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I have been working on the two words, and their meaning for us. The Lord, I believe, and you should test, has shown me some things about His plans for us in 2013. Of course the year is a man-made time of recognition, and the Lord's year is not the same as ours, but with our celebration of the ending of one block of time, and the beginning of another block of time, the Lord often wants to inform us of where we are, how we are to continue, and some things He wants us to know about what is on the horizon. I like starting the new year, ending the old year, with communion. I like taking a bit of bread, a bit of grape juice, and commemorating what Jesus did for me on the cross. He gave His body to be beaten and killed for my sins, and gave His blood to be shed, but also be the atoning blessing to wash away my sins. Ending the year with Jesus, thanking Him for His mercy on me, is how I love to celebrate the new year. Beginning the new year with Jesus, consecrating my life, and plans for the year to Him is how I like to celebrate that time. Some get drunk to forget the bad, to try to engender some courage to face the new. Yet, they are of all people most miserable, for I can 'give thanks' to the Lord for His workings in my life in the past, and know He is still working for me in the new. I can rejoice in 'all things are working together for good,' for I love Him and want to be in His will. Stay tuned, and I will shortly be sharing the TWO words that the Lord has shared with me. You can pray about them, and see if God confirms what I am hearing from Him. I think you will find the two words this year to be wonderful words, and hold some revelation, of which I find the Lord keeps unfolding the message through the year. stay tuned... __________________ murjahel John
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Last year, we were to 'grasp' all that God wanted for us. God is a giver, and offers many things. We should have grown, revived, aspired, sang, and proclaimed this year of 2012... I hope I have grown, and know that God has been revealing much to me, about the Word, about my life. I hope that growing brought revival to my soul, it seems to have done so. I have aspired to get more from the Lord, and done alot of singing, (privately mostly for others' sake, lol). In the proclaiming, well, alot of teaching is done here on line, and currently the site is bringing an average of 900+ per day here. It has been increasing, and doing so very quickly. The lessons have been much on ministry, of healing, of looking at Jesus' sermons, at looking at the Bible's teaching on how to minister. That I hope aided others, as well as myself, on how to grow in our work of preaching, teaching, exhorting, etc. The Lord has seemed to have me 'grasp' much of what I feel was from Him. I hope you find 2012 to have been a year of GROWING, REVIVING, ASPIRING, SINGING, AND PROCLAIMING also.
I am currently 'grasping' what the Lord has to say about 2013... Will let you know more about the two words, and their indications for us, shortly. I know it is hard to be patient, cuz... I know the words, and I am still impatiently allowing God to show me more about them, and wanting to have it all now, myself... LOL This is a time of year, every year, in which the I enjoy what the Lord is showing. stay tuned __________________ murjahel John
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As I prepare to share with you the words, this song has special blessing, let me share it with you, as it will help when the words for 2013 are shared... You will love this song and worship. __________________ murjahel John
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Before I share these words, I would like to make sure that it is understood that thesse are the words that I believe that God has shared with me, about His plan of working in our lives in this next year. I have found them to be very revealing, very preparing, and even when not fully understood at the beginning of the year, I understood by the end far more. God does have a plan for our lives, He has a plan for the world. He is working that plan, and we see much of it revealed in prophetic Scripture. God's plan for Moses at one time was to take him to the desert and work with him in near seclusion in preparation for the next part of God's plan for him. Later God had him come back and for a while confront Pharoah with warnings and plagues. Next, the plan was for a wilderness trip to the promised land. Finally, God revealed a plan for him to view, but not enter the land. Each step of the way, God was revealing His plan, a bit at a time. We are in the last days, and God has a plan for Jesus to return, we have a plan to witness to the world, but there are more details to the plan, I have learned, that God wants also to reveal. What are God's plans for you? You need to seek HIM and ask Him. I will share what God tells me, and you should TEST IT, in prayer and Bible study. __________________ murjahel John
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A HINT of what the first word is... __________________ murjahel John
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I will give the first of the two words that the Lord has shared with me for 2013... it is my job to share, it is yours to test and confirm... the schedule for the words is 'Sunday' for the first word... and I will explain in the next several days after that, and then give the second word... by the end of the year, I will have mostly completed... the lessons on the 'sermons of Jesus' will continue, with an occasional lesson on 'healing'... and on 'King Jesus' ... so... STAY TUNED HERE IS ANOTHER HINT ON WHAT THE LORD IS SHARING... listen to the words... __________________ murjahel John
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God’s Words for Us
At first, the two words that the Lord gave me for this coming year of 2013, seemed strange. We do not always understand what the Lord means when He speaks to us, not at first. The revelation does continue, and the Lord unfolds vast meaning to what, at first, seems strange. Here are the two words, that somehow go together, that somehow the acrostic help explain His message, and that somehow, or somehowS, will fit the coming year, and the Lord's work in it. ashing W Our Righteousness Sharing His Incomparable Presence The first word that I will share with all of you, is the word . ‘W.O.R.S.H.I.P’ We are all familiar with this word, and with its meaning. What is God trying to tell us about ‘worship’? The words that make up this acrostic give us a definition of what ‘worship’ is. When we worship, we are ‘ washing our righteousness, sharing His incomparable presence. We shall look at that definition, and see what the Lord is wanting to do for us, and how we are to receive it from Him in this year of 2013. Christ’s Liberating Invigorating Mediating Accepting e Xample This word ‘shook’ me a bit when the Lord shared this one. ‘ ? Climax’ A climax of what? I do not want to read more into the word that there is, and I do not want to assume something it does not say. It is one word, and we do not know of what ‘climax’ the Lord speaks. I would like to think it meant a ‘climax’ to the church age, and a wonderful rapture. Perhaps it does, but I do not think God is meaning that with the word. The acrostic speaks of ‘ and calls it ‘ Christ’s... Example’ . That is a wonderful truth, we shall look at in more detail. liberating, invigorating, mediating, and accepting’ When the Lord, several years ago gave the word ‘EMERGE’, I was hoping to ‘emerge’ into the clouds at the rapture. Yet, as we saw, the rapture did not happen, and we ‘emerged’, yes!, but into many other things. With the word of 2012, GRASP, I again wanted to grasp hold of the hands of Jesus in the clouds, and grasp all the heavenly blessings in the year. We are almost out of 2012, and the GRASPING has been other things this year. You can see the pattern, I am sure, that we can read into the words, especially at the beginning of a year, of hopes we want to make the word tell us. The rapture is a wonderful event that is getting nearer and nearer, and we are all ( I would hope. ) looking forward to it, anxiously, and impatiently. I love the acrostic words for C.L.I.M.A.X., but the word itself concerns me, for I do not know why or what or how it is meant. We shall find out, as we did with P.E.A.C.E., E.M.E.R.G.E., and G.R.A.S.P. Stay tuned. Tomorrow, I will share what the Lord is already showing me concerning the 'acrostic' letters of worship. __________________ murjahel John
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The first word: W. O . R . S . H . I . P .
The word ‘worship’ is a word with which we all should be very familiar. It is one of the two words the Lord has shared with me for this year of 2013. "What does He mean with giving me this word?" is a question that I have been asking for some time now. The acrostic words are not separate ideas as were the words for ‘GRASP’ in 2012, and as in other years. This year, the words speak out a definition for worship.
Washing o ur r ighteousness, Sharing H is i ncomparable p resence
We do, as we worship, find that ‘our righteousness’ is being ‘washed’ . Our righteousness is as ‘filthy rags’, and His blood flows upon us, cleansing us, as we worship. II Corinthians 5:17-21 "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." When we are saved, we become "new creations". The literal Greek words for that phrase means " a new species which never existed before’. In other words, we are completely reborn, and we are to appropriate the benefits of this rebirth. Ephesians 4:24 "Ye have put off the old man, and put on the new man." This new person that we have become is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We do not wear the old unrighteousness that we once wore. Righteousness is not something we have by way of our actions or course of living. If that were so, we all would be unrighteous. We all have sinned, and continue to fail. None of us are perfect. There is in I John a verse that like the rest of the book is written to Christians. I John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." The battle with sin continues in this life till we are called home to heaven. Some want to claim a sinless perfection, but they cannot truthfully say that they do not occasionally sin. The Christian will sometimes still "fall short of the glory of God." Yet, we can still be righteous. Righteousness is not a goody-goody way of acting. It is not something we have to strive to get our works perfect enough to obtain. The Bible says that "all our righteousness is as filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6) The righteousness of God is given to us as a free gift. (II Corinthians 5:21) Too often, Christians have confused righteousness with holiness. They are not the same thing.
HOLINESS IS YOUR CONDUCT AND MANNER OF LIVING.
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS YOUR NATURE.
The word translated righteousness means "in right standing." When a person accepts Jesus, the person is moved into a place of right standing with God. We don't get righteous by our works, but by relationship with Jesus. He gives us righteousness in the process of reconciling us to God, and bringing us into a place of right standing with God. This process is done while in worship. We give God glory for forgiving, for forgetting our sins, for washing us in His righteousness, and that gives us His righteousness. II Corinthians 5:19 "...not imputing their trespasses unto them..." When we become saved, God no longer holds our former trespasses against us. Because we have no sins being held against us - we have a position of right standing, i.e. righteousness with God. With this new nature that we have been given there are many benefits. We need to realize that righteousness is a free gift of God. He chooses to make us righteous, and all we have to do is accept this gift, and worship Him for it. Luke 12:32 "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."
Are you righteous? ? ?
The answer should be "YES".
The blood of Jesus did not simply cover your sin over when you were saved. No! Rather, the blood of Jesus remitted your sin, it did away with your past sins completely. You, as a saved person, are RIGHTEOUS. Sinning again defiles our garments of righteousness, and we need a continual washing process we find in times of repenting and worship. Jesus taught, as had John the Baptist, that ‘repentance’ is the key to entering the kingdom of Jesus. They both began their sermons with ‘repentance’. Jesus preached ‘REPENT for the KINGDOM is at hand’. So to get into the kingdom, to remain close to the Perfect, Sinless, Holy King of the kingdom, we repent, and He forgives, and we then worship in His presence. Matthew 3:1-2 (KJV) 1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17 (KJV) 17 From that time Jesus to preach, and to say, began Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus ‘began’ to preach and say, we are told. The word ‘ began’ is in the middle voice, and indicates a precedence, meaning when He preached, He began with the ‘repent’ message. Jesus taught that one might enter the kingdom, via repentance. This accounts for the mass healings, the awesome events and signs of His ministry, for Jesus did not give the altar call at the end of the service, but began His messages with a call to repentance. Some of course resisted, but the hearts of those who repented were already softened by the removal of guilt and shame, and were in adoration and worship during the sermons of Jesus. That atmosphere of worship allowed great signs and wonders to occur. Righteousness is a free gift of God to you. Too many have what we call a "sin consciousness." A sin consciousness produces defeat and a false sense of humility. Many Christians carry around a sense and burden of past sins that have been washed away. Many open their services with a ‘worship’ time, but the songs are stale and morbid sounding when sung by un-repented, un-cleansed, unprepared people. When we experience the fresh ‘washing of our righteousness’, we step into the presence of Jesus pure in His righteousness, appreciative for His mercy, and we worship. Jesus is right there in our midst, accepting the worship of cleansed saints. Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Many, as Christians, carry around a "sin tag"??? Every time they start to feel the righteousness of God, the devil will jump upon their shoulder and remind them of all they ever did wrong. God cannot remember those sins, of which we are repentant. But till we repent, those sins hinder our worship, keep a holy God from being able to draw near to us. Yet, some think it is "spiritual" to berate themselves, and scold themselves over and over for sins, rather than just to repent, accept forgiveness, and worship in His presence. Romans 3:21-26 "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that were past, through the forbearance of God, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness; that He might be just, and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus." Whenever the devil tries to remind you of your past sins, call him a "LIAR." He is the "accuser of the brethren." If the sin is repented, it has been ‘washed’ in the blood, forgiven and forgotten by God. Tell this false accuser that the old sinful person that did those deeds is dead. Remind him that you are now a "new creation." This new person that you have become has been made RIGHTEOUS. You are, as a saved person, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:5-6 "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace are ye saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We are ‘raised up’ to ‘sit in heavenly places’, in the very throne room of God is our spirit when we praise the Lord. This happens and can happen as we are washed in His blood. Salvation is wonderful, and once we have repented of our past sins, we are in His kingdom. Yet, we continue to fail, so we keep getting washed in His blood, through repentance for sins, entering then into the ‘heavenly places’ wherein we can then worship. Salvation is an event of our past, but it is a continuing process of washing our too frequent failings, and this is done in worship times. Instead of living a life that is constantly conscious of past sins and failures, a Christian should live a life of thankfulness and worship to God for the position that He has given to us -- that is, the RIGHT STANDING with God that has been given to us - not for what we have done, but for what Jesus has done for us. This righteousness becomes our driving force, and we can meet the devil face to face and triumph. When we are doing battle with the Wicked One, we are told to take the "breastplate of righteousness." (Ephesians 6:10-18) Yet, some try to go to battle with the "sin-consciousness". This lack of realization of your RIGHTEOUSNESS will allow the darts and attacks of the devil to hit you. Carrying into the battle, the breastplate of righteousness, will give you something the attacks of the devil will strike and be repelled. We do not have to allow the devil to constantly remind us of all our past sins. They are forgiven. They are forgotten by God. They are sins of a person who is now dead, for you are a new creation who is totally in right standing with God. This is the truth of righteousness that many a Christian has forgotten. When do we remember the awesome mercy and righteousness blessing God? We remember as we are cleansed anew in our worship times, entering the throne room with repentance, continuing in thanks and praise, we find worship to be an awesome experience. As we allow this continual refreshing and washing of our righteousness, we develop a RIGHTEOUSNESS CONSCIOUSNESS, our prayers change, our worship is glorious. We then pray without fear. We approach God easily. We pray with confidence. We find our prayers with God to be more intimate. We pray brave prayers. This is all possible, because you will know that you are in right standing with God. Your righteousness has been washed, continues to be washed. I Peter 3:12 "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers." James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Righteousness is a gift, it is not earned by us. Romans 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." Because of Adam's sin in the garden, many became sinners. So, it is not by our own "good works" that we are made righteous. It is because of the obedience of Jesus, that we have the chance to have the gift of righteousness. We simply repent, and enter the kingdom, via that repentance, and there in the throne room of the King, we worship. Our worship is inspired, for we are cleansed by the washing of our righteousness. Praise God that we don't have to earn righteousness. It is given to us as a gift. We need to become aware of it, and enjoy its benefits. Many Christians have the gift of righteousness as an unwrapped present under the Christmas tree. As long as it remains unwrapped, and undiscovered, it is a gift that cannot be enjoyed. I Corinthians 15:34 " Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."
