Fred R. Coulter—October 31, 2009

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…courage under fire. We could also say confidence or faith. Put it all together and that is true. Here we are living in the end-times and I know those of us who've been in the Church a long time, when we first heard of the end-times, we said, 'Oh, good, we're living in the end-times. Hooray! Hooray! we'll see the return of Christ.' We never thought about all the difficulties. We never thought about all the problems. We never thought about all the fearful things that are going on, even in the world today. In the light of that, we're going to study in the Bible courage under fire and how we need to prepare our lives for the things that are coming ahead, because they are going to come, and they are going to be astonishing to every one; they are going to catch everyone by surprise.

We see in the Bible whenever God sent the children of Israel out on a mission to do something He always encouraged them. So let's begin by going to Numbers 13:17. This is where Moses and God were encouraging those who were going to go out spy in the land. Now this is the account of the spies: "And Moses sent them to scout out the land of Canaan, and said to them, 'Go up this way, southward, and go up into the mountain. And see the land, what it is, and the people that live in it, whether it is strong or weak, few or many. And see what the land is that they live in, whether it is good or bad; and what cities they dwell in, whether in tents or in strongholds; and what the land is, whether fat or lean, whether there is wood in it or not. And be of good courage… [Don't be fearful. In other words, this is a mission from God. Now, likewise with us. When we read these things, let's understand God has called us to do a mission for Him in our personal lives and together collectively. So let's apply this as we go. We need not be afraid; we need not be fearful, though frightening things and fearful things are going to happen.] …be of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.' Now the time was the time of first ripe grapes" (vs 17-20). So that's toward the fall.

When they came back, they brought a cluster of the first ripe grapes, and the grapes were so big that they had to put it on a pole and two men would carry it on their shoulders, one man in front and one man in back. Can you imagine grapes the size of grapefruits? Can you imagine the wine from one foot-stomp of one grape? because how they got it, that's how they squeezed it. So they when up, they came back and here's the report that they gave. Joshua and Caleb:

Verse 30: "And Caleb stilled the people before Moses and said, 'Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.' But the men… [Remember, the majority is not always right. As a matter of fact, the majority is generally always wrong.] (So here the other eleven) …men that went up with him said): …'We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.' And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had scouted out to the children of Israel, saying, 'The land through which we have gone to scout it out, is a land that eats up those who live in it. And all the people whom we saw in it were men of great stature. And there we saw the giants, the children of Anak of the giants. And we were in our own sight like grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight'" (vs 30-33).

Now what happened? Numbers 14:1: "And all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried. And the people wept that night…. [All night, crying and murmuring. Now you figure this: you've been about eighteen months out in the wilderness, part of it desert, wandering around, and all you've had to eat was manna. Water came only when it came out of the rock or they came to an oasis, or something like that. So they were all upset.] …And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron…. [It's their fault! Now how could it be their fault? Isn't that the way human nature is? You always blame someone who's innocent. 'You brought us out here in the wilderness to die!'] …And the whole congregation said to them, 'Oh that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or, Oh that we had died in the wilderness! And why has the LORD… [Always blame God. That's a good lesson for us. All the things that are coming at the end time, God is bringing, but it's not God's fault. It's because of the sins of the people. And He's going to give plenty of warning.] (So they said): …'And why has the LORD brought us into this land to fall by the sword so that our wives and our children should be a prey? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?'" (vs 1-3).

"And they said to one another, 'Let us make a leader, and let us return to Egypt.'…. [Man, it was a riot.] …And Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those that searched the land, tore their clothes. And they spoke to all the company of the children of Israel saying, 'The land which we passed through to scout out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD, neither fear the people… [Because He said be of good courage, remember.] …neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them'" (vs 4-9).

So they all repented and got on their knees and prayed to God—no! "But all the congregation said to stone them with stones…. [So they picked up stones in their hands.] …And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the LORD said to Moses, 'How long will this people provoke Me. And how long will it be before they believe Me, for all the signs which I have shown among them?'" (vs 10-11).

So, to make a long story short: God said, 'All right, none of you are going in, only Joshua and Caleb, they will go in.' So then all the children of Israel, they said, 'Oh, that's too much for us. We'll go in, we'll go in.' God said, 'Don't go.' They told Moses, 'We're going to go up and we're going to fight and we're going to win.' Moses said, 'Don't go. God is not with you.' So they went and what happened? They were beaten back and they came back licking their wounds. They had to wander another thirty-eight-and-a-half years in the wilderness until that whole generation died. What is the lesson here? When God says, 'I will do something; I'm with you; I'm for you, be of good courage; go do it.' What should we do? What God says—same way in anything that we do today. There are many parallels and we'll get to those a little later.

