A LIVING Hope...

The unbelieving “Christians” will persecute us for our faith in this coming time ...but we are to die to sin in the face of their temptations as they will seek for us to render evil for their evil.

Their persecutions and tribulations will be the manifest token (remember the mark of Cain) of the righteous judgment of God. For them, it is an “evident token” or an indication of perdition… perishing, ruin, loss, etc. But unto us, it is an indication of our salvation and that of God. Because we are given from God not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake. But the temporary troubles will be achieving for us an age-lasting glory that far outweighs them all. Our souls....the thoughts of our hearts...shall be troubled by their evil speaking of us.

Philippians 1:28-30 KJV
(28) And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
(29) For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
(30) Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

We shall be persecuted for our faith in Him when we leave the companies of the “unbelievers”….the unbelieving in our churches. What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

So that the WORLD may know that we love the Father, we are to hear His commandment: “Arise, let us go hence”. We must come out from among them and be separate so that the world shall see His glory manifest in us and praise Him. They will not understand this and will speak evil of us as though we are evil doers.

John 14:31 KJV
(31) But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Those who will persecute us will be of our very own “household”….. “Christians” who will not believe in what the Spirit is saying to the churches. They will be tormented with “fire and brimstone” as their tongues shall speak evil of us….calling us “evil doers” for leaving their assemblies. The tongue is a fire that sets itself on fire of "hell".

The word “brimstone” means “divine”…..which indicates that this will be “manifest token” of the RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD upon them. By enduring their persecutions, we also participate in the sufferings of Christ as they will test our faith in what we have heard the Spirit saying.

If we suffer with Him, then we shall share in His glory as the life of Jesus shall be made manifest in our mortal flesh. But they….the unbelieving persecutors… will be shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-6 KJV
(4) So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

“Brimstone” = divine= righteous judgment of God.

(5) Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer

It is a righteous thing (brimstone=divine) with God to recompense tribulation to them that will trouble us with their malicious words (the “fire”).

(6) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you

We are to “rest” with all of the apostles and prophets when we are troubled by the persecutions of unbelieving “Christians”. We are to hear the words of all the apostles and prophets and believe and enter in to His peace.

The unbelievers will hear their words as interpreted by Christ (their WORDS as interpreted by Christ are the “holy angels”…the holy messengers of Truth) and will be “tormented” by what they will hear because of unbelief.

They will not enter into His peace when they will hear the Word of Truth for they will not agree with it and become agitated and be full of wrath and will speak evil. The tongue is a FIRE that defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of “hell”….or Gehenna.

The wicked will not have peace as the “smoke of their torment” shall continue to rise up into the face of our God as they will continually provoke Him. “These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” The wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud as they will NOT BELIEVE in what they hear.

(7) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
(8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

These will be shut out from the glory of His power. They have no inheritance in this earth. The brightness of His coming in His believers will cause their wickedness to completely come to a stop.

(9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

For He shall come to be glorified in His BELIEVING saints as His life shall appear in them. We, the “first fruits”, shall believe the testimony of all the apostles and prophets as we expect His life to appear in and through us.

(10) When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

We are to believe and not render evil for evil when persecuted as Jesus did not revile when He was reviled. He suffered when He was threatened and did no evil as they crucified Him along with their evil railings upon Him. We must be counted worthy of His calling by doing good to all and having the work faith with power.

(11) Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
(12) That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are CALLED to follow in His steps and partake of His suffering as the unbelieving “Christians” shall try our faith in Him. It will be a “fiery trial” of our faith but we are to follow Him and be “dead to sins”….evil speaking….so we should LIVE unto righteousness.

1 Peter 2:21-25 KJV
(21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
(22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
(23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
(24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

For we were as sheep going astray when we once listened to the false prophets who did lead us away from keeping the “daily sacrifice” and unto their broad way toward our destruction of the flesh.

(25) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

The preaching of the cross (dying to sin as He did upon the cross) is foolishness to them that are perishing. By dying to sin in the face of their persecutions is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV
(18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

We preach Christ crucified. Unto them that are CALLED by Him, it is the POWER of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 KJV
(23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
(24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

The unbelieving “Christians” shall be “tormented” by what they will hear. The words of Christ who interprets the Scriptures (the words of all the biblical saints who wrote of what they heard and saw) for our understanding are the “holy angels”.

He will open up our understanding the Scriptures. It will not conform to their religious thoughts and beliefs. It will not conform to their earthly wisdom. The Word of God spoken in Truth and sincerity will cause them to be full of wrath. Being irritated by what they will hear the Spirit speaking, they will speak evil in their response. They will be tormented with “fire and brimstone” in the presence of the Lamb….for we shall follow Him (the Lamb) and keep His sacrifice in the face of their persecutions which will cause them to be very angry at us. The “roaring lion” will go about seeking whom he may destroy by persecutions. They will want us to return evil for their evil….but those who keep the sacrifice of the Lamb will not. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

Revelation 14:10-13 KJV
(10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

They will not have peace as they behave in their wickedness. They will be like a smoke rising up continually as they will continue their wrath, evil speaking and persecutions against us and against God. If any man among us seems to be religious but does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Let us not follow after their evil ...their pernicious ways...but follow that which is good.

