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Jesus spoke to His disciples about… believing in Him “…and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die”; as well as faith in Him “…anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing”; and obeying Him… “If you love Me, you will obey what I command”; as well as trusting in Him… “Trust in God; trust also in Me”; and of course, He also asked if they truly loved Him “…do you truly love Me more than these?”; and He said of one of them, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray Me.”

Belief, faith, obedience, trust, even love and betrayal… all these He spoke to the disciples about… to all disciples, not just the eleven, but one thing Jesus never spoke of or asked of His disciples was loyalty.  He even chose one who would betray Him, but He never mentioned that they should be loyal to Him.  Yet when men choose other men for their disciples, for their country, armies and even gangs, the one thing they ask for and demand is loyalty.  Loyalty to your leader even if you do not believe him, agree with him, obey him or trust him is what the world values, and we see that played out particularly in the political arena.  Men speak of loyalty as if it is something that can be demanded, pledged, legislated and given with a word… yet Jesus never once spoke of it or asked for it, taught about it or demanded it… although He chose one who would do the exact opposite of one who is loyal… Judas, the betrayer.

Even as Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of Me, for it is written:  ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.”  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.”  But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You.”  And all the other disciples said the same. 

However, we know from Scripture accounts… all eleven deserted Him and Peter did deny Him three times before the rooster crowed, exactly as Jesus said.  At the eleventh hour of His journey to the cross where He would give His life for all of us, Jesus turned aside those pledges of steadfastness and loyalty to Him, for He knew what we are made of.  For if we had never listened enough to obey what is commanded us and do not have enough faith in Him to trust Him so that we would go where He told us to go, to do what He told us to do, and above all else… to have been with Him and seen Him do all those miracles before our very eyes, and still not come to know Him… then our loyalty can never be counted on, and our verbosity and the loudness of our voices are merely for show.  I say ‘for show’ because it is easy to speak of loyalty but almost impossible to display, especially when one is tested first by persecutions, hardship and even death, and then by glory and immortality. 

Again, be reminded of the disloyalty of Satan.  The rebellion, the disobedience and the sin of Satan came not because he was created the most imperfect of God’s creation, but rather, he was the model of perfection… perfect in beauty and knowledge, even in wisdom.  Thus, even as trials, tribulations and persecutions are to test our faith, trust and obedience, loyalty is tested not by such things, but by the glory, the success and the triumph that come with the powers of the age to come that will be entrusted to those who have completed their walk of maturity.

The Lord never mentioned loyalty to His disciples… for they were yet to come to the place where loyalty would be expected and tested.  So when He spoke of His impending sacrifice and all eleven began to pledge their loyalty, He turned them aside and down, even saying to Peter, “I tell you the truth, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.”

And how loyal have we been to the Lord and His commands… indeed to His Person?  For loyalty is not about listening and believing as a student listens and believes, nor is it about obeying and doing as a servant hears, obeys and does what is commanded, nor is it about holding steadfast to what is promised when all is lost as we await for the promised deliverance like children or families who are hoping for their kin to come to redeem or rescue them.  Loyalty is something that no one who has not tasted of the powers of the age to come can speak of, much less be tested for, and true loyalty is never taken as the basis of a vow or a pledge.  That is why the Lord said in His earliest teachings to all disciples, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’  But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by Heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the Earth, for it is His footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.  And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.  Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

On all counts, through the earlier testing of the ‘church’, there has not been one individual, except perhaps Paul, who came even close to tasting of the powers of the age to come.  Yet Paul had to have tasted of it, otherwise, as the writer of the letter of the Hebrews, he could not have written it.  No other apostle has been able to say of those who claim to be apostles that they are false, as Paul had.  Neither  did any of the others, Peter, John and Jude, in their letters, write of confronting arrogant people who were talking in the church to see what power they had… as Paul wrote:  Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.  Was Paul himself arrogant?  Or was he defending those he loved from themselves?

As you continue in your growth now in the Lord, be assured of this:  You will learn never to fear anyone who has to use more than one word or a fist or a rod or a whip or a sword or a gun, for the time is coming and is now here when true power is being released, and those who have it know that the greatest of all powers lays not in the words or actions of hand, nor of any weapon forged by men, but rather, in the thoughts of God and those whose thoughts are taken captive in obedience to His Christ.  For no one can destroy your soul after they have destroyed your body, and if your body perished even as you declared your testimony and the word of God, you know you have made it into the first resurrection.  So what is there to fear but to only rejoice?  However, for all the elect who have mastered their thoughts and taken them captive in obedience to Christ, the power of your thoughts is far superior to any power unleashed by a word or a movement, much less a manmade weapon, for the speed of a thought is far superior to anything else.  And it is the sheer speed of the manifestation of what you have thought that will always overcome that which could be manifested by a word said or an action done by a tongue or a hand.  So it is not a fantasy when I say the power of thought is far superior to all other powers that will be available, and that power is available only to those who have taken captive all their thoughts to Christ.

So, do not fear as others fear… as Paul wrote to the Philippians:  …I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the Gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.  This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

But I say to you, do not fear those who need bodyguards and bullet proof vehicles, who need letters of men to testify that they are called of God and require the help of governments to legislate their right to exist, for they have no true power.  They may have financial, intellectual, political and military power, but even their intellect fails them, for their thoughts are not captive to obedience to Christ.  Without that obedience to Christ, the best of intellects can only imagine, theorise, reason, speculate and even originate as any man can, but never as God can.  And since God has already stated, “As the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are… My thoughts than your thoughts,” then there is no thought that men can generate that is anywhere as powerful as God’s.  For God’s thoughts have true power as you have witnessed, and that power is available only to those whose thoughts are taken captive to Christ.