After the forty years of wandering, let's come to Deuteronomy 31:6 and let's see again what God told Moses and Joshua. Here's the message to them: "Be strong and of a good courage…. [That's what we need to do. Be strong in the Lord. Now if we lack confidence, what are we told to do? Pray for it. If we need courage, where does it come from? It comes from God.] (So He's telling them): …Be strong and of a good courage. Do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is He Who goes with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you." Now mark that verse, because we'll see it in the New Testament.

In a lot of things in our lives, we have fear, we have anxiety, we have frustration—why? Because we don't remember God is with us. Now remember, if God's Spirit is in you—is God with you? Yes! And He promises that He will not fail you nor forsake you. So He told all the children of Israel that. Then v 7: "And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, 'Be strong and of a good courage, for you must go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their father to give it to them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD is He Who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you nor forsake you. Do not fear; nor be dismayed'" (vs 7-8). I tell you, you can't have it any stronger than that.

  • Did they have to go fight? Yeah, they had to fight.
  • Did they have things they had to overcome? Yes, they had things they had to overcome.

Just like us, we'll see that we have things to fight and things to overcome.

Verse 23, He again said the same thing to him. "And He commanded Joshua the son of Nun and said, 'Be strong and of a good courage, for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.'" That was the direct message from God to Joshua. We're going to see some other promises, which are direct messages from God to us.

Let's see how important this was. Joshua, the first chapter, and let's see then where we get our strength. Strength and courage comes from loving and obeying God. Fear, frustration, and anxiety comes from doubting God, not having faith in God, and not relying on God to be with us to do what we need to do.

Joshua then talks to all the people. He tells them, Joshua 1:2: "My servant Moses is dead…. [v 5]: "No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life…. [That was the promise given to Joshua.] …As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you…. [Now that's the promise. So whenever you're into situations where you don't think you're going to handle, or you think that it's too much for you to do, then take courage:] …Be strong and of good courage… [And ask God to be with you and claim the promise. 'You have said You will not fail us, You will not forsake us.' That's what to do. Because of and by ourselves, we're going to be confronted with problems and difficulties and challenges we can't handle ourselves. So what are we going to do? We going to give in, we going to compromise, are we going to be like the spies accuse God, accuse the people? No!] …Be strong and of good courage, for you shall divide for an inheritance to this people the land which I swore to their father to give it to them. Only be strong and very courageous… [Now notice, where the source of this comes from.] …so that you may observe to do according to all the law which My servant Moses commanded you.Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may prosper wherever you go" (vs 2, 5-7).

Now I want you to sit back and think how many times when you were trepidatious and you were fearful, and your faith really wasn't strong and you didn't claim these promises, how was your obedience to God? Probably lackadaisical—right? Of course, remember, we're living in the Laodicean age—is that not true? Yes! So just think about that as we're going along here.

So courage comes when you obey God—Old Testament/New Testament. Verse 8: "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate therein day and night… [What are we to do with the Word of God? Study it day and night, pray day and night, meditate in it day and night. We're to let the mind of Christ develop in us—isn't that correct? God writes His laws and commandments in our hearts and in our minds, so as we read these Scriptures let's add in all the things that we already know.] …so that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it, for then… [Now notice the condition. So if you do not do the first part of it, the then part will not take place.] …for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success…. [That's what we need to do.] …Have I not commanded you?.... [In other words, have faith in what God has said. Believe God! Believe the Word of God.] …Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid, neither be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you in all places where you go" (vs 8-9). That's quite something—isn't it?

Now let's see another occasion here when it came time for David to give to his son Solomon the information and the commission to build the temple. Can you think of any greater physical mission on the earth in the physical sense, than to build a temple to God? No! David had the plans given to him by God. He wrote them down. Let's come to 1-Chronicles 22. Remember first and second Chronicles are one book in the original order of the Bible and they are the last of the Old Testament.

So David was preparing for it, because David wanted to build the temple. But God said, 'No, David, you can't build it, because you're a man of war and you're a bloody man, but your son'--and He chose Solomon to do it—'he will do it.' So he prepared everything for it. We will see there were two presentations. This is the private one to Solomon before the public one.

1-Chronicles 22:5: "And David said, 'Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house to be built for the LORD is to be exceedingly magnificent, for a name and for glory throughout all countries. I will now make preparation for it.'…. [So he did it.] …And David prepared abundantly before his death. And he called for Solomon his son… [Now this was apparently right on his death bed or pretty close to it.] …and commanded him to build a house for the LORD God of Israel. And David said to Solomon, 'My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the LORD my God. But the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, "You have shed much blood and have made great wars. You shall not build a house to My name because you have shed much blood upon the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest…. [And that's what it was called. Solomon means rest. That's why the Feast of Tabernacles is a type of the Millennium, and the reign of Solomon in the beginning was a type of the Millennium. It was called rest.] …And I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name. And he shall be My son, and I will be his Father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever"'" (vs 5-10).

