But First, Consecration

Tuesday night- “Engage the Battle” week – consecration

“But First, Consecration”

Deuteronomy 20:2-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: ‘Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be cowardly. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’

Let’s talk about this battle. If it were in the days of Braveheart, we would sharpen our bows, put on our war paint and go to fight. We would know what we were fighting for. But this is a different kind of battle and quite frankly, one that American Christians have not had to fight in a few generations.

We are living in a post-Christian society. We are no longer a Christian nation. What does this mean? Our society, our morals, our laws are no longer governed and dictated by the statutes of the Word of God. They are dictated by our surrounding society and its morals, values and the world’s philosophies. God’s hand is removed off America and we are a nation under judgment- God is giving us over to our own ways and the church has been sick and lifeless to restrain what needed to be restrained.

Keep this in mind as we talk this week about engaging the battle. What does it mean to “engage the battle”? First, to engage means that we are involved, we are participants in the battle that is raging on around us. We cannot sit by idly, we cannot hibernate into self-preservation mode. WE must engage. The Christian way of life is under attack and we will be more and more persecuted for our beliefs.  If you do nothing, say nothing and do not engage; you may be fine before men. But you will not be able to stand before God  AND, If you are looking for easy ministry in a post-Christian culture, you are unrealistic in your outlook.

Jude 3-4 Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.

Good works are not under attack- the Word of God is under attack. THE Christian way of living is under attack. The way we gather, the things we believe and hold dear, the Word of God and the deity of Jesus. 

And so Jude tells us, “Contend for the faith!” Not “your faith or my faith”, not “my ministry” but THE faith. The words of Scripture and doctrines, tenets, ways and precepts that have been around for 2000 years—and suddenly this generation is the one that knows better and is self-aware. On the basis of the Word of God, there is such a thing as apostasy and when we see a real turning away from God, we are not faithful to the Word of God unless we call it what it is. We must call apostasy, apostasy. If we do not speak out against sin and unrighteousness, we are not ready for revival. WE are cowardly mice and God will not revive mice.

The world and many Christians have made a Frankenstein Jesus, “my personal relationship with Jesus”. Christianity is individual in that each man must be converted and born again, but it is not individualistic. Grace flows sideways. Salvation is of A PEOPLE and our relationship to the Body is of the utmost importance.

The world is telling us how, when, where, under what conditions we can worship, and the rebellious, individualistic Christians are getting on board. I was so grieved at how many were excited when the government closed down churches, “The church has left the building” and said things like, “The NT church only met in houses”. Most Americans would never had made it under the Roman Empire. The church met DAILY, in homes, in temples, in Greek schools, in the catacombs. They gave up everything to be together. For 2000 years the church has been meeting in buildings. Do we go back to diapers and sucking our thumbs and taking a bottle, because “That’s how we did in our beginning stages”? The church was meant to grow and develop and mature. The local church is God’s idea- not man’s.

Many inside and outside the church are rewriting the Word of God, twisting and manipulating God’s Word and telling us we are closed-minded, ignorant, intolerant, legalistic, racist, bigoted, 20-25% of confessing Christians have a biblical world view- consecration

Modern Christians turn grace into licentiousness and continue to live a life of sin and rebellion and think that their good works is good enough 

Jeremiah 7:8-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 23:11 “for both prophet and priest are profane; yes in My house I have found their wickedness” says the Lord.”

It is a horrible thing to dwell in wickedness if you are one of God’s people, but to bring wickedness into the house of God is a double sin. 

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous[a] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[b] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers (those who use scornful abusive language, false accusers), nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

We must have a revival if the church is going to be victorious in these last days. But before we have revival, there must be a reformation. Revival speaks to a life brought into proper relationship with the Holy Spirit. Reformation speaks to a return to the teachings of Scripture. The church must return to pure doctrine in order for the power of the Holy Spirit to be realized in the lives of the people. There can be no true revival unless there has been reformation; and reformation is not complete without revival.

We must treat men with love; but we must not, cannot tone down our message! And speaking lightly of what is serious, is serious. You cannot tell of His love without telling of us wrath and judgment. And we cannot think that we will be accepted by this culture if we preach the true Word of God. That is foolishness. To preach the truth of the word of God is to experience the price of the cross of Christ, and to be hated by all for His name’s sake.

Question yourself: if you see the Word of God diminished as it is today and are not moved to tears and indignation, I wonder if you can even see clearly of the day in which we live? Not just an anger over our liberties being taken away. If we can see how His Word is treated and are not filled with sorrow and do not cry out, “Do you understand your end?”—I wonder: do you love His Word? If we fight these battles without emotional involvement, do you really love God? The church is currently the greatest and hardest mission field- not unlike the days of Jeremiah

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Christianity is not a modern success story. It is to be preached with love and tears into the hearts of men, preached without compromise and without regards to the world’s concept of success. We may not ever see the results; but it does not change God’s imperative- preach the Word and contend for the faith no matter what the cost.  Our confidence is in the Lord and we need not be ashamed of the gospel and the answers it gives to men! 