"Awake" means to become alert to this "righteousness".
The lack of being aware of this RIGHTEOUSNESS does become sinful to many Christians. It keeps them from victory. It leaves them unshielded from the "fiery darts" of the enemy. It allows the devil to make you feel defeated and worthless. It makes the devil a victor over you. WORSHIP is washing our righteousness and thereby being able to SHARE HIS INCOMPARABLE PRESENCE. Allow this truth of righteousness to fill your being. Praise God for this gift of righteousness. To dwell on our past sins and failures will lead us into sins. Romans 8:5-13 "For they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh... to be carnally minded is death... the carnal mind is enmity with God... if ye shall live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." We spend too much time attending after fleshly things. We think on weakness instead of strength! We worry about trouble instead of rejoicing in our victory! We think of the poverty of our wallet instead of rejoicing over the prosperity of our soul! We remember our past sins in place of enjoying the righteousness of our new person. As RIGHTEOUS PERSONS IN CHRIST, we have complete and total access to the ministry of Jesus. Since we have His righteousness, we can do the works of His ministry. John 14:12 "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also..." Therefore, we can, with His righteousness upon us, do the same kind of ministry that Jesus did. Philippians 2:5 "...let this same mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus." Jesus knew that He was in right standing with God. We can also know that we are. We can have this same humble, but righteous mind in us. We can therefore go forth with a ministry for God. The righteousness of God is the driving force of the ministries that God gives us. If we sit back and try to just say - "we're sinners saved by grace" - we will never go far enough in faith to move mountains, or to triumph over the devil. We need to claim our righteousness, and in it have confidence to cast out devils, lay hands on the sick, speak forth a brave witness for our Lord. Saved people are the greatest creations of God in the universe. Before salvation, we were bound for hell. Then when we were saved, we became: more than a conqueror, righteous, able to triumph over the devil and his demons, co-inheritors with Christ Jesus, and able to go to God's throne of grace boldly. Praise God! We were made righteous at salvation by entering into a relationship with the Lord. As we begin to live and choose to serve Him, we maintain a position of holiness, or sanctification. This service, this setting ourselves apart to be like Him, is holiness. Therefore we are commanded to be "holy." "Be ye holy" (I Pet. 1:16) leaves us no other option. We must strive to continually set ourselves apart for God. It is not elective. This was written to saved Christians, there is more to salvation than the initial repentance, for we need to often repent of our later sins, and live a holy life. It is not hard, it is simple, easy, and repentance is the key to entering the throne room often, there to worship. We have when we worship had our righteousness washed anew. I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth (literally -keeps on cleansing) us from all sin." MORE TO COME ON washing our righteousness, sharing His incomparable presence, stay tuned __________________ murjahel John
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Worship, get worship music, listen and sing to it. One cannot worship and praise the Lord for His awesome nature without feeling His presence. He inhabits our praises, and when He is there in ‘feel-able’ presence, one cannot be lonely. Find the kind of worship music that you love, fill the house with that music, turn up the volume. Sing along, praise Him. Play the best song you find over and over. Clap, dance (no one can laugh, you are alone). That ‘lonely’ time of praise and worship will be the highlight of your day. Psalm 68:4-6 (KJV) 4 Sing unto God, sing praises to His name: extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by His name JAH, and rejoice before Him. 5 A Father of the fatherless, and a Judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary (Hebrew word, yachiyd, meaning ‘to be lonely’) in families: He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Were Adam and Eve naked before the fall into sin? They recognized they were naked after the fall. Had they lost the clothing that God had provided? If they were naked before the fall, why did they not see that nakedness? When we take a look at the Scriptures, we may realize something that our generation has, for the most part, overlooked. Man is a fantastic creation. The body consists of various chemicals including iron, sugar, salt, carbon, iodine, phosphorus, lime, calcium, etc. There are 263 bones, 600 muscles, 970 miles of blood vessels, 10 million nerves, 2500 sweat tubes to each square inch of skin, 600 million air cells in the lungs. Our hearts pump 4200 times an hour, and pump 12 tons of blood a day. Yet, we are more than a body. We have a soul and a spirit. God Who made our body so fantastic, also made our soul and spirit fantastic. We are made in the likeness of God. Genesis 1:27 ‘And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him.’ We are made in the ‘likeness’ and ‘image of God. The word ‘image’ is from the Hebrew word ‘tselem’ and refers to the ‘resemblance of outward form’. The word ‘likeness’ is from the Hebrew word ‘demuwth’ and means ‘resemblance, model, shape.’ So, how are we ‘like’ God. Perhaps we are not so much in His image now, as we were then, for mankind was ‘sinless’ in creation, and far from that now. God has an aura about His manifest presence. It is described in Revelation 4:3: ‘a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.’ An aura surrounded His manifest presence. Could it be that mankind was also created with an aura about their body, and that aura, of glory and indicative of their spiritual state, was removed by the fall into sin, and that is why Adam and Eve saw a nakedness after the fall, that was not noticed before? In the garden, Adam and Eve had a aura of God that clothed them until the fall of sin. That aura made the animals submit to them, the ground gave forth its fruitfulness to them, the aura of God’s power upon them gave them dominion and blessing. In the last days, after the harvest of tares, during the double portion time of revival, the aura about the saints will increase so greatly, that animals will sense God’s presence, the ground one walks on will too sense the glory of God, and various signs will show this to be true. When our inner spirit is connected to God’s presence, there is an aura of God’s presence round about us. Sin broke that connection. The eyes of the body, in a sinful body, does not see that aura now, but in the ‘spirit’ we can see ‘aura’s’. A sinner is still ‘naked’ of that aura. God instituted clothes to cover that nakedness, and to symbolically remind us of the need to be ‘covered’. Man was made a little lower (for a little time lower) than the angels. (Psalms 8:3, Hebrews 2:7) The fantastic clothing of His presence will again clothe completely, and even soon be seen, when we get our new bodies. Genesis 3:7 "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked (Heb. Ay-rom, ‘bare’) and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.’ The word for ‘ naked’ there, in the Hebrew, does not necessitate having all clothes gone. A stripping away of part of one’s garments would also qualify. Adam and Eve were still ‘naked’ before God, still hiding in shame, even after sewing fig leaves together. God came to the garden, and did not restore the aura, but showed them that ‘blood’ had to be shed, the garment of a ram had to cover them. This symbolically showed that the ‘righteousness’ that the aura represents has to be replaced by the ‘shedding of blood’ of the Lamb. Our own righteousness is not much of an aura. Our righteousness is as ‘filthy rags’, i.e. mud covered rags. We need to have those washed, and miraculously be replaced with the righteousness of Jesus, and that will be an ‘aura’ of His presence, wherewith we can enter His presence. The word ‘WORSHIP’ referred to ‘ W ashing Our Righteousness Sharing His Incomparable Presence’ . His righteousness upon us is His incomparable presence, and we are then in worship. Mankind has always tried to add more garments to counter the loss of the main garment we are to wear. The ‘aprons’ that Adam and Eve added, did not qualified. The word means ‘girdle’. And to add that to clothes they probably already had on, did not replace the righteousness that they had. They wanted to replace the covering that was missing due to sin. God put a ‘coat of skins’ on them. Genesis 3:21 "the Lord God made a coat of skins, and clothed them’. Blood had to be shed to cover man, till the former garment of righteousness could be restored. The aprons of leaves was not sufficient. Adam’s sin was willful, for Adam was ‘not deceived’ as was Eve (I Timothy 2:14). Adam knew what God had commanded, and willfully rebelled against that rule of God. This sin reflected upon the goodness of God. Adam’s sin was a breach of the law of God. This was spiritual suicide, that Adam did in his sin (Romans 2:14). His sin brought evil upon others. Mankind had changed from being innocent to being a failure. The ‘eyes were opened’ and man immediately sensed and saw the change. God’s desire to re-clothe man, and man’s attempt to re-clothe themselves, shows the recognition of the change. Mankind became totally depraved of any goodness that would replace the innocence and righteousness that they once had. The original righteousness was corrupted and instead of an inclination to do right and good, mankind has since has the inclination toward evil. Total depravity refers to man’s total inability to restore he Creator/creature relationship without God’s help. Every tear, every drop of sweat, every pain, every sorrow, every death, every heartache, all trace back their origin to the first sin of mankind. Man’s whole nature is tainted by sin. The human spirit is darkened (Ephesians 4:17-18, I Cor. 2:14). Man’s soul is debased and inclined to sin (Jer. 17:9, Eph. 4:11). Man’s body is diseased and bound for death (Romans 7:24). Man’s will is weak and easily misled (Romans 7). Man’s conscience is blunted, deadened, and needs awakened (II Timothy 4:2). Man’s mind is deceitful (Gen. 6:5-12, Romans 1:17-28). Man is under a judgment of wrath for sin (John 5:28-29, Psalms 130:3, Romans 2:5-12). Man is a guilty sinner, utterly lost, a child of the devil, and clothed in filthy rags (Luke 19:10, Romans 3:9-23, Ephesians 2:2) Mankind was once clothed with that righteous garment, but sin ruined that original ‘aura’ clothing. Yet, God has provided a garment for us, and we are to put it on our person. All Christians shall have that garment to put on, one of His righteousness. This garment shall clothe our spirit, and our body shall put on this righteousness of Jesus. I Corinthians 15:39-58 (53, 54) "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying, that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.’ We are to ‘put on’ the righteousness of Jesus. This word is the Greek ‘enduo’ means to ‘sink into a garment, to clothe.’ We need to sink into the garment, God’s righteousness. This is a powerful garment, asserting God’s greatness before the world. This garment washed and clean surrounds us, not as just a small glowing highlighting, but as a great cloud of light, extending far from our person out great distance from us, so that demons will sense us coming from great distance, and know that God’s power is all about us. The body is fantastic in its creation. We are yet to see all the wonders of the spirit and soul that God has created. They are the true person, the body is just a ‘throwaway’. The new spirit body which we will have for eternity will outshine and outperform any human body here. Its wonders are beyond comprehension. Yet, we do know that it once was clothed with righteousness, and the soul regains a righteousness upon it at salvation. The sinful body awaits its ‘redemption’, and suffers here, waiting. We need often to wash our righteousness, repent of our failings, be clothed in the washed garments, and praise the Lord. Romans 8:23 "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body.’ Therefore, this current body is not fully redeemed. It is awaiting the ‘adoption’, the time of rapture/resurrection, and then it will be transformed into a spirit body, that is eternal, and clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Now, we have the ‘first fruits’ of the Spirit, and our spirit is clothed in righteousness, and is made alive again. It had been dead in sin. We await that adoption, that transformation, and do a bit of ‘groaning’ (as Paul puts it) waiting for that event. Yet, while this ‘groaning of the body’ is going on, the spirit, is clothed God’s salvation, but we continually fail in this weak body, and need to ‘wash our righteousness, so we can SHARE HIS INCOMPARABLE PRESENCE. The RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS that clothes us is the ‘glory’ of God. It rests upon the children of God. The word ‘glory’ is the Greek word ‘doxa’. It means a ‘very apparent glory manifesting God’s approval.’ When we have our righteousness washed, we are being then clothed in the glory of God. Philippians 3:21 "Jesus... Who shall change our vile body, that it might be fashioned like unto His glorious body..." I Peter 4:14 "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye, for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you, on their part, He is evil spoken of, but on your part, He is glorified." When our washed garments are made the righteousness of Jesus, the glory of God, then we are glorifying God. We worship. II Corinthians 3:18 "But we all with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory." Psalms 91 is a prophetic psalm. It has had multiple times of application, but never more so than the double portion time of revival. Read in Psalm 91, of the ‘secret place’ and ‘under the shadow of the Almighty.’ (vs 1) That is the glory of God, wherein we are when we have our washed garments replaced with His righteousness, and we then abide in His presence, His incomparable presence.. Read also in Psalm 91 of the fact (vs 4) that He will ‘cover thee with His feathers’, and that we are ‘under His wings." That also is the glory of God wherein we dwell, and glorify His name. We are also told in Psalm 91, that we have God as our ‘refuge’ and in God’s ‘habitation’ (vs 9), which is also the glory of God about us, clothing us. When, in Psalm 91, we are told that "He hath set His love upon me’ and that ‘He that set Him on high...’ (Vs 14), that is also speaking of the glory of God. We abide in worship, we dwell in His presence, we enjoy His incomparable presence when we WORSHIP, and we W.O.R.S.H.I.P. as we WASH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS and thereby SHARE HIS INCOMPARABLE PRESENCE. WHAT DOES THIS WORD MEAN FOR 2013? It means, that no matter what happens, what transpires in this coming year, we are to be busy doing what God created us for, .i.e. worship. Revelation 4:10-11 (KJV) 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.
