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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.[1]  The consolidation of your faith begins when you learn to differentiate between faith and what Paul called the faith.  As you have been taught before, faith is a gift from God to all men so that all men have faith.

Even an atheist has faith.  He believes there is no God.  Faith is given, but men choose how to use it.  A gambler has faith; all religious persons have faith.  The writer of Hebrews eloquently defined what faith is:  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.[2]  And he listed the ancients as those from Abel to those who wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.[3]  The writer called them ancients, meaning, they were way before his time, as he is to us way before our time.

And much has been taught and spoken about faith.  The one common link of these ancients’ faith was that they believed and did what was impossible for men, and often they did not receive that which they believed for, but they never gave up.  Persevering faith, and since love always perseveres, then theirs was a faith that worked out of love, the faith that counts. 

Yet, those who do not have faith in God, but have chosen to take and exercise their faith in whatever ways they want, can also exercise that same faith with great perseverance.  That is, still believing what they believed without ever receiving what they believed for.  For example, an atheist who dies an avowed atheist even though he has not proved there is no God, yet when facing the oblivion that his faith dictated that he would face, refuses to recant.  There is a certain message of reckless courage in an atheist who refuses to recant his faith at his death that is not too dissimilar to the faith of a Christian martyr facing certain death.  Yet the martyr’s faith gives him hope, and the atheist’s faith gives him oblivion.  So then, who has the greater strength and courage?  It is all the more a pity that their strength and courage are so poorly invested, hence, your understanding of this should humble you so that you will not boast of your faith in God, which gives you hope, but that you learn to respect the courage and strength of those who stand firm in what they believe even though the dictate of their faith offers them only oblivion.

It is only when so called men of great faith in the church learn to respect the faith of those who do not share their beliefs that they can begin to mature, and being mature, can be trusted with the things of maturity.  In the very least, they should learn to at least emulate the archangel Michael, who when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”[4]  Jude was in particular referring to godless men, who change the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign Lord.[5]  Jude wrote of them:  these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings.[6]  And if they missed the example set by Michael, then they should look at the example of our Lord who remained cordial to Satan as Satan tempted Him. He did not bring any slanderous accusation against him, but spoke the truth plainly about him:  “the devil… was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”[7]

Then perhaps they would wake up and realise that they are not superior because they placed their faith in Christ.  Certainly a man who places his faith in that which gives him hope of deliverance compared to a man who places his faith in that which gives him no hope, is not necessarily stronger or more courageous, just wiser.  Indeed, such a man may be of less strength and courage than the atheist, just wiser.  In a way, and this will surely offend many, it would almost seem cowardly, especially if they take offence at those who oppose them, and even take up arms to defend themselves and injure or kill those who oppose them.  The atheist whose faith gives him no hope is justified to defend himself, even taking up arms, for this life is all he has.  But a Christian or any person who believes there is an after-life, and therefore hope, taking up arms to defend and therefore kill those who seek to kill them has no justification. 

That is why Jesus expects His disciples to “not resist an evil person,” and “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”[8]  For it is only in this act of total surrender to inevitable destruction that you justify your faith and hope, and remove the shadow of cowardice from your life.  For it is a coward who takes up arms to defend his faith to kill those who do not share his hope, but yet still wants to keep his own hope while depriving those he has killed of their hope.  So when Paul wrote:  stand firm, see that he said, “stand firm in the faith,” and not “stand firm on faith.”

The shame of the church is that many have taken up arms to defend their lives at the expense of the lives of those who oppose them, persecute them and do not agree with their faith, doctrine and practice, in total contradiction to the Lord’s commands.  Because they also called themselves Christian, then those who have obeyed the Lord’s command and meekly gave themselves over to persecution and suffering, have likewise been slandered.  Now see that as much as the Lord commanded us not to resist and to turn the other cheek, He did not and never intended that we were to do so, because we are weak and powerless.  No, it is and has always been that we demonstrate our meekness because of the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit we have been given, in the same ways as He did.  Remember, He who was tortured and crucified was the One who brought them down with a word and healed the ear of the guard that Peter had cut.

As such, the standing firm in the faith and the consolidation of the faith refer not to common faith, the faith possessed by all men, by which all men can be saved by confessing with their mouth and believing in their hearts that Jesus is alive at the right hand of God.  No, the faith that Paul spoke of is uncommon faith, holy faith, and being holy, it is the faith of the Holy Spirit that has been given to all who are baptised with the Holy Spirit by Jesus.  See that all who come to Christ in repentance believe by common faith, and they do not receive the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit until Jesus has baptised them, no more than a person speaks in tongues of the Holy Spirit until Jesus baptises them.

As elect of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit should now take on a deeper meaning and value for you, and as much as the emphasis has been on power, tongues, healing and miracles, so it is time for you to value all the gifts equally, including the gift of faith.[9]  When Paul was teaching the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit gives them to each one, just as he determines,[10] remember he was teaching a delinquent church that was being corrected.  Now, see that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for each and everyone who have asked the Father unceasingly for all of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus said, “How much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”[11] 

Again, if anyone thinks that this title, ‘the elect of the Holy Spirit’, is elitism, then let him be reminded that in Acts 2-3, 5000 were saved, yet during Paul’s time, there were more than twelve apostles, the eleven plus Barnabas and Paul.  But in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, it is possible that Paul was showing us there were more than 500 apostles in his time, yet the Holy Spirit elected only two from the apostles, Barnabas and himself, for His work.[12]  Again, be reminded, and for the benefit of those who have only been led to the website, the purpose of the elect of the Holy Spirit is to assist the church in preparing herself for Christ’s arrival.  That is all. 

