter 2

In this chapter he goes into all the things he has done on the Earth:  Like pleasure, laughter, wine, wisdom, folly, great works, building of houses, planted vineyards and gardens, pools, servants, great possessions, silver and gold, entertainment and he did all this so HE LOOKED GREAT – Vs. 9  He also took what he desired (including women) and experienced much joy.  He says in his heart HE REJOICED IN HIS LABOURS.

Vs. 11 is very important because it is here HE LOOKS AT ALL THE WORKS HE HAD DONE by his hands and was shown – all of it was done in vain and his spirit was vexed because what he had done brought NO PROFIT UNDER THE SUN.  (It was all done in vain because the reward was here, not eternal.)

Basically, the whole Book of Ecclesiastes is Solomon coming into the understanding that no matter how much you do or the wisdom you have can interfere with the sovereignty of God and when we do attempt to do such things it is all vanity.

We have all more times that we realize have spoken out of self, lead others astray – even unknowingly and been seduced at times to follow idols – one, being self.  Which is why the Father in this season is wanting us to grasp His sovereignty and how a part from Him we can do nothing.

We all are like flowers of the field who toil and spin and yet… In truth, it is the Father Who tends to us because we cannot even take care of ourselves.  How beautiful is this truth!  So we can all relax now knowing “The Father has this” because He truly does.

Before we go more into dead works, I want to preface this teaching with saying what I am not saying…  Which is – I am not saying we aren’t to assist one another, comfort one another and be used by the Lord daily as His vessels pouring Him out upon the Earth.  We are to do all those demonstrations of love, loving others more than ourselves…  Which is exactly the point here…  It is all about Him and it is all about others and it should be not at all about whatever we do to gratify self.  I know some people will take this to the extreme.  However, just like all Bible studies this is about going deeper into the precepts of the Lord.  So please keep that in remembrance as we study today learning more about how the Father operates so we build upon what we have learned, not forgetting what He has shown us so far.

Let’s get into the study:

In John Chapter 9 it tells a story of when Jesus healed the blind man as a display of the Father’s works because people were trying to blame someone (himself or his parents) for sinning to cause this illness.  In return Jesus said no one had sinned to cause this illness, but rather so that “THE WORKS OF GOD SHOULD MANIFEST IN HIM.”  He was born blind for one reason, so the Father could demonstrate Himself as Healer and He did so THROUGH JESUS.

In vs. 4 it says:

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

It is important to note here – these are not “worldly” works, but rather an act done for one sole purpose – that the Father get glory.   We will learn more about this throughout the study today.

Interesting enough this word “works” is the same word in the Greek of the following Scripture:

Philippians 2:

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

These “works” we are being taught about concern – obedience and salvation

John Chapter 6 gives us another hint as to what the Father considers worthwhile “works”:

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them,This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Jesus said – The works of God are to believe in Jesus.  This is how we “work out our salvation daily” we do so by FAITH.

He also said here that all other labors will perish but to know Jesus will help us to endure into everlasting life.

What the Lord began to show me is how often we weary ourselves when the enemy convinces us to run to and fro “working” in the flesh to achieve many things that will not sustain our eternal life.  These “works” become some sort of an idol in our lives and goes against what Jesus told us to do.

During my study He reminded me of the CHURCH OF SARDIS in Revelation Chapter 3.  Let’s take a look at what is spoken to that particular church – I think that might bring some clarity as to why the Lord is directling us to study this right now.

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

This church was doing things for others and not only that, they were being recognized for what they were doing.  They thought they were ALIVE but in truth were DEAD.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

They had stopped watching to be strengthened in the Lord Jesus and their works were not PERFECT because they were not strictly for God’s glory, but rather their own.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

They had taken their eyes off Jesus and if they did not repent from these works, He will come to them as a thief – without notice, they will not even recognize it is Him as He will come without warning.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

There was a small remnant who’s garments were made white and had not defiled themselves in these dead works.

Our “Garments” are actually the FULL ARMOR OF GOD found in Ephesians 6:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Back to THE CHURCH OF SARDIS in Revelation 3:

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

This is telling us we must overcome doing any works at any time that glorify ourselves, otherwise our names will be blotted out of the Book of Life.  To overcome means to: acknowledge our shortcomings and rely on Jesus to help us go and sin no more – with true heartfelt repentance in this area.

So as I was studying this I began to ask our Lord to show me just what would be considered a “good and perfect work” because our works are so imperfect, we need to know or rather I needed to know exactly what He does consider a “perfect work” in order to make a change.

