Zeal – Getting back to our First Love!

I want to show you the importance of having Zeal and how it relates to our first love. The bible gives us many admonitions about having zeal in our lives and actions.

Do you understand why this is important? What does the word zeal actually mean? How do we achieve this zealousness in our actions? How does it relate to “getting back to our first love.

I want to answer those questions as we go along today.

Before we look at the meaning think about the situation the church finds itself in today. God finds Laodicea at fault primarily because they are lukewarm, that is they lack zeal. In fact the message found in the Rev 3:19-21 shows clearly That ZEAL and REPENTANCE are the main factors to be applied in coming out of this deadly attitude. Christ’s Knock to Laodicea is all about addressing this very issue.

Lets look at the Greek and Hebrew meanings of the original words translated zeal or zealous. In most cases the meaning is simply zeal or zealot in our language but in several uses especially in the new testament there is the addition of the word HOT in the meaning.

This is interesting given the ERA that we live in is described as being lukewarm rather than HOT as God desires.
First look at Revelation 2:4 where Christ is talking to the church during the ERA of Ephesus;

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Look at what he tells those of Ephesus to do to get back to that first love;

(Rev 2:5)  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

To get back to our first love it is apparent that we must do the first works. Do you remember what it was like when you first heard the truth of God’s word from Mr Armstrong? Do you remember how excited you were? How you wanted to tell everyone about the truth? How your misplaced zeal even got you in trouble with your family and friends who were not being called and therefore could not understand?

This was an example of your first love and the works that went with it. Simply put it was an immense love of the Truth given to us by God as part of our conversion.

We had a great Zeal for the Truth and because of that Zeal we wanted to share it with everyone.

We learned that we couldn’t go out and try to convert everyone as that wasn’t part of God’s plan so we turned our zeal into support for the work of witnessing to the world, given to the Philadelphian ERA of God’s Church to do.
We turned to working out our salvation in fear and trembling by learning these truths and trying to make them a part of us while we became a part of a greater work of reaching out to the world as a witness as well as putting out the Gospel of the Kingdom so that those whom God had called could hear and respond. Many were called and converted during those years.

Now we find ourselves in the Laodicean ERA of God’s Church. Now we are rich and increased with the Truths of God’s word. Now we have learned these truths and to a degree have made them a part of us and yet there is something that is missing that was there before.

God’s word says that we are blind and can not see our condition. Because we are complacent with what we know. Being enriched with the Truths of God’s word we have begun to feel safe and satisfied with our lives. We have become “lukewarm” and having become so we have lost that “First Love” that “HEAT or ZEAL” if you will that we had when we first learned these truths. We have stopped doing the works that kept that heat that first love alive in us.

See how the admonitions of the bible describes this very thing;

Rev 3:15  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Why do they think they are rich and have no need for anything else?

Because having been given all these truths and living in a time where there is no great work going on as in Philadelphia, they have not had their works tested or tried in the fire so to speak. They think they are OK because of this. This is why God counsels them to buy Gold tried in the fire.

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

You see Gold is used as a metaphor for character in the bible. Just as Gold is purified by the application of heat which causes the dross to rise to the top where it can be scraped off easily so to does the application of trials against us purify our character as it exposes weaknesses which can then be examined in the light and removed, thus purifying our character even more.

Mal 3:3  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

But when you have lived with the truths of God’s word for a very long time you begin to take it for granted. It becomes second nature to us we are no longer excited by it. We have in fact lost our first love.
God is very concerned about our attitude regarding our calling, brethren. Notice His comments about Esau in Hebrews 12:14

Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

If you go on to read the next few verses you will see why this upset God. Given what has been offered to us we DARE not have a lackadaisical attitude toward it. God is going to put the Laodicean church right into the middle of the Great Tribulation. Why? Because they like Esau are Lukewarm to their calling. They do not appreciate what God has given them because it has become second nature, they have left their first love. The heat has gone away from their day to day living.

So we see what Zeal is and why it is important to God. But lets go on and see why it is so necessary to us.
The life of a Christian is a constant battle against the pulls of the flesh and the suggestions and manipulations of satan intent on destroying us still born. Paul tells us that we do not battle against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. Notice in Eph 6:11-12

(Eph 6:11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

(Eph 6:12)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Let’s review for a moment the tools the armor if you will that God has given us to fight this battle and then I am going to show you an addition to this arsenal that increases it’s efficiency many times over.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

So here we see a Spiri1tual Warrior outfitted to battle. Now turn with me to Isa 59:17;

Isa 59:16  And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
Isa 59:17  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

Did you catch that last phrase? He was clad with ZEAL as a cloak.
Think about that for a moment. Zeal was wrapped about him as a cloak? How can that help a warrior in battle? Can you imagine a soldier going into battle with a Lukewarm attitude? Here he is in a life or death situation and he cares no more about it that Esau did about his birthright?
Why he would likely be the very first casualty in the battle. You have to be alert and watching constantly, for the enemy to appear lest you be caught off guard. You have to be physically hyped up so that you can react quickly to anything that presents itself to you. If you are too lazy or lackadaisical to raise your shield or swing your sword in time then you have lost before you even began.
Brethren we are the Spiritual Temple of God here on earth. Each of us is in fact building a part of that Temple. But in building our part God like a master builder is going to test each of our works to make sure they can be used in the temple. He is going to test it by fire;

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Now then we have seen the tools that we need and we have seen that our works are going to be tested in the ERA of God’s church by fire.
We have seen that zeal is an integral part of the Armor that God has given us to fight our battles so that we can build on that foundation properly.