When we reach the throne room where this verse is happening on rapture day, we will see all realize that we were created for WORSHIP, and Jesus has paid a price on the cross so we could have our garments washed, and we could share His incomparable presence. Plan this year, in fact, begin now to make it a priority to worship the Lord as never before. Whatever events happen to us, around us, to our loved ones, to our nation, we need to be in WORSHIP this year. We need to share His incomparable presence each day. In that way, we will be ready for whatever the year may hold.. Now, we need to see what may be happening, as we WORSHIP, during the year. HOW DO THE WORDS 'WORSHIP' AND 'CLIMAX' FIT TOGETHER? WHAT IS THE LORD BEGINNING TO TELL US? stay tuned __________________ murjahel John
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W. O. R. S. H. I. P. Luke 19:37-40 "...the whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. " Jesus accepted the worship of the disciples, and they could barely contain their joy in seeing Jesus fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah. The Pharisees, and some others, criticized the excitement and the joyous worship of the disciples. Many today criticize the joy of the worshippers in Christianity. They would rather we piously sit in pews, and reverently bow our heads while a minister recites a saintly sounding, monotone prayer. Yet, the early church praised in the prison cells, worshipped while tied to poles about to be set afire. They were unrestrained, unhindered by commands of authorities to cease mentioning the name of Jesus. The early church had more than correct doctrines, it had more than great emphasis on the Word of God and prayer, it had more than spiritual leadership, and it had more than spiritual gifts. The revival church had WORSHIP and PRAISE. The correct doctrines, when written upon the heart, should create a worshipping congregation. Some congregations pride themselves on correct doctrines, and some feel they are so right, that everyone else is wrong. Proper doctrine is important. Never underestimate correct doctrine, but it should lead to worship. If doctrines and beliefs of a congregation do not lead to, and result in, worship and praise, the doctrines are not proper, not understood correctly, or simply misconceptions.
Sound doctrine does not have to be "sound asleep." There is too much of the "deep frozen" religion. There are many who know the Word, know the doctrines, know the prophecies, but do not worship the Lord. The scribes and Pharisees of the time of the Lord's first coming, knew the Word, but failed to worship the Messiah when He stood in their presence. Today, we find many such people also. The true vocation of the congregations includes WORSHIP. I Peter 2:5,9 "...to offer up spiritual sacrifices... that ye should shew forth the praises of Him." Psalms 100:4 " Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name." Psalms 107:32 "Let them exalt Him also in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the assembly of the elders." Psalms 109:1 " Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation." What if everyone of the congregation, entered into the local church, with words of praise to God? What if we actually were silly enough to try what God says He wants???!!! What if we obeyed that command to ‘enter His gates with thanksgiving, praise, blessings, thankful??? What kind of service do you think we would have? Some enter with complaints, discouragement, anger, frustration, weariness, and it takes a great song service, a rousing sermon, to get them smile at the end to say ‘amen’. Shameful. Our God deserves more than that. The congregation that fails to worship, has failed at its real vocation. God meant for us to learn to worship, then learn to work. Martha was distracted by much serving. Mary chose the "better", and sat at the feet of Jesus. Had Martha also sat at the feet of Jesus, I am sure the meal still would have been prepared, as both could have periodically gone to the kitchen for a time, and then returned and still had time to learn and enjoy the presence of Jesus. The church needs to learn to get its work done, but put worship ahead of the "nitty-gritty" duties of the church. Samuel was busy in the temple service, and yet in I Samuel 3:7 it says: "Samuel did not yet know the Lord." It is possible to be busy in church work, and not truly know, or enjoy the Lord Jesus. The Greek word commonly used for "worship" is "proskuneo," which means "to kiss the hand toward." This suggests an outward action which shows an inward realization of the greatness of another. The idea of "worth-ship" is recognized in real worship. In true worship is the recognition of Who the Lord truly is. On the isle of Patmos, John was shown the future rapture day. In his vision, he saw the saints singing: Revelation 4:8-11
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power."
Worship delights in the sheer glory of God. Worship revels in His Person, His Nature, and His being. Worship recognizes what He has done. Our actions and behavior should make others rejoice and worship in the Lord. When unbelievers see:
our good works,
our attitudes in crisis,
our love in the midst of hatred,
our patience in the midst of trial,
and our honesty in the midst of dishonesty...
they will glorify God Who has given us the grace to so behave.
I Peter 2:12
"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
In this way, our behavior is an act of worship. We can glorify God, not only with our mouths, but with our lives, our attitudes, and with our actions. We should therefore be glorifying God most every moment.
I Corinthians 10:31
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Sometimes our actions profane our worship and praise. If we skip gathering together with the believers regularly, and would rather picnic, shop, or watch television most service times, the Lord is not impressed with the one time that month you decided to come to service. Perhaps the television shows were all reruns, so you come to worship and praise God. Do you think He is really fooled when you praise Him??? "What a weariness it is..." (Malachi 1:13).
The people in that day were heard by God to express their ‘weariness’ at coming to God’s place of worship. Many feel to gather together to worship the Lord is a weariness, hard, bothersome, and too much trouble. To feel that worship is a trial, an ordeal, a burden, and torture, is a terrible insult to the Lord we claim to praise when we do come.
Is it a weariness to attend? to pray? to be on time? to teach? to read your Bible??? Some complain when they must do these things. God hates insincerity, so if it is such a bother, get to the altar, and tell the Lord the truth until you get restored into a relationship with Him wherein it will not be a bother anymore.
Some in Bible times would offer the Lord a blemished, dying, or sick lamb... They were to offer an unblemished lamb that was healthy and strong. Do you offer the Lord your best? Do you say He is your "all in all" and then give your spare time, your left overs, your "what I don't need for Mcdonald's money"??? God hates insincerity, and you had better be wise and tell Him the truth. Tell God that you have valued other things more than He, repent and get your priorities right before you leave. The parable of the two sons, both told to do a job for the father. One said "yes," and did not do it. The other said "no" and repented and did do it. Who pleased the father??? The Greek word for "your reasonable service" is the Greek word "latreia" . This word could also be translated - "your spiritual worship ." The original word is capable of both renderings. The RSV translates it this alternate way. The idea is that giving our lives to be a living sacrifice, and living a holy life for the Lord Jesus, is a form of worship. True worship is spiritual. Though it is expressed in outward expression, or with the actions of our lives, it must come from our inner being. It springs from the depth of our spirit. John 4:24 "God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and truth." Worship can be expressed in physical ways, words, and actions. It will be centered in the Holy Spirit, and will be from the depth or our being. Any worship that comes simply from the mind, or is hollow, outward show with no inward life, is not true worship. Often in congregations, there are hymns sung, wherein the words are sung - but not felt. These songs are only echoes of a shallow or dead faith. The Lord is not fooled by the harmonious beauty of the song. The heart is seen by God, and He recognizes true worship. God hates insincere worship. God would rather we shut the doors of the church than to come and worship insincerely. The devil would rather we worship insincerely, than to shut the church congregation out of the building. Malachi 1:10-14 "...but ye have profaned it (the name of the Lord), in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said, also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought an offering; should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the heathen." It is a weariness to God, a hurtful and offensive thing to have beings who owe their all to the Lord to insincerely, hesitantly, unwillingly, give praise. Yet, the churches are filled with those who do not really mean their praise, do not want to give any praise, and who say things in their praise that they do not feel. Do you attend out of habit? or to see friends? or are you made to come? or to please someone? God would rather you would not come, than to come for those reasons. What has happened to the sincere people who come to church expecting a blessing? or to seek God? or to commune with God? God hates insincere worship. The song service is a time of worship. Some sing things that they do not mean, as "I'll go where you want me to go", or "keep me near the cross." You are not singing to your neighbor, nor to the preacher, but to God. God hates insincere, misdirected, un-meaning worship. Ecclesiastes 5:1-6 "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools; for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. ... a fool's voice is known by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay." Two or three times, Jesus came to the temple and cast out the money changers. He was angered at their abuse of the house of God. It was not that they had sold doves and lambs for the sacrifices, it was their cheating, stealing, and deception to the people. Jesus called it a "den of thieves" and told them that His Father's house should be a "house of prayer." It is time we reteach that lesson. We are the Temple of God, and this temple should be a "house of prayer" and worship. Sinful and insincere should be expelled from our lives. It is like the fancy wrapped boxes a lady left in her car. Knowing they would likely be stolen, if she left her car unlocked, she had wrapped her garbage in the fancy wrappings. Many people in congregations have wrapped their shallow faith in beautiful songs, and exuberant praise and worship. The enthusiasm does not fool the Lord. If the inside of a person is the filth of sin, the outward worship, no matter how enthusiastic or harmonious, is rejected by our God. In the real and true worship there is no set pattern. Yet, it never becomes disorderly or confused. Since the Spirit is in control, the Spirit directs us to worship in manifold ways. Nothing is more disastrous than to try to create an atmosphere of worship. While we may try to create exuberance and rejoicing, the Spirit may be seeking to get us to weep and cry our love for Jesus. When we seek the weeping worship, the Spirit may want to direct us toward praise and shouting. What we must do in revival is -- to create an atmosphere that allows the Spirit to create -- a worship. When people try to recreate what they saw God do in another service, it will fall flat. Spiritual worship, since it must be Spirit directed, cannot be produced by even the best of worship leaders. It can only be -- prepared for, -- by the worship leaders... and the worshippers. We must prepare our hearts and minds with the knowledge of the "worth-ship" of the Lord, and the thankfulness for His mercy and grace. The worship and praise in the early church took place in upper rooms of the homes, in fields, in the temple, in the market place, in the prison cells, etc. In other words, they worshipped the Lord wherever they were. Their worship sprung from a relationship with the Lord, and was not directed by a worship leader who told them when to praise, when to clap, and when to raise their hands. When Charles Wesley was saved, he was flooded with joy. He described his happiness to Peter Bohler, and added: "I suppose I should keep silent about it." Peter Bohler answered: "No, never! If you had a 1000 tongues, go and use them all for Jesus!" Wesley went home and wrote the song - "Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing My Great Redeemer's Praise." A great evangelist, teacher of the more recent past, A.G. Ward said: "Our Lord is desirous that people should be rejoicing Christians. If Christians were more joyful, they would set sinners' mouths a-watering for the dainties of true religion." Sometimes our hearts are heavy, our troubles are many, and we feel we must wait until things get better, or perfect, and then we will praise our Lord. Habakkuk questioned God of all the troubles that Israel was facing, and God replied to him: "The just shall live by faith." We must learn as Habakkuk to live by faith, to rejoice even when our sight tells us there is nothing to rejoice in when troubles abound. Habakkuk wrote at the end of his book: Habakkuk 3:17-18 "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be fruit in the vines... yet will I rejoice in the Lord." God created us for fellowship. The stones will cry out with praises if we do not. We must keep the stones silent, and praise our Lord and King. Certainly, He is worthy of our praises. God will inhabit our praises, and will come and dwell in the midst of those who are praising Him. Will you praise Him??? Let's sweep aside every hindrance, and give God the praise He deserves. Let us keep the stones silent, and let us be the ones to praise Him. Some await someone to lead their worship. It is not wrong to have worship leaders, but our praise must now be confined to these times only. True worship in the latter rain revival will be directed by the Spirit. __________________ murjahel John
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We will find, in the times of Spirit-directed,
Spirit-filled worship, that:
1. The doctrines of mankind -- that have attempted to direct how the Spirit can work -- will have to be pushed aside. Many doctrines and rituals have been created down through the ages to guide, direct, and suppress our praises into patterns suitable to our form of worship. The Holy Spirit is tired of forms, rituals, and ceremonies. He wants to knock down the bars of those prisons, and lead us into worship that is:
2. The restrictions to worship -- that dogmas have defined -- will be forgotten. 3. The locations of worship -- that men have built -- will prove too small and confining. Our praise must continue in many places, and not await a meeting place to be expressed therein. John 4:22-24 (KJV)
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus says in John 4:23-24, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." It doesn’t say we can worship God anyway we want, but we " must worship Him in spirit and in truth". The word "must" makes it absolute. There is no other way we can worship God and be acceptable to Him. The word "must", according to Webster, expresses "an obligation, a requirement, a necessity, a certainty, and something that must be done". When "must" is used it means that it is not optional. Here the word "must" is expressing that in spirit and in truth is the only way to acceptably worship God. God seeks true worshippers, and He identifies them as those who "worship Him in spirit and in truth". Worshipping God in spirit means that it must be done from the heart. Worshipping God in truth means that it must be done according as God has specified in the Bible. Worshipping God in spirit and in truth is a serious matter which must not be taken lightly. If we have any regard for our own souls, we will want to make sure we are worshipping God in spirit and in truth. Since God is the object of our worship, He and He alone has the right to determine how we are to worship Him. We read in Jeremiah 10:23, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps." We are not granted the option of directing our own ways in religion. God is the One who we look to for guidance and direction in our lives. Our very best in worship is due God and is prescribed by Him in the Bible. The worship God has prescribed is the only way we can be pleasing to Him in this life and finally attain everlasting life with Him in eternity. The Christian’s worship is of the greatest importance.