Ironically, I found 7 PERFECT WORKS in the Bible and each one is GOD CENTERED not MAN CENTERED:

  • THE WORK OF SALVATION

PHILIPPIANS 2:12

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Please Note:  The ONLY SALVATION we can work out is OUR OWN, not anyone else’s.

  • THE WORK OF WATCHING FOR JESUS TO COME

MARK 13:34

For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

  • THE WORK OF GLORIFYING THE FATHER

JOHN 17:4

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

  • THE WORK OF BEING AMAZED AT THE FATHER’S SOVEREIGNTY

JOHN 5:20

For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

  • THE WORK OF PATIENCE

JAMES 1:4

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Through exhibiting PATIENCE we learn to be made whole, no longer desiring anything on this Earthly plane.

  • THE WORK OF REPENTANCE

ACTS 26:20

But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

  • THE WORK OF OBEDIENCE

HEBREWS 13:21

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

So you see…  The Father considers the intent of the heart to be fixated on Him and Him alone and this is truly the ONLY GOOD WORK He considers of importance.

Now on the flip side MATHEW 23 speaks about doing WORKS TO BE SEEN BY MAN – these are unfruitful to the Kingdom of Heaven:

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

—false promises would fall into this category, they also want you to watch what they are doing

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

DO NOT PUT ANYONE ON A PEDESTAL… THEY AREN’T WORTHY AND NEITHER ARE WE, ONLY JESUS

These works spoken of here has the same Greek root word as DEEDS.

The deeds which are done for the Lord are done in secret, not openly for man to see.  (John 3:21)

If we want to be seen by men – it is for an earthly reward, but if done in secret the Father will reward us openly.

ACTS 5:38 tells us that – ALL WORKS OF MEN WILL COME TO NOTHING.

ACTS 7:41 warns us about rejoicing in the works of our own hands while in doing so we are actually sacrificing (or rather giving of ourselves) to idols.

Doesn’t this make you want to stop dead in your tracks and search your heart not only for WHAT WE ARE DOING, BUT WHY ARE WE DOING IT?  It surely convicted me and in turn we will gain much about the wisdom of God.  Praise Jesus!

Jesus told us in JOHN 14:12 that greater “works” we shall do.  Partly because Jesus abides within us now and as we decrease He increases.  As a result, our “works” become submissive to His ways and in turn gives all glory to the Father through our own obedience.  What is amazing about this is – It can happen through many of us all at the same time, which was not possible when Jesus walked the Earth – hence, we do “greater” or rather “increased” works here in our day simultaneously.

We must take note on the fact that “MAN IS JUSTIFIED ONLY BY FAITH, NOT DEEDS OR WORKS” as written in ROMANS 3:27-28

So often we have been groomed to serve others to the point we are in direct disobedience into conflict with God.  Many of us, especially me, are learning how NOT TO go against our Lord in this way.  Again, like I said earlier – no matter what condition we are in at the moment, we are decreasing and He is increasing in us.  Therefore, some who SERVE BY NATURE as being halted and OTHERS WHO TAKE BY NATURE as learning to give of themselves.  It is a beautiful process we are in at the moment.

In this process, we are beginning to — Cast off the “works of darkness” in order to put on the armor of light.  (Which is Salvation) as stated in ROMANS 13:12, so that our “garments” are not defiled by the mingling of truth.

We have all at times “Boasted on our own works” written about in EPHESIANS 2:9, but thankfully just as written about the Church of Sardis the Holy Spirit is giving us the gift of repentance in this area, in order that we are worthy and well pleasing in the Father’s sight.

JAMES 2:26 says that “Faith without works is dead.”

  • These WORKS are not of the flesh, but rather of the Spirit
  • These WORKS do not perish with the flesh
  • Through these WORKS we have a securement of Salvation
  • Through these WORKS our faith in Jesus is perfected
  • Even devils have FAITH IN JESUS AND TREMBLE as stated in Vs. 19 – But these “works” are far more reaching that to just believe in Jesus

If we sow INTO THE FLESH – we will reap FLESH

If we sow INTO THE SPIRIT – we will reap SPIRIT

So please consider this when you assist another.

We must always consider the “source” of why we do something.  Is it self or spirit?

We can do something Spirit lead that will affect another’s flesh, but we cannot be lead by the flesh and expect to reap something Spiritual.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes our desire to be needed overrides what the Spirit is directing us to do.  And other times the Spirit is directing us to do more, but our flesh does not want to cooperate.  What we dwell on – we worship, so if we dwell on others more than Jesus, He is pulling us back on course to fixate solely on Him – then we cannot veer of the narrow path that few find.

We are simply in a beautiful process of learning how to walk by faith and not sight.

This is the dividing line between being chosen to serve or remain in a state of being served.

