Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand how to move beyond the beachhead of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Beyond the Beachhead of Faith
"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. " First Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verse 2
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share with your those truths that lie beyond the initial beach head of faith, those truths that have to do with the progressive acquirement of divine perfection of our moral and spiritual characters. Not only will we carry out all of our moral responsibilities, but we will love each other as Jesus loves us. We know that some of us have stalled on the beachhead of faith, and it is our desire to be inspired to move beyond the stall.
We enter the kingdom by faith; having done so, we must move forward or else be pushed out of it. We have been given much. Freely we have received and freely we must give. Jesus says, "To every one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away. You cannot stand still in the affairs of the eternal kingdom. My Father requires all his children to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. You who know these truths must yield the increase of the fruits of the spirit and manifest a growing devotion to the unselfish service of your fellow servants."
If we do not move from the initial beachhead of faith, towards unselfish service, selfishness will force us out of the kingdom, off of the beachhead, and back into the ocean of evil, sin, and even iniquity. We must continue to overcome selfishness with unselfishness; we must continue to submit to the Father’’s will. Some may ask, how do we move forward in the kingdom? To help us further grasp the concept of moving beyond the beachhead of faith, we use a material analogy.
Prior to joining the military, recruits take an oath when inducted into the armed forces. They swear to abide by the officers appointed over them and to uphold the constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They pledge to give up their material lives if necessary to uphold this oath. After signing a contract, they are duly inducted into the armed forces, where they begin training that is designed to transform them from civilians to military personnel, soldiers, sailors, marine, and airmen. After training they are assigned to various military units.
During World War II, after much preparation and struggle, the Allies launched a massive invasion of France to defeat the German war machine. This force was made up of thousands of soldiers and other military personnel. After suppressing enemy fire sufficiently, soldiers landed on the beach and established a beachhead. They realized right away they must move from the beachhead, least the enemy counterattack and push them back into the sea. And they must make room for the other forces coming behind them with the necessary men and supplies to maintain the momentum and keep the enemy off guard. This they were able to do, pushing the Germans out of France and eventually defeating them. This required courage, endurance, tenacity, persistence, and a willingness to die in the pursuit of their mission. There was no room for cowardice. These men had sworn an oath to submit their material will to the will of their superiors. These men had agreed to lay down their lives if necessary, and thousands did. The Allies prevailed.
Now that we have accepted salvation, thus enlisting in the Army of Righteousness, we take an oath. We agree to submit our wills to the Father’’s will. We agree to wage spiritual warfare against the foes of righteousness and ultimately to conquer them. When we sign this agreement with our faith, we are then inducted into the Army of Righteousness, the kingdom of heaven. We are born again and arrive at the initial beachhead of faith. And now we must move off this initial beachhead and push forward to conquer the foes of righteousness. After we enlist in the Army of Righteousness, we receive training. This training consists of actual experience in the battle against the foes of righteousness. It is twofold: an inner training as well as external training, and both are synchronized to occur at the same time. The training on the inside consists of self-conquest, of learning how to do the Father’’s will. We come to recognize all error and immaturity within ourselves, and as this evil comes to our conscious minds, we repent of them. We learn to submit every single desire, urge, or impulse to the Father’’s will. The soldiers of righteousness enter the kingdom and acquire divine righteousness by faith.
"We cannot buy salvation; we cannot earn righteousness. Salvation is the gift of God, and righteousness is the natural fruit of the spirit-born life of sonship in the kingdom. We are not to be saved because we live a righteous life; rather is it that we live a righteous life because we have already been saved, have recognized sonship as the gift of God and service in the kingdom as the supreme delight of life on earth. When men believe this gospel, which is a revelation of the goodness of God, they will be led to voluntary repentance of all known sin. Realization of sonship is incompatible with the desire to sin. Kingdom believers hunger for righteousness and thirst for divine perfection."
Here in the kingdom, we learn to use the tools of spiritual warfare through prayer. Prayer teaches us how to submit our wills to the Father’’s will. We learn how to recognize the divine will and how to execute it. We learn wisdom that will make our decisions wise as well as right.
