Hi, good to be with you again. I'm Brother Anthony, welcoming you to 'Bible Believers', where we focus on the PRESENT Truth - what Jesus is doing in THIS day.
Are you still preparing that homework I asked you to do? You'll remember I suggested you list the Bible promises you believe God's made for US in THIS day and send a copy to me. There's no need to include your name if you prefer to be anonymous and if there are any questions you'd like me to help you with, or something special you'd like me to discuss, send me a note at
I did plan to study some of these promises of God for OUR day in this morning's program. But I'll give you some more time, because I've been asked by a listener to explain WHY things happen. Why does God let BAD things happen to believers?
Each one of us has certain goals and expectations in life but I wonder how many of us achieve our original objectives. Judging by the small number of firemen and engine drivers in our community, not many little boys attain to their ORIGINAL objective. We change our minds as we mature, and experience makes us more practical. Circumstances beyond our control: war, sickness, death, accidents, or a financial setback can change our REALITY overnight.
The word I want you to focus upon is 'REALITY'. Circumstances and times CHANGE but God and His Word ever remain the SAME: God is the ONLY reality.
God does not generally CAUSE calamity or misfortune to befall us; but He allows or PERMITS personal tragedies, in order to PROVE His ATTRIBUTES. Romans 8:28, 'We know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are THE CALLED (that's His ELECTED) according to His PURPOSE'.
God has a PURPOSE. And His purpose is to reveal His Own attributes to gather glory to Himself. The Bible is the story of God changing His FORM from the eternal Holy Spirit ALONE with His thoughts to the MANIFESTATION of those thoughts in the flesh of His FAMILY. Before there was any light or darkness, God was. Before there was an atom or molecule, before there was an angel, God was alone with His THOUGHTS. God's thoughts are ETERNAL, and they are REAL. His THOUGHTS are the ATTRIBUTES of what He IS. He is NOW manifesting those thoughts in the flesh of His FAMILY: Jesus Christ and His Brothers and Sisters - the TRUE New Testament Church.
A LIFE lived by the WORD is the WORD expressed. Christ IN you, the HOPE of glory.
'We know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are THE CALLED according to His PURPOSE' because the ELECT of God, the TRUE Church, IS His Attributes expressed in flesh. And in the new heavens and new earth, God will be worshipped throughout ETERNITY by the 'SAVED' in the FORM of Jesus Christ AND the TRUE Church. Together they are all GOD - MANIFESTED in Flesh.
THAT'S the REALITY I want YOU to bear in mind - ETERNITY. There'll be no CHILDREN, and no OLD men or women, because in ETERNITY there's no TIME. We'll all be in our PRIME as eighteen or twenty year-olds. There'll be NO tears, NO pain, and NO memory of time. THIS is the ultimate REALITY.
Meanwhile we live in a sinful fallen world where we must overcome, laying aside our will and human reasoning, and the senses of our corruptible flesh and mortal spirit, so the nature and character of God, His Own glorious attributes, can be seen in us. If we ARE Christians we'll rise above our CIRCUMSTANCES, and focus upon our OBJECTIVE which is God's PURPOSE, overcoming by faith in His Word, and prayer.
Learning to lay aside every WEIGHT and the SIN which so easily besets us, we'll run with PATIENCE the race that's set before us, looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of God. Consider this example of Jesus Who endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, so that you are not wearied and discouraged.
So ALL things work together for the BLESSING of God's ELECT. Every CALAMITY, every GRAY hair, every MISFORTUNE on this earth is SOME HOW working together for YOUR ultimate benefit, if YOU are one of God's ELECT.
Romans 8:29-30, 'For whom He did FOREKNOW He also did PREDESTINATE to be CONFORMED to the image of His Son, (or IDENTIFIED with the revealed Word by MANIFESTED faith. Faith is a clear understanding of the WORD of God; it's the MIND of God IN you). That He might be the FIRST born among MANY brethren'. Jesus is not the ONLY Son of God. He is the FIRST Son RESURRECTED and RECOGNIZED from among the DEAD.
Moreover whom He did PREDESTINATE, them He also CALLED: and whom He CALLED, them He also JUSTIFIED: and whom he JUSTIFIED, them he also GLORIFIED'.
Thus, when Jesus surrendered His Life on Calvary, He cried, 'IT IS FINISHED'. The price was paid. If you're one of God's children, you were IN Christ ON Calvary as an ATTRIBUTE because the FULLNESS of the character and nature of the Word - ALL the attributes of God, were manifested in THAT One Man. And we're God's Attributes, we were IN Christ when He was BORN of Mary; we were IN Him when as a Boy He taught the ELDERS. We were IN Him when cruel soldiers MOCKED and SPAT upon Him. We were CRUCIFIED IN Christ on Calvary and taken from His SIDE in the Form of the Holy Ghost AFTER He died. We RAISED in Him and are NOW seated in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus.
