Wake Up! - Time is running out. Volume 2
WAKE UP!TIME IS RUNNING OUT (VOLUME II) is the second in a series about how to lay spiritual foundations, build on them, and grow up spiritually. Volume I focused on establishing solid spiritual foundations in your life. In Volume I, you learned how to move into and abide in the Kingdom of God.
Volume II focuses on learning how to live, move, and have your being in Christ (Acts 17:28).
The devil does not want you to repent and live in God's Kingdom, because you are no longer ignorant of his devices when you are spiritually minded.
In this book, you will learn how satan is stealing your inheritance. You will learn strategies to overcome his accesses to you, how to take back what he has stolen from you, and God's provisions to walk in spiritual victory consistently.
As you begin growing spiritually, you will see more clearly that God is working all things for your good. Your relationship with your Father will grow and deepen. You will begin to see how God can take your failures and stumbling blocks and make them into stepping stones for spiritual success. Now is the time to begin this journey with the Lord.
God has authorized me to share many truths with His children. If God gives you ears to hear, you are blessed. James 1:22 says if you are a hearer of the Word but do not obey it, you are deceiving yourself. Processing the truth in this book will bring much spiritual growth in a short time. Be blessed. (ISBN 0-945255-97-7 231 pages)
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Who Are You? 15
Chapter 2 Go Back to the Garden 32
Chapter 3 The First Works 51
Chapter 4 Hopes and Dreams 63
Chapter 5 Work Out Your Salvation 77
Chapter 6 Kingdom Living Now 95
Chapter 7 The Joy of My Salvation 109
Chapter 8 The Do’s and Don’ts of the Kingdom 127
Chapter 9 The Importance of Lordship 133
Chapter 10 The Three Witnesses 158
Chapter 11 Making Judgments 182
Chapter 12 Escaping the Snares of satan 195
Chapter 13 Common Tactics of the Enemy 212
Chapter 14 The Battle For Your Mind 220
Closing Remarks 231
As I began to work on WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME II
, I had mixed emotions. It is not enough for me to hear what God is saying
through the Spirit and why He is saying it
. I need to feel the heart of God
in order to share what He has given me for His children.
I am blessed that He instructed me to write this book. At the same time, I am saddened that He waited so long. I asked God about His reasons for the delay. He said, The majority of those who have read WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME I have not allowed the Holy Spirit to solidly lay their spiritual foundations. They have refused to give up their lordship and will not trust Me with all of their hearts. They have not allowed the Holy Spirit to reveal the reasons they do not trust Me. Many are determined to continue believing the lies satan has sown in their hearts rather than believe the truth. This grieves the Spirit of God. Others have made an effort to allow the Holy Spirit to teach them, some with fairly good results and others with very little results.
If you have not yet read VOLUME I, I strongly suggest that you do so before reading this book. Follow its instructions carefully. This will help build a solid spiritual foundation in your life. Then read this book, expecting those foundations to deepen and be strengthened. You can expect to see consistent spiritual growth.
To those of you who have been consistent in trying to lay solid spiritual foundations, be encouraged. If you keep trying, even if you stumble at times, you will force satan to reveal his accesses to you. You will begin to see the thoughts he brings to your mind that cause you to doubt or be misdirected in ways that seem right. The Holy Spirit will show you how to change each stumbling block into a stepping stone.
WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME I focused on truths that establish your spiritual foundation. In VOLUME II, the focus is on confirming the strength of your spiritual foundation, building on it, and growing up.
Jesus Christ made the way for you to inherit eternal life (John 17:1-3). I have quoted this many times, but it is a good idea to review it. Look up these scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to show you more revelation about the gift of eternal life. You can enjoy eternity with the Father and His Son and inherit God’s Kingdom while you are still in this life.
Never make assumptions about where you are spiritually. Make sure you are in the Spirit and ask Him to show you where you are and where you are not.
If you realize you have not grown much spiritually, satan may immediately overwhelm you with condemnation. He may present true statements about where you have missed the mark, but do not listen to him! The devil should have nothing to do with spiritual revelation, conviction, or repentance! Refuse to accept what he says.
You may realize satan has stolen your inheritance because you chose fleshly comfort instead of paying the price to follow Christ. Perhaps you have suffered loss because you are spiritually apathetic or have left your first love. It is time to address these problem areas because time is truly running out.
It is one thing to suffer loss because you are ignorant, but when you have enjoyed fellowship with God and then traded it to ease your flesh, you have listened to the devil’s lies. Do not be like Esau. He sold his birthright because he was hungry. When he realized what he had done, he could find no place of repentance even though he sought for it with tears (Hebrews 12:17). Have you ever been an Esau? Do you continue to be an Esau? Are you selling your birthright to be comfortable in the flesh?