So that's quite a promise. So here he's talking to his son and he gives him this advice, v 11: "Now, my son, may the LORD be with you and bless you, and build the house of the LORD your God as He has said of you. Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and direct you concerning Israel, so that you may keep the law of the LORD your God…. [Now again, notice: keeping the laws of God have great benefit.] …Then you shall prosper… [That is in the whole project of building the temple and everything.] …if you take heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the LORD charged Moses, concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Do not fear, nor be dismayed" (vs 11-13). So whenever God gives that kind of mission, this is the attitude that we are to have.

Now we can project forward into the New Testament. What did Jesus tell the disciples before He ascended after He was resurrected? He said, 'All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me.' All authority. He said, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations, making disciples of them and I am with you to the completion of the age.' So here's a promise given to us. What are we going to do? What Jesus said! There are other things like feed the flock, and so forth, but here we have the same thing. What is Christ building through the Church? A spiritual house composed of the people of God. So there are many, many different parallels that we can see here.

Now let's come down here to v 18: "Is not the LORD your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side? For He has given the people of the land into my hand. And the land is subdued before the LORD and before His people…. [Now notice the command. Here's what we are to do, because we have to give our effort and give our best and give our allegiance to God. Then He gives us the courage and He gives us the wherewithal to do what we need to do. So here's what we need to do.] …Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God…. [Remember the promises of Jesus: 'Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened'—right? So we have to set our hearts and our mind, or soul in this case, to seek the Lord your God. We need to do that daily:

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through the way we live
  • the way we behave
  • the way we overcome

—and all of those things.] …Arise therefore and build the sanctuary of the LORD God to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD" (vs 18-19). Then he repeats it again in chapter 28, but we won't go there, because the words are almost identical.

Let's come here to Proverbs 28:1. I thought this was really a tremendous Proverb. Notice what happens to the fearful and why they're fearful. "The wicked flee when no man pursues… [In other words, they're scared of their own shadow. They worry, because when they're doing things that are wrong they don't want to get caught. But notice the second half of this and this is quite something, because Proverbs is very interesting. It gives positive/negative, righteousness/sin, wickedness vs obedience, and so forth.] …but the righteous are bold as a lion." Now you've never seen a fearful lion. Just keep that in mind.

Let's talk about some things that we are to do. Let's look at fear. First of all, there's a proper kind of fear.

1. The fear of God

In other words, have awesome respect and honor toward God in love and fear Him from the point of view that you're going to obey Him and not transgress. That kind of fear is good. We'll examine that in a little bit here.

2. The fear of the fearful

—which we just read about here because of wickedness and sin.

3. Fear, which is being cowardly.

In other words, part of that cowardiceness is not having the courage to do what God said.

So let's think about it:

  • Is God perfect? Yes!
  • Is God righteous? Yes!
  • Is He with us? Yes!
  • Is He for us? Yes!

But God tells us to do something, we should not be fearful and anxious about it, but do what God wants. We'll look at a parable a little later where a man feared when God said go do this, he didn't do it. We'll see what happened.

Let's look at fearing the Lord—Psalm 19. This is why we need to understand how important loving God, fearing God, obeying God are. Psalm 19:7: "The law of the LORD is perfect… [Now think about that. The Protestants don't even understand, because they say the law is done away. Well, if it's perfect, why would God do away with it? Why would you not want it? Think about that for a minute! What if you had, say a 2,000-carat diamond, but was as big around as a basketball, but was absolutely perfect and it was cut perfect. Would you come in and say, 'Oh, that's nothing. It's done away.' Throw it in the trash. Well, the trash filterers, those who go around and dig into garbage cans and garbage bins, they come along and say, 'Look what I found!' No, if it's perfect, you don't do away with it. What does it do?] …restoring the soul… [It gives you strength, it gives you courage.] …the testimony of the LORD is sure… [So whatever God has said, 'I testify or I witness to you,' it is so!] …making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart… [Think of all this. Why would you want to do away with any of these? The truth is, Christ improved all of them in the New Testament. He didn't do away with them. He gave all the spiritual meaning to all of these in the New Testament.] …The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear… [that's the proper fear] …of the LORD is clean… [That is right. This is the kind of fear we are to have, loving and fearing God. This kind of fear of God is based upon what?

