I’ve been studying the Book of Mark for a number of weeks now and have been getting verses together to write on spiritual bread. This study has been very in depth so I would like to apologize to my readers for taking so long to get this blog entry posted. Throughout this entry I am using different translations of the Word to convey my points. As always I encourage you to use whichever translation you are most comfortable with. I prefer to use KJV, NKJV and the NLT for my studies.
While compiling verses and doing study, I had to carefully reflect on what the Lord desired I write about and when you write about something so in depth you have to make sure you are being thorough and also it involves waiting for revelations on certain verses when studying and so that is why it has took me a while to get this written though I make mention of it in a brief recording I did on my podcast called ‘a brief update’ where I made mention of some projects I was working on. Not to get too far off topic and to segue in to this writing, while doing this, the Lord spoke to me one evening to review Mark 13.
This time when studying Mark 13, verse 2 stood out to me over everything else. I had seen this verse many times before but I always looked at it in regards to buildings being destroyed in the end times by means of destruction due to war. I’m sure it does mean that and also has meaning in regards to the destruction of the Lord’s temple, but I have said before that I believe certain verses can carry more than one meaning and I praise God for giving me revelation on the meaning behind this verse which I have admittedly overlooked before. This doesn’t mean I ignored it. I just didn’t really think much of it in terms of what it could mean previously with regard to spiritual foundation -being strong in our walk and our testimony; standing strong in our faith in the face of much adversity.
This verse spoke to me in regards to the spiritual foundations being demolished or not withstanding in the coming times and while I initially was only writing on spiritual bread, I felt led to write about keeping our foundation in the Lord by consuming that spiritual bread as in feeding the spirit with God’s Word and our actions which I will be explaining here.
For reference, when we read Mark 13:2, Jesus said;
Mark 13: 2 (KJV)
2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Now when we further take a look at Matthew 24:2, in the KJV translation, ‘things’ and ‘stones’ are referenced;
Matthew 24:2 (KJV)
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Now in contrast, the NLT references buildings again, but also the ‘stones’;
Mark 24:2 (NLT)
2 But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
Not done just yet with cross-referencing! Now let’s take a look at Luke 21:5-6 to compare (and I mention verse 5 as well so as to not take it out of context);
Luke 21:5-6 (KJV)
5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
Some bible scholars may say that this verse pertains to God’s Holy temple which I mentioned in my opening, because not only verse 5 in Luke 21 but also when you cross reference this verse, we read in Daniel 9:26;
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
This is not just the building or church; The sanctuary being destroyed is God’s temple and we as His followers make up His body and are His Holy temple and this is why I believe these verses have deeper meaning than what appears on the surface. This would also make sense when looking at the part of Daniel 9:26 where it says ‘the messiah shall be cut off but not for himself and ‘the people of the ‘prince’ shall destroy the city and sanctuary.’ This is a meaning of persecution and destruction where it comes to the Lord’s Holy people and the destruction once the object of desolation comes onto the scene and attempts to abolish all that is of God.
Psalm 11:2-3 (KJV) reads;
2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. 3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
We can admit now that while those foundations are being destroyed (calling good evil and evil good and so forth), but there is still much we can do to remain firm in our foundation in the Lord -the foundation established is our faith. Having Jesus in our heart and walking with Him is the establishing of this foundation as Christ is the Cornerstone of the foundation.
When I write on the events coming or show you what is going on in the world and when I talk about them in my podcast, it is to help you recognize where things are and in doing this, I’m having faith that folks who will hear and see what I’m showing them will pull on them to call on the name of the Lord and walk with Him so that they be saved. I show these and talk about them but on the flipside give you the solution to them because that is what I feel I am being led to do. That solution is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ -there is no other way.
Outside of Jesus we can’t do what initially seems impossible on our own but when we have Christ in our lives and we love Him with all of our heart, our soul and strength, He helps us build that foundation on Him and we become unshakeable even when everything that can be shaken is being torn down around us -and we can all now see there is a lot of shaking going on.