So what were the thoughts of the eleven captive to even as they were sitting with Jesus at the last supper?  Luke 22.24 records:  Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.  All this time they were still more concerned about their place and their position.  Jesus was facing His greatest hour of trial and they were only worried about who was greater than whom… it is just that our Lord, whose absolute grace and tolerance of us, with all understanding, did not arise and rebuke them, but instructed them, saying, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that.  Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.  For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who is at the table?  But I am among you as One who serves.  You are those who have stood by Me in My trials.  And I confer on you a kingdom, just as My Father conferred one on Me, so that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  And He said to Simon, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”  But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with You to prison and to death.”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know Me.”

When your thoughts are still on things such as your position in the hierarchy of the kingdom, when you are still preoccupied with titles and phylacteries, the size of your building, your fame, your renown and your reputation, you are not ready to be spoken to about loyalty, and neither are you ready to pledge your loyalty.  For loyalty requires only one word, anymore than that comes from Satan.  For, from loyal servants comes only one word – yes; and from loyal brothers it can be – no.  But when you understand true loyalty, there is no need for you to speak on your own.

Even after the resurrection, where were their thoughts?  What is the last recorded question they asked of Him?  Was it “Lord, are You at this time going to glorify the Kingdom of God?” but rather, was it not “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”?  During the three years with Him, where is it written that He even spoke of the kingdom of Israel to them, but rather, did He not only speak of the Kingdom of Heaven and of God?

No, as great as they were, they were not ready to have their loyalty tested.  They had their faith, trust and obedience tested, yes, even to the point of death, for every one of them was martyred.  Every one of them proved their faith and trust without a shadow of a doubt by their sacrifice, and that is why they are coming back with Christ to reign for the millennium as members of the first resurrection.  But not one, not even Paul, had their loyalty tested.  For as I have said and I say again, loyalty is not tested by trails and tribulations, but by tributes and promotions; not by failures but by success; not by powerlessness in the face of enemies, but being all powerful, even invisible, in the face of all enemies.

That is why loyalty was never mentioned by the Lord or taught by the Lord or asked for by the Lord… but rather, it is what He is hoping to find when He returns… above faith, above obedience and above trust.  You see… when the angel told John about the return of Jesus, he said, “…and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers,” but where are the loyal followers?  They cannot be with the group that returns, for they are the ones who had their faith, obedience and trust tested by trials and persecution, and succumbed to martyrdom.  For them there was no triumphant display of power and invincibility in the face of the last enemy – death.  They are the witnesses of John 11.25.  You see, elect, He is returning with His called, chosen and faithful to His loyal followers.

What is loyalty then?  It is when you have been given the ability to usurp Him and even destroy His word and therefore even His Person, and you know and They know you never will because your thoughts are always taken captive to Him.  Do you still not see?  Do you still not realise?  At full power anyone can with one thought completely obliterate the Mount of Olives, split it before His feet touches it, and Scripture will be broken, and if Scripture is broken, then whoever does that has placed his throne above the Almighty.   But such power is available only to those whose thoughts are taken captive to Christ, and if it is taken captive to Christ, then the thoughts of those who are at full power are always for the preservation of the Mount of Olives.

The condemned one, although he will have unheard of power, even calling down fire from Heaven in the sight of men, will never be at full power, for his thoughts are not taken captive to Christ, and the best he can do is to use the power of the spoken word.  Therefore, be assured that you need show him no fear.  If he is more powerful than you, praise God, for you are returning with Jesus as He arrives.  However, you are elected not to return with Christ but to welcome Christ as He arrives.  To welcome Him and see Him place His feet on the Mount of Olives that has been preserved with your thoughts.

It is written:  Well, how trusted do we have to be to not only serve the King, but to stand behind the King to guard His back?  For who would the Father only trust to stand at the back of Jesus except His Holy Spirit and those He trusts to stand with Him?

To whom can He trust such a task?  To those who are loyal to Him.  To those who have all power, even power to place themselves on the throne of God and yet will never do it.  Who is absolutely loyal then to the Father and the Son?  Is it not the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Power?  And if the Holy Spirit is the Absolutely Loyal One as Jesus is the Absolute One when it comes to faith, trust and obedience, for glory did not change Him, so power, full power, has not tempted the Holy Spirit to manifest His will, but He laid it all down to serve the Father and the Son.  And if the Holy Spirit is the One who is absolute in loyalty, then it is only those who are in Him who can be absolutely loyal – those whose thoughts are taken captive to the glorification of Christ so that full power can be unleashed through them without any possibility of betrayal.

As for the false prophet, he is after all a prophet only, and the best of his power comes by his speech, but never by his thoughts.  So no matter what he does or says, he is already doomed to failure because of what the elect of the Holy Spirit think of him.  And the two witnesses?  They too are but prophets, and for all their power, it is by the power of speech, for the skies are shut by their prophesying, and it is fire and curses that come out of their mouth, which makes them so frightful.  But again, it is what the elect think of them that they will succeed.

In the final three and a half days, before the Lord arrives with the called, chosen and faithful ones, it will be the band of loyal followers of the Holy Spirit who will preserve this world and the Mount of Olives by their thoughts until He arrives.  That is why you must learn to take captive all your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ and be ever well thinking of Him and your fellow elect.  And your election is not on the basis of your choice, but rather, on the basis of what the Holy Spirit thinks of you, and your erection as pillars of the temple of God depends then on your thoughts.  So think well of Them always and be loyal to Him as He is loyal to you.  Amen. 

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