  • The law, which is perfect.
  • The testimony, which is sure.
  • The precepts, which are right.
  • The commandments, which are pure.]

…The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether…" (vs 7-9).

The whole thing here is this: the reason that we do these things this way is because we get strength from God so we can run our lives correctly, and then all the credit and glory goes to God; because there's nothing that we don't have that didn't come from God. God gives us everything. He created us, created the earth so we can live in it. Every breath we take is a testimony to the continuous faithfulness of God and His laws that He put in the body. So that's something. Just remember that. At any minute—the wicked need to think of this—they could be snuffed out, and some of them are rather quickly—right? Yes!

Now think about this: "More to be desired than gold… [What happens when they say, 'We've found gold.' Man, people come by the thousands. When they discovered gold up in Alaska, they all went up there not knowing what the winter would be like. Talk about unprepared!] …more to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb…. [Now here's what it does for you. This is why it will help us prosper in our ways. This is why we can have confidence in God.] …Moreover, by them Your servant is warned… [In other words, if it's in your heart and in your mind, there's going to be, kind of like, mentally speaking like you would have on the dashboard of your car, if your oil's getting low, a light comes on. So you say, 'Oh, I've got to get oil in there.' Likewise, you're warned because, you know you shouldn't do that; you shouldn't do the other thing. Then you think and remember. This is the greatest way that I have found to really keep things straight in my own mind. It's very simple: Jesus said, 'Let your yes be yes and your no be no.' You try that. You think about that. If you say something to God you're going to do, don't amend it, don't change it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Carry that all the way through.] …in keeping them there is great reward" (vs 10-11). What is the great reward we're going to receive? The resurrection. Is there any greater reward—eternal life? No!

Verse 12 is very key and important. The reason for all of this: "Who can understand his errors?.... [Because what happens? We justify ourselves—don't we? Whenever we justify ourselves, we can't understand our errors. So he says:] …Oh, cleanse me from my secret faults… [And all of this helps build confidence. All of this helps take away fear and anxiety and frustration.] …And keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins… [Have you ever done something and do what is right and you think, 'Boy, I'm glad I did that instead of the other.' There you go, right there.] …do not let them rule over me… [Just put in your margin there Rom. 6 where sin is not to rule over you.] …then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (vs 12-14).

Let's read Psalm 20:1 here, a few verses. I think you'll find this interesting the way it flows. Now this is also a promise to give us courage; also a promise to be steadfast. "May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble… [Remember what God told Jeremiah about the people that He was warning in Judea and Jerusalem? He said, 'Don't pray for this people because I won't hear you.' So when you have trouble, pray to the Lord; He will answer you.] …the name of the God of Jacob sets you on high, may He send you help… [Because God will help you, maybe in the form of an open door; maybe in the form of a person; it may in the form of something else, but He will help you. Notice, how does He help you? Directly from above:] …from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion. May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice…. [Well today we give monetary offerings. God remembers that.] …May He grant you according to your own heart and fulfill all your plans" (vs 1-4).

Now I'll tell you what. You can go to a lot of these self-help seminars and they can tell you do this, do that, do the other, but very few--except I think a little bit of Zig Ziglar's seminar's does it-that—they point you to God somewhat. Here this points you to God, and it gives you every one of the benefits that they try and get from self help, that comes from God to help you directly and personally.

Now notice what will happen here, v 5: "We will shout for joy in your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up banners; may the LORD fulfill all your prayers." So there we have five mays.

What is the greatest victory going to be? The resurrection. Are we going to shout for joy? Yes, without a doubt. That's quite !something. Let's come to Psalm 27, and see what kind of courage we are to have, and see how it comes. We know in the future, we're going to be facing a lot of enemies. We're going to be facing a lot of obstacles. How are we going to handle it? What are you going to do? What's going to happen when the mark of the beast comes, because it's going to come! Now how many of us will still be alive at that time? we don't know. I used to think that—Dolores and I thought we'll see all of this come to pass and hey, we'll enter into the Kingdom of God and never have to get old. Well, here we are. So we have a lot of things we need to work on, but here is where our strength comes from. And this is why prayer is important; and this is why you need to use the Psalms in your prayers and let that become part of your prayer. You'll be surprised when you do how that your own thoughts and your own prayers will start coming out from you, because of reading the Word of God.

