SEVENTH SEAL LIBRARY

God's Truth Not Smooth Words

From Adversities to Blessings

©copyright 2006 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.

brief excerpt of Truth Gathering, Vol. II (not yet available)

 

AKJV-Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 ~~ paraphrased for comprehension~~ “Consider the work of God, who has established adversity to balance, which is to measure, your righteousness; so that, in the end, man will find nothing greater than God.”

No doubt Christians suffer adversity, at least until their true colors are revealed. Are they proven white as snow or are they found with Christ’s blood on their hands? True believers will suffer adversity throughout their lives. The tests, of course, begin small and, in time, the intensity increases. A test can be as simple as a problem with a coworker or  boss or  spouse or child, or a test can be as great as the death of a loved one or our own life threatened by another or health issues, such as diseases man considers deadly.

Just because we “say” we believe in God and believe in Jesus and love them both . . . well, anyone can say the words but only our behaviour validates or invalidates what we say. Adversity in our lives will validate or invalidate our claim of belief. Action. It takes action on our part. To believe that we don’t have to do anything to be saved, except to believe Jesus is the Son of God, is the greatest lie among Satan’s deadly arsenal. Anyone who hangs onto that lie is marked for slaughter.

Nehemiah 13:2 reminds us of God having brought curses upon Israel, due to their disobedience and defilement of both His Law and His temple. Bear in mind, the only Law with which God is concerned is that which He wrote with His own finger upon stone tablets. After Israel repented, God then turned their afflictions into blessings. There are numerous citations in the Old Testament of God giving blessings following adversities.

Acts 7:9-10 speaks of Joseph having been sold into Egypt’s slavery by his own brothers who envied him. God delivered Joseph from this undeserved adversity by bestowing the blessing of wisdom upon Joseph, which caused Egypt’s Pharaoh to find favor with him. This is an example of adversity that proves to serve the greater good.

II Timothy 3:1,10-12, 14-17 informs that all who live godly in Christ shall suffer afflictions and persecutions; however, the blessing in this type of adversity is that it makes the afflicted one wise about salvation and faith, this latter as demonstrated by Jesus in every way, including His crucifixion.

II Timothy 4:5 urges that we endure afflictions, and rightly so when referring back to Ecclesiastes 7:13-14; for afflictions are the scale by which God determines our level of righteousness. Is it equal to God’s righteousness? Is it equal to Christ’s righteousness? Will we stand through the adversity in a righteous manner, that is to give good for evil, or will we succumb by giving evil for evil?

Jesus informed us, “Be as perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect.” We literally are expected to become “more righteous than the Pharisees.” And, we are consistently tested until we reach God’s level of righteousness; after which we can be presented as a chaste bride to our chaste Groom.

Paul noted in II Corinthians 12:7, these tribulations also are considered thorns meant to keep us humble, in short having come to understand that there is nothing and no one greater than God; where as, having received great gifts of the Spirit might cause one to become arrogant: a sinful attitude of determining self as more special to God than, say, the next person, when no one person is more special than another, and of presenting an attitude of being more knowledgeable than another.

While the latter might be true in many cases, especially if the person is teaching others who do not yet know those things, it is a sin to think of self as more knowledgeable in that the knowledge did not come from self; therefore, it would be akin to setting up self as God: another “weightier matter” of the sin of idolatry. We are nothing and know nothing, save and except the Holy Spirit gives us ALL wisdom and knowledge of God; thus, in all respects the wisdom and knowledge is God’s, making us as nothing more than a vehicle by which He delivers His Truths. The glory is God’s and only God’s.

Reasons for Adversity: the Bible states that we as Christians are “tried in earth’s furnace” until God can see Himself in us. Adversities and afflictions in our lives are the fire of earth’s furnace. Much like raw silver is refined by fire in order to remove waste material, thus revealing the beauty of silver in its purity, so we are refined by fire to remove sin in our lives to reveal the purity of God in us. Accepting as well as enduring those flames then assures us an eternal place in God’s perfect kingdom. Let us look at the reasons for adversity and afflictions of whatsoever nature:

1. To balance the righteous. Adversity reminds Christ’s chosen that, prior to accepting salvation, we were no different than all the wicked in the world. Adversity caused by others also teaches us what behaviours God “hates with a perfect [justified] hate,” that we also come to abhor those sinful ways, making certain we do not do those things again in the remainder of our lifetime. Finally, the evil in this world highlights its opposite, Love, therefore giving us clarity about what is love and how it should NOT act and/or speak.

The recent adversity of their Amish children being murdered in their classroom gave the world an opportunity to witness how love should act and speak: these deaths, then, were for the greater good of the Christian world. However, there also is a personal lesson for the Amish to learn, for they still defy a specific precept in God’s Law.

2. To correct disobedience. A previous lesson found Jesus stating, “You have not chosen me, I have chosen you.” Therefore, as one chosen, we come to Christ riddled with sin and knowing only the basics of His Father’s Doctrine; therefore, while we repent of that which we already know, there remains the weightier matters of God’s Law, of which Jesus spoke but very few Christian leaders have been teaching it.