That's HOW the TRUE Church is sinless and without blame. She PAID for her sins IN Christ on Calvary. And when God raised Jesus for OUR justification, the ELECT were IN Him then, and can NEVER come to the judgment.
God does not SEE the TRUE Church. He HEARS our voice. He only SEES our REPRESENTATION, Jesus Christ, in Whom we are predestinated by His FOREKNOWLEDGE of HOW we will exercise OUR OWN FREE MORAL AGENCY. We are called, justified and ALREADY glorified.
That's the REALITY. We're just going through the PROCESS of faith to REALIZE It, OVERCOMING the WORLD by the WORD. Taking a loop from eternity through time-space to display God's attributes.
But what IS the world! Surely the WORLD is reality! Not at all!! This world is TEMPORARY, it is in TIME. Heavens and earth shall pass away, or be CHANGED. God's Word will NOT change, It must be FULFILLED. If we're TRULY born-again, WE are a PART of that Word, cannot DENY one Word and must ACCOMPLISH what was written of US in the Bible. That's why I keep emphasizing "recognize YOUR day and ITS Message and see THAT Part of the Word manifesting through YOU" - only THEN can we KNOW we are TRULY born-again.
I know we can become anxious for our NATURAL requirements - food, clothing, housing, family, friends, employment, social status, and self esteem. Human beings consist of a body, spirit and soul. We have FIVE senses by which our FLESH contacts the NATURAL world: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. And FIVE senses by which our mortal SPIRIT contacts the NATURAL world: memory, reasoning, imagination, conscience and affection. But only ONE sense by which our Soul contacts the Supernatural: FAITH or DOUBT.
The 'world' WE have to overcome is the DESIRES or LUSTS of our OWN spirit and flesh. UNTIL we're born again, WE, our SOUL is DEAD in sin and trespasses (or UNBELIEF in the revealed Word), SERVING and subject TO the nature of the WORLD, which is the nature of SATAN, the God of THIS world. Once we're born-again, that old nature on our soul is DEAD. We receive a NEW desire, a new HUSBAND - Christ the Anointed Word for THIS day.
As in the NATURAL, we're inexperienced at first. Spirit babes the Bible calls us. We must EXERCISE Spiritual judgment and GROW in the faith. It's HARD, because the SENSES of our spirit and flesh have been accustomed to having their OWN way and they're NOT going to quit without a FIGHT.
Paul explains HIS personal struggle in Romans 7 where he cries, 'O wretched man that I am who will deliver me from the body of this death (or sin)'. His mortal spirit and flesh are of the world and sold under sin. He had to keep them sanctified and under a tight reign. He said, 'I mortify the deeds of the flesh', 'I die daily to the love of the world and the things of the world'. Paul knew it was not himself, his soul, that tended to evil, but his as yet unredeemed body, and mortal spirit.
Now we've said this to distinguish the Christian's born-again soul which is ONE with Christ, the Word, from his UNREDEEMED body and mortal spirit which are the WORLD, WARRING against the Soul united with God. I Corinthians 6:17, 'God and the soul that's joined together with God is ONE Spirit'. This is the battle we must win, if we're to overcome the world and the things of the world. This victory signifies we are mature and able to be trusted by God to 'speak the Word' in the manifestation of the Sons of God.
Now your question was, 'Why does God allow calamities, sicknesses, death, unemployment, disobedient children, theft, flood, etc., to happen to Christians'?
The REASON is to TRAIN us to DISCERN between the flesh, the spirit and the soul. Between the WORLD and TEMPORARY things, and REALITY. To PROVE that we are READY for the FULL ADOPTION, or manifestation of the Sons of God and the TRANSLATION or body change.
Look how God TESTED Job. He took his livestock and smote him with boils, causing his wife and friends to ridicule and falsely accuse him; even the youths scoffed at him. That Word in Job could not be suppressed. Job responded in faith every time. Although God allowed Satan to kill his children, Job knew they were 'saved' for he kept them always under the blood.
Job didn't look at his CIRCUMSTANCES, he looked to the PROMISE. He was NOT concerned for the things of this world, and no matter how CRUEL life became, Job could declare by FAITH, 'I KNOW my Redeemer liveth, AND that He shall stand at the latter day UPON the earth: And AFTER my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my RESURRECTED flesh shall I see God' (Job 19:25-26).
Moses was like Job. By FAITH, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By FAITH he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he ENDURED, as seeing him who is invisible' (Hebrews 11:24-27).