Luke 10:27 (KJV)
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Ephesians 2: 19-22 (NKJV)
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
You see that when you look at Ephesians 2:19-22 above, there are the words ‘temple’ and ‘building’ again. You also see the word ‘foundation.’ This scripture demonstrates Christ as the cornerstone that is the start of the foundation and as we are built up in Him, we become the temple of the living God. Once we call on Jesus to come into our hearts and establish, the building of the temple begins on the cornerstone and we then become part of that temple built on the firm foundation and by remaining in the Lord, as well as His Word become fortified in Him and with Him. We are then led by the Holy Spirit to do His will.
1 Peter 2: 4-8 (NKJV)
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
Let’s take a look at some of these verses to understand what they mean. We want to be building on that foundation so that we stand strong in our faith in Christ, our trust in Him and do not stumble. Verse four and five indicate coming to Him as He was too rejected and that was why He was persecuted and ultimately crucified as sacrifice for our sins. We as followers of Christ, believe this testimony and that He was risen and will come again. We believe in this testimony and in doing so we are redeemed from eternal death and that is why the word ‘saved’ is used to describe someone who comes to learn of Jesus and accepts the testimony when they have been witnessed to.
The first step in believing is in the testimony of Christ and when we initially come to Him, or, in addition to new believers, the case of those of us who have been backslidden before, offer up a spiritual sacrifice when we are putting sin to death as Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice when He died on the cross and as such those sins were already purchased with the blood of Jesus. That is why verse six says for those who believe in Jesus will not be put to shame because we are too nailing our sins to the cross and beginning a new life. We have crucified those sins and begun a new life and as He is established in our hearts so we no longer take part in the things of old that were sinful and not of Him.
The suffering we initially go through to put those sins to death to gain new life, represent the sacrifice, but we understand why when we take a look at 1 Peter 5:10 (KJV) as this is part of this sacrifice to become established on a firm foundation;
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.
So here you see it says ‘after you have suffered for a little while, you were then made perfect, established on the foundation, strengthened, and settled. Any Christian who is serious about their walk will tell you this is a continuous process. We do not claim to be perfect, but in Jesus Christ, the more we live by His decrees, the more Christ-like we become as we build on His foundation. The building on the solid unshakeable foundation begins with turning away from sin (iniquity);
2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV)
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Isaiah 28:16 (NKJV)
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
Now when the Word says ‘will not act hastily’ it is because they transformed into a new person who lives for Christ and they no longer commit those iniquities because they are then living by the Holy Spirit which is not of foolish behavior and iniquities. There is no other foundation, there is no other way. Nothing on earth can come close despite what anyone may try to tell you for it is declared;
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NKJV)
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 (NLT)
4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
And it should be not confused for only belief alone. We need to make sure we are partakers in what the Word commands us to do. For if we only hear, and we do not demonstrate our faith (faith without works) how can we say we truly belong to Him? For those of you who have been following my works for a while, you may recall I talked about this quite a bit in the very first podcast episode I presented, titled, ‘The Divided Church.’ In that episode I talked about the division within the body of Christ (the church/temple) and that faith without works was dead and that you can believe the testimony but if you are conducting yourself in manner that is not in line with the Word then you are only fooling yourself in regards to what is right. This is not a judgement or my opinion; The Word states it doesn’t just mean hearing the Word but believing it by doing it; living it.
James 1:22-24 (NKJV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
This is what I meant earlier when I said living by the Lord’s decrees. Jesus told us;
Matthew 7:24-25 (KJV)
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And in this season we want to be solid in that foundation so we are not blown over in the coming storm. We want to be fortified on that firm foundation as the apostle Paul told us to be equipped with in Ephesians 6;
Ephesians 6: 10-20 (KJV)
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
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:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
And Romans 8:15 says we are not of a spirit that makes us fearful slaves but those who belong to God are His children and thus we are to carry out His works and remain faithfully in Him;
Romans 8:15 (NLT)
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
The foundations not withstanding can be attributed to when the antichrist is revealed and is given rule if we are not established on a firm foundation of which Christ is the Cornerstone, we run the risk of being part of the great falling away when times get tough. So if you belong to Christ and are going through hard times right now and aren’t sure why you’ve discovered Innocence Redeemed, it likely was not by any accident. Understand that in His mercy, He is trying to get your attention so you will turn to Him and seek Him so He can refine you and give you the wisdom so that a firm foundation is established built solely on Him.