If we sin unknowingly, then adversity is sent to correct and teach; for we must be presented to the Groom as a chaste virgin when He returns to claim His bride. Otherwise, we would be as the virgins who did not have enough oil for their lamps and were left behind. In other words, our growth into perfection remained incomplete; and, it would remain that way by the choices we make, for in all things we still have the power of choice. So, we either continue to grow by learning and applying what we learn, or we stagnate to ultimately perish.

3. To reveal a greater purpose; as was the case with Joseph and the Amish. Joseph’s adversity was having been sold into slavery for no reason, other than his brothers’ sin of envy/coveting; the greater purpose was to prevent famine in the future, which would have adversely affected his immediate family as well as all of Egypt. Therefore, what might appear as adversity to us, such as losing a home or job, might in fact be occurring for God’s greater purpose: His way of putting us where He needs us to be at any given time. The event of 9/11 should have been a wakeup call for every weak Christian.

Christ’s true sheep see beyond adversity, rather than focusing on adversity. To focus on adversity is to wallow in misery, play the oh-woe-is-me game in the midst of a pity party where a bowl provides pity pills in abundance; but, to see beyond adversity is to know and understand that blessings are waiting on the other side: so, true sheep focus on the expected blessings and this in itself gives them the strength to get through each event; and, they become even stronger with each fire they pass through.

4. To strengthen an anointed ministry. Jesus remained strong in His Father during His short ministry, despite constant persecution and false accusations. Why did He remain strong? Father had told Him to expect to be called a blasphemer, to expect to be accused of doing the Devil’s work, to expect to be labeled a false prophet. So, when persecutions and false accusations began, Christ only grew stronger in those attacks; for they merely confirmed He was doing exactly what His Father wanted Him to do and it was playing out exactly as He had been told it would.

Christ’s executioners unwittingly confirmed that He spoke only His Father’s Truth, and they confirmed to the world that He was, indeed, the Son of God. And, when they hung Him on a cross, He was by then strong enough to endure the death of His body, because He knew His Father would resurrect Him from the dead. After all, everything Father had told Him had proven to be absolute Truth, so there was no reason for Him to doubt.

This is the true test of faith, extreme faith, the spiritual gift of faith. While all Christians are given a “measure of faith,” it takes the “gift of faith” to die for anyone. We who have a measure learn the depths of faith from they who have the spiritual gift of faith; Jesus being the first to have been anointed with this gift: so, we learn from Him and, later, Christ’s Apostles. We learn and grow and exercise our faith until it becomes the gift, or we give up and fall away. John instructed in Revelation that we must take on “the faith OF Christ,” that extreme faith motivating us to die for Christ (see “Faith Times Seven”).

Therefore, when Christ gives us a ministry on His behalf, He already has told us to expect to be treated just as He was treated and that, in the end, some Truth Speakers will die for Him; but, we are assured of the first resurrection, so we have no fear of false accusations, of being labeled blasphemers and false prophets, and no fear of what man can do to our bodies. We know these vile acts validate God’s Seal upon our forehead and a curse upon those who falsely accuse us. Thus, we bless them instead of cursing them. God does the latter, for He said, “It is to your good, and to them a curse.”

5. To instill humility. Paul was the one who pointed this out to us and described the adversities he suffered as a “thorn in my side.” Paul was not one of the twelve Apostles; he was, in fact, chosen as one of the seven ministers to replace Stephen after he was stoned to death. As we all know, Paul was a Pharisee and devote in his religion therefore approving persecution of Christians, who at the time seemed to him to be heretics.

Saul’s absolute devotion was why Christ chose Saul-called-Paul to the Gentile ministry; and, by this selection, Jesus bestowed greater gifts upon Paul than even the Apostles had received. Paul’s unlimited knowledge of God’s Laws and Ordinances as well as those great spiritual gifts easily could have caused Paul to become very arrogant when teaching the Gentiles, who knew absolutely nothing except their own pagan backgrounds.

As a persecutor, Paul was wholly undeserving; thus, Christ told him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” We are no different than Paul. In fact, as former pagans, we are even less deserving; at least Paul believed in God from the beginning; therefore, when we are selected because of some specific knowledge we already have, then are given spiritual gifts to enhance that knowledge for God, it is necessary to have thorns in our side as reminders of where we came from and who really has the power: GOD! In short, there is no one greater than God.

6. To strengthen endurance for perilous times. The more professed Christians endure, the stronger they become each time they pass out of the flames. Or, they turn away from God to avoid the flames; therefore, adversity serves as a garden hoe removing weeds from God’s field of wheat, critically so in this last church age of Laodicea; for Christ’s harvest is about to occur. Those who refuse to endure represent goats who were masquerading as either shepherds or sheep. These will never enter the gates of heaven but, unbeknownst to them, they reveal Christ’s true sheep.