Romans 1:16 ESV 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[b] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Not worldly wisdom and philosophy, nor the world’s ways and successes—God’s power to make a sinner a new creation and the power of God to overcome every sin, every thought, every arrow the enemy will shoot our way, every division that has come since the fall. The gospel speaks to every need of man

But that is not what I want to do here tonight. – consecration

Before we can enter this spiritual battle- we need to consecrate ourselves anew to the Lord. The church has been lukewarm and apathetic. As in the days of the Laodicean church, the lukewarm cannot see clearly- the lukewarm are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. (elaborate on judgment of the people. Preacher who preached on this church in a joking manner)

WE need to look at ourselves through the lens of Scripture, with a sober mind. If the churches in Revelation show us anything, we cannot diagnosis our own heart. We deceive ourselves. We must allow God to diagnosis our true condition.

Many have lived according to their own desires and autonomous ways. We have done what we want with our time, money, the gifts the Lord has given us, we have forsaken the church, the gathering of the brethren, preferring to do what we want; we have used money for our own purposes and desires- not rendering to God what is His and so have robbed Him in tithes and offerings, we have fornicated with God’s people, wanting fellowship but refusing to submit and recognize the godly authority placed over us, misusing the beautiful and precious gifts of the Holy Spirit to manipulate others; we have been greedy and selfish, self-centered and controlled by fear instead of the Spirit. We have disobeyed the Lord’s laws and precepts and blasphemed His name by saying, “I am free to do all these things” and because He is a merciful and long-suffering God, we have taken advantage of His kindness

consecration

Joshua 3:5 AMPC “And Joshua said to the people, sanctify yourselves [that is, separate yourselves for a special holy purpose], for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

If God is going to have revival among us and do BIG things, wonders among us as I have been praying for—then we must consecrate ourselves for His holy purpose. Consecrate means to “set apart”, it is to be holy unto the Lord. There is a call to holiness in these last days, without holiness no man shall see God. Joshua and all of Israel consecrated themselves to the Lord, but one man’s sin affected the whole Army.

Achan’s sin affect the entire nation of Israel in Joshua 7:1, God said that the Israelites acted unfaithfully and His anger burned “against Israel”. The nation as a whole was in a covenant relationship with God and when one member transgressed that covenant, the entire nation’s relationship with Him was damaged. Achan’s sin defiled the other members of the community as well as himself. Our covenant with God is with each other, and me personally want to know who I can/cannot trust to go to battle with

Revelation 22:12-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

14 Blessed are those who wash their robes,[a] so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

IN other translations, it reads “Blessed are those who obey His commandments”. Here , we have a benediction which echoes the blessing promised to obedience in v.7,9 “keep the words of this book”.  The special blessing held out to those who wash their robes (or do His commandments) is the right or authority over the tree of life. Admission into the city by the gate, and the continuous access to the tree of life, are the privileges of the faithful who overcome sin and this present world by the blood of the Lamb.

He is examining our hearts and minds- we are being sifted and refined and the enemy needs but only a crack. I had a hard time taking communion on Sunday because I felt how unworthy I am before Him. Like Isaiah, “I am undone”. It was MY offense that sent Him to the cross. The impurities that still reside in my heart, the wicked thoughts I have. My times of rebellion and idolatry of comfort. So many partake without a thought of how they might be trampling on the blood of Jesus and re-crucifying Him and so they deceive themselves. 

consecration

Here are a few things we need to repent for:

Forgive me for loving anything more than I love You and Your things. 

1 John 2:15 (ESV) 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Forgive me for seeking things more than I seek for You. Forgive my divided heart

Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV) 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Forgive me for wanting and desiring anything more than I want and desire Your Word. 

1 Peter 2:2 (ESV) Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—

Forgive me for putting other things first in my life, ahead of You. Church of Ephesus- the church of good works, but left their first love. 

Revelation 2:2-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. God’s diagnosis.

The battle is only going to intensify and get hotter. You must be consecrated wholly to the Lord. I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Get your house in order”

There is a holy remnant coming out of this. There is a strong spirit of deception, “even the elect can be deceived:” You will never stand firm with a divided heart. You must operate in obedience. Get rid of all rebellion and disobedience and idols of comfort. Examine your heart. Check your intentions and motives. Cast off all sin—even the thought of sin.

SUBMISSION> The Lord showed me that victory is found in our submission.

Submit to God. Some cannot resist the devil because they are not wholly submitted to God
Husbands and wives need to be united as one- on the same page with no divisions. Husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church, wives submit to our husbands.

Submit to the godly authority. If you are not under the authority of leadership and submitted to a Body, you are not submitted to God and you are fooling yourself. You are rogue.

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Submit to the Word- “comfortable Christianity” will not do

Submit to one another. What you do/do not do affects the whole.

Holiness to the Lord- engraved on the high priest’s garment. A holy NATION. A holy Body, dedicated to Him and one another. Consecrated and set apart for these last days.

Romans 6:19 New King James Version (NKJV) 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness [a]for holiness.

2 Corinthians 7:1 New King James Version (NKJV) Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Romans 12:1 New King James Version (NKJV) 12 I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service.

Isaiah 35:8 English Standard Version (ESV) And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.[a]

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