If the Elect Overcame in the First Age Why Do They Have to Go Through the Pain and Suffering of this Flesh Age?


If we, as the elect, overcame already, why do we need to be shown the pain and suffering of this flesh age, if we already rejected Satan and his policies and stood with God?

I am nothing but unhappy, or no emotion at best, most of the time.  I basically look forward to nothing as I’ve gotten older.

Doesn’t Paul say we will have Joy?  If I don’t have joy, I must not be one of the elect. Pastor Murray always said the elect are bold; I am not.  Maybe I’m not even truly saved because I’m not reacting they way I’m supposed to when suffering.

Yes I understand what PM preaches about the antichrist coming first and that he will portray himself as Jesus but I don’t react to this knowledge the same way others of the elect that I know do.

Pastor Murray always spoke of the increase of evil in the end times but he also spoke of an increase of the Holy Spirit.  I can see/feel evil increasing daily but where is the relief?  I don’t feel it.  No sense of inner peace that it will be OK.

Instead, I feel that life has gotten worse for years and years.  I have little hope left that it will improve.  Based on the past, how could I feel otherwise?  I guess I’m ‘murmuring’; we both know how God feels about that, and not worthy of election.

I apologize for dumping on you.  But feel I have nowhere to turn with these thoughts and feelings.  Maybe a quick ‘stop whining’ is all the response you can provide.  I don’t wish to be a pest and will not make a habit of emailing you my problems as I know it can be tiresome.


Steve’s Answer:

Hi B.,

You asked, “If we as the elect overcame already, why do we need to be shown the pain and suffering of this flesh age if we already rejected Satan and his policies?”

Pain and suffering is just an integral part of this flesh life, and no one who goes through the flesh escapes it.  Not me.  Not you.  Not the prophets.  Not the forefathers.  Not Jesus.  Not His disciples.  Not anyone.  The good, the bad and the ugly alike have to deal with it.

The elect aren’t here to learn from the pain and suffering.  Instead, they’re here to help set the right example for others in the course of this chaotic and often painful flesh life, and hopefully to help draw God’s wayward children back to Christ through that example.

Behind Enemy Lines 

It’s important to remember that Satan is the “god of this world.”  As it’s written:

2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So, if Satan is the “god of this world” that means the elect are operating behind enemy lines while on this earth.

In other words, we’re in Satan’s territory, not God’s.  And we’re working to help God’s wayward children who failed in the first age to see through Satan’s deception and come out of his wicked system.

That means we have to live and suffer through this flesh life like anyone else.  More importantly, if we’re truly acting on Christ’s behalf in this flesh life, it means we’ll be persecuted while we’re here.  As St. Paul stated:

Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

When you’re operating behind enemy lines, the enemy doesn’t take too kindly to it.  By telling the truth, you become a disrupter of his system.  So sooner or later, Satan makes sure you’re persecuted for it.

Christ is the perfect example.  He never hurt anyone.  He walked around feeding the poor, healing the blind, the lame, the sick and the demon-possessed, and He even raised the dead a time or two.  And what did He get for all of His goodness?

Rejected, betrayed, scourged, bloodied and crucified.

So if you’re part of the elect body of Christ, how do you expect anything different?  As Christ Himself stated:

Joh 15:20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

And also the words of St. Paul:

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

If you’re living Godly you’d better expect persecution and problems.  We’re not here for a party.  We’re here for spiritual warfare.  We’re here to be treated by Christ’s enemies like sheep to the slaughter.  We’re here to hold up the straight-on truth of God’s Word for all to see, and to fend off the fiery darts of Satan in the process.

Whoever put it into your head that you should be treated special because you’re one of God’s elect, or that you’d be protected by God from experiencing any of the ravages of this flesh life, did you a grave disservice.

You said in your previous email to me that you’ve been studying with Shepherd’s Chapel for “almost 30 years.”  Yet I haven’t heard you saying you’ve put any of what you’ve learned in all of those years to use, or have worked to accomplish anything for the Lord.

