Advent Study – DAY 10
Celebrating HOPE of Victory!
Staying “Hooked-Up”: On the Advent Card, the two trees represent the “Hook-Up” choices for each soul. One choice, the Advent tree, is to join the Kingdom of Heaven, the world of God’s Kingdom, until you die. The alternative choices all take a separation pathway through life, living only in the physical kingdoms, the one outside God’s Kingdom. Bulbs “10-14” emphasize the second step in the H.O.P.E. Formula – “Disciplined Obedience” to God’s Word. It will be needed if you are to survive Kingdom Warfare. Discipline is necessary to stay connected. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Scripture says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (NLT). Make no mistake – your soul is a prize that God’s enemies desperately want. When you “Hook-Up”, a new intensity of spiritual warfare begins in your life.
Discipline “Anchors” HOPE: “Disciplined Obedience” is never easy, but it works. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11). Without the “discipline of obedience”, we will behave like Adam and Eve - we will hide from our Creator. We will be in danger of separating from Him, and deaden or break our relationship. How can we face our Father if we are not following His loving advice, or we are not listening to His will for us? Believers face three basic temptations in their choice to “Obey”, much like Jesus did. He was successful in remaining “Hooked-Up” to the Father as he engaged in Kingdom warfare for us. On the Advent Card, in bulbs “11-13” we will see Jesus’ tactics of “Kingdom Warfare” to overcome Satan’s attacks. We will see how Jesus successfully defeated and navigated the temptations hurled by Satan.
A war of kingdoms: Before Adam’s sin, pleasure, power, and pride were positive resources Created by the Father to enhance our relationship to His creation and to Himself. God designed his world to have pleasure. He gave Adam and Eve power to rule over His creation to meet their needs. He also created them to have pride in making godly and holy choices. Most of our spiritual warfare and temptations to disobey will fall in these three kingdoms. God has always wanted us to have the fullness of HOPE in all the areas of our lives. Yet, like Jesus, we will face temptations from Satan in all three areas - pleasure, power, and pride. He has given us His example on how to fight these battles and win!
Navigating “Kingdom Warfare”!
Becoming a Good Navigator: Joining God’s Kingdom exposes believers to the lies and tricks of Satan’s world. Seeking to “Obey”, the H.O.P.E. Formula step 2, tests our resolve to remain connected. It is so easy to just “quit” when we fall. “Obeying” what we know of God’s Word at that moment is powerful. Just get up and try again. The formula motivates us to: Learn. Never quit. Try again NOW. “Obey”. When we know the Word, we can better distinguish light from darkness in all its shades. Keep learning with each failure. Keep “Obeying”. On bulb “14” we will begin looking at the resources we have to navigate our lives and be victorious in our HOPE. Every time you “Obey”, you become a better navigator. Jesus spent a lot of time preparing his followers to live successfully in both worlds, while not failing to remain in God’s Kingdom.
The Secret of Being Prepared: The secret to God’s HOPE, after “Hooking-Up”, is to “Obey.” It is through our “discipline of obedience” that we experience the freedoms of a cleansed life. God is good at this. Paul pointed this out in his letter to the Romans, “For as by one man's disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience [Jesus] many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19 NKJV [Insertion Mine]). Jesus showed us the way. He wants to give us the tools to win each battle we face. We tend not to be good at obedience, so most need lots of help in preparation. Knowing His Word is still the best way to prepare, as King David discovered, ”I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”(Psalm 119:11 NLT).
Get Prepared. Take 5 Minutes: As you read or browse through the selected Jesus’ + Other Kingdom Warfare Messages of HOPE below, look for several themes of living in two worlds - kingdom warfare, obedience, and warnings to prepare. These are loosely divided into 5 sections: 1) God is, and has always been, in control of the world… it is His! 2) God cares about his creation relating to Him! 3) God will rule his creation! … With Delight or Judgment: 4) Satan has a limited time for evil dominion of the world: and, 5) Followers are hated helpers as they reach others for the Kingdom of God; Witness and Protection: Navigation is not forgotten:
Jesus’ + Other “Kingdom Warfare” Messages of HOPE
1) God is, and has always been, in control of the world… it is His!
- Psalm 24:1 (NKJV) “The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.”
- Psalm 33:8 (NKJV) “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”
- John 1:10 (NKJV) “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
- Psalm 145:13 (NKJV) “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.”
2) God cares about his creation relating to Him!
- Matthew 17:17 (NKJV) ”Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me."
- John 3:16 (NKJV) ”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- John 1:29 (NKJV) “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
- Psalm 119:90 (NKJV) “Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides.”
3) God will rule his creation! … With Delight or Judgment:
- Matthew 16:4 (NKJV) “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.”
- John 3:19 (NKJV) “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
- Proverbs 8:31 (NKJV) “Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.”
- Psalm 96:10 (NKJV) “Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established. It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.’”
- Psalm 96:13 (NKJV) “For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.”
- 2 Peter 2:20 (NKJV) “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.”
- Psalm 95:10 (NKJV) “For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, 'It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.'.”
4) Satan has a limited time for evil dominion of the world:
- John 14:30 (NKJV) “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”
- Romans 1:20 (NKJV) “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, …”
- 1 John 4:3 (NKJV) “… and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”
- 1 John 5:19 (NKJV) “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
- Revelation 12:9 (NKJV) “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
- Revelation 16:14 (NKJV) “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
5) Followers are hated helpers as they reach others for the Kingdom of God; Witness and Protection:
- John 7:7 (NKJV) “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”
- John 16:20 (NKJV) “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.”
- John 15:19 (NKJV) “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
- 1 John 4:17 (NKJV) “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.”
- 1 John 5:4 (NKJV) “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.”
- 1 John 3:13 (NKJV) “Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.”
- 1 Corinthians 4:13 (NKJV) “… being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.”
- 1 Corinthians 1:28 (NKJV) “… and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, …”
- Luke 2:1 (NKJV) “And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.”
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