Remember back to what I said earlier about after suffering for a little while…
Now why is all of this important? Well…
When the abomination of desolation is revealed, we will need to have an established foundation that is unshakable. If we do not, if we are not walking close with the Lord, we run the risk of being part of the great falling away as end time events (which we are seeing now) begin to present themselves. This is why we must be established on a firm foundation because as I have been talking about recently, once the persecution get’s really bad, many will be tried and tested, shaken to the core if you will and only firm foundations will remain. I mention this once again as I mentioned it earlier. These times of great persecution will be trying and require great patience.
When we look at what Paul was saying about being established in the Lord in 2 Thessalonians 3: 2-5;
2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.
3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you.
5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.
Now you will notice many times there is contrast given in the Word in regards to those who are established on a firm foundation compared to those who aren’t and then the storms blew them away the moment times get tough.
Going back to 1 Peter 2, you will note verse 8 (KJV);
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
It is why the world (the unsaved) dislike us and persecute us because they can’t or won’t understand because they have rejected the testimony of Jesus and thus if they hate him, that is why they hate us. They hate us without reason but we have to remember being strong in our foundation that we are going to have trials and come under chastisement and persecution. They are disobedient and because of this, if they do not come to repentance the Word tells us time and time again what the recompense is for the rebellion and they stumble;
Proverbs 10:8 (NLT)
8 The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.
Proverbs 10:25 (NLT)
25 When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.
Note also John 15:18-19 (KJV);
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Our hope is in the Lord and we are not to pay back evil with evil under any circumstance. God will take the wicked in His own time He has planned, and though we may not understand that timing always, that is where faith and being established on a firm foundation comes in and in these times also the patience of Christ which is an essential part of that foundation.
We as God’s children should help to be shining light on that which is evil but it is not our responsibility to take revenge in unjust situations. To have peace in Christ is to know that God will pay back those who do not repent for their wicked deeds. To contrast, those who refuse the Lord’s testimony or did not believe will be taken in their own devices. Let’s take a look at a few verses (you’ll notice that many of these verses are in Psalms) which demonstrate the Lord’s promises on this;
Deuteronomy 32:34-35 (NLT)
34 “The Lord says, ‘Am I not storing up these things,
sealing them away in my treasury?
35 I will take revenge; I will pay them back.
In due time their feet will slip.
Their day of disaster will arrive,
and their destiny will overtake them.’
Galatians 6:7 (KJV)
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Psalm 7:15 (KJV)
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
Psalm 9:16 (KJV)
16 The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
Psalm 141:10 (KJV)
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.
Job 4: 8 (KJV)
8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
War is coming. So we need to be standing firm on that foundation in our faith to believe the Lord will lead us through. Make no mistake, God will keep His promises.
Hosea 10-15 (NLT)
10 Now whenever it fits my plan,
I will attack you, too.
I will call out the armies of the nations
to punish you for your multiplied sins.
11 “Israel is like a trained heifer treading out the grain—
an easy job she loves.
But I will put a heavy yoke on her tender neck.
I will force Judah to pull the plow
and Israel to break up the hard ground.
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’
13 “But you have cultivated wickedness
and harvested a thriving crop of sins.
You have eaten the fruit of lies—
trusting in your military might,
believing that great armies
could make your nation safe.
14 Now the terrors of war
will rise among your people.
All your fortifications will fall,
just as when Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel.
Even mothers and children
were dashed to death there.