Externally our training consists in conquering the foes of righteousness. Now it might appear that the training as such actually precedes the real the battle. But divine technique requires that the training and the mission all take place at the same time. This technique involves our being presented with ever-increasing difficult objectives (in reality progressive levels of moral and spiritual obstacles) to overcome, internally and externally. But the spiritual techniques and weapons are far superior to the material techniques and weapons.
Faith is the primary weapon for moving from the initial beachhead of faith. This weapon is used to enter the kingdom and to activate all other weapons used--weapons of truth, beauty, and goodness, not to mention the all-conquering weapon of divine love. Now let us digress a moment and describe how this weapon works.
Instruction for using the weapon of faith is best received internally rather than externally because faith itself exists within. When we try to get external guidance for using this weapon, we run into all kinds of problems, like doubt. Doubt arises because the material mind can only see material things. The things of the kingdom are so foreign to the material mind, it is basically skeptical of them. And there are other barriers such as prejudice, ignorance, pre-conceived ideas, not to mention intellectual deficiencies that hamper the understanding of intellectual ideas. When faith instructions are filtered through the material lens of the mind, they are distorted.
Just as the material eyes are the sight of the material self, faith is the sight of the spiritual self--the soul. What the eyes are to the material body faith is to the soul. Material eyes cannot see what the soul sees, anymore than spiritual eyes can see what the material eyes see. So if we desire to operate in the spiritual kingdom without being blind, we must use faith to see.
Faith is extremely accurate unless we smudge it with material concepts. As long as our faith is used to view our relationship with the Father, it is accurate. This is important because as we operate in the spiritual kingdom the Father is giving us instruction; for us to see these instructions, comprehend them, we must be able to have 20-20 vision.
It is extremely difficult to see the instruction when we are suffering from spiritual distortions brought about by attempting to see with material eyes. The Father is revealing divine values and meanings to our souls, and we must have the faith to see (comprehend) them and the trust to accept them. Without seeing and accepting these divine values and meanings, we are defeated before we even get started. There is another force within us that vouches for the validity of values and meanings: the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth is the spirit force that makes truth meaningful. If meanings are meaningful to us, we can operate with them and thus they become self validating. We shall have more to say on the Spirit of Truth shortly.
Now that we have detailed the training and difficult objectives internally, let us turn our attention to training and spiritually difficult objectives externally, which are against the forces of evil, the triumph of good over evil. The strategy of the spiritual battlefield is planned by the spiritual staff. They arrange the circumstances of the battlefield of evil. They arrange the warriors and assign their targets. These targets are selected so that the warriors require all of their training and skill to overcome them. In this way, the growth potentials of the soul are unfurled, in effect moving off of the beachhead of faith and taking the spiritual fight to the foes of righteousness. Each battle the warriors of righteousness engage in is a little bit more difficult than the preceding one. But this really presents no real problem as long as the weapon of faith is operating. And this is why.
The Father is all powerful, all wise, all knowing and full of unlimited love, mercy, patience, and forgiveness. There are no limits to the quantity of these qualities that the warrior can use in his battle to move off the beachhead of faith, to grasp progressive divine values and meanings, and conquer the foes of righteousness in the process. Now as you might think the training may be inadequate for the differing battles since the battles and the training are taking place at the same time, that is, the divine values and meanings are given at the same time they are being used. But the Spirit of Truth envelops the souls of these warriors and makes them invincible as long as they fire their weapons of faith.
This Spirit of Truth is the assurance of their training and their victory. Internal victory is overcoming the self with the divine qualities while external victory is defined as displaying the qualities of divine values and meanings. After an adequate period of being exposed to these qualities eventually the foes of righteousness will either chose to accept them or be blown away by the spiritual atomic bomb: eternal obliteration.
But during the period of testing, “the Spirit of Truth endows us with the power to forgive personal injuries, to keep sweet in the midst of the gravest injustice, to remain unmoved in the face of appalling danger, and to challenge the evil of hate and anger by the fearless acts of love and forbearance.” Allowing the Spirit of Truth to function by releasing our faith moves us beyond the beachhead of faith and through the plains of multiples battles until we reach the highlands of moral and spiritual perfection.
This concludes today's message on understanding how to move beyond the beach head of faith. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.