Psalm 27:1: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?.... [No one! That doesn't mean you have to be obnoxious or anything like that. Whom should you fear? God! Is He going to work things out? Yes! Remember, as Jesus said, 'Fear Him who can take your life. Don't fear the one who can only kill you.' There it is.] …The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Now we're going to see a lot of terrible and fearful things come upon this earth, but also remember the promise Psalm 91. How many times have we covered that? 'A thousand shall fall at your left hand and ten thousand at your right hand, but it won't come near you.' Doesn't say you won't have some anxious times in between, but it does show that God is going to be with you. There's a book, A Thousand Shall Fall, which is quite a book. Actually when I was at Waco, I referred to it and I said, 'How many have read this book?' You know who the only one was raised her hand? Rachelle.

This is a story about a German family in Nazi Germany during World War II and how that the father at age forty, because he had been in the first world-war with this engineer company, was drafted into the German Nazi Weimar. When he came in, he immediately announced that he's going to keep the Sabbath, asked for the time off. Guess what? He got it! He had his Bible and he studied it every day and he prayed every day. His wife and children were left back in Frankfort which was absolutely bombed to smithereens and obliterated. But all through the war, even though there was a little damage to their apartment complex, and so God protected not only his family and his children but also the others that were there. Yes, the windows were blown out, because of the bombs, but it endured the whole six years of war!

When he was sent into Russia for the Russian invasion, he made a promise to God that he would not use his pistol, because that's what he was given, as a clerk in the engineers, although on the rifle range he was an expert shooter. So what he did was this: When he was in Poland he went to a carpenter and he him cut him a piece of wood that would be--you know how you see a piece of wood that is cut so you can put it on the wall and then put a shelf on top of it, a piece of wood come down that way. So what he did, he took that piece of wood and he carved it into a pistol. Then he took black shoe polish and put on it, put it in his holster and threw his gun in the river. He went through the whole war and no one knew that that was a wooden pistol until when he became an American prisoner of war, they were told to turn in their weapons. They were flabbergasted! Needless to say, there are some quite interesting stories in it, so you can get the book, I think you can get it from Giving and Sharing. Don't ask me what the address is. Go online and find it out. It's called A Thousand Shall Fall. Very inspiring! [transcriber's note: can also be found on Amazon.com]

There's a chapter about him/then a chapter about the family; a chapter about him/a chapter about the family. It's quite something! They were Seventh Day Adventists. They survived the whole war and later they emigrated to America and it tells a little about their life at the end.

We all thought, 'Oh, those dirty Germans. Kill as many as you can'—right? It's like someone asked, 'The Germans over here are praying to God, so they'll be successful. And the Americans over here are praying to God that they will be successful. Well, how can the same God answer that prayer?' In the way of war, God is going to decide the war. But in the way of individuals, God will work with individuals regardless of which side they're on. So that was really quite a thing.

The comment was made: the same thing happened to an American Seventh Day Adventist who went into the war. He was sent as a medic to the Pacific theatre and went through all the invasions, took care of the wounded, and he got through. God protected him all the way. So you see, God can do it.

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Psalm 27:2, here's how God will handle the enemy. "When the wicked, my enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell…. [See, God can intervene and stop them.] …Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not be afraid… [This is how we are to approach our Christian life.] …though war should rise against me, even then I will be confident…. [You let nothing come between you and God. He's there to help you. He's your rock; He's your fort, everything like that. Now this shows the single-mindedness of David.] …One thing I have desired from the LORD, that I will seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple: (vs 2-4). That's obviously looking toward the resurrection.

Notice this: here's another promise. This is why when you're in trouble, you use the Psalms to pray. You go to Psalms like this; you claim this promise: "For in the time of trouble… [And all of us are going to find trouble. It's going to come upon us.] …He shall hide me in His pavilion, in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me upon a rock" (v 5).

Now come down here to Psalm 31:20. Notice this: "You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plottings of man… [What is that? That's with His angels; that's with His Spirit.] …You shall hide them in a shelter away from the strife of tongues." Quite a promise—isn't it?

Now back to Psalm 27:5: "…He shall set me upon a rock." We can go through other ones and know that God will intervene and help us…. [v 14, I'll let you read the rest of it up to that point.] …Wait for the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall make your heart strong; yea, wait I say, wait on the LORD." So trust in Him and have faith.

Now let's look at some things that we need to understand from the New Testament. Let's talk about how God has dealt with us. Let's come to 1-Corinthians 2:11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him?.... [And everyone has the spirit of man.] …In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world… [Now where does the spirit of the world come from? The prince of the power of the air, that spirit that is inner working in the sons of disobedience—it comes from Satan. We haven't received that.] …but the Spirit that is of God, so that we might know the things graciously given to us by God" (vs 11-12).