How much of your inheritance has the enemy stolen from you? You may have heard truth but ignored it. Hebrews 3:15 says, While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Have you hardened your heart to the Lord’s voice? What losses have you suffered because of your rebellion?
When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, it will be too late. You will face judgment and suffer eternal loss. Is that what you want? Please note that I am not talking about salvation but rather the loss of eternal blessings as a consequence of your unfaithfulness.
When satan steals from you, do you consider the loss in eternity, or are you more focused on the temporal realm? When you deny your flesh but see others enjoy what God may not let you have, do you sell your inheritance to be more comfortable now? The spiritual blessings you have given up produce loss in this life and the next.
Is part of your inheritance being stolen? This is a simple question. It is important to know what you are missing. This book will help you identify the reasons you are not enjoying the fullness of what God has for you.
If you do not have consistent communication with God and trust Him completely, He cannot do the work in you that needs to be done. If your spiritual life does not work properly, either you do not want to walk with God or you are ignorant of His provision for you.
WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME I reviews the basic foundations of walking with God. Those instructions were never meant to be complicated. Walking with God is simple if you believe and obey Him until they are well established in you. I encourage you to review each truth presented in VOLUME I, and ask the Holy Spirit to answer the following questions.
- Am I selling my inheritance in any way?
- Do I enjoy consistent communion with God?
- Am I suffering spiritual losses in my life?
- Am I letting satan steal from me because I refuse to deal with my flesh?
- What has my flesh cost me in this life and eternity?
One of my goals is to expose the accesses satan uses to hinder God’s children who are trying to walk with Him. God is on our side, and He wants us to be successful in His Kingdom. If we do not enjoy the work of maturing spiritually, we must examine the underlying root of our lordship. The only way to accomplish this is to move out of the flesh and into the Spirit. The devil is a cunning deceiver, and he never stops his efforts to steal from those who are serious about their walk with God.
The Biggest Problem
Most believers are trained to rely on their natural minds while trying to walk in the Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. This truth will never change.
I often minister from 1 Corinthians 2 because understanding the difference between the natural and the spiritual man is essential. You must realize that you will never understand God’s truth from your natural mind.
You must be in the Spirit to discern truth. Your responsibility is to agree with the Word of God and make the adjustments to obey it. This requires confessing your sin, repenting, and moving into the Spirit.
Attitude Toward Conviction
WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME I was written simply, but you will definitely be convicted as you read it. Many Christians feel overwhelmed by the truths in the book. Instead of being excited about the opportunities to repent, they react from their natural minds and resist conviction.
Most believers have not been taught how to process conviction and be free from their sin. They are not taught how to repent of the lies they believe and release their faith into the truth. Many believe conviction is a negative experience. They think conviction means God is angry with them. This deception makes it impossible for them to hear truth and repent.
God is not mad at you when He convicts you. In fact, the opposite is true. Your Father chastens you because He loves you (Hebrews 12:6). He chastens every son He receives. If you are not chastened, you are considered illegitimate (Hebrews 12:7-8). Conviction is a tremendous blessing because it leads to repentance. Confession of sin and repentance bring you back to right standing with God.
WAKE UP! TIME IS RUNNING OUT, VOLUME II is intended to take the simple foundations of VOLUME I and encourage believers to be doers of the Word. It is time to build on the foundations the Holy Spirit has laid in your life. Even if you only obey one or two instructions, growth will take place. You will begin to see the benefits conviction can produce in you.
When you are convicted and repent of one sin, God gives you eyes to see many other truths you are not obeying. Matthew 13:16 says you are blessed if you have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. As I said before, many Christians think conviction is a curse instead of a blessing, so they resist hearing truth that convicts. How do you react to conviction? What do you believe about conviction? If you believe conviction is negative, what is the source of that belief? It cannot be God!
Who is the Problem?
2 Timothy 4:3 says that in the last days, people will not want to hear sound doctrine. They will want the benefits of being a Christian but not the responsibilities. Today, the world leans toward irresponsibility. No one wants to be responsible for their own actions. This problem has also infiltrated the church. Many people say, I am not the problem. I am not to blame. They blame the devil, the pastor, or someone else instead of taking responsibility for themselves.
Each of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:12 says, So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. You and I will give an account for our lives. You can continue to ignore the truth, but there is a great cost if you do. Resisting conviction costs you now by stealing your inheritance, and it costs you in eternity as well.
If you want a deeply satisfying relationship with your Father, it is foolish to avoid the very thing that is necessary to receive it. If you want to move to greater spiritual levels, you must embrace conviction because it is an important part of the learning process.