15 You will share that fate, Bethel,
because of your great wickedness.
When the day of judgment dawns,
the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.
Isaiah 5:20-24 (NKJV)
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Further, let us examine Isaiah 28: 14-19 (NLT)
14 Therefore, listen to this message from the Lord,
you scoffing rulers in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death
and have made a deal to dodge the grave.
The coming destruction can never touch us,
for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.”
16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem,
a firm and tested stone.
It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.
Whoever believes need never be shaken.
17 I will test you with the measuring line of justice
and the plumb line of righteousness.
Since your refuge is made of lies,
a hailstorm will knock it down.
Since it is made of deception,
a flood will sweep it away.
18 I will cancel the bargain you made to cheat death,
and I will overturn your deal to dodge the grave.
When the terrible enemy sweeps through,
you will be trampled into the ground.
19 Again and again that flood will come,
morning after morning,
day and night,
until you are carried away.”
Now one may ask, ‘Brother Ray, where are you going with all of this?’
We need to be seeking the bread of life. That bread is Jesus. That is what establishes the solid foundation. It is the spirit of Christ. Our attention needs to be focused on Him. This does not mean you can’t still enjoy certain hobbies, but we need to be cautious not to allow them to become our idols for then we are engaging in idolatry. This is why I am telling you not to love the things of the World more than Jesus. Do not love your life unto death. For anyone who is a true follower of Christ must give up their own way, and follow in the ways of the Lord. When Jesus sent out His disciples, they were directed to tell anyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God.
Mark 6: 7-12 (NLT)
7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits. 8 He told them to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick—no food, no traveler’s bag, no money. 9 He allowed them to wear sandals but not to take a change of clothes.
10 “Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town. 11 But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
12 So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God. 13 And they cast out many demons and healed many sick people, anointing them with olive oil.
Now you may be wondering what is meant by verses 8 and 9 in addition to the others -Jesus did not mean that they had to wear the same attire each day, clothing wise as we know it. They were also told to take nothing else because all they needed was the truth that was of Jesus to teach others; His love, mercy and peace. What Jesus meant by this is they were to stay clothed in the tenderhearted mercy of Christ while teaching others. Just as we are instructed to do as Christians while teaching each other in sharing the bread and multiplying it just as Jesus did.
Mark 8: 1-9 (NLT)
About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them, 2 “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. 3 If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. For some of them have come a long distance.”
4 His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?”
5 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
“Seven loaves,” they replied.
6 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to his disciples, who distributed the bread to the crowd. 7 A few small fish were found, too, so Jesus also blessed these and told the disciples to distribute them.
8 They ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 9 There were about 4,000 men in the crowd that day, and Jesus sent them home after they had eaten.
The parable of the bread is about feeding those who hunger for the good news and witnessing to those who do not know Christ (feeding them) in the sense that they are fed and from there the Lord’s disciples are multiplied. That is what is meant in verse 7 when Jesus told His disciples to distribute the fish. It is the same as it goes hand in hand with the bread in this parable. You see, it is preaching the Word as well as the Good News in what comes from us, followers of Christ and from there the believers (new disciples) are blessed and multiplied. They continue to spread the Good News. This is what Jesus told us to do when He was resurrected and appeared to His seven disciples in John 21.
The parable of the fish comes up again;
John 21: 4-6 (NLT)
4 At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t see who he was. 5 He called out, “Fellows, have you caught any fish?”
“No,” they replied.
6 Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.