Now let's look at how Paul wrote of this in Romans 8. We haven't received the spirit of fear; the spirit of the world. Romans 8:14 is the key: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again… [What is the spirit of bondage and is unto fear? God has called us out of that.] …but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father'" (vs 14-15). This is to give us confidence and courage. This is what God wants us to have and we'll see in just a little bit, that is based upon faith.

Now let's come back to 2-Timothy 1:7 and let's see what God has given us. Here is what God wants us to have: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear… [because that comes from the world and that leads to bondage] …but of power… [through His Spirit] …and of love… [through His Word and Spirit] …and of sound-mindedness." Very important! That's what God has given us.

Now notice, let's come up here and see what he is told to do. Verse 6: "For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands." Now how do we stir up the Spirit?

  • you pray to God
  • you study His Word
  • you claim His promises
  • you ask God for the spiritual strength to stand up and do what you need to do

We know also from the other prophesies that there's going to come a time when there will be martyrdom. We can see it building up now with the hatred, the hate laws, and everything like that. It's being built up. What we need to do is ask God for the strength and courage, because remember: they can only kill the body. That's all they can do. God can resurrect it.
Now let's see how we are to approach God's throne. Always remember this: Never, never be afraid to approach God. Even if you have sinned and have a guilty conscience, go to God and repent, because here's why: Hebrews 4:14: "Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens… [At the right hand of God, Who is our Savior and Intercessor, and Head of the Church.] …Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith…. [Because the strength and the courage comes by faith, by God's Spirit.] …For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin…. [But He does understand and He does know and God is interested in mercy, not sacrifice. God is interested in grace, not self-righteousness.] …Therefore, we should come with boldness… [Or with courage.] …to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 14-16). God is there to do it and He will do it. He promises that, so we can claim those promises.

Let's come to Hebrews 11:1. Let's look at faith, because all of this comes from faith and trust in God. "Now faith is the substance… [Now the King James says confidence, but it's really the substance of God's Spirit in us that gives us faith. Faith in turn gives confidence.] …of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen…. [So that's why you have to have conviction. You can't be wishy-washy in it. You have conviction in it, God says He will help, He will. You have conviction in it that God says He will be with you, He will. Now notice:] …For by this kind of faith the elders obtained a good report" (vs 1-2). We just read part of it from the Psalms of David back there—didn't we?

"By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the Word of God, so that the things that are seen were made from things that are invisible…. [which is still true today] …By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it, though he died, he is yet speaking" (vs 3-4). Because it's written in the Bible and it is a testimony to us today. So remember this: everything that is in the Bible is a written testimony and it is good as speaking to us. So this is why when we study, we go to the Word of God to get strength. Because the way you have courage and confidence and faith is trusting in God with His Spirit and studying His Word.

Then it talks about Enoch, v 6: "Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For it is mandatory for the one who comes to God to believe that He exists… [And also everything that He is.] …and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." So this is the kind of faith that we need.

Now notice in every case, faith is followed by obedience and action. Likewise to have courage: that is followed by faith. You have faith and courage, whatever it takes to do whatever we need to do. Also let's see how this comes about—come to Hebrews 12. Let's look at the courage of Christ. Let's look where we are to derive our courage.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight… [Set aside fear, set aside anxiety, set aside frustration, set aside doubt.] …and the sin that so easily entraps us;and let us run the race set before us with endurance… [Here's how we are to do it.] …Having our minds fixed on Jesus… [That will give you the faith.] …the Beginner and Finisher of our faith… [That's why it's important that you also read and study the Gospels.

  • What did Jesus do?
  • How did He conduct His life?
  • What are His commandments?
  • What did He teach the disciples?
  • What are we to learn from this?

…Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross… [Now you can't have any worse martyrdom that what He went through, more marred than any man.] …although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (vs 1-2).

Now notice why we are to do this. Notice how this strengthens us and helps us. "Now meditate deeply on Him Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds…. [As a result of fear.] …You have not yet resisted to the point of losing blood in your struggle against sin" (vs 3-4).

Now what did Jesus say on the Passover night? John 16:33: He told the disciples, 'In the world you will have tribulation, but be courageous, I have overcome the world.' So if we have our minds fixed on Him and what He did, then He will be with us. He will always help us. He will guide us in every way.

Let's go to Hebrews 13:5. As we saw in the Old Testament, here's the quote: "Do not allow the love of money to influence your behavior… [That's why we are to love God more than fine gold, and all that sort of thing.] …but be satisfied with what you have; for He has said… [Now here in the New Testament, it is even more emphatic. This is why we are not to doubt.

  • If you have courage, you're not going to doubt.
  • If you have faith, you're not going to doubt.
  • If you have fear, you're going to have anxiety and doubt and you're going to wonder.

