All that Paul wanted was to keep gaining Him, obeying Him, winning Christ, to be found in Him, to count all as lost to win Christ (Philippians 3:7-21). Paul had decided that he would not consider himself as someone that had achieved Christ. He decided to forget all things behind and reached forth to the things ahead of him. “Let us mind the same thing, let us be following together,” and he said, “Let us mark them – those who are the enemy of the cross” (verse 17 and verse 18). Most of our problem is that we want the spiritual things but we focus on the earthly things. When your mind is set on things above, your mind can’t be set on things below. So, to be carnally minded is to be an enemy of the cross and of the power of God. How much is enough? Let us keep winning Christ. Paul had an encounter. He had been born again. He was saying, “Now, my whole life will be wasted to win Christ, to know Him and the power of His resurrection.” So, he said that he counted everything else as loss to gain Christ!

In another scripture in Romans 16:17-20, Paul tells us to “mark them who cause division.” Some people feel like an outsider but maybe because they have been marked! The church of Christ has marked them because they are dangerous to the Body. Some people are walking alone because they are an enemy of the cross, because they cause division in the body. They have been marked by a holy people. But they act like the victim telling everybody that people are rejecting them. No. What actually people are doing is protecting themselves and the Body. They are also marking the right ones, the good ones, the real ones, because the others are enemies of the cross. They are disobedient children, they are denying the gifts and Holy Spirit. Many become lone rangers because of rebellion.

There are certain things about people that Paul warned the church about. Let’s read 2 Thessalonians 3. The Holy Spirit is marking people and showing them to His people.  What does Paul say is unreasonable and what is a wicked person? God sees as wicked way less than we consider wicked. We consider wicked a palm reader, a witch, or a warlock for example, but God called as wicked an unfaithful servant (Matthew 25:26)! 

God is marking whole churches because they have become enemies of the cross. They are causing division, bringing wrong doctrine to His people. So many unreasonable and wicked preachers out there are changing the pure gospel of God, making faith and believing in the unseen realm demonic and ungodly. But the seed that came after Christ will produce many other seeds. The Lord is faithful to establish His own people and keep them from evil!  

How can we be nourished by a people that have been marked by the Holy Spirit? It is impossible. Not all Christians are Christians. Some were marked for us to avoid and be separated from them. We end up frustrating the grace of God when we disobey the Holy Spirit, when we try to be with people that bring disorder to His body. People that don’t submit to the order of the Holy Spirit, who are not submissive to the Holy Spirit and to the Word, nor to anybody in the Body of Christ. Mark every brother that walks this way. Wait! “But that is not love…”, they will say.  No, it is. We are just obeying the Word of God. 

If you are still disorderly, the Body ought to avoid you. According to Paul now, disorderly brothers were supposed to be marked. Paul told the church, “Mark them.” He also said “Have nothing to do with them.” Go ahead and try to preach that in the big churches or in the Babylonian church system!

The Body of Christ back then were so serious about not being charged with something against their Christ-walk. They were serious about representing Christ in the most honorable way! Paul was encouraging them to walk this way. Paul was determined to obey the Word; The Body of Christ was determined to obey His Word. Paul was telling us, “We don’t want to look bad because we are representing Christ.” If we just are concerned about representing ourselves, we will fail. But when we think of Christ, we will do all we can to represent Him as He is. We give power to what we believe. So, believe Him, believe His words. He wants to see you breaking free! He rejoices when we prosper in His very image.  

Here comes Paul again saying, “If they don’t obey the Word, mark them” {verse 14, 2 Thessalonians 3). People go to the churches as a social club, and they don’t obey the Word. There are whole churches that do not obey the Word. Paul is saying, “Stay away from them, mark them.” But the church won’t mark them because they are just happy with the numbers and happy that they show up! “Have no company with them…”, it is written. It is our job to make you feel uncomfortable when you should not be comfortable, but if you are, you must repent! 

The Word tell us, “Count not them as an enemy but admonish as a brother.” What is admonish? To rebuke, to reproof, to chastise, to reproach. Is that love? According to the Word, it is. The same Paul that spoke about love in 1 Corinthians 13 is now saying, “Mark them.” This same man, Paul, ekballo out of the church a man for committing fornication (1 Corinthians 5:9-12).

I don’t want to be marked by the Holy Spirit for being somebody to be avoided. I want to be marked by the Holy Spirit as an example of Christ here on Earth. Father, help us to represent you well. We want to be His favorite. We want to represent you well. Thank you, Father, that because there is grace, we can do things right. You still have time. We don’t want to be turned over to the devil. God, don’t give us whatever we desire if our desire doesn’t line up with your desire. The only way for us not to be deceived is to judge our own hearts, today. It is to make sure we don’t disobey His word, we don’t walk disorderly, and we don’t cause division! So, help us, God! 

will be a great increase in the latter rain! We won’t be slothful! We will be faithful. We will be like Daniel, and they won’t find legitimate fault in us! If Jesus is speaking, you better listen, you better obey, and you better follow it. Let your inner man be approved by the Holy Spirit! This is the mark we want! 

Shane W Roessiger 



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