What about doing something as simple as anointing yourself with the oil of our people, and claiming God’s Word of forgiveness of sins, healing of ills, mercy and grace, and protection against Satan, and then go to Father in prayer asking for His help?

You can’t just “study.”  You have to put what you’ve learned into practice.

Mat 13:44  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

So, have you gone “all in” for Christ?  Or are you expecting Him to cater to you, without you accomplishing anything on His behalf?

Maybe your lack of joy comes from not appreciating what God has given you so far, i.e., the eyes to see through Satan’s deception when most of the world simply can’t see anything spiritual at all.

You’re Here Voluntarily

Finally, let me point out one more thing:  If you’re one of God’s elect, you weren’t sent here against your will by God.  You volunteered to come into this flesh age to help God’s wayward children, and to set a good example for them.  As it’s written:

Isa 6:8  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

God’s elect are volunteers for this tour of duty behind enemy lines.  We saw how much it pained God to be put into the position of having to destroy His own children for following Satan in the first age, and we volunteered to help in His plan to save as many of those children as possible from Satan’s deception in this present flesh age.

Isa 6:9  And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.


Isa 6:10  Make [i.e., declare] the heart of this people fat, and make [i.e., declare] their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

When God’s elect said “Here am I; send me,” thereby volunteering to take a trip through this flesh age in order to help His wayward children come out of the deception and find salvation, God told us to let His children know what their true problem is.  He told us to tell them that…

They have ears, but don’t use them for spiritual hearing, and they have eyes, but don’t use them for spiritual discernment.  Therefore, they’re easy prey for the enemy.  And they’ll never be converted and healed because they don’t seek the Lord with any degree of diligence or sincerity.  They’re too into themselves.  In their minds, it’s all about them, and not the Lord.  Does that description fit you?

Isa 6:11  Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,


Isa 6:12  And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

How long is it all going to last?  Until Satan and his fallen angels get kicked out of heaven and come down to this earth to deceive the whole world, turning the world into a spiritual desolation through mass apostasy and moving the hearts of the people of this earth far away from the Lord.

Isa 6:13  But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

Pastor Murray always taught that the “tenth” in this verse is God’s elect.  They’re God’s “tithe,” so to speak, or the ones He has kept for Himself because of their faithfulness in the first age, when Satan attempted to overthrow God’s throne.  They’re the ones He can trust.

The word “eaten” should have been translated “kindled” or “burned,” meaning this “tenth” (i.e., God’s elect) have to put up with the heat of Satanic deception and persecution while they’re here on this earth, in this flesh age.

God likens them to a tree that’s been stripped of all of its leaves and bark (by the enemy), yet they never lose their inner substance, because their inner man — their soul and spirit — is of the Lord.

In other words, we’re not here on holiday.  Being one of the elect of God isn’t part of the Carnival Cruise Line.  We have a very serious job to do, and sometimes it hurts to do it.  There’s persecution and pain.  It’s part of the package.  Always has been.  Just about every true servant of God suffered, sometimes horrifically. Including Christ Jesus Himself.

Where’s All of the Joy?

You asked, “Doesn’t Paul say we will have Joy?  If I don’t have joy, I must not be one of the elect.”

Well, as Christians we have joy in spite of all of the problems we have to go through.

It’s God’s Word that gives us that joy. It’s serving God and knowing for a fact that it’s all going to come out good in the end that gives us that joy.  It’s knowing that if we take the heat in this flesh life, we’re going to rule and reign with Christ in the life to come.

In other words, it’s spiritual joy. You sound like you’re looking for a different kind of joy, like going to a party, or getting a big new shiny car you can show off to your friends, i.e., purely flesh joy.

Sorry.  That’s not what we’re here for.  Again, this life is very serious business.  To get the kind of flesh joy you sound like you might be looking for, you’d have to sell out to the devil.  He’ll give it to you.  But I guarantee you’ll regret it in the end when you see the price tag.