You're going to wishy-washy and you're going to vacillate.] …for He has said, 'In no way will I ever leave you… [So if you feel God has gone way off some place, turn right here. Open the Bible, get on your knees and pray this prayer. Ask God and claim this promise.] …In no way will I ever leave you; no—I will never forsake you in any way.'" Now in the Greek that is triple negative. You can't have anything more emphatic than that.

  • In no way,will I ever leave you
  • No!
  • I will never forsake you in any way

Claim that promise. Now notice what it does. That gives us courage.

Verse 6: "So then, let us boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper, and I will not be afraid…. [You won't have fear.] …What can man do to me?'" Well, if God is for you, nothing can be against you, so don't worry about it. I know in our lives we've gone through things where we wonder, 'Well, I wonder why we're going through this.' It was really some pretty desperate times and desperate moments, and sometimes, in duration of time. But now that we've gone through it, we can look back and say, 'Hey, that's what God wanted. God worked it out His way.' So that gives us more strength and understanding right now.

Let's see some other things. Let's look at the battle we're going to have to fight, because ultimately our battle is not with men or women or groups of people. Our ultimate battle is with Satan the devil. The ultimate thing that we have to fight are the things that are spiritual. So as we come here to Ephesians 6, let's remember the lesson of David and Goliath. Remember what happened there? David's father said, 'Well, you go take some food to your brothers who are up on the battle lines with the Philistines and come back and let me know how the battle goes.' So he goes up there and everyone is fearful and trepidatious and there's Goliath down in the valley saying, 'Send me a man. If he can defeat me, we'll be your servants; and if I defeat him, you become our servants.' Everyone was fearful and trepidatious. His brothers said, 'Oh, what's this snot-nosed kid doing here out in the battle.' So he said, 'Why are you afraid of him? God'll fight your battle for you.' 'Oh, look how big he is. He's a giant.' So then he said, 'Let me go after him.' 'You? You're just a kid.' So they took him to Saul and Saul was the king. He should have been leading in the battle, but he was sitting there—I don't know what Saul was doing. They said, 'David says he wants to fight him.' And he said, 'Well, you're just a kid. If you're going to fight him, tell me why you think you can fight him.' He said, 'Well, I rescued the lambs from the bear and the lion and I took care of them with my bare hands. Who is this Gentile out here, this big giant? He's nothing before God.'

They listened to him and probably looked at him and said, 'This kid is nuts, but let's give him a chance.' So Saul said, 'All right, but you're going to have to put on my armor.' So they loaded him down with the armor of Saul and he could hardly walk. Like this latest ad that they have, the little kid; he's let out of the station wagon and he's got a helmet on and he's got goggles to protect him, he's got gloves on, he's got padded sleeves and padded front and padded pants and padded knee caps and elbow caps, and he's going out to play. The kid has this little tennis racket in his hand and says, 'It's always best to be protected.'

That's how David felt with all this armor. He said, 'I can't use this. I haven't even tested it. Besides, I'm going to fight him.' So what did he do? He did the most ridiculous thing in the world. As he was walking down to fight Saul, he reached down in a dry stream bed and he picked up five rocks, put it in his pocket and he got out there and he said, 'I defy you in the name of God Almighty, the Lord of heaven and earth.' Goliath was insulted. He said, 'You send a child out to fight me!' So what did he do? He took one of the smooth rocks, put it in his sling, twirled it around and threw it at him. Struck him right in the forehead, fell over dead. David ran over there, got Goliath's heavy sword, lifted it up, cut off his head and stuck it on the sword and brought it back to Saul.

Now he had courage—right? Yes! Now the same way—because remember, the Church is likened to the tabernacle of David that is being raised up. So now we have a Goliath called Satan the devil and his minions to fight against. So here's what he says,

Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord… [That's where your confidence comes from. Always remember the parable of the ten virgins. Five were prepared and ready; five were not. You can't get ready at the last minute. You have to constantly be building your strength and confidence.] …be strong in the Lord, and in the might of His strength…. [or power] …Put on the whole armor of God… [What is the armor of God? The armor of God is not like the armor that Saul said let's put it on David. This is spiritual armor. Let's see.] …Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil… [Because he comes as slick as can be. He always has a benefit to give you if you sin. Always remember that.] …Because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities… [This is what is happening back in Washington, D.C. right today, with all of these nonsensical Marxist, fascist bills that are coming down. That's because of the principalities and powers that are back there, and it's not powers of God.] …and against power, against the world rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual power of wickedness in high places" (vs 10-12).