Remember – It was MARTHA who frantically said to Jesus – CAN’T YOU SEE how busy I am working Jesus?  Make my sister come help me.  And Jesus in His gentle way reminded her how she is WORRIED and UPSET about many things but that her sister Mary had CHOSEN (TO REST IN HIM) WHICH IS THE BETTER PART that will not be taken away.  You see – What was inside Martha (works) was coming out of her and there is no hiding from Jesus what is within.  He is calling us to REST IN HIM and TO RECEIVE OF HIM, where the yokes of burdens are easy and light.  How often the demands of others and this World we easily forget the BETTER PART – resting in Jesus.

Martha represents our FLESH WORKS

Mary represents our FAITH WORKS

Flesh works will all be burned up, however, our faith works will never be taken away.

This surely does confound the wise.

We collectively at COT/ROf recently did a mighty “work” in helping a precious sister and her mom who were in need.  And for all of those who assisted in making this happen, I want to honor you and thank you for your generous obedience to the Father.  This was a prime example of BEING LOVE one to another when one of our family is in need and it is precious.

Here is what happened…  A precious sister in the Lord, who cares for her sickly Mother just happened to mentioned how much they were suffering in the heat since they had no air conditioning.  She did not ask for assistance, except prayer to overcome this heat through Jesus.  Immediately, the Holy Spirit laid it upon my heart for us to come together as one in Jesus to make this happen for them, which we did and the Lord guided us the whole way, opening doors as we progressed in making arrangements for a unit to be delivered as soon as possible.

So, using this example we need to understand the “works” here was not that they got an air conditioner, but rather that her FAITH IN THE LORD INCREASED, knowing He loves her, cares about her well-being and will not forsake her – which is something she will carry with her always.  Even if the air conditioner breaks down, has to be thrown away – she will remember how the FATHER PROVIDED FOR HER and will do so again because HE LOVES HER, that embrace she will always have.

If we focus on the air conditioner – man gets the glory and once the air conditioner no longer works, the imprint it left will fade away too.

If we focus on the deed – The Lord gets all the glory, only He deserves and it is ever lasting – the better part and will never be taken away.

I know she was thankful and we receive her gratitude, always pointing back to Him – but in each email I reminded her it was all Him and we are nothing more than the vessels He used.  In one email I recall telling her to REMEMBER THIS ALWAYS AS AN EMBRACE FROM HIM TO KNOW SHE IS LOVED AND TO NEVER EVER FORGET IT.  She promised me she would.  And then a test came… To insure her walk matched her talk.  For now, I will leave it at that.

Anyone of us can and do many things for others each and every day, but if it is done for any other reason than for our Father to get the Glory – it is consider a “dead work.”  And just as 2 Peter 3:10 says, it will be burned up.  Some key indicators to look for are:  Do we expect a thank you in order that what we gave is “recognized” by the other person?  Are we keeping score, say with a spouse or child, reflecting on how unbalanced the giving and taking is in the relationship?  Do we give something to another expecting the Father to reimburse us 10 fold?  Or even at all?  When we give do we pat ourselves on the back thinking highly of ourselves, even if we do not murmur the thought to another?  There are many other examples, but you get my drift…  The focus is on SELF, not JESUS.

I want to transition a bit and in doing so we are going to go over HEBREWS 4:8-11 as follows:

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

  • There is a rest for God’s people
  • The Father displaying REST as an example for us to follow as He rested on the 7th day – when He completed the works of creation
  • This Scripture tells us to CEASE FROM OUR OWN WORKS as that is where we have rest in Him
  • We are to LABOR to enter into His rest or we will fall into unbelief – our WORKS should be to rest in Him
  • Again – as we WORK OUT OUR OWN SALVATION DAILY – We are becoming co-laborers with Jesus and that truly is the only labor that transfers from this mortal life into our eternal one.

Scripture tells us in HEBREWS 9:14 that we are to PURGE OURSELVES FROM DEAD WORKS TO SERVE JESUS.  I have a feeling He is doing this work inside many of us right now.  Praise the Lord!

JAMES 2:21 says that “Abraham demonstrated great WORKS when he placed Isaac on the alter” which equals to having FAITH IN THE FATHER.  Many of us have some “Isaac’s of our own” we need to place before God and trust Him intently and fully with these cares and concerns.  Me included.