Look at how much Christ endured in order to show us God’s love and promise of redemption. If endurance means death of our flesh body, of which the true sheep have no fear, then we are assured of being in the first resurrection and forever living in paradise. We are living in the most perilous church age, the last one, and this means Satan is in a desperate, foot stomping, violent rage, his cruelty surpassing our wildest imagination. But, know this: our enemies, our attackers, appear to be Christians.

Lucifer knows his time is just about up and he is determined to take down as many sheep as he can. In many ways, he achieves this goal when he physically attacks a true sheep; for those masquerading as sheep then refuse to accept the true sheep’s warnings, more fearful of what Satan will do to them than they are of what God will do to them for having been traitors to God and His Son. Never once do they consider that they have just condemned themselves to being judged twice dead: death of both the body and spirit.

7. To serve as a testimony to God’s sovereignty and infinite power.  True sheep endure and rejoice in all adversities upon them, thus revealing to everyone not only God’s loving and giving character but also His infinite power to overcome evil in this world; whether it be physical or verbal attacks. After all, we could not endure, and certainly not in rejoicing, were it not for having the mind of Christ (see “The Mind of Christ”). As a result, Christ’s true sheep bear fruit of righteous behaviour, as evidenced by obedience to ALL of God’s Law, as well as bearing the fruit of finding and returning either lost sheep and/or those sheep still in the midst of Revelation’s great whore and her harlot daughters.

Don’t forget who these fallen women are: they are the antichrist but appear to be Christ’s church, wolves in sheep’s clothing, as it were. Be reminded of Paul’s warning, “Do not be surprised that Satan can manifest himself as an angel of Light and that his ministers can do the same.” Everything about the Bible relates to the church, not the world as a whole.

From Adversity to Blessings: What are the blessings on the other side of the flames through which we pass time and time again? They are: 

1) God’s existence and power is proven to us every time;

2) We become more righteous, this is to say more obedient to and have great love for His Law, until God can see Himself in us;

3) Our measure of faith begins to grow into a gift of faith;

4) Our strength in God’s Word grows in wisdom concerning salvation and faith until it becomes unshakable and can be taught in Truth, whereas in the beginning it was wobbly and easily questioned with each wayward wind;

5) While we may own nothing of value, we have everything we need of shelter and food and clothing and brethren;

6) We receive valuable gifts of the Spirit to use for God in our ministry on His behalf, these same giving us a good understanding of ALL things (see “God Says, ALL”); and,

7) We discover our particular mission and its ministry moves forth in strength, despite being surrounded by darkness and naysayers and false accusations and even Satan’s attacks against our body and/or by those who claim to be Christians.

It never ceases to amaze this pen for God: every time the Holy Spirit provides a lesson to be shared, the rudiments of it always end up equaling God’s perfect number: seven reasons for adversity and seven blessings for passing through all those painful fires. Just imagine if they were real flames, such as when Daniel and his cohorts were cast into the king’s great oven! Yet, because of their absolute faith in the God they served, they emerged from that oven unscathed and so can we.

There also are thorns in this pen’s side, and justifiably so; and, God has increased my strength through each adversity, even the attacks against my body (see “Blessings in Disguise”) or my financial status (see “One Amazing Day”); and, like every Truth Speaker, I am frequently accused, either in writing or face-to-face, of being a blasphemer and false prophet and doing the Devil’s work: this is where the unshakable part comes in. How kind of them to validate God’s Seal upon my forehead. Even better, though, God always gives me the capacity to see a bit of humor in each battle Satan has waged against me, reducing me to laughter: health to the marrow of my bones.

 

The point of this lesson: do not focus on the adversity that you may be in the midst of in any given moment, else you will wallow in self-pity and die; focus instead on the blessings to come, focus with expectation and assurance that there will be blessings waiting when you step from that particular fire. By focusing forward and expecting those miracles, we actually come out of the fire much quicker and not nearly as burned as we might have been.

 

As God said, “I put before you life and death; choose life.” To put this in context with adversity, some adversities might be what man calls deadly diseases and the doctors may have told you that you are dying. God’s opinion does not always agree with man’s. So, in this case, look forward by choosing life and claiming life despite all odds. We might die anyway, but as long as we choose life it will be according to God’s timetable instead of man’s.

 

“Consider the work of God, who has established adversity to balance, which is to measure, your righteousness; so that, in the end, man will find nothing greater than God.”

 

~~ end article

 

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22 October 2006 - Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Bible Study, Blessings, Brain Aneurysms, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Church, Death, Diety, Divinity, Evil, Faith, God, Grace, Health, Holy Spirit, Jehovah, Jesus, Love, Lupus, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Redemption, Religion, Remnant, Resurrection, Salvation, Seal, Sign, Spiritual, Spiritual Study, Ten Commandments, Truth, Virgins

2 Comments »

  1. Thank YOU, Brian. I pray that it helped in some small measure.

    Much love in Christ,
    BonnieQ

    Comment by bonnieq | 30 October 2006 | Reply

  2. Bonnieq,
    thanks for the article.

    Comment by Brian | 30 October 2006 | Reply


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