Jesus went on to ask His disciples if they loved Him. He said if you do, feed my sheep;
John 21:15-17 (NLT)
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?e]”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
At the ending of my podcast, Do You See Part 2, I mentioned as a new Christian, studying the book of Colossians and the reason for that is it teaches us how we are to live as a brother or sister who has found new life in Jesus and thrown off the old clothing (sin). We are to conduct ourselves in this way as we proclaim the Good News to others;
Colossians 3: 12-13 (NLT)
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
14 Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
Perhaps you are in the wilderness right now -meaning, things are not going well for you and you may be falling on hard times. This is where, while in weakness, satan will try to tempt you to do things that you have a conscience to know, are not right. The devil stops at nothing to tempt people. He tried to tempt Jesus and that’s when Jesus said man does not live by bread (as in food) alone;
Matthew 4: 1-4 (KJV)
1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
When Jesus resisted the devil in the wilderness, though He is the Son of God, He gave up this privilege to demonstrate in this parable to have no part in evil. It tells us to remain strong in our faith and trust Him no matter what just as Jesus trusted in His Father. Meaning when times get tough, be careful not to give up or be part of the falling away. It is important to mention this, because in the season we are entering, we do not want to be part of that falling away as is mentioned in Mark 13, Luke 21 and Matthew 24. We want to be established on that firm foundation.
Do not be part of the lawlessness spoken by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2 and you certainly do not want to become like Esau who traded his birthright for a bowl of soup (Genesis 25 referenced below).
Hebrews 12: 13-17 (NLT)
13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
Genesis 25: 29-34 (NLT)
29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)
31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”
32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”
33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
Now take special note of verses 29-33 because if you recall back to when I mentioned the wilderness above, you can see now how the story of Esau relates to someone being in the wilderness and hungry but they traded their birthright (covenant with God) for food to eat. This is what is meant by the great falling away; those who will abandon the faith for the mark of the beast or pledging allegiance to the beast to hang on to their lives.
Be very aware of this and be very aware of the snares the devil will try to ensnare you with. It is for these reasons I show you where things are in this late hour. Jesus gave us the parable of the fig tree for this reason to show us when we see these things to know our redemption was drawing near. We do not want to deny the times nor deny Christ or what He told us for then we are calling him a liar.
1 John 5:10 (KJV)
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
Furthermore how can you not believe when everything foretold by scripture is now right in our faces? To not believe is not only denial but a direct rebellion (a betrayal to the Lord) to what Jesus taught us in Matthew 10;
Matthew 10: 32-37 (NLT)
32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.
35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36 Your enemies will be right in your own household!’
37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
Remember the parables of the bread and the foundations. Being fed by the spiritual bread and establishing the foundations. Jesus said it is not what you consume (eat) that defile you, but rather what comes from your heart (evil ambitions). When you are consuming the spiritual bread (have Jesus and are living by His Word) you aren’t having a desire for evil ambitions. It does not mean you are perfect (for everyone is a sinner) but what it means is that the more you know our Lord and Savior the more you become like Him and put those desires to death by nailing them to the cross. You become anew in Christ as I previously notated early on in this blog.
This parable is explained further in Mark 7 (using NLT here);
14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”
17 Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either?” he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)
20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
These are the sins the disciples and prophets alike, warned of when they were sent out and told the people to repent. Jesus also told us to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees. These are teachings that are corrupt and take on the meaning of false teachers who base their teachings on pious self-denial which do nothing to conquer the evil desires of the heart (mentioned in Colossians 2 -which is why I put emphasis on this if you are a new believer). Remember what I said earlier about nailing old desires and sins to the cross when accepting new life in Christ in that you become a new creation;
Colossians 2: 6-12, 20-23 (NLT)
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
In this season we are now finding ourselves, it is vitally important we each seek refuge from the storm in our Lord Jesus for He is our shepherd. Our commitment should be to continue to encourage those who struggle and we do that by taking the bread and sharing it. From there it multiplies and many new followers are gained, and many of those are those the Lord desires to save.
Try not to be discouraged or fearful but always be ready to give a testimony of your faith and be encouraged to help others along in their walk and if you are struggling in doing so, take it to prayer because I believe the Lord would want to help you establish that foundation and to share your hope and faith with others who desire to achieve the same.
It is my prayer this writing has been a blessing to you. I may even add to it overtime to expand on it because there is so much wisdom to be had when studying on the bread as well as being established on a firm foundation.
May the Lord Bless All of You.