Why is everybody so surprised when nothing goes right in the government? especially those who are Christian! What do you expect in a world that is run by Satan the devil? What you need to say is this: 'when we're in the Kingdom of God, that ain't ever gonna happen again.' Because you are to learn the right way; I am to learn the right way, so we can properly rule and govern under Christ.

So here's what we are to do today. "Therefore, take up the whole armor of God… [Which is what? Faith, truth, love, strength and courage of God.] …so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having worked out all things, to stand…. [We are to stand for God; we are to stand for the Truth; we are to stand for what is right. That comes from God and that comes from the conviction of God's Spirit. Now notice he says again 'stand.' He says up here in v 11: 'stand against the wiles of the devil'; v 13: to stand;] …Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with Truth, and wearing the breastplate of righteousness, And having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Besides all these, take up the shied of the faith, with which you will have the power to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one" (vs 13-16). You don't have to succumb to anything that he throws at you. You can turn around and say, No! You can turn around and say, 'Satan, get you behind me!'

Verse 17: "And put on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God… [And how do you do all of this, how do you put it together?] …Praying at all times with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and in this very thing being watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (vs 17-18). That why everyday we need to pray for all the brethren wherever they are, and you can know this for sure: God is dealing with a lot of people we don't even know about in many different countries, little pockets of people here and there that God is dealing with.

Let's see the cure for fear. Let's come to 1-John 4:16—here is the cure for fear and it is the love of God. This is why

  • we can have full confidence
  • we can have faith
  • we can have courage
  • we can have strength
  • we can have conviction

—all of those things.

1-John 4:16 [transcriber's correction]: "And we have known and have believed the love that God has toward us. God is love… [And we are going to see the love of God is the greatest power to overcome fear.] …and the one who dwells in love is dwelling in God, and God in him. By this spiritual indwelling the love of God is perfected within us… [That's what God wants perfected. That is the greatest thing—the love of God.] …so that we may have confidence [courage] in the day of judgment because even as He is, so also are we in this world" (vs 16-17).

Now notice v 18. This is the key, and here's where we need to come to. Not on our own, not carnally, not in attitude of cockiness and vanity and pride, and all of that sort of thing, but in humility and love of God. "There is no fear in the love of God; rather, perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment…." A lot of people bring a lot of fear on themselves by worry and anxiety, when they should be on their knees praying. A lot of people allow themselves to get all consumed—like tonight is going to be Halloween night. It was reported on television that a lot of adults like to get in dark rooms and watch horror movies, so they can be filled with fear and all of those things. That gives an entrance to Satan the devil and isn't Halloween Satan's night? Yes, indeed! Isn't it interesting that Satan starts his occult holidays with a celebration of death and an exaltation of Satan and the demons.

But God has this: "…perfect love casts out fear because fear has torment…. [And torment is worry and anxiety. Now notice, since we're not perfect yet and His love is being perfected in us,] …And the one who fears has not been made perfect in the love of God…. [So we need to go to God, love Him more, love each other more, because love is the power to overcome; love is the power to cast out fear.] …We love Him because He loved us first. If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar…." (vs 18-20).

So not only that, you've got to confess your sins, you have to forgive those who have offended you, whether you can ever reconcile with them or not. You forgive them before God and you put it out of your life. You put all of these things of the world out of your life and develop the love of God.

"…For if he does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is he able to love God Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment that we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother" (vs 20-21). That's how we can develop the courage of God.

I'm sure we could go through and develop many more Scriptures to add to it, but this is the substance of

  • how you can have courage under fire
  • how you can have courage in times of trouble and difficulty
  • how then you can rely and trust in God.

All of this comes from Him and the ultimate of it is: The love of God to you and your love back to God gives you all the confidence and overcoming fear that you need in your life.


Scriptural References:

  • Numbers 13:17-20, 30-33
  • Numbers 14:1-11
  • Deuteronomy 31:6-8, 23
  • Joshua 1:2, 5-9
  • 1-Chronicles 22:5-13, 18-19
  • Proverbs 28:1
  • Psalm 19:7-14
  • Psalm 20:1-5
  • Psalm 27:1-5
  • Psalm 31:20
  • Psalm 27, 5, 14
  • 1-Corinthians 2:11-12
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • 2-Timothy 1:7, 6
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Hebrews 11:1-4, 6
  • Hebrews 12:1-4
  • Hebrews 13:5-6
  • Ephesians 6:10-18
  • 1-John 4:16-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

    • 1 Chronicles 28
    • Romans 6
    • Psalm 91
    • John 16:33

Also referenced: Books: A Thousand Shall Fall by Susi Hasel Mundy


FRC:lp
Transcribed: 11-23-09
Formatted: bo: 11-29-09

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