Worship is a time when we pay deep, sincere, awesome respect, love, and fear to the one who created us. Acts 17:24-25 says, "God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives life, breath, and all things."
God is the one who holds our eternal destiny in His hands. Philippians 2:12 tells us to, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Our salvation is a very serious matter and will not happen by accident. We must work it out "with fear and trembling". Our salvation depends on whether our worship is pleasing to God or not. On the Day of Judgment it will be too late to make any corrections.
Worship should cause us to reflect on the majesty and graciousness of God and Christ, contrasted to our own unworthiness. God does not have to have our worship, but we must worship Him to please Him. Our singing, praying, studying His word, giving, and communion are designed by God to bring us closer to Him and to cause us to think more like He thinks, thus becoming more like Him. James 4:8 tells us to, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
Our worship not only honors and magnifies God, but it is also for our own edification and strength. Worship helps us develop a God-like and Christ-like character. We become like unto those we admire and worship. When we worship God we tend to value what God values and gradually take on the characteristics and qualities of God, but never to His level. As Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ." How do we take on the mind of Christ? In Romans 12:2 we read, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." We renew our mind as we study and meditate on God’s word and worship Him.
When we worship God we develop such traits as forgiveness, tenderness, justice, righteousness, purity, kindness, and love. All of this is preparing us for eternal life in heaven with God and Christ. As we are told in Colossians 3:2 to, "Set your mind on things above, and not on things on the earth." Worshipping God "in spirit" means with reverence, attentiveness, and having the right purpose of honoring God, while understanding what we are doing. Hebrews 12:28-29 says, "Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Our worship must glorify God. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, "For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." In order to worship God in the right spirit, we must take time before worship to make ready our hearts and emotions so we will be in the proper frame of mind. We read in Psalms 89:7, "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him." Our worship must show great reverence toward God. He is our creator and He holds our eternal destiny in His hands. We must strive to please Him. We should not have to rush or hurry to worship, arriving late but should always plan to be there early enough so we can be in a worshipful attitude and spirit. Our mind must be ready, attentive, and alert.
Concerning the Lord’s Supper, we are warned in 1 Corinthians 11:27, "Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an
unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." Our worship to God must be done in a worthy manner. It must be done in a manner that brings glory and honor to God and Christ. Continuing to read in verse 29, "For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body." We must control our thoughts during periods of worship and not let them wander to other things. We should never be wishing the worship service would hurry up and be over so we can get to the restaurant early and not have to stand in line. In fact we should be of the frame of mind that we are disappointed to see the worship service end.
In showing reverence and respect to God, we will not be indifferent, inattentive, and taking lightly that which should be considered serious. Worship to God is holy. Our character in worship must also be holy. In 1 Peter 1:15-16 we read, "But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct, because it is written,
Be holy for I am holy." Slouching over, sleeping, playing with babies, squirming, unnecessary talking, and passing notes all show disrespect in worshipping God. Worship which is insincere, that is not from the heart, is vain, useless, and unacceptable to God. Jesus says, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me" (Mark 7:6). Active participation will tend to get rid of our lack of interest and inattentiveness.
Reverence is not having a long face, folded hands, or a put on look of piety. Worship is a time of joy for us. It is a time of offering thanks, adoration, love, praying, singing praises to God, feeding on His word, and proclaiming Christ to the world in partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus says in John 4:24, "God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." We must worship God in truth. Since His word is truth, we must worship Him according to His word. Here the Lord is telling us that everything we do in worship, we must have God's divine approval. Truth is not arbitrary. Truth for one person is the same as truth for the next. God has not spoken in unclear ways.
God has specified in the Bible the acceptable way He is to be worshipped. He is not to be worshipped according to the evil and vain imaginations and devices of men. Whatever that is not commanded in scripture in our worship to God is forbidden if we are to worship God in truth. God is not obligated to accept our worship just because we offer it to Him. We dare not substitute what we want for what God has commanded if we want to please Him and go to Heaven. There are many who think it really doesn’t matter what we believe or do in religion, just as long as we are sincere and follow our conscience. But if it doesn’t really matter what you believe, then it doesn’t matter if you even believe at all. This is absurd. This philosophy exalts our conscience above the word of God. This makes our conscience our only guide and ignores what God says in the Bible. This philosophy originated with man and not with God. This is telling God we are going to worship Him the way we choose and we don’t really care what He has to say. Every man then becomes his own authority thereby eliminating the authority of God, the Bible. This attitude must greatly hurt the one who gave His life for us.
Many people want to do what they think best and what seems right to them. We are warned not to do this in Proverbs 14:12, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." According to what God says we can loose our soul by doing what seems right in our own eyes. God’s word is no longer our guide, but it has been replaced with creed books, disciplines, manuals, confessions, etc. Men want to do things their way and as it seems right in their own eyes. Please consider the consequences of being deceived by error. What a pity it will be to stand before the Lord on Judgment Day having been fooled into accepting the unlawful religions of the denominational world. What a terrible fate to believe error to be truth only to be lost for all of eternity.
The philosophy of doing what seems right in our eyes has vastly altered the way people attempt to worship God. They rationalize that God will accept it. People can rationalize away just about anything they want if they work at it hard and long enough, and because of this people worship God in ignorance. Just as the apostle Paul told the Athenians in Acts 17:23 (KJV), "Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship."
The average person in religious matters takes many things for granted. He finds religious groups practicing something and he decides what the majority does must be right and acceptable to God. The Bible says the majority of people are going to be eternally lost. Jesus says in Matthew 7:l3-14, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." So we don’t want to depend on the majority to determine what is right for us and follow them. If we do we will also end up being lost in the eternal fires of Hell.
Many people never stop to ask, is it scriptural and is this what God wants? They
believe that just any kind of worship they give will be acceptable to God. There are a lot of false teachings today that are being passed off as the truth. The main reason for all the religious division that we see in the world today is man will not accept God’s word as final authority. Man is going to do it his own way. The Bible contains our only instructions on how to please God so we can go to heaven.
God has always told man how He is to be worshipped. God is the only one who has the right to determine how He is to be worshipped. He will only accept that which is in harmony with His prescribed will. God instructs us how to worship Him acceptably through His word in the Bible. In Ephesians 5:17 we read, "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." If we are the least bit concerned about where we will spend eternity, it is wise to know what the will of the Lord is so we can do it and be pleasing to Him. We are accountable for what we believe and practice. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance of how we treat His truth.
In every age God has specified how He is to be worshipped. He says to us in 2 Peter 1:3, "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us." God in the New Testament has given to us all things we need to know that pertain to life and godliness so we can worship Him acceptably, in spirit and in truth. God has always made it plain and emphatic that the only worship that is acceptable to Him is only that which is in accordance with His will.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:10, "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve." If we worship God in spirit and in truth, we cannot worship anyone or anything else. Anything we worship, other than God, is an idol. According to Webster, an idol is "an image used as an object or instrument of worship."
God forbids us to make and worship idols. God says in Exodus 20:4-5, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a
jealous God." We see we are not to make any image whether it is a statue or any likeness of anything in heaven or earth to worship them. But this is done today when people worship icons. People bow down and pray to these statues and painted pictures whether they be the supposed likeness of Mary the mother of Jesus or one of the many other dead people who are called saints. This is in direct disobedience to the command of God.
In 1 John 5:21 we read, "My little children, guard yourselves from idols." When I see people bowing down, burning candles, praying, and worshipping an icon image of a saint, my heart bleeds for them because they are putting their souls in jeopardy of being lost. We are warned in Colossians 2:18, "Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worshipping angels." We can loose our reward in heaven if we worship someone other than God. He is the only one we are to worship because He is a jealous God. God will not allow us to worship anyone else other than Himself. Revelations 21:8 tells us that "idolaters shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." We must only worship God and our worship must be in spirit and in truth if we expect to be with Him in heaven when this life is over. __________________ murjahel John
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Christ’s liberating invigorating mediating accepting example
C HRIST’S L IBERATING I NVIGORATING M EDIATING A CCEPTING E X AMPLE
hrist’s C example is liberating, invigorating, mediating, and accepting. Christ’s example Hebrews 12:2-3
"Looking unto Jesus... For consider Him."
Paul has shown in the book of Hebrews that Jesus is greater than the sacrifices, the Old Testament priesthood, the various Old Testament leaders, and then in chapter 11, all the heroes of the Old Covenant are shown to have been great, BUT, none as great as Jesus. And, what is more, Paul says that we, the New Testament saints should have greater faith in this age than even the faith of the heroes of the Old Testament period. Hebrews 11:40
"God having provided some better thing for us, that they with us should not be made perfect."
The coming of Jesus, in His first advent, provided for us a better and greater ability to live our lives in great faith. Hebrews 12:1-4
seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin that doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us.
Looking unto Jesus,
the Author and Finisher of our faith,
Who for the joy that was set before Him
endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him that endured
such contradictions of sinners against Himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin."
