Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
The last half of this verse is what I am most interested: ...a time of war and a time of peace. We want peace. War doesn't sound good. Well, peace is a result of war. There is a war going on and there is no peace with the flesh. We are finding out that this is the war we have been involved in, and we have come to a place in God where much more is required of us than in the past.
In the denominational church world, a person repents, gets saved of his sins, and he is ready to go to heaven. That usually is as far as they go. From then on, they have their worship services and they don't know the war time. They don't know what you go through when the things of your flesh nature rise up against you. It is outlined in Galatians 5. When you are making advancement in the Lord, things of your flesh nature begin to come against you, because it wants to hinder you from coming into God. That's when the war really begins.
Now, we have been going through that for quite some time, because we have been learning how the different kingdoms of our flesh rise up to come against us. But we have now come to a place where there is another level of warfare. It is not just the war that we have known, but as we get into II Timothy, we will see how there will be a new warfare and it will be more difficult than before.
Paul talks about that in II Corinthians.
II Corinthians 11:23-26 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen...
Some of you have experienced that already of people you know or care about have turned against you.
II Corinthians 11:26-29 ...in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not?
Paul is talking about the things he goes through. Why did he go through that? When he was Saul, he wasn't bothered with any of those things, was he? No, but when he became Paul, things changed. What happened when he became Paul? Well, his life changed, and he began making advancement in God. He was not only making advancement in God, but Paul began ministering to other people. That is when his enemies began to rise up against him. When we really begin to make advancement in the Lord and accomplishing something, things of our nature will begin to rise up against us also.
People in the denominational church world don't experience any of that because they are not moving more and more and more into the Lord. They are not advancing. The devil doesn't bother them because they are not making any headway.
We have been trying to make some headway, and we've made a little, don't you think? But we also realize there is a lot yet to be done, a lot to be accomplished, a lot of changes must be made. I'm saying that we are entering a new realm. In this new realm, it will require us to move into more of God, a greater advancement taking place, so what will happen? Well, when you start advancing in God, that is when the devil says, "Whoa, wait a minute. I've got to stop that! They're starting to move into more of God and I know what happens when that takes place, because the next thing you know, they will be walking all over me!" (Romans 16:20). So, the devil starts coming against us in different ways. All those things like what Paul went through, we find ourselves going through similar things. You may not have to worry about getting dumped into the deep, but there will be ways in which our enemy will try to stop us from advancing in God.
So, in that sense, we are in a war. And there will not be any peace until we win this war. That is where we are. Now, let's go to II Timothy, where Paul talks to Timothy about this warfare.
II Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
When you enter into this realm of warfare, you have to be strong in the grace. It will take a lot of grace.
II Timothy 2:2 All the things that you have heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
This is the first thing Paul tells us in a way of advancement: what you have learned from Paul begin to commit to others. Not just any others but commit it to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. That means the days when we could enjoy life the way we want to, go to church and have a service, read the Scriptures and so forth, are coming to an end. We are now in a place where we must function. "The things that you have learned from me," Paul says, "these things you will commit to faithful men." You cannot do that unless you have some discernment to know who are those that will be faithful. You don't just throw out what you have learned to anyone who comes along. They couldn't handle it. But to know, "Who are the faithful men?" There is a way to tune in to a person's spirit and get that indication, spiritually speaking, of whether that person would be someone who would understand what you're saying, pick up on it, and begin to walk in it. There are not many out there. In all the days I've ministered, I have found very few people. It's not hard to find the ones who say, "I want to," but that want-to seems to disappear real quick.
Commit what you have learned from Paul. All of us have been learning a lot. We have come quite a way. Now it is time to take what you have learned and commit it to faithful people - men, women, boys, girls, young people, old people - to teach them so that they can do what? Teach others also. I have mentioned this over and over and something I've lived with and remember: the pastor who helped me break through into God said, "Henry, you speak the Word to them. Whether they hear it, or they don't hear it, you minister the Word."