Some of you all are feeling very similar to me lately, resembling the Church of Philadelphia In Revelation Chapter 3.  I am not going to read the whole portion but there are a few key elements I do want to point out.  One being, in Vs. 8 it says that “Only those who WORK out their Salvation enter through the Open Door.”  The open door is Jesus by the way.  But, it also says – SPEAKING TO THOSE WHO DO BELONG TO HIM:

  • We have LITTLE STRENGTH
  • KEPT HIS WORD
  • Have NOT DENIED HIS NAME

This is very telling as to what counts the most in the Kingdom of Heaven.  He is helping us to rest right now in Him while empowering us in this process to NOT DENY HIS NAME, WHILE WE KEEP HIS WORD.  Now that is something to be ever so thankful for right there!  The World says “stand up, be strong” while Jesus says “in your weakness, I am strong.”

Lastly, in Revelation 20:13 it says “The sea (of people) gives up the dead and everyone is judged according to their works.”  The “dead” or rather “tares” are removed first… Tares and their works are in vain and what remains?  Those in Faith.

Before we wrap it up – I just want to thank you all for staying with me during this study.  I know it is complex and cutting to the flesh and I so appreciate your willingness to walk on this narrow path with me.  Before I close, we are going to take a closer look into the Laodicea Church since we have many more precepts than when we first went over this particular gathering of multitudes.

Do you remember when the Lord told us to “Return to our first works?”  And how He compares that to returning to our “First love?”  Which is Him.  This is why – when we are deeply in love with Him, our eyes are focused on Him, we are so close to Him that what He does we will do, where He goes we will follow and what He says we will say.  In being one with Jesus, His way envelopes us to the point that where He ends we begin and vice versa… That is really – a “first love experience.”

So we can embrace the hurting, feed the poor, visit those in prison and do all the deeds of a Saintly calling just as we are commanded.  However, we must love Jesus above, how much we love assisting others.  We say we love Jesus more – but do we?  How many times must He keep asking us if we love Him, not because He doesn’t know, but rather so we can look inside and ask ourselves.  Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him and go figure, Peter proudly said yes and then denied Him three times, to be exact.  Seems there is a message in that as well.

Love is demonstrated, not just spoken.  I know you all probably get tired of me saying that, but I have my reasons.  I just pray you all can hear my heart in all this…  Because I am not saying we shouldn’t give to others, I am saying we need to give all we have to Jesus first then let Him flow out of us to others.

Righteousness only comes by faith, not in what we do or do not do.  This is an extremely hard concept to get, but with Lord’s patience we will overcome all things – especially ourselves.

I know you all are familiar with the Church of Laodicea mentioned in Revelation 3 but I want us to go over Vs. 15 real quick.

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Keeping in mind this is written TO THE CHURCH, not the World, it is important to know that our own works are cold and when mingled with a partial truth they become lukewarm.  This Scripture is telling us He would prefer we either do no works or do His works, but to mingle our own with His, will cause Him to spew us out of His mouth.  I was taught this Scripture was about being on “fire” for Jesus, as if the word “works” was not even in the verse.  Clearly, this verse speaks only of “works” which proves the point – WE ARE TO WORK OUT OUR SALVATION DAILY.

We are almost to the end of this study… finally!

Revelation 9 speaks directly about the 5th and 6th Angels that sound a trumpet releasing “woes” upon men on the Earth.

If we go down to the 6th Angel that sounded to release four angels upon the Earth to slay 1/3 of all men, I discovered something very interesting there…  Let’s take a look at Vs. 20 & 21:

20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

I do not think I ever noticed before how this Scripture is saying how serious it is for us if we DO NOT REPENT OF THE WORKS OF OUR OWN HANDS.  Notice it does not says repent of SINS here, but rather WORKS.  All has changed now in my view of truth regarding these works, after being shown by the Holy Spirit how serious the Father is about only Him receiving Glory for anything and everything.  I have been so convicted by this truth and am really ripped to shreds over it – which is a good thing, but it sometimes is painful when the Lord shows you what you thought you were doing “In His Name” was really for your own will and not His, equaling rebellion.

Even this study continues on with a pattern here that He has been giving us for the past year at least…  Which is:  Purging us from the PRIDE OF LIFE.

I pray this teaching has been a blessing to you all and that you will take it directly to the Father and ask Him to show you what He would have you to glean from it.  I pray also, that He will continue to decrease us daily so that He may increase within us until we are complete and whole that our joy may be made full in Him and Him Alone.  Help us Lord to stop measuring the pride in others, as a mechanism of denying our own.  May He give increase to the seeds I have planted until the day of Harvest which is growing exceedingly more near with each passing moment.  I give Him all honor and glory and praise for His long suffering nature which guides us on the path of truth so we may walk uprightly in the Spirit void of anything within us that opposes Him, as it is an honor to serve You Lord.  In Jesus’s magnificent Name I pray. Amen

May the Lord Bless You In His Love,

💗Angela~Marked By Heaven

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