These Old Testament heroes are still able to watch us here on earth, and as they watch, we need to avoid being weighted down by the hindrances of life, the sins that keep us from God's best. Instead we need to look to Jesus as an example. The writer of Hebrews, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us..." Then we are given some specific things we must do. Lay aside every weight The Greek word for ‘weight’ is ongkos (G3591), meaning mass; heap; weight." It can mean the things that hinder our walk with the Lord, perhaps arrogance, conceit, cares of life, etc. We need to lay aside whatever weight is hindering our progress.
Lay aside the sin which doth so easily beset us
The word for sin here is the Greek word: hamartia (G266), meaning "missing the mark". The sin that besets is the one we are addicted to, or bound by, whatever is our weakness. That needs ‘laid aside’.
Run with patience the race set before us
The ‘race’ is the Greek word: agon (G73), meaning fight, conflict, race, contention. Runners in a race, contestants in a fight, seek to win, to achieve, to finish without shame.
Look unto Jesus
Many have ‘looked unto Jesus’ as an Example, as the Author and Completer of our faith.
We need to observe, analyze, and study with admiration the life of Jesus, the Person of Jesus. His conduct, His words, His courage in suffering, His victory in His zeal to help us, to save us.
Jesus is Creator of all, Author and Finisher of our faith, our Savior, and the One Who came, being made in our likeness, to suffer and die for us. How could He do that for us? Well, He endured the cross, run the race, by looking to the ‘joy that was set before Him" The joy set before Him was the redemption of all who would accept His gift.
Now Jesus is set down at the right hand of the throne of God to intercede for us, to ready for us our heavenly home, to plan the marriage supper, to ready for the return to conquer this earth and remove sin and death from it. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin, we are told. And it is true for most of us. Our resistance against sin is far less than what Jesus did for us. We, need to resist sin with greater zeal and fervor. We fight like we are marshmallows, not warriors. Most of us have not been called to shed a drop of blood for Jesus, but we have gotten to enjoy easy chair religion. Jesus looked to the joy set before Him. Jesus therefore could endure the cross. Jesus despised the shame. Jesus now is set down at the right hand of God to intercede for us. Jesus endured the challenges of sinners against Him. Now, that example of Jesus is meant to make us realize that we should not allow weariness to make us faint, give up, or cease the race. We may think that our troubles are great, but not as great as was our Lord's. We have not resisted unto blood in our striving against sin. While we look at the example of Jesus, we will find in it, that we gain from it these things: LIBERATING The example of Jesus is liberating to us. We gain liberation and freedom due to His example, and due to what He has done for us. We are no longer bound by rules, doing what we do not want to do. There is always a danger in rules, regulations, and standards that we begin to depend on certain ones to be our source of salvation. We try to force ourselves to obey the rules, and feel obligated, not blessed by them. This we call "legalism" or "Galatianism", because the people of Galatia, to which Paul wrote, had gone back to old customs, law, and rules that were unnecessary in Christianity. Paul had to reprimand them for their entanglement in rules. Two commandments that Paul gave the Galatians are these: 1. First, he told them to stand fast in the liberty that Christ had given them, from all bondage in legalism. (Gal. 5:1, 3:10-12) (Compare Col. 2:14-17) 2. He told them not to become entangled again with the yoke of bondage to the Law. Galatians 5:1
"...be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage..."
The word "entangled" is from the Greek word, "enecho" and means "to be held or caught." We are free from Jewish rites, commandments, days, sabbaths, times, years, and any traditions or rules of religion.
Susannah Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley (two great evangelists of the 19th century), gave her definition of sin as:
"Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off your relish for spiritual things, that - to you- is sin."
The Christians of the early church had much controversy over standards, rules, and regulations. They debated:
What to eat
(Rom. 14:2-6, 14-23; Col. 2:14-17; I Tim. 4:1-6),
With whom to eat
(Acts 11:3, I Cor. 5:9-12, II Th. 3:7-13, Jude 12),
Where to eat
(I Cor. 8:4-13, 10:15-23, 11:17-22),
Where to buy meat
(I Cor. 10:25),
What day to keep as a worship day
(Rom. 14:5-6, Gal. 4:9-11, Col. 2:14-17),
Whether to be circumcised
(Acts 15:1-24, Rom.4:11, I Cor.7:19),
Whether to keep the law of Moses
What to wear, and what customs to observe
(I Cor. 11:4-16, I Tim. 2:9-11, I Pet. 3:3-4).
In the settling of these kinds of controversies, the early church was told of a great liberty that is given in Christianity. Just as in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were told that "of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat..." And they were given only one restriction to not eat of one certain tree. In the same way, there is a long list of things we can do, and only as short a list as God can keep it, of what we are not to do. God wants us to not be like prisoners in bondage. He wants us to enjoy a great freedom of loving service to Him. God gave to the church, and the church was supposed to pass on to the rest of the world, a society that shows that all of society, all races, both genders (male and female), rich and poor, laity and clergy, are all seen as equal by God. The world had never known such an equality. The church has often failed to point out these truths to the world. Often the church has backslidden to the prejudices and bigotry of the world. This is not taught in Scripture. It is time for the church to straighten out misconceptions and heresies that have hindered its gospel proclamation. The tendency to add more rules, regulations, standards, and misconceptions to the Bible message is still flourishing in this day. God wants to correct this. He will correct this, for He is soon coming for a church that will be "without spot or wrinkle..." Sometimes Christians, who find this true liberty given by the Lord, swing too far into this liberty to anarchy. The church should not add any rules to God's standards for us, but we are not to use this liberty for "occasion of the flesh" either. We are still bond-servants to the Lord, and are to follow His direction in every area of our lives. I Corinthians 8:1
"knowledge puffs up, but love edifies..."
This verse refers to the knowledge that some have of their liberty, where some have put unnecessary restrictions. We are not to let knowledge puff us up in pride, and then live in liberty irregardless of those who are ignorant of such liberty. Some Christians who have added unnecessary rules to their lives must be handled gently. Often, they are the ones who unmercifully attack we who live in the liberty of Christ, but we still must remember to lovingly address their judgmentalism, legalism, and weakness.
The tendency to abuse the new found liberty can lead to lasciviousness. "Lasciviousness" comes from the Greek word "aselgeia" This is the sin of promoting or partaking of that which tends to produce lewd emotions, or the tendency to do anything which fosters sin and lust." We must therefore restrict ourselves from anything that would make it difficult for us to stay in harmony with the Lord. This will be a different list for each Christian. So, we cannot list here what these things are. Each Christian should know their besetting sins, and anything which would bring them nearer to stumbling again into those sins, must be avoided. There is great liberty for Christians. I Corinthians 6:12
"All things (Paul was speaking of foods here) are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient."
The word "expedient" is from the Greek - "sumphero". This means "profitable." Paul was stating that if he wanted to eat meats, or vegetables, whatever - he could. He could eat meat that was offered to idols if he chose and still not be sinning. Even in our day, much of Christianity is trying to tell others what to eat. In these days, the debate concerns cholesterol, fats, salt, sugar, meats, etc. God has not made any of those things to be sinful. Yet, as Paul said, not all of these are profitable. The Lord taught us moderation in all these things. One of the signs of the last days is to be a "forbidding to eat meats" which Paul describes as a departure from the faith (I Tim. 4:3). Therefore, we should be careful how strong we get into the dietary restrictions of some Christian segments today. The principle that Paul taught with -"not all things are expedient" - is this... we do need to self-limit our liberties. Paul continues in the next verse to add:
I Corinthians 6:13
"I will not be brought under the power of any."
We must not be brought under control of things. We are to use things and love people... not vice versa. Too many become controlled by habits and things they love. The devil tries to use Christian liberty to snare Christians to slavery to things which in themselves are not sinful. Some become slaves to possessions, careers, clubs, bowling, sports, t.v., soap operas, romance novels, etc. These things are not sinful in themselves, but if they begin to come between the Christian and their Lord, they become sinful to that person. Some base their Christian conduct on a - "if it isn't wrong, then it is right" theory. But some things are "lawful", but not "expedient." Christian liberty involves responsibility. We need to make self-imposed (not church-imposed, or denomination-imposed) limits to our conduct. We do this by determining what is not "expedient" for us. Some helpful questions that aid these decisions are these: 1. Is it a hindrance to our Christian life, even though neutral in itself? Will it lead us closer to sin? Is it a "weight" that pulls us down, and makes it harder to keep our relationship with Jesus? (Heb. 12:1-2)
2. Does it enslave or is it habit forming? Will it bring you under its control? (I Cor. 6:12)
3. Is it harmful to the body which is the temple of God? (I Cor. 10:19-20)
4. Does it glorify our Lord? Will it weaken your testimony? (I Cor. 10:31) 5. Will it detract from your love of Christ? (I Jn. 2:15-17) 6. Is there a great question about it in your mind? Until this question is answered, it is best to avoid the doubtful thing. (Romans 14:5, 22) 7. Is it a stumbling block to others? If it will cause another to backslide or not get saved, perhaps, for the time while near this person, the thing should be avoided. (Romans 5:1-2, I Cor. 10:22-23) 8. Can you enjoy the presence of the Lord as you do it? How does it affect you? (II Cor. 5:15) We are not to use our liberty for an occasion to do wrong, but for the ability to love others and serve them. We are to walk in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:13-18) "...only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh." With how much liberty and freedom can God trust you? When a dog is allowed outside, and he immediately runs off, the owner will keep that dog on a leash. When another dog is set free, but he quickly wants back inside, and never wanders from the owner's yard, that dog is allowed more freedom. There is no need for a leash. Does God have to keep a "leash" on you? God hates sin. We must also hate sin. We cannot hate the sinner, but God cannot fellowship with a sinner. Therefore, we must beware of sin. Too many Christians are calloused or ignorant of the damage of sin in their lives. Since we have great liberty in Christianity, we should not allow ourselves to be ignorant of the importance of wisely determining our standards and conduct. Romans 14:1-5
"Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things, and another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth, for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
The "which-day-to-worship" controversy was great even in the early church. Some Christians thought they should worship on the Sabbath (Saturday). Others established Sunday as the "Lord's Day" and wanted to worship on that day. Others said we should worship every day, and that all days were special. Paul said to allow every man to be "fully persuaded in his own mind". This is the way many disputes need settled. For it is not a sin to worship on Saturday, nor is sinful to worship on Sunday. We must choose our own preference, and to try to not condemn anyone who chooses another day, or all days. To do so is unloving judgmentalism. This controversy continues today, and many Christians have fallen into the trap of condemnation. The disagreements on standards and conduct sometimes change with the era and culture. When Christians cannot agree, some think that if all others do not agree with them, the others are not "spiritual", or are "sinful." Paul's advice is "Don't judge another man's servant!" We answer to God alone. We are not to answer to denominations, or church dogmas. We are servants of the Lord, and to Him alone do we answer. We must not judge, condemn, or fault-find other Christians with differences. Paul didn't try to help the early Christians in Rome by giving them a long list of "do's" and "don't's". Instead, he gave them basic principles to help guide their conduct and standards. It is time for Christianity to throw out its added list of rules. It has hindered Christianity for centuries. It has cost us souls for the kingdom. It has put unnecessary burdens and condemnation on new converts. It has developed a group of Christians who are worse than the Pharisees of the early church days. It has created a hypocritical, and unloving church to which few sinners feel drawn. Note in Romans 14:1-2 (see above), it is the one who has added extra restrictions to those given of God that Paul calls "weak." Today, it is reversed and many will call a brother "weak" if he doesn't keep the added rules or taboos. The Bible points out in Romans 14, that it is the legalist (i.e. the one who adds rules), that is the "weak" one. It is so easy to fall into the trap of majoring in minors. It is easy to be critical and judgmental. In many congregations of the church today, the majoring in minor debates of rules and conduct is condoned. It leads to legalistic, miserable, critical, and judgmental "Christians." It is easy to judge another who dresses, acts, looks, or thinks a bit different. In reality, the condemner is the "weak" one. To not have enough love to accept some differences, to allow Christian liberty, and to share the freedom given to us by God, is far too common in the congregations of today. Jesus doesn't really care if you worship Sunday, Saturday, Tuesday, etc. It does help to choose the same day as the congregation which you attend has chosen, so that you are not alone when you go to worship and hear the Word of God taught. Yet, since God is the Master, we really don't have a right to judge His servants. We are not their masters. The moment you criticize another for choice of worship day, or for dietary practices, etc. - you are trying to assume God's job. We know Jesus is our Lord and Master, and we know His love and forgiveness for us. We also know that He commanded us to "love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12). How then can we judge and condemn a brother? If we do condemn, we are showing that our relationship with Jesus is not as it should be. Romans 14:13
"Let us not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."