We must function. God is not going to bless us to become what I call "fat cats". But He blesses us so that blessing can move through us to someone else. He doesn't just love us so much, "I want you to be blessed, so here is what I am going to do for you and help you." No, God does it for a reason. Do you remember the story of Joseph? What happened to him? Joseph had revelation. You remember what he went through. He was sold by his brothers and went to Egypt. Then he was in the dungeon for thirteen years, all in preparation so that he could become the greatest in Egypt and the time came when he could minister to his brothers. So, Paul says, "What you learn from me, commit it to faithful men," and the reason is so they are able to teach others also.
II Timothy 2:3 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Now Paul gets down to the nitty-gritty. He tells Timothy, "This is what you are becoming - a soldier, a good soldier." One of you brought a good word recently about a family member who is going into the Marines. You talked about how his life will change. He will not be a normal person anymore, not a person of this world, but a person of a different world. He is learning to be a soldier. That's not an 8-hour job. That is a 24-hour job. It's a change in lifeform. You are different.
That will happen to us in this new realm we are moving into. We will have to endure hardness.
"Well, I don't like hardness."
It's going to be hard. We've had a little experience in hardness, have we not? Could it get harder? Yes, it could. But what does Paul say? You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Man, it's getting difficult already.
II Timothy 2:4 No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who has chosen him to be a soldier.
This is where it really gets difficult. We are so involved with this life. I'll use the example of denominationalism again. It's easy. You live your life the way you want to live it and then on Sunday morning you go to church. You go to church Sunday evening, possibly even Wednesday night. If you go three times during the week, well, that's all right. But the rest of the time, you are your own self. You live the way you want to live. You do what you want to do, go where you want to do, be what you want to be. You have a business or work that you are involved in or going to school, whatever it is, you are involved with the things of this life, with what you want to do.
But when you become a soldier, that is all forgotten. It doesn't happen anymore. You don't get entangled with the affairs of this life. This gets difficult. This is part of that hardness in verse 3 - the affairs of this life.
"But I like the way I have been living. I like being able to choose what I want to do and be what I want to be."
Not my will but Thine be done. We love to sing that song. Starting out young in the Lord and we have to idea what God's will is.
"Well, I'm going to be involved in the will of the Lord."
We don't know what it is, so how do we do that? We are in a place now where we must be strong in His grace and teach others what we have learned, endure hardness, and not be entangled in the affairs of this life. The affairs of this life! Paul is not talking about bad things or terrible sins you might commit, but just the affairs of this life. It's like entering the Marines - the old life is over. You become a new person involved in something different. This is where we are now.
II Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
In other words, you just don't do your own thing. You do it the way God wants it done. It has to be done lawfully, legally.
II Timothy 2:6-8 The husbandman that labors must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel...
"Yes, I know. Way back then, Jesus died on the cross and just a few days later, He was raised from the dead."
No, that is not what it's talking about. What does Ephesians 2:1 say? And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. We are the dead. So, Christ is to be raised from our deadness. A young man goes into the Marines as one person, but out of him comes another person. That other person that comes out of him is a Marine. There is a resurrection, so to speak, that takes place. So it is that when we enter in this army of the Lord, there is a resurrection of Christ in us that takes place. There is a new Christ.
"Jesus loves me. I know this. He loves me and wants to bless me. I've got Jesus in my heart. He's up in the sky, but He is in my heart, too."
That is the way we think as a young Christian. We love Him and He loves me. But now we come to a place where we must endure hardness and realize that we are soldiers. There is a war to be won. We know the Lord is King and His Kingdom is to come forth where He will rule and reign. Well, we need to be a part of that.
II Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
Get ready. If you enter into this warfare, you will suffer trouble as an evil doer.
II Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes...
"But I just want to make it." No, there is an elect. We are not in this just for self. We are in this warfare to bring a deliverance for all of God's people, the elect.
II Timothy 2:10 ...that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
We need to realize we're not in this just for what we can get. We are in this because there is a battle, there's a war, and there are a people to be brought into God. That is why Paul begins by saying, "All that you have heard from me, Timothy, minister it to others. Minister it to faithful men who will also teach others."
II Timothy 2:10-11 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us:
13 If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself.
Grab hold of this. Do you want to live with the Lord? We want to live with Him. We want to live in Him. It will take some dying. It doesn't just happen.You can't live without first dying.
Copyright @ 2019by Henry DuBose