You enjoy what you are willing to pay the price for. You may want your inheritance in the Kingdom of God, but you are unwilling to meet the conditions to receive it. Sometimes, you do not want the responsibilities. It is time to be honest with yourself and repent.
Two Basic Conditions
I often preach about the fear of the Lord and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Most Christians do not want to hear about either of these truths. They are connected because if you do not fear the Lord, you will never completely submit to Him. You must develop a reverence for our Lord and Master.
You must recognize who the Lord is and how foolish it is to fight against Him and His purposes. The fear of the Lord is generally defined as, to be put in fear, alarm or fright:—be afraid, + exceedingly, fear, terror (G#5401). The fear of the Lord is basically a holy reverence for God, His ways, and His Word.
How long will He put up with such foolishness? The time is coming when all is fulfilled, and God’s cup of wrath will overflow (Revelation 14:10).
It has been filling up for generations. Although no one wants to believe it, the time will come when there is no longer an opportunity to repent. It will be too late.
When you read Revelation, you get a glimpse of what will happen when the Father’s wrath is poured out. He will destroy the heavens and earth in a moment. This is the same God we distrust and mock with our rebellion. How foolish can we be? We dishonor Him, use His very name in vain, and act as if there are no consequences for such arrogance.
Are You an Heir?
If you are a child of God, you are an heir to His Kingdom. You have been given the opportunity to enjoy God’s Kingdom now. This is a simple but profound truth.
Romans 8:16-17 says, The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together .
As heirs of God, we are also joint-heirs with Christ. Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior is an heir of God’s heritage. In other words, His heritage is available to us. However, there are certain parts of His heritage that are conditional. If you want to enjoy your inheritance, you must meet His conditions.
Most Christians do not read the last half of Romans 8:17,if so be that we suffer with Him that we will also be glorified together. This part of the scripture explains a condition for the promise. Suffering for Christ fulfills the condition to be glorified together with Him.
Revelation 17:14 says that those who are with the Lord when He makes war against the beast are called, chosen, and faithful. Revelation 2 and 3 gives detailed accounts of blessings and eternal rewards for those who overcome.
It is obvious that some promises in God’s Word are received when His conditions are met. I hope you are excited about the opportunity to meet God’s conditions and receive the fullness of your inheritance.
2 Timothy 3:12 says, Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. This is another conditional promise. If you are godly, you will suffer persecution in some way. When you suffer for Christ, who is actually suffering the persecution? He is! If you are never persecuted, He is not doing much through you. This is a sobering thought so stop for a few moments to meditate and pray about this.
Take a moment to answer these questions, and ask the Lord if you need to make adjustments in your attitude or your willingness to suffer for Him.
- Have I ever suffered for Christ?
- If I have not suffered for Him, why not?
- If no one has ever negatively reacted to who I am as a Christian, why not?
- Am I willing for the Lord to allow a situation where I might suffer?
- Even though I may not be required to suffer like someone else, am I willing?
- Am I willing to be wounded for His sake?
- If I am criticized for my faith, am I able to stay in the Spirit?
- Can I let the nature of Christ shine through me or do I return the attack?
- Do I try to protect myself from being uncomfortable?
Many wonderful promises are authorized for us as God’s children that include a condition or conditions. Most ministers do not teach on the conditions to the promises, which leaves the impression there are no conditions. Therefore, people wait for God to manifest His promises and get offended at Him when they do not receive them.
You will never receive God’s conditional promises if you do not fulfill His conditions. You may blame your pastor if he did not explain the conditions, but the problem is with you. It is your responsibility to read the conditions instead of merely focusing on the promises.
2 Timothy 2:15 says to study to show yourself so you can be approved by God. Obviously, this needs to be done at the direction of the Holy Spirit. You have no excuse if you are unwilling to study as God has commanded.
A Review of Faith
Christianity is faith-based. As children of God, we are required to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is necessary to receive the gift of salvation and every other blessing from God. This principle alone makes Christianity different from all other religions.
Many believers adjust their Christianity to match what they think they can prove. They eliminate the parts of the Bible they cannot prove. Even theologians go through the Bible and ask, Did Jesus actually do this? They discount everything miraculous in the Bible. Even though they claim to be Christians, they do not believe the Bible if they cannot prove it.
Salvation is based on faith and without faith it will not work. You did nothing to deserve salvation. You cannot decide to be saved. John 6:44 says, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Faith is the condition for being saved. God pours out His grace on everyone, and each person has the opportunity to get saved. Every person has been given the measure of faith they need to get saved (Romans 12:3). God has provided everything we need to come to Him, including the faith through which we receive grace. Our job is to release faith back into Him.
2 Corinthians 13:5 says, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? The responsibility of whether or not you live by faith is yours alone.
No one can make this decision for you, and God will not force you to trust Him.