The saints of THIS age must be under PRE-EMINENCE to know EXACTLY what God MEANS, and WAIT until He tells them WHAT to do with His Word. As the OLD Testament was a schoolmaster to bring us TO Christ, THIS present life is a TRAINING ground FITTING us to RULE with Him. We are growing in grace, as we learn through life's experiences to choose the hard way, the way of Christ's despised few, and how to bring our senses subject to the Word and overcome the world by the Word of God and prayer. We've got to come to maturity and God has given us the FULLNESS of the Word in this day so we can separate those three realms of body, spirit and soul.
God has a threefold PURPOSE. Firstly, to MANIFEST the FULLNESS in Jesus Christ. Secondly to bring the Fullness of the godhead bodily into Christ's TRUE Church under pre-eminence to Her Husband, to bring back that which was LOST and RESTORE them to Eden.
All God was He poured into Christ. All Christ was, He poured into His Church. In these last days Jesus Christ is INCARNATING His TRUE Church for the RAPTURE. We have to realize REALITY, and like Job when he lost his children, TRUST God, knowing we've met ALL of His requirements and that ALL things work together for the good of His ELECT.
We've just heard another meaningful song by Sandi Patti: 'Love Can Open the Door'. That Door is Christ Jesus, the REALITY we want in OUR lives. A REALITY that explains: Why God lets BAD things happen to Christians.
There's no doubt the following words of Paul apply to the mass of Christians wherever they are in the world and in every age. 'Remember the FORMER days in which, after you were BORN AGAIN, you endured a great FIGHT; Partly, whilst you were made a GAZINGSTOCK both by INSULTS and CALAMITY; and partly, whilst you IDENTIFIED in fellowship with others SO treated. For you showed SYMPATHY to the prisoners, and joyfully BORE the seizure of your property, knowing that you have in heaven a BETTER and ABIDING possession. Therefore don't cast away your CONFIDENCE, which has a great reward. For you have need of PATIENCE and ENDURANCE, that, after you have DONE the will of God you might RECEIVE the promise. For yet a little while, and He That SHALL come WILL come, and will NOT delay. Now the just shall live by FAITH: but if any SHRINK back through FEAR, my soul shall have no pleasure in him' (Hebrews 10:32-38).
More understanding comes in the Message to the Smyrna Church Age. Jesus said, 'I know your WORKS and your TRIBULATION, and POVERTY (but you are rich)...' (Revelation 2:9). The KEY to the SECOND Church Age is most evidently TRIBULATION. If there was tribulation in the FIRST age, there is now predicted an INTENSIFIED tribulation throughout the SMYRNEAN Age.
Now the Lord God Almighty says, "I KNOW." There He is walking in the midst of His people. There He is, the Chief Shepherd of the flock. But does He hold back the persecution? Does He stem the tribulation? NO, He does not. He simply says, "I KNOW your tribulation - I'm not UNMINDFUL of your suffering."
What a stumbling block this is to so many people. Like Israel they wonder if God really loves them. How can God be just and loving, if He stands by and watches His people suffer? That's what they asked in the Bible, 'The BURDEN of the Word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. "I have LOVED you, said the Lord".
Yet WE say, "Wherein have you loved us"?
"Was not Esau Jacob's brother"? saith the Lord: "yet I LOVED Jacob, And I HATED Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness".'
They couldn't figure out God's love. They thought that love meant no suffering. They thought that love meant a baby with parental care. But God said His love was 'ELECTIVE' love. The PROOF of His love is ELECTION - that no matter WHAT happens, His love is proven truly by the fact they were chosen unto salvation (because God hath chosen YOU to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth). He may commit you to death as He did Paul. He may commit you to suffering as He did Job. That is His prerogative. He is sovereign. But it is all with a PURPOSE.
If He didn't have a purpose then He'd be the author of frustration and not of peace. His purpose is that after we've suffered awhile we'd be made perfect, be established, strengthened and settled. As Job said, 'He puts strength in us' (Job 23:6b). You see Jesus, Himself, suffered. He LEARNED OBEDIENCE by the things that He suffered. He was actually MADE PERFECT by the things that He suffered.
Hebrews 5:8-9, 'Though He were a Son, yet LEARNED He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being MADE perfect, He became the AUTHOR of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him'. In plain language, the very CHARACTER of Jesus was perfected by SUFFERING. And according to Paul He's left His Church a MEASURE of suffering that they too, by THEIR faith in God WHILE suffering for Him, would come to a place of PERFECTION. Why did He want this? James 1:2-4, 'My brethren, count it all JOY when you fall into various TRIALS; knowing this, that the TESTING of your faith worketh PATIENCE and ENDURANCE. And let PATIENCE have her perfect work, that YOU may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing'.