Don't allow your liberty to stumble others. This is sometimes difficult. Some stumble so easily. Jesus allowed His disciples to gather grain as they travelled on the Sabbath. Some Pharisees jumped on this as a criticism of the Lord. He had not stumbled these Pharisees. They were already stumbled by their own hypocritical judgmentalism. What Romans 14:13 refers to is to not allow our freedom to lead another to a place that to them would hinder growth or encourage lasciviousness. Romans 14:17
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
This verse shows that the making of lists of rules is not what the church is to be doing. The church is to seek right standing with God, to seek the peace of a harmonious relationship with Him, and to seek the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit. Any judgmental, rule-adding congregation that refuses to forsake their straying from these primary truths should be avoided by the converts. The doctrines that teach rule adding are not from the Lord. They are the "leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees..." of which Jesus warned His disciples:
"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees... How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that He bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
Any rigid rule that Christians accept must be defended by the Bible in strong and clear terms. Many have gone beyond the Bible, and many have misapplied certain verses in the Bible to teach rules that are not valid. Some want all to accept their conscience as the only right one. They want to imprison others with man-made rules and standards. They teach things as "no slacks for women", "no jewelry", "no Christian rock and roll music", etc. Some converts get so imprisoned with the lists that they finally rebel. People judge us by our outward actions, and when we have the wrong standards, we invite criticism. We need guidance to be sure we have proper standards of conduct. We need to look for a ruling in the Bible for any rule we consider. The conscience itself is not sufficient. Conscience can fail. It works:
according to knowledge it may or may not have;
according to enlightenment it or may not have received;
according to maturity, it may or may not have reached;
and according to sensitivity, it may or may not have cultured.
Therefore the consciences of people are fallible. The Bible is needed to mold any conscience. The Bible is infallible and relevant. When the Bible is properly interpreted, and its message is securely implanted into the conscience, the conscience becomes an important part of guidance . more to come __________________ murjahel John
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INVIGORATING Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest a PROMISE being left of us entering into the rest, any of you should seem to come short of it...' We have many great promises from God... and the 'rest' (Greek word is katapausis, meaning REFRESHING) that is promised to us, is very needed. We struggle, wear ourselves out, grow weary, become anxious, angry... We need refreshed. The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt, and God freed them, but still there was another promise beyond that... a 'rest', a refreshing, that was to be found in the claiming of the promised land... In type, that rest and refreshing spoke of a rest and refreshing that God promises for us too.. the aura and keys of power, are a 'refreshing' to our embattled souls and bodies. The refreshing that you so desire, that unloading of the strains of life, the anxiousness and uncomfortable stresses that so bear down on us, need a refreshing... We can 'seem to come short' of that promised refreshing... Hebrews 4:5-7 'If they shall inter into My rest (refreshing), seeing therefore it remaineth, that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached, entered not in, because of UNBELIEF, ... Today, if you will hear His voice, HARDEN NOT your hearts (minds)...' The reasons we lose or do not get the refreshing, are 'unbelief' and 'hardening' The refreshing offered to the Israelites was lost for those reasons, and today, if we lose the REFRESHING, it is due to unbelief and hardening... HEBREWS 4:11-12 'Let us therefore LABOR, to enter into that rest (refreshing), lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief... for the Word of God is quick.. powerful... sharper than any 2 edged sword, piercing even tot he dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and to the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart...' The Word of God is where FIRST we LABOR... AND IT WILL REVEAL AS WE READ, the thoughts and intents, and it will with its sharpness cut into our souls and make us ready for the refreshing and teach us how to enter into the REFRESHING, and have that awesome aura of God's glory about us, have the keys of power. Hebrews 4:13-16 ‘Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. Seeing then, that we have a great High Priest, Who is passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a High Priest Who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points, tempted like was we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ God cares about us finding this rest and refreshing. He sees us in our weaknesses, and understands all the hardness that life’s labor and stress can bring. He was tempted like as we, and He still have prepared a way for us to come boldly before Him, and there to find at the ‘throne of grace’ the ‘unmerited favor’ we need. We come ‘boldly’ to Him. The word ‘boldly’ is the Greek word ‘parrhesia’ meaning to be ‘able to speak boldly and plain’. We are not to be hesitant to request or intercede. The boldness can be there, for we have found the ‘rest’, refreshing, in Him. Hebrews 3:12 "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you, an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.’ The unbelief makes easy the departing from the presence of God. The being in His aura of glory, is the rest and refreshing we have in this sinful, wearisome world. To depart, or leave that awesome aura is foolish, and is ‘unbelief.’ Hebrews 3:14 "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end." The key to this refreshing aura of glory, is to ‘partake’ of Christ, to penetrate His awesome glory, and be within that awesome glory. The ‘refreshing’ comes by an ‘entering into’. So many wait for it to be ‘applied’ or given. Yet, it is an ‘entering’ into the refreshing. Like unto Israel who were to ‘enter into’ the promised land, we are to ‘enter into’ the refreshing. Hebrews 3:10-11 "They do always err... They shall not enter into My rest (refreshment).’ The ‘entering’ experience is a glorious, miraculous benefit of our faith. We have had the ‘veil’ of the Temple rent, and now can enter into the very presence of God. It is no longer a place in Jerusalem, where the presence of God abides, but is a state of being the very Temple of God. I Corinthians 3:16-17 "Know ye not, that ye are the TEMPLE of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. If any man defile the TEMPLE of God, him shall God destroy... For the TEMPLE of God ye are...’ We are the Temple, and like the Temple in Jerusalem, there came a time where the glory departed, and God’s presence was not in it as before. So, in Christianity today, there are many Christians who have ‘defiled’ the Temple, and have lost the aura glory about their person. I Corinthians 6:19 What, know ye not, that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, which ye have of God? So that ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which is God’s.’ The body is the Temple. Our spirit is engulfed with the glorious aura of God. The body therefore should be kept holy, purified by the blood of Jesus whenever we have sinned. We pray for His blood to cleanse our sinful person, we bathe afresh daily in His blood, so that the Temple of God may maintain the awesome aura of the Lord. We cannot try to maintain selfish anger, nor nurse injured egos, and cannot justify sin and things that take us from harmony with God. II Corinthians 6:16-18 "And what agreement, hath the Temple of God with idols? For ye are the Temple of the living God; as God hath said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate,’ saith the Lord. ‘Touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’" Purity is not possible for our persons, but we constantly need to be cleansed by the blood, and seek to separate from that which defiles and is unclean. Too many think all they need is a past salvation experience, and they miss ‘entering in’ to the awesome aura glory of God. Like Israel in the wilderness, was freed from the slavery of Egypt, but that generation did not experience the entering into experience. They wandered in desert. They ate but did not get the fruit and victorious blessings of the promised land. In that same way, many saints today are in wilderness experiences, not finding the glorious aura glory filling the Temple. II Corinthians 7:1 "Having therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." This message of cleansing, of entering into the glorious presence of God, is not popular, for it humbles us. ‘Perfecting holiness’ is a job, and is not one where we ever feel like we deserve a standing ovation. We are humbled, we repent oft, we find that our person is wretched and wicked in nature, and only the mercy of God brings purity. We find that the aura of God and the sinfulness of our persons are incompatible, and choice needs made between the two. We cannot persuade God, no matter how hard we try, to allow sin and His aura glory to abide together in His Temple. II Corinthians 6:14 "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers... what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" INTER-PENETRATION AURAS Satan entered into Judas Ischariot. When satan entered into him, and penetrated his being, it was due to the greed and sinfulness of Judas. Satan did not force Judas to be evil, but rather, the evil in Judas provided doorway to satan to enter into him. Judas could depart with satan penetrating his being. His further actions were resultant to that penetration of satan. Luke 22:3 "Then entered satan into Judas surnamed Ischariot..." John 13:27 "And after the sop, satan entered into him. God penetrated the Person of Jesus, when Jesus was physically here in human body. II Corinthians 5:19 "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself...’ Christ penetrated God with His presence. John 14:20 "At that day, ye shall know, that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you." God and Christ penetrated each other. John 14:10-11 "Believest thou not, that I am in My Father, and the Father in Me? ... the Father that is in Me, He doeth the works,.Believe Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the very work’s sake." Men can penetrate into God the Father and into the Son. I John 2:24 "...if that which ye have heard from the beginning, shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." Men can be in Christ. II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature..." Men and the Spirit of God can be in each other. Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spiriit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Christ can be in Man. Romans 8:10 "...if Christ be in you, the body is dead...’ When we get saved, we come into a union with God, Jesus, and the Spirit of God. The inter-penetration of us with the Trinity, enables us to have the aura of His glory upon us. Wtih that inter-penetration, we can communicate with God, and boldly enter into the throne room, see Jesus, and be in the very throne room of God. That inter-penetration, also allows us to have a change of mind, of person, of nature. Romans 8:5 "...they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:8 "...they that are in the flesh, cannot please God. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you." The flesh and its carnal desires becomes weaker and weaker. The desires of the carnal nature lose hold. The aura glory of God upon us, keeps us more mindful of the things with which the Spirit wants us to concern ourselves. Romans 8:10-18 "... I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us..." The aura glory is a down payment on that glory of our new bodies. That aura glory is so awesome, that the sufferings of this life are not a great concern, for our persons are able to endure so much more, and still smile and be joyful __________________ murjahel John
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MEDIATING 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (KJV)
5 For there is one God, and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Revelation 2:6 But this thou hast, that
thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
One trait of the church at Ephesus, is that they
"hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes." The word "Nicolaitanes" comes from the word "nikao", which means "to conquer": and from the word "laos", which means "people."
The Nicolaitanes taught the idea of a priestly order in the church to be "more equal" than others. This idea became doctrine in the third and fourth periods of the church. The church at Ephesus was praised for hating this doctrine. We may have different ministries in the church, but God does not bless, or love one Christian above another.
In the Ephesus church period, the apostles, and disciples went about the world starting churches, with a teaching contrary to other religions which had priests and priestesses lording over a laity. The pharisaical domination of Judaism, and other religions was trying to find a foot hold in the church
This was the Nicolaitan doctrine, and the Ephesus church hated it. So did John, as evidenced by his words about Diotrephes (III John 1:9-10).
Peter tried to counter it with disapproving the ‘lord’ over others mentality.
1 Peter 5:3-4 (KJV)
Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
In the Pergamos period, Constantine stopped the persecutions of the Christian church and united the church and the state, this was the ‘balaam doctrine’. And this uniting brought heathen into the church, for it became a crime not to be in the Christian church.
Then in A.D. 325, the first great church council was held in Nicea. At least 1500 delegates arrived, some Christian, some heathen pretending to be Christian. It was stormy, vote bribing became common, and a clergy was set up, to which the laity were to be accountable.
The personal communication with the Lord was lost to many, for many never had such anyhow, for they were not Christians. The heathenism of which they had been a part, had a priesthood, and they set one up for Christianity to have. They could not comprehend the priesthood of believers. Thus, the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, that the Ephesus church hated, had in this period become the "deeds" which were a part of the Pergamos age.
Revelation 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.
Nicolas was one of seven, from the 70 disciples of the Lord, chosen to act as some of the first ‘deacons’. (Acts 6:5). He was originally from Antioch. It is said that he was one ‘of good report, full of the Spirit, and of wisdom." (Acts 6:3). Like Judas was a betrayer, and failure amidst the 12 disciples, Nicolaus was a failure amidst the 70, and amidst the deacons.
Ireneas, Hippolytus, and others of the early church confirm that Nicolas was the founder of the Nicolaitanes’ doctrine.
Even early in the church, a cover-up was attempted, for this verse, Rev. 2:15, indicates that ‘also’ this doctrine was wrong, it does not equate Balaamism to Nicolaitanes’ doctrine. But the early church soon made the Nicolaitanes doctrine to be part of the church, and therefore this still condemnation of such had to be squelched. Their method was to make the Balaam ideology and the Nicolaitanes ideology to be identical, and thereby never have to answer for why they had taken into church doctrine, this errant Nicolaitanes heresy, which Jesus said He hated.
