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In Your Patience, Possess Ye Your Soul. By: Minister Oscene Barrett

"It will be tougher, but in your patience (perseverance and endurance), possess (lay hold upon) ye your soul (life in Jesus)" 19In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21:16-19) As I sit to meditate upon the word of God as they relate to the ending of the times(eschatology) I realize that the challenges though great, will significantly increase as we get closer to the end. However, be encouraged sons and daughters of Jesus Messiah because Jesus had told us that it is NOT POSSIBLE for the Elect of God to be deceived (Matt 24:24). I thank God it is not possible. Contrary to the many erroneous interpretation of Matthew 24:24, the ELECT here is not the antichristian Jews who forever reject Jesus as the promise Messiah, but the Church of Jesus Messiah. Praise Jesus Messiah. Read on be encouraged by the teaching of the Apostle Paul.

19And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. 20Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. 21And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, 22Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. 23And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:19-23)

As I meditate upon the Apostle Paul's statement to those in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch; Acts 14 verse 22 struck me hard. Paul while ministering in Lystra was set upon by Jews (kinsmen as pertain to his flesh) who severely stoned him. The Bible says he was dragged out of the city as one that was dead. For a minute just try to imagine a motionless less Paul: how severely wounded he was; his head no doubt would have multiple wounds, face smashed and blood gushing all over him from head to toes; probably some broken ribs, limbs, and possibly a cracked skull.

These antichrist Jews (1John 2:22-23) and sons of the devil (John 8:44) believed they had killed the man of God, but God would not allow it. The Apostle Paul rose as soon as the saints were gathered around him. What were the saints doing around Paul? I do not know, because the text did not say. However, we know that the thought of loosing Paul would have brought sorrow to many who would have gathered around him and the natural out pouring of a sorrowful heart is a cry towards God, which we rightly called praying. (See Acts 21:10-14) So yes, I believe they were praying and the prayer of the saints sustains the man of God. So he rose up and return with them into the city from which he was dragged and where his attackers were.

Paul having gone to Derbe with Barnabas thought it prudent to return to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch to encourage the saints. Since he was stoned in Lystra by antichristian Jews from Iconium and Antioch; then many saints in these parts would no doubt have became fearful and intimidated by the devil through his Jewish antichristian agents, so these needed to see him in person. According to Acts 14 verse 22 he went into these enemy quarters encouraging the saints to CONTINUE IN THE FAITH and reminding them that we MUST through MUCH TRIBULATION enter into the Kingdom of God.

He was saying to these saints who were being constantly attached by Jews and their confederates who joined them in persecuting the saints, that they should continue living for Jesus in spite of the suffering and tribulation that they have to bear. You must be determined not to give up, but be prepared to hold on to God until he returns or you will die and go to a devil’s hell. You are acquainted with my sufferings, but I do not quarrel about them, neither do I become discourage by them because I know and am persuaded that after I endure all of them I will find God.

Is it any wonder why Paul said while recounting such suffering that "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution?" (See 2Tim 3:10-12) To Paul suffering was never an option, but a must come; hence with patience we can endure to the very end, so that we will lay hold upon life eternal. Jesus recognizing the absoluteness of suffering warned us before that we must make it our priority to endure all of them, hence he said, "He that endure to the end, the same shall be saved." (Matt 24:13) While many become frightful about the possibility of going through a great tribulation, and as a result invent doctrines designed to escape, Jesus and the Apostles remains True in that they affirm that we MUST go through. Therefore, we must endure to the end of it, not the beginning, mid-way or three-quarters of the way, but all the way to the end in order to be saved.

The apostles were never perturbed by their many persecutions that come upon them because of the Lord, but they count it a privilege to suffer for Jesus (Acts 5:41; Rom 5:3-5; 1Pet 4:1, 12-16).

Paul said we MUST through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God. We know that according to John 3 verse 1 to 7 the Church of Jesus Messiah is the Kingdom of God. This is however, the “NOW” aspects of the kingdom of God, which requires obedience to Acts 2 verse 38 plan of salvation, which Paul refers to as grace through faith as recorded in Ephesians 2 verse 8 to 10. Here Paul was speaking to “Disciples of Jesus or believers in Jesus” hence they were already a part of the Church being baptized into Jesus Messiah and received the Holy Ghost evidenced by them speaking another tongue/s as God gives utterance.

He also used the pronoun “We” in the last phrase of verse22, which indicates he was also speaking of himself who was already a part of the “NOW” kingdom of God entering the Kingdom of God through much suffering. In short he was speaking of the future aspect of the Kingdom of God that will come when Jesus returns after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-31; 1Cor 15:50-55; 2Tim 4:1; Rev 11:15; Rev 20:4-6). It is into this future aspect of the Kingdom of God shall Paul and the saints in his time and now enter into through MUCH tribulation.

He was really saying that Tribulation is the path we choose when we accept the name of Jesus Christ in baptism. This is the Strait (not straight) gate we using to enter eternal life. Now the word “Strait” means struggle, persecution, or to press beyond measure: this implies hardship and/or suffering cause through persecution. The etymology of the word “CHRIST-IANS” implies that the one so called deserves to suffer. When the word “Christians” were coined in Antioch it did not mean Christ-like as we have it today, but it meant followers of an impure or an unholy Christ or priest-head, thus by labeling the believers like this is to say they were followers of an unholy priest-head, and thus should be avoided at all cost and/or possibly killed or persecuted.

When we therefore accepts the name CHRISTIANS it is like signing your own death warrant or pledging to serve in the midst of struggle. Yes, you are the devil’s number one enemy when you accept God so be prepared to fight the good fight of faith. He will attack you were it hurts and where best to attack but you faith-mind. The devil wants to sieve you like wheat (Luke 22:31-32).

16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk's, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21:16-19).

The author of the book of Luke puts it like this, “In your patience, possess ye your souls (Luke 21:19).” Read the Luke 21 and recognize that this was in the midst of trouble where God was saying that we should endure and persevere in order to lay hold on life (possess your souls).

You just can't give up now. You just can’t walk away now. Yes, you just can’t quit now. I believe, you come too far to let go. In the midst of your test (and test they are), in the midst of your struggles (and struggles they are), and in the midst of your hardship (man, it’s really hard these days) DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM JESUS. Stand and let’s fight till the end. A crown of life/righteousness awaits us. As hard as it gets, let us be brave and FIGHT. Fight, be brave, against all evil. Never RUN.

While others are failing (many mighty men/women), you cannot. While many are throwing in the towel (bishops, pastors, leaders, and parishioners), you cannot. While many are backsliding into sin (this wind is cranked up and is strong), you cannot.

In your patience, you must possess your soul. In other words, hold on to Jesus and say to the devil, that you will not let go of Jesus even if it cost my life.

6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Matthew 24:6-13)

Peace be on the Israel of God

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