Why does He stand by? The REASON is in Romans 8:17-18, '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. For I reckon that the SUFFERINGS of this present time are NOT worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us'. Unless we SUFFER with Him we cannot REIGN with Him. You HAVE to suffer to reign. The REASON for this is that CHARACTER simply is NEVER made without suffering. Character is a VICTORY not a gift. A man without character CAN'T reign because power apart from character is Satanic. But power WITH character is fit to rule. And since He wants us to share even His throne on the SAME basis that He overcame and is set down in His Father's throne, we have to OVERCOME to sit with Him. The little temporary SUFFERING we go through NOW is not worthy to be compared to the tremendous GLORY that will be revealed IN us when He comes.
Oh, what treasures are laid up for those who are willing to enter into His kingdom through much tribulation. 'Think it not strange concerning the fiery trials that are to TRY you'. That's what Peter said. Is it strange that God wants us to develop a Christ-like character that comes through suffering? NO sir. And we ALL have trials. We are all tried and chastened as sons. Not one but goes through that. The church that's not suffering, and isn't being tried, hasn't got it - it is not of God. Hebrews 12:6, 'For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons'.
Now this special condition in Smyrna must be applied to every age. There's no age free from it. There's no true believer free from it. This is of God. This is the will of God. It is NEEDFUL. We need the Lord to teach us the TRUTH, that WE are to SUFFER, and be Christ-like in doing it. 'Love suffereth long and is kind; Blessed are you, when men shall REVILE you, and PERSECUTE you, and say all manner of EVIL against you FALSELY, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you' (Matthew 5:11-12).
The cloudy skies and storms of life are NOT signs of God's DISAPPROVAL. Neither are bright skies and still waters signs of His LOVE and APPROVAL. His approval of any of us is only IN the Beloved. His love is ELECTIVE which He had for us BEFORE the foundation of the world.
Does He love us? YES! But HOW shall we know? We shall KNOW because He SAID so, and manifested that He DID love us for He brought us TO Himself and GAVE us of His Spirit, placing us AS sons. And how shall I prove MY love to Him? By BELIEVING what He said, and by CONDUCTING myself with JOY amidst the TRIALS that He in His wisdom ALLOWS to come to pass.
'I know thy POVERTY (but thou are rich)'. There it is again. See Him walking up and down in the midst of His Church. Like a father He's looking down upon His Family. He's the HEAD of His household. He's the PROVIDER. He's the PROTECTOR. Yet He looks on at their poverty. Oh, how the untutored believer stumbles at this. How can God bear to look upon His own in a time of need and not stop it all - just give in and lavish material blessings upon them?
Here is where you have to believe again in the love, and goodness and wisdom of God. This, too, is needful. Remember He admonished, 'Take no thought for tomorrow, what you shall EAT or what you shall WEAR. Your Father knows all things you have need of. He Who clothes the lily and feeds the sparrow shall do much more for you. These PHYSICAL things are not the TRUE basic necessities of your life, for a man's life consists NOT of the things he possesses. But rather seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and all MATERIAL necessities will be added unto you'.
The people of God are not MATERIALLY minded but Christ-minded.They don't seek the treasures that are below; they seek those ABOVE. It is absolutely true, the majority of Christians are NOT wealthy. Rather they're on the POOR side. It was so in Jesus' day. It was true in PAUL'S day and it should be true TODAY. Oh, it's not TOO true today for the Laodicean Age is one of vast wealth where often the criterion of spirituality is an abundance of earthly goods. My, how RICH the church is in goods. But how POOR in Spirit. 'Blessed be ye POOR, for yours is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is NOT meat and drink'. It's not material. It's WITHIN us. A rich man is rich in GOD, not in WORLDLY things.
'Oh', cries the Spirit, 'I see your POVERTY. I see your NEED. You haven't very much, if anything, to boast of. What you DID have has been taken from you. You gladly gave up your possessions in exchange for eternal ones. You are laughed at. You are scorned. You don't have material resources to fall back on. But you are RICH in spite of it all. Your SECURITY lies in Him Who is your shield and exceeding great reward. Your kingdom is YET to come. But it WILL come. And it will be an everlasting one. Yes, I AM mindful of your trials and woes. I know how hard it is to get along. But I will remember all this when I return to claim you as My own, and THEN I will reward you'.
It's not with money that God works. He moves by His Spirit. And that moving of the Spirit comes ONLY to a life consecrated to the Word. Lay aside ALL else to be that.
Why does God let BAD things happen to believers? So we may learn to place our TRUST in Him by FAITH and not rely on might and power or our material resources. That His Own CHARACTER and the beauty of holiness may be SEEN in us. radio009.html
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