Team Spirit a Tool to build Zeal

So now I want to show you another tool that we can use to build that zeal up to a fever pitch when needed. A tool that will give us great comfort and peace of mind as well as power to defeat any foe that is arrayed against us. To defeat any weapon that is brought to bear.
I want to show you the power, affect and mental discipline that comes from being a child of God and having His Holy Spirit within us. I want to show you how to tap into and use this fantastic tool to win every battle.

The Fruits of God’s Spirit can be summed up with the word LOVE! Love is the best of the fruits as Paul tells us in I Cor. 13:13 “The greatest of these is Love” in fact this Agape Love is what enables us to utilize all of the other fruits of the Spirit. However, today I want to talk about the affects on each of us, as individuals, of having this Spirit within us. How does it makes us act differently than before what is the overall affect of Having God’s Spirit.

I intend to do that by drawing a physical parallel. Comparing something in the physical world that works in a similar way.

This comparison can be summed up in one word as well it is a very unusual word. That word is OoRah! As I understand it that word is spelled oorah.

It is a term used by a Marine that is usually stated with great force and emphasis. It is a commitment by the marine that he agrees with and is willing to follow into battle his leader. Just as we as Saints of God or submitted to His rule and ready to Follow Christ into Battle.

That heartfelt commitment comes from his faith in his leaders to never place him in a situation that cannot be won and his trust in his brothers and sisters to support him in battle with the enemy. It also springs forth from his training and the equipment with which he has been given to fight the battles.

In essence he is saying or affirming that he is a warrior, that he is battle focused and ready. When we use the word AMEN, are we not in effect saying the same thing to our God?

Now remember this is a physical and worldly example that merely mimics what we as begotten sons of God have to work with. But it can help us draw parallels that can make it easier for us to tap into the power and tools that God has made available to us.

The fruits of God Spirit within us also focuses us on the battle that we must wage with the self and satan. The love that is shed abroad in our hearts by God’s Holy Spirit is our enabler. It makes us ready, it shows us how to put the fear aside and focus on the battle before us.

(Php 4:6) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

(Php 4:7) And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

So that we too are spiritual warriors, focused on and ready for the battle before us.

Interestingly the motto of the Marine Corp is Semper Fidelis which means “Always Faithful”.

Notice how similar to the Marine Corp is our calling. A recent advertisement for the Marine Corp states that; “many will hear the calling few will earn the title” just so Matthew 22:14 says: ” For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The Marines are considered to be an Elite Corp. They are the first that are called on to defend or attack. We also as the First Fruits of God’s Harvest, are to be the “Ruling Cadre of the Kingdom of God” The Elite Corp of God Beings who will rule the earth for a thousand years and the Kingdom of God forever!

Now that’s ELITE!

The Marine Corp has what is referred too as an Esprit de Corp. A Team Spirit if you will. I know that this spirit is artificially introduced to the marine recruits to draw them together as a team but in doing so it also protects them on the battle field as it infuses them with the ZEAL that they need to properly use each of the weapons they have been given.

God’s Spirit ties us together into a brotherhood of Saints. It unites us with all those living and dead who had God’s Spirit and are part of His First Fruits. There is a bond that is unbreakable and it infuses us with a Team Spirit much greater than anything available in the world.
There is a special bond that is shared amongst those who have God’s Holy Spirit indwelling in them. It is this team spirit if you will that keeps us tied together and in communication/fellowship. This website is designed to enhance that fellowship and communication to help build on that natural team spirit that is part of all God’s People wherever they happen to be.

The Marines say once a marine always a marine. That goes for us as well, once born into the Kingdom of God as a First Fruit of God we will always be part of the First Fruits of the Kingdom. A member of the church of the First Born written in heaven.

Look again at the Motto of the Marines, surely this is our motto as well: Always Faithful!

(Rev 17:14) ……..for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The Affirmation OoRah comes from a soldiers faith in his leaders to never put him into battle in a situation where he cannot win. Just so God tells us that he will never put more on us than we can bear;

(1Co 10:13) …….God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

It also derives from the confidence that he has in his comrades to support him in need. This is also part of our heritage and training. Notice;

(Gal 6:1) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
(Gal 6:2)  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

True brethren will always support us in our Spiritual Battles.

But we, the saints of God, as are marines, are also trained to stand on our own and to fight our battles as well;

(Gal 6:4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
(Gal 6:5)  For every man shall bear his own burden.