Do Something For Him, for Goodness Sakes 

You actually sound, to me, as if you’re looking for reasons not to be one of God’s elect, nor to serve Him.

Look, I understand.  I’ve suffered illness, depression, pain, loss, injury, and more.  There have been many times when I could barely stand to face the day.

But then I get back into God’s Word and remember what we’re here for, and what the end result will be.  And I smile to myself and keep moving forward.

This flesh life isn’t about me.  Or you.  It’s about God’s wayward children, and working within God’s plan to help save them from the deception.

I’ve met Christians who were all joy, but no knowledge and no works on His behalf.  So they’re never persecuted, because they’re already in Satan’s pocket and they don’t even know it.  It’s fake joy.

I call them bliss ninnies, because they just run around yelling “praise Jesus” all of the time, and wagging their little tails like puppy dogs as they do so, but never quite getting around to accomplishing anything of any true significance for the Lord.  Their joy will be short-lived. As it’s written:

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?


Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

They were playing church, not doing the works of God.  They took great joy in playing church.  But that’s not what God wanted of them.  And that joy, as I mentioned, will be very short-lived when Christ arrives and they find out their “works” were inadequate and misguided.

I get my joy out of accomplishing things for the Lord that He wants accomplished, such as documenting and distributing His Word of truth to others.  And guess what?  The more I accomplish on His behalf — the more Bible studies I write, the more people I reach with His Word — the more Satan attacks.  And thus the more I’m robbed of my flesh joy.

But Satan can never rob me of my spiritual joy — the joy I have in knowing for a fact that I’m helping royally disrupt his little system by bringing God’s Word to people, and pissing Satan off to no end while making Father happy in the process.

Again, it sounds like you think you’re here on this earth to attend a non-stop party, and someone swiped your invitation to the party at the last minute.

Sorry.  But you’re not here to be a good-time-Charlie.  This flesh life mostly sucks.  Yes, there are good times.  And there are bad times.  But we’re here to serve the Lord, and that brings persecution (both physical and spiritual) and pain and problems.  And that’s because we’re serving behind enemy lines.

God says He won’t give you more than you can handle.  But you’ve got to go to Him and talk to Him about these problems.  You’ve got to claim His promises.  And you’ve got to move forward like you believe them.

As He told Job, “Gird up thy loins now like a man.”  Or, as it’s further written, when we have infirmities or problems we are to go straight to the throne:

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Have you boldly strode before the throne, described your problems to Him, rationally, and asked for His help, mercy, grace and guidance in your time of need?

Where’s That Holy Spirit?

You wrote:  “Pastor Murray always spoke of the increase of evil in the end times but he also spoke of an increase of the Holy Spirit.  I can see/feel evil increasing daily but where is the relief?  I don’t feel it.  No sense of inner peace that it will be OK.”

The end-days increase in the Holy Spirit spoken of by Pastor Murray corresponds directly to your study of God’s Word and to your work on behalf of the Lord.

In other words, the more you do for Him, the more help you get from Him.  The less you do, the less you get.  As it’s written:

Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are pretty much synonymous.  If you don’t seek diligently after God’s Word, and follow up by doing work on God’s behalf as you learn what He wants from you, you won’t get much of God’s Holy Spirit in return.

That’s because His Word and His Holy Spirit are inextricably intertwined.  God initially draws you to His Word through the Holy Spirit.  But after that initial drawing, it’s all up to you.  If you like the presence of His Holy Spirit, and want more of it, you have to seek it through His Word, and through putting His Word into action in your daily life.

It’s delving deeply into His Word that brings you that internal saturation with the Holy Spirit that gives you true inner joy and peace, even in these decidedly tumultuous and dark times.

Consider reading my short study, The Holy Spirit and You, for better documentation on this issue.

A Couple of Fleshly Suggestions

Listen, I’m not a doctor.  So I can’t tell you what to do for the depression you’re feeling. You really need to talk to a good doctor or counselor about this.  Someone you can sit down and really speak to from the heart.

