In the meantime, please understand that life is serious business. We are not God’s pets who are to live a pampered life. We are God’s sons in training for a great and everlasting career!
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
– Romans 8:16-17
The few troubled years we spend on this earth at the beginning of our career are a drop in the ocean compared to the glorious and eternal future we have ahead of us. Never forget that the first step is always the hardest. Our earthly life is our first step, but if we can open our eyes and look ahead – look up (Colossians 3:2) – we can be strengthened to endure whatever comes upon us. That is how the first century Christians lived, and it is apparently how so many others who are being persecuted today are able to endure, as many of them would tell you if they had the means and the opportunity.
Truly, the way that we deal with these earthly troubles has a significant bearing on how quickly we progress in the life ahead. These are times to learn to perfect the fruitage of the spirit – “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23) – and to learn that God is our Father, that we are a family, and that we can overcome all ob stacles through our faith in Christ Jesus.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
– Philippians 4:12-13
Yes, the Devil is real, but as we said in the prior article, he is impotent. The only power he has is that which one may give to him by turning their backs to the divine will of the Father. The real threat is not the Devil directly, but indirectly by those who choose to manifest the ‘spirit’ of the Devil. But we can conquer the Devil in the same way Jesus conquered him – through our faith in the Father’s eternal purpose. We can determine for ourselves that we will not be complicit in the Devil’s plan to pit one brother against another. And we can work to awaken others to their true relationship with God and their relationship with the rest of mankind.
We can show true brotherly love and compassion by educating all men to what is really going on. In many instances, we can gain even our persecutors as our brothers as the veils are removed from their eyes so they can see ‘the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) In this way, we ‘bring heaven down’ so that the true good news itself will bring an end to suffering. And it will be accomplished, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.’
To man, this is a long and slow method of victory. But it is the sure path to success. God has done, and is continuing to do, His part. So is Christ Jesus, along with our celestial family. Throughout history, the Most High has toppled governments that stood in the way of man’s social and spiritual progress, and the Most High will continue to do so. (Daniel 4:17)
The uprisings we see today will culminate in better conditions for the people who are suffering under those authorities. Much of their efforts will be realized for their future generations. To many of them, if not most of them, the price is worth it since by their courage, they will gain safety and security for future generations – their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. Like Paul, they consider the tribulations as ‘momentary and light’ in comparison to the glory that is to be revealed in them. For now, they, along with us, must do their part and courageously choose God’s sure way and do God’s will to the best of their ability.
And we must not forget that through all of these tribulations, the Father never leaves us. God’s Spirit dwells within us. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19) The Spirit of Truth guides and strengthens us. (John 14:15-17; John 16:13) And our celestial family of angels, seraphim, cherubim, and other unrevealed divine beings support us in miraculous ways that many can attest to. We are not alone in this fight.
Therefore, let us do what we can to be victorious in our faith and help others to do so. The victory lies in bringing heaven down, not bringing destruction down. This, the Father knows and has revealed to mankind through the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Love is the conqueror and the savior of our world, not war.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Let us not become as those “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:5) We must develop faith in the power of love to change our world.
What can strengthen us in this regard is to gain a real appreciation of what is going on. Up until this point, we have hesitated to comment openly about the meaning of the book of Revelation for various reasons. But now we believe the time has come to at least get our brothers to open their eyes to the bigger picture so that the Spirit of Truth can ‘guide them into all truth.’ We will do that in our next article, Bringing Heaven Down – An Historic Overview, in the spirit of being open and candid, as well as bold and revolutionary.