All of this comes to us as a result of God’s Holy Spirit being part of us and the fruits of His Spirit, culminating in Agape Love, working in us. We truly have an Esprit de Corps greater than any. It is the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit working in us that gives us this connection in a similar but even greater way than the marines because God lives in us through His Holy Spirit and empowers us to fight this Spiritual Battle that we have been called to.

Notice these fruits of God’s Spirit given to us;

(Gal 5:22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
(Gal 5:23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

These Spiritual Tools enable us to stand up against the pulls of the flesh and to overcome them, just as a marine has to go through basic training to put the flesh into combat shape and learn the skills to defeat his enemies just so we have to do likewise.

Using these tools made available to us from God’s Spirit we have to put down our flesh and train hard to learn how to apply God’s laws in our life to defeat a determined enemy. We have to have our senses “exercised” as do the marines to learn to see the enemy and defeat him;

(Heb 5:14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Another reason for a marines confidence is the fact that he has learned to skillfully use and has confidence in the weapons of warfare that he has been given.

In the same way we have been given tools of warfare with which to defeat Satan and his forces in battle. Notice again these weapons of warfare that God has given us;

(Eph 6:11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

(Eph 6:12)  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

(Eph 6:13)  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

(Eph 6:14)  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

(Eph 6:15)  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

(Eph 6:16)  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

(Eph 6:17)  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Notice another tool of our warfare that God Himself uses;

Isa_ 59:17  For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Notice that it was God Himself who used Zeal as a weapon of war.
We can also put our confidence in these powerful tools of Spiritual Warfare.

You can even take the analogy out a bit further. One part of the confidence a marine has is that he can always call in help from other elements of his Corp to aid him in victory. Just as he can call for support from air and artillery, we have God’s Spirit in us as a wellspring of additional strength and we could through prayer and supplication conceivably call down Legions of Angels, if the need be, to ensure our victory as well.

All of this overwhelming confidence of the US Marine expressed so succinctly in the term ” OoRah!” is more than matched in the fruits that we have from having the in dwelling of God’s Holy Spirit and can be expressed by our own AMEN!

We have only to have that courage and confidence demonstrated by the term “ OoRah!” to step out onto the battle field and God will cause us to prosper;

(Jos 1:7) Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

In fact our God tells us that No weapon formed against us will prosper in (Isa 54:17)

Isa 54:17  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Now seeing that we are called to be part of the First Fruits of God’s Harvest, let us look to our calling now in this Laodicean Era of God’s Church. Let us see ourselves as part of the Elite Corp of God’s First Fruits, part of the General Assembly of the church of the Firstborn as Paul tells us in

(Heb 12:23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Let us undertake the mission that God has given us to do. To prepare ourselves as the bride of Christ to show by our fruits what God wants His people to be about. Let us step forward with one voice to give OUR AMEN or OoRah! To God’s commission and calling for us.

We are forming up before God, He is preparing His bride to be an elite ruling cadre in the Kingdom of God and if we respond in time, to protect us from the wrath of Satan that is coming. Let us be an example to our brethren that they might turn back to Christ in time to be accounted worthy that Christ might pull them out of the fire and save their eternal lives. Let us rely heavily on our training and the weapons that God has provided because we know that satan will resist our efforts.

Christ is coming soon. Malichi 3:16-18 pictures God preparing His Jewels and taking note of their actions now. God’s Spirit is working in us now to help us prepare for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together because it is the interaction between brethren that instills that team spirit and increases the power of God’s Spirit within us. If you do not have the means to fellowship physically with God’s people them us the Fellowship opportunities that this site offers you until you can find a suitable church group to fellowship with.

Finally consider that the ultimate work of God is re-creating Himself as sons and daughters waiting to be born into His Kingdom and Family of God. This is the work of God and we are a part of that work. We are preparing ourselves to be the FirstFruits of that work so that we can then turn and help our future brothers and sisters in the Millennium and after to be born into that family as well. A magnificent Work and worthy battle. And here is this ERA of God’s Church Christ has shown us an additional work for the sake of our brethren, that we might reach out to them with the messages of the Knock of Rev 3:20 that Christ is preparing them to hear. It is the eye salve that they need to see what is wrong and why they need to repent now. Getting involved with this work is like those in the Ephesus ERA of God’s Church. They needed to get back to their original works in order to get back to their first love. Heping Christ do the work He has assigned to this ERA will help you more than anything to get back that First Love that initial Zeal that you had at the beginning and make sure that there is no lukewarmness lingering.

Just as God has called us and chosen us by giving us His Spirit, let us faithfully serve Him to walk worthy of our calling. Let the Esprit de Corp of God’s chosen elite rise in us that we may step forth wearing Zeal as a cloak to do the work God has given us to do.

Let us rise as one with our own “ AMEN or OoRah!” on our lips and hearts, to Zealously do the will of God. To follow our Spiritual Leader and Father into battle.