So, many commentaries and Bible dictionaries will spread the idea put forth by Catholic proponents, who try to ignore the facts of what this doctrine is. Many in the Nicolaitanes’ heresy likely did swallow also the Balaam heresy, and practice such. But the two are separate false doctrines. The
"Nicolaitanes" are mentioned again here, following its first mention in Rev. 2:6, for in this Pergamos age the clergy began to demand undue pre-eminence and worship. The people became spectators, and not participants. Notice the ‘also’, meaning that his doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, was not identical to the doctrine of Balaam. Some likely held both false doctrines, but this is a separate error referred to here, and is one that is spelled out as ‘hated’ by our Lord. The Greek word "nikao" means "to conquer", ‘to dominate," " to intimidate" and "to manipulate". This refers to undue control. The word "laos" means "the people", and here refers to the laity.
The Lord knew that in the ages to come, the church would be overrun and controlled with those who claim this doctrine to be ‘truth’. So, in the word, the name itself, He has revealed what the church for so long tried to hide. There was to be no intimidating, controlling, power-hungry lords playing overlord, "baal", to the layman.
The church is a ‘body’, and its Head is Jesus. Yet, down through the ages, just as Lucifer wanted to ascend to the throne of God, so many of the church seek to un-seat Jesus, and impose his or her will upon others, twisting Scripture in a dictatorial manner. These are the"wolves" of Ephesus that Paul referred to in
"Take heed therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (episkopos, a bishop, a preaching elder), to fed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His Own blood. For I know this, that
after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
These who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, have the nature of a wolf, says Paul. A wolf will encircle its victim and attack.
There are some who prefer to have someone else to think for them, to interpret the Bible, and to shepherd them. These followers believe that this will bring them into the fellowship of God. And it is easier for them, than for them to themselves to build a relationship with the Lord, to hear personally from Him.
Weak Christians will gravitate toward "religious lords". There are some in the church who need to be needed, and must surround themselves with "their flock" who will be easily swayed to whatever the controlling, shepherding one wants. These ones will hate the direct access of others to the Holy Spirit. They feel that they themselves are a knowledgeable, in tune with the Spirit, mediator, who should shepherd, guide, lord others, rather than with the Word of God, and with teaching each saint to personally speak with the
There are many today, who speak of accountability, of answering to mankind, not to God, and want to control, as with a jezebel spirit, the persons of God. This can only lead to ruin, and the Lord warned us twice here in Revelation that He hates this nicolaitanes doctrine.
The teaching of the priesthood of the believer and of the personal relationship of each believer with the Lord, Who wants to be the only Lord for each believer needs a re-teaching. The ones who want to control ministries, persons of God will attack and oppose anyone teaching the priesthood of believers.
The gospel message is so simple, and as J. Vernon McGee said,
"It puts the cookies down on the lower shelf so the kiddies can get 'em." J. Vernon McGee also states that Truth is so simple, that "only a theologian could miss it".
Paul likewise taught that:
II Corinthians 11:3
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."
The Ephesians were praised for opposing the Nicolaitanes, but in time this doctrine grasped a hold, and by the time the Pergamos church age came, the Lord went from praising a church for their opposition to threatening a church for its acceptance of this heresy.
Today, there are some who do not follow the instructions of Peter, to
I Peter 5:2,3..
Feed the flock of God...not for ...neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock." filthy lucre
A common reason for such desire of some to ‘lord’ the flock of the Lord, is ‘filthy lucre’, the love of money.
I Timothy 6:10
love of money is the root of all evil."
The cure for this heresy called Nicolaitanes doctrine is the priesthood of believers.
This priesthood of the believers is what Jesus Christ loves, in contrast to the Nicolaitanes doctrine which He hates. The Old Testament told us about it.
"And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation." Isaiah 61:6
"But ye shall be named "the Priests of the LORD": men shall call you "the Ministers of our God"
This is not the Levitical priesthood referred to here. Jesus, our High priest, died on the cross for our sins. Since that price was paid for sin, all in Jesus are priests. Hebrews 7:12 "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law".
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: And I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord': For all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest."
I Peter 2:9
"But ye (all believers) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
The book of Revelation begins with that teaching that there is a priesthood of believers, not a separate priesthood for some to answer to, to be accountable to, in replacing our true Lord, Jesus Christ.
Rev. 1:6; Rev. 5:10; Rev. 20:6
"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father"
I Peter 2:5 "Ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
We are not to abandon that position of being a priest ourselves, to answer directly to our High Priest, to another "lord", a Nicolaitanes promoter. If we tolerate this doctrine, they will seek to control the flock of the Lord. Christ hated those Nicolaitanes and said so twice. He rebuked the Pergamos church, because they suffered and allowed this errant doctrine.
Christ warned us:
Matthew 24: 4,5, 25.
"Be not deceived. Many will come in My name".
When our Jesus walked this earth literally, He taught us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, whom He called "hypocrites." Jesus said that they were corrupted were blind leaders of the blind. These ones who wanted others to be accountable to them, in that day, made long prayers for a "pretense," a "show", a form of humility, was for the purpose only of being seen of men. They wanted the ‘uppermost seats’ in the Synagogues; the uppermost rooms at the feasts; and wanted to be esteemed as superiors and ones to be answered to.
But Jesus commanded:
"Be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren . Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant".
There are leaders chosen, by the Lord to direct the church functioning, but not to direct individuals in place of Jesus, there is a vast difference.
I Thessalonians 5:12-13
"We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves,".
I Timothy 5:17
"Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine,"
Some may lead and guide as ‘examples’, but not dominate.
I Peter 5:1-3
"The elders which are among you exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage,
but being ensamples to the flock"
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else: I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
It is both "the deeds" and "the doctrine" of those in the two "churches" of Revelation 2:6, and of 2: 15 that the Lord demands repentance and He threatens punishment if they do not obey Him:
Nicolaitans are a people who are dominant over another people. There are those in the church who do not hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, but who practice "their deeds" of dominating the laity
by lording it over the Church of Jesus Christ, which should be subject only to one Lord, i.e. Jesus Christ.
It is true that some have abdicated this lordship because they are esteemed very highly in love for their work's sake, but have become vainly puffed up in their minds. "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees." The threat of coming and judging those who hold this doctrine is real, and menacing. The ‘Laodicean church, with Jesus on the outside, but inside those feeling the ‘need of nothing’ is the epitome of this doctrine, and those are told that they are about to be ‘spued’, vomited up...
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna
"overcomers" is promised the "hidden manna." Spiritual food was lacking in this church, but some would find the spiritual food, even in this type of church if they searched. Hidden manna is vital to those in churches with false doctrines, and error. For the ‘manna’ is not easily received in services where the Spirit is grieved. Many in that age had to depend on ‘hidden manna’, for the church had become corrupted with many false teachings. But the Lord wants us to know, that He will provide manna, spiritual food and blessings, for those who desire such, despite the false doctrines of the day. He will lead to truth, to places of refreshing, to other like-starved saints who can fellowship together. The manna from heaven will fall, even if to only those who are seeking such, while the others, who are swallowed up in heresy or apathy, will not see that manna, for it is ‘hidden’ to them. It is time that we reject the nicolaitan ministers, and overcome that false lord-ship, and let the Lord give us ‘hidden manna’.
"and will give him a white stone"
"white stone" referred to the fact that in trials, a white stone was given for an innocent decision, and a black stone was given as a sign of a guilty decision. Overcomers were thus promised to be declared innocent of the sins of the church. Some were guilty of false doctrines in this church, but the Lord looks at the church, as being on trial, and the members being judged on whether they had swallowed the heresy of evil ‘manna’, or found despite the heresies of others, the ‘hidden manna’. Those who have searched, and found the ‘hidden manna’ are promised that their trial will end with a ‘white stone’ of declaration of innocence.
"and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it."
The Lord has a
"new name" for each of us, one given by our heavenly Father. Our earthly parents have given us names, and they may or may not be fitting, but the Lord Who knows all things, knew a name that befits us. Simon became "Peter" (a stone). Jacob became "Israel" (a prince with God). There has been a tendency for many to try to tell others what name God has chosen for them, but this verse tells us that God will not tell your name to any other, before He tells you. You have a name, given to you, long before your earthly birth, when in the mind of God you were ‘conceived’. This name will someday be told to you, and only God will give it you. Some have tried to reveal names to others, but God has kept this privilege only for Himself. Those who think they are needed to tell you your heavenly chosen name, are likely in the Nicolaitanes doctrine. For they want to do the work the Lord wants to do personally with you. The one Who wrestled Jacob, renamed him, Israel. Simon bar jona was renamed Peter by Jesus. It is the Lord Himself who will tell you what name He chose for you, and you can learn from Him, in this age, or in heaven, but even if you do not learn here, you will up there be told what your real name is. The Nicolaitan heresy, the ones who try to dominate, control, and be a mediator between you and the Lord, needs to be avoided, rejected, and shunned. There are tragedies that await if we don’t reject nicolaitan heresy, there are rewards for those who do reject it. __________________ murjahel John
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ACCEPTING Grace is so abundant, so magnificent, so unmerited, and yet it is infinitely, boundlessly, immensely, unspeakably, inconceivably, and unsearchably given to those who repent of their sins. We have not fathomed the ‘grace of God’. Mankind has no possible way to understand, how God can forgive the greatest of sins, and sinners, so wonderfully. It is a mystery, in the past, now, and in the future, for we cannot humanly understand it. Even the angels marvel as they see God pour out this mystery on those with sins abundant, and make such people to be children of God, joint heirs with Christ, and have no works that make them deserving of such. I John 3:1 "Behold, what manner of love, the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the ‘sons of God’..." Grace is unmerited favor, undeserved, free, and manifest through Jesus to mankind who accept Him. "Grace" is from the Greek word ‘charis’, meaning ‘a favor, freely done, without claim or expectation of return or repayment.’ We cannot ever repay God what we owe Him for His gift of salvation to us. Never. Your good works after salvation do not repay, do not reimburse God for what He has given you in the ‘grace’ bestowed. We cannot earn by our works, by our prayers, by our ‘seed offerings’ any merit deserving of healing. Too many feel God owes them, that they have repaid God for His grace, via offerings, deeds, or change of nature. NO!!!! No one has ever repaid God sufficiently, or even nearly sufficiently. Titus 3:4-5 "But after that, the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy, He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and by the renewing of the Holy Spirit, Whom He shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ, our Savior." Romans 5:2 "By Whom also we have access by faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:15 "the gift of grace, which is by One man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many." II Corinthians 9:8 "For God is able to make all grace abound toward you." The law reveals that mankind is a failure, sinful, destitute of righteousness, unable to save oneself, unable to ever please God, and yet, the Lord has given something we cannot ever, no not ever, understand, conceive, measure, nor ever exhaust. It is ‘grace’. Grace is a mystery of God. Grace is free, provided for all who will receive it. Grace makes us righteous in the sight of God, gives us peace and fellowship with God, guides us and empowers us to know the will of God, helps us bear up under trials and suffering. Grace makes spiritual things dear to us. Grace pays the price for our catharsis healing, for our bodily healings. Hebrews 4:16 "Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help, in the time of need." Grace is the remedy for all our sins, it is the remedy for all our sufferings, it is the remedy for our sicknesses and pains, it is the greatest gift, possible. Grace provides forgiveness, acceptance, salvation, healings restoration, reward, eternal life, and peace. What are we to do with this ‘grace’??? We are made, not only recipients, of such, but we are to manage such grace, bestowing it on others. I Peter 4:10 "As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same, one to another, as good stewards of the grace of God." Have you been ministering grace to others??? Too many saints think they are deserving of salvation and grace, but the rest of the world are too evil, to wicked, too undeserving of the same grace. They want to pull the ‘welcome’ mat in from the door, and sit in their ‘sanctuaries’. NO! We did not deserve this thing called ‘grace’, and we can never comprehend it, and if we think we deserve it, but some evil wicked person who offended us, or whatever, is undeserving of it, then we are sooooo foolish. Grace is abundant, it is a mystery to all of us in its inexhaustibility for the most sinful of mankind. WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF GRACE? Grace comes from God. He is the Source. He is the Bestower of grace. We are only His agents, offering grace for salvation to the sinners, offering grace for healing to the sick. Grace comes from God, and ‘faith’ also comes from God. Like the lightbulb in the lamp, it brings light, but it is not the source of the power of the light. It requires that electric cord be plugged in to the source of electricity. In the same way, faith flows from God, the Source, through us, and bestows GRACE. We are not the source, nor the power. We only have power to light this sinful and sick world, due to our connection to the Source of faith and grace. THE ONLY PURCHASE PRICE FOR THIS GRACE IS THE BLOOD OF JESUS Hebrews 9:13-14 "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, How much more shall the blood of Jesus Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" The whole plan of redemption, by this grace, rests on the blood of Jesus. Blood is the only tissue of the body that is unlimited in its movement within the body. Bones, muscles, nerves, fat, skin, are all fixed and remain where they are. Blood can reach every cell in the body. Therefore it unites the body, and any cell, placed outside the reach of the blood will die. It is because of the blood of Jesus, and our reception of it into our own selves, that we are alive in Jesus, we are saints of God, united with God. The Bible proclaims that: Lev. 17:14 "The life of the flesh is in the blood..." The blood of Jesus is the ‘life’ of the soul. The blood of Jesus can purge, can work a catharsis cleansing, on the inner ruination of the inner person. The contents of blood are: liquid = plasma [a colorless liquid in which are suspended all the solid parts] solid parts = platelets [thin transparent cells whose duty is to obscure] red cells (erythrocytes) [5 million per cubic millimeter, they carry fuel to the tissues, combined with oxygen, they give blood its red color] white cells (leucocytes)[defend the body from infections] other elements [some provide for clotting when exposed to air, some are antibodies to prevent disease, some various salts and other elements] The red cells travel through the lungs and pick up oxygen. The oxygen is delivered to the tissues, and then the blood picks up the CO2 (carbon dioxide) and cell garbage, and carries that all away. The whole trip takes about 23 seconds. The food is brought to the cells, and garbage is taken away from them in the same trip. Yet there is no contamination. How would you like the same truck taking your garbage away to deliver your food? The Lord Jesus shed His blood for us, and that same blood delivers salvation, delivers righteousness, and at the same time cleanses away our sins, our guilt, our shames, our hurts. As our natural blood is vitally necessary to the body, so is the blood of Jesus vital to the catharsis of the inner man. Each one of us need the blood to flow in our person, daily, to keep us cleansed, to keep us purged from the pollution of a cursed world. 