If you struggle to trust God with your whole heart, you need to examine yourself to see if you are actually in the faith. This is too important to ignore. Do you trust your Father or not? Does your faith remain constant in all circumstances? Does your faith waver when God does not do what you want Him to do?
We are not limited to redemption, forgiveness, and receiving the Holy Spirit as the earnest of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22). God constantly works to save us from every hindrance in us. He wants to restore all that has been stolen from us. (See details on working out your salvation in Chapter 5.)
Galatians 3:3 says, Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Are you being foolish like the Galatians were? Are you changing what began in the Spirit by faith and trying to perfect it in the flesh? Do you try to mature on your own without seeking the Lord and obeying Him? That is what most Christians do.
Stop right now and examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. Are your decisions based on what God says to you? Are you living in the spiritual realm, trusting Him, and doing what He says, which allows you to function in His Kingdom? Or are you in the flesh, controlled by your reasoning and opinions?
Living by Faith
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). 2 Corinthians 13:8a says, For we can do nothing against the truth. You can choose to believe that God’s Word is not the truth, but your unbelief does not change anything. You can do nothing against the truth.
Romans 3:3-4 says, For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Do all of the unbelievers in the world make our faith in God ineffective? Of course not!
Most Christians fail because they go along with the majority. In today’s society, if the majority of people believe it is right, then it must be right. It is not right if it does not line up with God’s Word. This is evidence of unbelief, but unbelief does not affect the truth.
The Word of God is truth. I am not talking about our interpretations of what the Word says but what the Author of the Book confirms is the truth. Any doctrine contrary to clear scriptures is a lie. This statement may offend you, but it is the truth.
The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17b, Galatians 3:11b, and Hebrews 10:38a). There is no other option. If you want to be justified, you must live by faith. If you call yourself a Christian, but do not live by faith, you are not justified in the eyes of God. You were justified the moment you were saved by grace through faith.
At the moment you exercised faith in Jesus and His redemption, you were translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). You were justified (Romans 5:1).
The basic definition of justified is, just as if I had never sinned. When you are justified by faith, you do not have spots, wrinkles, or blemishes because you are part of the Bride (Ephesians 5:27). This is a work of faith, and justification remains if you continue to live by faith.
What is the simple definition of living by faith? It is trusting God that He is trustworthy to do what He says He will do. It is not enough to trust what He says through the Bible or directly by the Spirit. You must trust Him!
Because I trust God, I trust what He says. I have no trouble believing what He says because I do not require explanations from Him. I want to hear from Him so I can exercise my faith. Is that how you approach Him?
Romans 3:28 says, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. People mix the law with faith and do good works to try to earn justification. This verse says we are justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Our righteousness is in Christ alone.
Romans 14:23 says, And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Anything that we do that is not of faith is sin. Faith is necessary for salvation, and it is the source of every gift from God, both now and in eternity.
James 1:6-7 says, But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. If you do not ask God in faith, you will not receive anything from God. Do you believe this? Does your life show you believe it?
The Trying of Your Faith
James 1:3 says, Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. Part of the definition of trying is, testing, trial, trustworthiness (G#1383). Because our faith needs to grow and be strengthened, God tests our faithfulness in everyday situations. Luke 16:10 says , He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Christians often make mistakes in this area. They try to be faithful in something important but do not practice faithfulness in everyday life. You must begin where you are. Choose to trust God in the areas He is working on today. Seek Him for direction. Obey what He says because you love Him. Prove your faithfulness by trusting Him with the little things in your daily life.
1 Peter 1:7 says, 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. Trial is defined as, a testing; by implication, trustworthiness:—trial, trying (G#1383). Precious means, valuable, i.e. (objectively) costly, or (subjectively) honored, esteemed, or (figuratively) beloved:—dear, honourable, (more, most) precious, had in reputation (G#5093).
If you hope to honor God and become Christ-like, you need to expect and embrace the trial of your faith. Are you peaceful and happy when your faith is tested? Or do you lose your joy when God brings trials to perfect you?
James 1:2-4 says, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. In this scripture, temptations means, a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity:—temptation (G#3986).
God-planned trials unlock your inheritance. When people pray for patience, they are actually asking God to send trials because that develops patience. After patience is worked, you become perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If your faith wavers, you will not receive anything from God (James 1:6-7). This is what the Word says, so why not believe it?
You are commanded to trust the Lord with your whole heart. If you desire to walk in greater spiritual levels, your faith must be operational. If your faith does not work, you must find out why; then repent and make the necessary corrections.
Do not be afraid when the Lord allows a little pressure and you stumble. As your faith deepens, new realms of your inheritance will be revealed. Faith is the key for walking in the fullness of what is available for you. This ongoing process will continue throughout your Christian life. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.