In the past, whenever I’ve been a bit depressed for some reason, and I’m having a little bit of trouble shaking it off, the first thing I do (after going to God’s throne and asking a blessing, and putting the problem into His hands) is try the methylcobalamin form of vitamin B-12.

I take 1,000 micrograms (mcg.) every day for a week or two, and my energy levels start rising and my mind starts clearing up, and the depression almost always lifts.

As Dr. Kelly Brogan, M.D. has stated:

“…in university studies, nearly one-third of depressed patients show clinical markers for B-12 deficiency. What’s more, even in depressed patients without markers for B-12 deficiency, taking the vitamin produced notable clinical improvement for those suffering from fatigue, sleep disorders, depression and dementia.”

She goes on to say, “B-12 deficiencies are easily the most important reversible cause of mental illness and dementia…it’s incredibly common…symptoms can manifest themselves in a broad spectrum of manners including poor balance, confusion, forgetfulness, depression, even psychosis.

Dr. Joseph Mercola, D.O., concurs, saying:

As your vitamin B12 levels falter, some of the initial signs will often include mood changes, such as lack of motivation or feelings of apathy. Low B12 levels can also lead to acute mental fogginess, memory troubles, muscle weakness, and fatigue.Chronic health problems of vitamin B12 deficiency include nerve damage, psychiatric problems (which may also mimic more serious mental illness), and dementia.”

So who knows?  The depression you describe could be a simple vitamin B-12 deficiency. You can get the activated form of B-12, called methylcobalamin, at just about any good health food store, or through Amazon.

Or you might consider doing what Dr. Andrew Stoll, M.D. recommends in his book, The Omega-3 Connection: the Groundbreaking Anti-depression Diet and Brain Program (which you can find on Amazon).  He recommends taking high doses of Omega-3 fish oil daily, which he calls “the good fats that help maintain optimal brain function.”

Most people are very deficient in omega-3 fish oil, because as a culture we hardly ever eat fish any more.  Our ancestors ate fish all of the time.  Practically every day.  It was a staple.  But we don’t, even though the oil of fish — called Omega 3 oil — is pretty much essential to optimal brain function.  You might remember from when you were a youngster, hearing that fish is “brain food.”

In his book, Dr. Stoll describes how he went into a mental hospital and did a study in which he took a bunch of the depressed patients and weaned them off of their anti-depressant medication while giving them high-dose fish oil — about six 1,000 milligram capsules per day, taken with breakfast.

Within a matter of weeks their depression symptoms vanished.  And they were all, over the course of time, able to leave the mental hospital and return to normal lives.

The Omega 3 fish oil trick has worked for me several times over the years, particularly when I was younger and allowed myself to fall into depression.  And it’s worked for other people I know, as well.

Again, I’m not a doctor.  I can’t give medical or psychological advice.  But this is something you might want to run past your own doctor, counselor, or better still, a good, local natural health doctor.

Turn to God; Make Your Service to Him Your Priority

And above all, turn to your Father’s Word for instruction, guidance and advice.

If you want spiritual joy in your life, do the things that bring about spiritual joy.  Yes, St. Paul said we should have joy.  But he also said that giving his life for God’s children would be a joy to him.  Sometimes, it’s a matter of developing the proper attitude.  As it’s written:

Php 2:14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:


Php 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 


Php 2:16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.


Php 2:17  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.


Php 2:18  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

Rejoice because God chose you to be of service to Him in His great plan to save His children.  It’s an honor very few have ever received.  Out of literally billions of people, you were chosen.

And in the end, if you overcome Satan’s deception, you’ll be seated with the Lord in heavenly places, meaning in the very throne room of God Almighty.  As it’s written:

Eph 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

And as Christ Himself stated in the great book of Revelation:

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Now, doesn’t the very thought of being seated with Christ in His throne fill you with joy?  It certainly should.  Think about it.

Regards in Christ,

Steve Barwick


Steve Barwick

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