(11) And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

We are to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus as they will persecute us.

(12) Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Blessed are the “dead” which die in the Lord from henceforth...during their persecutions. Blessed are those who will suffer with Him by dying to sin. We shall have peace. We shall rest from our labors and our works shall follow us…..for if we suffer with Him, we shall also partake of His coming glory. The wicked will not have peace but the righteous shall enter into His peace...finding green pastures to lie down on.

(13) And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

For their persecutions shall just be a “little while”. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be.

Psalms 37:10-15 KJV
(10) For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

(11) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

But the wicked shall continuously behave badly towards any who will have faith in Jesus and keep the commandments of God. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in their companies. They will not have peace. They will not have joy any longer for God shall cut off their joy. They will be enraged at the just and will gnash upon them with their teeth as they will speak evil of them.

(12) The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
(13) The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
(14) The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
(15) Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken

The meek shall inherit the earth for they shall have His life and live to inherit it. They will humble themselves under the mighty power (hand) of God. Suffering as Jesus did upon the cross is the POWER OF GOD. He shall exalt us in due time.

1 Peter 5:6-12 KJV
(6) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
(7) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

We are to be vigilant about it for they shall persecute us as a roaring lion which walks about seeking whom he may devour.

(8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We are to resist them steadfast in our faith knowing that others in the world will also be sharing in the same kind of persecutions. They will be in the “world” for they will have left their churches for His sake and the good news.

(9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

By His grace, He CALLS us unto His “eternal glory” by Christ Jesus….for Christ Jesus suffered upon the cross. We also are to suffer with Him so that after we have suffered for a while, He will make us complete and will establish, strengthen and settle us. His life shall appear in our mortal flesh to His glory. When He shall appear, we shall also appear in glory.

(10) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
(11) To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
(12) By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand

Let us not render evil for their evil when their persecutions shall arise. The man of sin shall reveal himself and we are not to “kill them” with evil speaking when they will speak evil of us as evil doers. Remember the mark set upon Cain….as their persecutions shall be the manifest token of their perdition.

Genesis 4:13-15 KJV
(13) And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
(14) Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
(15) And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him

We shall be “scattered throughout” because we shall leave their company….their churches….their assemblies…for the faith in Christ whose life we are expecting to appear in us. We are to have peace multiplied unto us....as well as His grace.

1 Peter 1:1-11 KJV
(1) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
(2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Because of His mercy, He begats us again unto a LIVING HOPE by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. What religious-sounding men have been preaching is a dead hope which we have to die first. But now we hear something that brings us LIVING HOPE in the here and now. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in us, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to our MORTAL BODIES because of His Spirit who lives in us....in the here and now. This is truly a LIVING HOPE now.

(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

We have an inheritance reserved in “heaven” for us. NO, we do NOT die and go to heaven to receive that inheritance which is “eternal life”. It is in “heaven” that we have heard the promise that He promised us: eternal life. The “heaven” is the air in which His words…His knowledge…travels to our ears. It comes from above to our ears by the hearing of the Spirit. We are to be born from above…for His words come to our ears which are above our own hearts….the thoughts that are in them.

(4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

We hear His promise in "heaven" and have FAITH in what we have heard. We are kept by the POWER OF GOD through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. We keep the daily sacrifice of Christ as we will not render evil for their evil. This is the power of God that keeps us here. We have a LIVING HOPE.

(5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

We shall be tempted to return evil for their evil but we are to keep the faith in the face of their persecutions so that we might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ whose life shall appear in our mortal bodies.

(7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
(8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

We shall receive the completion of our faith….even the salvation of our souls…for our souls shall be troubled by their persecutions. The thoughts of our hearts (our souls) shall be troubled as they shall try our faith in what we have heard the Spirit speaking from heaven.

(9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
(10) Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

We are to participate in the sufferings of Christ so that our works shall follow us…for His glory shall follow after our sufferings. Our sufferings shall be nothing compared to the glory that shall follow.

(11) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Our souls shall be saved…..for we shall have EXCEEDING JOY when His glory shall be revealed in our mortal flesh. Our souls shall have been troubled with all of their persecutions…but we shall forget all of those troubles when His life shall appear. We are to glorify Him when we are evil spoken of by always keeping His daily sacrifice by dying to sin that wants to come out of our mouths in the face of their persecutions.

1 Peter 4:12-14 KJV
(12) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
(13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
(14) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Our souls shall be troubled and they shall rejoice in their evil behaviors as they join together in their wrath against us. But our sorrow shall be turned into joy as His life shall appear in our mortal flesh and NO MAN will be able to take away our joy. Our “souls”…our troubled thoughts…shall be saved by the appearing of His life to our exceeding joy.

John 16:20-22 KJV
(20) Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
(21) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

(22) And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.