So then, the consolidation of your faith until you can stand firm in the faith, not stand firm in faith, is to know what the faith of the Holy Spirit is – that separate, uncommon, holy faith, that is different to the common faith given to all men.

The common faith of men permits them to believe in anything they choose and wish.  The holy faith of the Spirit, the gift of faith of the Holy Spirit, is faith that is only permitted to believe in Jesus Christ and His Father.  That is the faith of the Holy Spirit.  He believes only in Jesus Christ and the Father, and the proof of that faith is that He does not speak on His own, and His entire work is focussed on testifying for Jesus and declaring Him with power to be the Son of God again and again and again, until all are convinced.  Another way of putting this is that the purpose of the faith of the Holy Spirit is to so believe Jesus and the Father that His power will declare Him Son of God until all the common faith of men everywhere and for all times is destroyed, and every knee will have to bow and every tongue will have to confess that He is the Lord to the glory of God.

Once you know the faith of the Holy Spirit and learn to stand firm in that faith —then the grace of God can never be a licence for immorality, even though you may appear to be a friend of drunkards, sinners and tax collectors, with women of poor repute anointing your head and feet with perfume.  Nakedness is not immorality, but like Isaiah, a sign that God is about to strip Israel naked.  Eating bread cooked over dung is not polluting your body, but like Ezekiel, it is a sign that God has handed His people over to a reprobate mind.  For the gift of the faith of the Holy Spirit will never allow you to deny the sovereignty of Jesus Christ as the only Sovereign and Lord, but rather, on the contrary, it will make you into a brass wall against which the doctrines of those who deny the sovereignty of Christ will be smashed to pieces.  This gift will never permit you to reject authority, but to submit to authority just as the Holy Spirit submitted Himself to the Father and Son, just as the Son submitted to the Father.

This faith will never permit you to slander celestial beings, but humble you, for even the Almighty Holy Spirit, all powerful Holy Spirit, still uses His angels to minister.  So you will be humble before angels be they the Lord’s or Satan’s, it does not matter.  Your humility before the holy ones will embolden and empower them, and that same humility before the unclean ones will strip them of their power in an instance.  Speaking the truth in love is what this faith permits you to do, even when ministering deliverance to those who are oppressed and possessed by demons.  It will permit to ask as Jesus asked of Legion, “What is your name?”[13] with all the profoundness of God’s love and gentleness that they will beg to be sent to the pigs and the obstinate ones will be disposed by a word.

And the dreams that flow from this faith will never pollute your body, for this faith will allow you to dream dreams for God, not just the dreams of God.  This faith will permit you to dream of ways to glorify God in ways that God may not have dreamt of, for after all, is that not what the Holy Spirit dreams of doing… to bring glory to Jesus and His Father in ways that They have not dreamt of, if it were possible?  “Impossible,” you say; remember friends, with God the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible.

Jesus said, “All men will hate you because of Me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life.”[14]  And if you gain life, will you not also gain the Spirit of Life if you stand firm in His faith and not yours?  And if you gain the Spirit of Life, then what can death do?  Thus, the consolidation of your faith is to let the Holy Spirit give you His faith to make yours solid, until you are of the one faith with Him who believes eternally in Jesus Christ and His Father.

Now see again what Paul wrote to the Corinthians in his second letter:  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?[15]  Which test?  The test of faith or the test of the faith?  He wrote:  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, the holy faith, the faith that seeks to glorify Jesus Christ and His Father only.

And once you have passed the test, then you are able to test others and correct them with all love, gentleness, and humility, but with firmness, and when it suits the Lord, you will be a rod of iron in His hands to smash the nations like clay jars, as it is written, a branch that is fit to be a sceptre in the King’s hand.

So, consolidate your election and test yourself.  Do not test your faith, no, test yourself to see if you are standing firm in the faith of the Holy Spirit.  Do you believe what the Holy Spirit believes?  And what does the Holy Spirit believe, or rather, who does the Holy Spirit believe?

Take your stand then, but not on your faith, which may look solid but is in truth as flimsy as a boat in a storm.  It is fine when the weather is fine, but when the waves rise, the wind blows, and the rain falls, it can sink beneath you.  No, stand firm in the faith of the Holy Spirit, which may look like the waves of the sea, but like Peter, you will be standing on something far safer and stronger than a boat made by man.  You will be standing on the unsinkable ark of the Lord, an ark build not of wood but of word that endures even when Heaven and Earth pass away.  An ark not put together by the sweat of a man’s brow or the strength of a man’s back, but by the blood and suffering of Jesus Christ.  An ark that will save not only the family of the righteous man who built it, but an ark that will save any sinner who believes in the Builder of the ark.  An ark as superior to Noah’s, as the New Covenant is to the old.  The ark built by the Holy Spirit through His elect to protect all chosen and called by God through these days of distress that even the great flood of Noah cannot equal.

Stand firm then on the deck of the ark of the Holy Spirit, and see the deliverance of the Lord your God as He comes in the glory of His Father and all His holy angels.  Amen.

Food for digestion:  Consider now the faith of the Holy Spirit.

[1] 1 Corinthians 16:13

[2] Hebrews 11:1-2

[3] Hebrews 11:38

[4] Jude 1:9

[5] Jude 1:4

[6] Jude 1:8

[7] John 8:44

[8] Matthew 5:39

[9] 1 Corinthians 12:9

[10] 1 Corinthians 12:11

[11] Luke 11:13

[12] Acts 13:2

[13] Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30

[14] Luke 21:17-19

[15] 2 Corinthians 13:5


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