1 John 1:7 (KJV) 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. This cleansing of the blood takes place, if we ‘walk in the light’ and if we ‘have fellowship one with another.’ The walking with Jesus, Who is the light, keeps us receiving the blood cleansings. The fellowship and conversations with this wonderful cleansing One, also keeps His blood flowing through our beings. This cleansing, i.e. catharsis work, of the blood upon our being, starts at salvation, and continues to cleanse. We need to be washed in the Blood of Jesus. When we are, we can become 'whiter than snow' in Him. Christ's sinless blood does what no other's blood can do. We need to overcome sin, to subdue guilt, shame, and to conquer the hurts of a life in a cursed world, with the blood of Jesus. Revelation 12:10-11 "for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death." Satan accuses us night and day. The devil uses many cohorts here on earth, human and spirit, who ignorantly do his bidding to falsely accuse us. The devil wants us to doubt our salvation. The demons want to make us feel our sins are too great. The torments of the hearts are destructive, and there is only one cleansing agent able to cleanse the heart, the mind, the soul of mankind. It is the blood of Jesus. We need to overcome the devils with the blood of Jesus. We cannot have confidence in the flesh. Trying to do better will not help. When the infection of attack is already present, we need the blood of Jesus. We can go to calvary, to the blood of Jesus, and bathe in the blood of Jesus. I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Mankind, since the time of Adam and Eve, has tried denial of sin, false relgions that purport that sin was not truly sin, and drugs that make one insensitive to the guilt of sin. None of these truly work. It is the blood of Jesus, appropriated due to grace, that works this cleansing, this catharsis work in us. Grace is via the blood of Jesus. No work, no offering, no holy act will ever earn it for us. We appropriate the catharsis work, via faith. God wants a pure church, a transformed people during this latter rain revival. Ephesians 5:27 "That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkly, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish..." The imminence of the rapture of the church should make us want to purify ourselves, and it also demands that we desire God to transform more lives before it is too late. I John 3:3 "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." God is able to transform the wicked sinners of the last days, to transform the hypocrites of the church, to transform the sin-hardened ones of which every one has given up hope. God is able to completely change their sin-corrupted minds, their wicked and hateful attitudes, and their sinful desires. God has the hardest time transforming the self-righteous and unforgiving hypocrites who think they are the righteous saints... To get them to repent of their unforgiveness is more rare than getting the wicked murderers on death row to repent of their murders... I Thessalonians 5:23-24 "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord. Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it." God even wants to change the lukewarm, unforgiving Christians of the last days to be on fire for Him. He spoke to the church of Laodicea, an offer of transforming power. He said: Revelation 3:15-18 "I would that thou wert cold or hot... 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." Lukewarmness and an unforgiving spirit are no longer acceptable in this last time. The God of this latter rain revival will not tolerate and soon will not allow an un-transformed life. He offers transformation, and now He demands it... the rapture is for those who are pure, holy, and spotless. The revival is to transform lives that are ready for this rapture. God transformed lives in the former rain revival, and God can do it now again. There are revivals taking place now in the prisons, in many foreign countries, in the entertainment industry, in the government leaders, and in any church gathering where people will humbly yield to His transforming power. During a revival, the manifest presence of God is strong. The former and latter rain revivals had - and will have - a very strong, close, and powerful presence of the Lord. Whenever God's presence is near, He will judge the rebellious and abundantly bless those yielded. If sin is present, He must judge it. As the High Priest stepping into the Holy of Holies on the day of Atonement, would fall dead if there was unrepented sin in the camp... Likewise, if the priests were doing temple service (as lighting the golden lampstand or offering sacrifices), and they noticed that their hands or feet were dirty, they would need to immediately wash at the laver. If they neglected to do so, they were smitten dead by the Lord. The man who reached out to steady the ark of the covenant, fell dead when he touched it. In the same way, God's Presence will bring blessing or judgment, depending upon our own standing with Him. If we are in sin, and God's Presence visits us, we are judged. If we are justified of our sins, and in right standing with God, His manifest Presence will cause revival and blessing. In His mercy, God will not give us His Presence today, until we have come in repentance to Him. Thereby, we may feel the lack of revival blessing, but if we humbly repent of our unforgiving spirits, the Presence - and blessing - of God will come. If He simply chose to visit our services next Lord's Day, there would perhaps be many who would be stricken dead at such a visitation. So God withholds His Presence, patiently (or impatiently) awaiting our repentant reconciliation to Him. During the early days of any great revival, God is trying therefore to purify His people. He can thereby bring more and more revival to them as they are purified. Ananias and Sapphira were judged for the lie they spoke in the presence of God during the former rain revival. They were not judged for not giving all of the money from the sale of the land, for this was not of necessity they were giving. But, they lied in God's Presence. Attempting to emulate Barnabas' gift of chapter 4, Ananias gave but did not have the faith or the generosity of Barnabas. He was being hypocritical. God does not tolerate hypocrites during the former or the latter rain revival. This is why many congregations do not have much revival yet, in this latter rain revival. If God's Presence did come down in manifest revival, He would need to strike many hypocrites dead. This may seem strange that this 'God of love', 'God of mercy', and 'God of tolerance' that many of us have grown so accustomed... would strike someone dead. The God we see in the revival periods (for instance, at the tabernacle in the wilderness, or at the time of recovery of the Ark in the days of King David, or during the former rain revival...) was adamant in His insistence upon purity. Likewise, during the latter rain revival, this same God of love will again insist upon purity... holiness... and will judge those who are not. Sin is present during the latter rain revival. This has been predicted for thousands of years, and we who now live in that age, can attest to the presence of sin in the midst of those that God wants to revive. I Timothy 4:1-2 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, ...speaking lies in hypocrisy..." We have seen God judge sin in some high places of Christianity in the last number of years. A number of people in high positions of the Christian world have been judged. There has been sin in congregations, in ministers, in evangelists, in denominations, in deacons, etc. Not in all... but in "some". God has only done so far, as He has done in all ages... purifying His people. Yet, in the latter rain, there will be a special purification... that surpasses all that He has ever done in any age. Jesus is soon to return for His church, and He therefore is seeking a purity above any ever demanded by the Lord. Ephesians 5:27 "That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." God is working during this latter rain revival to purify His church. He wants the "glory of God" in us, and the purity to be so great, that He can revive and bless us as never before. There is therefore coming a judgment upon the church. The people of Noah's day were shocked by the judgment that came upon the earth in those days. The five foolish virgins were shocked at being shut out of the wedding chamber in the story of the ten virgins. Ananias and Sapphira did not expect judgment either. Jeremiah 8:7 "Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane, and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord." "Tares" will be removed from the "wheat" first (before the harvest of the "wheat", which is the rapture of the church). These tares will be severed by a miraculous judgment of God in the time of the latter rain revival. Matthew 13:36-42 "Then Jesus sent the multitudes away (this message was not for all - even in that day), and went into the house, and His disciples came and said, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field... He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man, the field is the world. The good seed are the children of the kingdom. But the tares are the children of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world (age). The reapers are the angels... The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things (or persons) that offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire. There shall be weeping and wailing of teeth..." Matthew 13:49-50 "So shall it be at the end of the world (age), the angels shall come forth and sever (Greek = aphorizo = to separate from) the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire..." The judgment is pre-rapture, for the wicked are severed from amidst the believers. After the rapture, this would be unnecessary, for the believers will already be removed from this world. The Bible has often warned us of a judgment of the church. I Peter 4:17-18 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of those that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Jesus wants a pure church when He comes to rapture it. He finds it far from that purity at the moment. The revival cannot even get progressing as He would like to see it progress, until a new purity is found. We need revival, but we need a purifying purge of the church to remove the "tares" sown there by the devil. In Ezekiel is recorded a frightening passage. Ezekiel is being shown a vision that describes this last day purging of the church. He sees angelic beings who come. One angel marks those who are pure, and the others go forth with a slaughter weapon to slay all who are not so marked. The judgment begins at the "sanctuary." Ezekiel 9:1-6 "...six men... slaughter weapon in his hand... go through the midst... set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof... to the others... smite... slay utterly... come not near any man upon whom is the mark, and begin at My sanctuary..." This prophetic vision has not yet been fulfilled. Many scholar's believe that Peter was referring tho this prophecy when he spoke I Peter 4:17-18. The sinful state of the church in the last days, requires a purification that this passage in Ezekiel describes. It will be a miraculous, unprecedented judgment that will enable the latter rain revival to be have the Presence of God that God wants us to have. It will get the church ready for the soon coming rapture. II Timothy 3:1-14 "in the last days perilous times shall come..." These "times" referred to by Paul, are times when people shall have a "form of godliness, but denying the power thereof..." These "perilous times" are times when a judgment comes from the Lord upon the church. Many have hopefully assumed that the "perilous times" mentioned, are times for the world, and not for the church. This is not in keeping with the context of the passage. There are hypocrites, troublemakers in most every church. The word "hypocrisy" comes from the Greek word - "hypokrinomai". This word means "to play a part in a play." God will not tolerate those in the congregations of the latter rain revival that simply are play-acting. The hypocrites in every age are in trouble with God, but the ones in the latter rain revival are in grave, perilous danger. God has made it plain in Scripture, but mankind tries to ignore it, and look for the revival, the mercy... We will have revival, but the kind of revival that God wants us to have will not come until God removes those who play-act their faith. Ananias and Sapphira coveted and lied to cover their covetousness. Whenever the presence of the Lord is near, as in that revival, God will judge sin as surely as He will fill the hungry. At the former rain revival, God's presence filled the upper room when they were all in one place, and in one accord. The Spirit descended, they were filled, and 3000 were saved. When God's presence filled the place where Ananias and Sapphira came to present their offering, and a lie was told... judgment caused two to die immediately. Like the Jewish people vainlessly hoped concerning their judgment, many of the congregations of today cannot imagine a judgment time on the church. They have blinded their own eyes to the need of such a judgment, and they have ignored, perverted, and misapplied many passages of the Word of God that describe and predict this judgment. What do we do? We must be ready, prepared, and the best way to be ready is to often "examine" ourselves. This is the purpose of the communion we share. We are to be sure that we are ready "till He come". This demands a purity, and oft-cleansing of our souls. Luke 21:34-360 "...take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged (weighed down) with surfeiting (over-indulgence) and drunkenness (intoxication) and the cares of this life, so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare, shall it come upon all them that dwell upon the earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray, always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these thing that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." __________________ murjahel John