Category Archives: Admin Views
There is a well known song that says: “God is good all the time. He put a song of praise in this heart of mine” by Don Moen. We can find it in Bing search online. And Psalm 34 KJV talks about God goodness in many respects. But the Holy Ghost that I have keeps on saying to me God is great.
Christmas Day 2016 last year I preached a message about let’s talk about Jesus and within that message I said God is coming back. That came straight from the Holy Ghost to the Saints and visitors of the Church. But from my experience preaching over the years (when I get the chance) I knew that something extra from the enemy would come my way, apart from the regular “temptations” in our daily Christian lives. Because most of the time when someone preached a message from the Holy Ghost, the enemy of our souls will rebel even more and more. And I have seen and heard testimonies of that over and over in my Christian Life.
Well after I preached that message I also admonished the Church on New Year’s Day 2017 as they look back on the past 2016 year to do what the Bible says at Philippians 4:8 KJV and not look or focus on the negatives of life in 2016. Sure enough, things started to happen in my life that was not being helpful to me.
I have been sick before like other people. But some how the pains (especially in my stomach) that I experienced after the above message and exhortation to the Church was not ordinary. The pains continued for many days and about 2 weeks. I did not go the doctor as would normally be the case. Instead I begged (not asked) God for healing. Well the pains stopped. And I told the Pastor of the Philly Church I attend that if the pains do not return then it’s healing. It is does, it was not healing and I will have to go back to God and in addition, seek medical attention. Well so far for almost a month the pains have not returned. Now I have been healed by God before for chest and back pains going on 3 years now. So I know God is great and will have pity and mercy on me again. I believe he has healed me and I hope the healing will continue.
Right after I told and admonished the Church about focusing on Philippians 4:8 KJV Scripture, depression came my way. I had to pray and encourage myself like David did as mentioned at 1 Samuel 30:6 KJV…“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” Sadness is a really bad thing but depression is even worse. The prayers I prayed (and those who prayed for me on my behalf) helped me a lot. Because during that time I was also facing a lack of sleep problem that adversely affected my current night shift duties on the job I do for a living. Again, I had to ask God for help to get some good sleep. The sleep medication I bought from Rite Aid and CVS Pharmacies were not helping the right way. But God helped. The prayers worked and helped with answers came from God.
So God is good, but I say God is great. And as John 14:15 KJV says: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” That’s very critical to receiving anything from God to a certain extent. God is merciful and will heal, bless, perform miracles, etc., even when someone does not keep his commandments. But we need to remember that it’s different for each person with God. It’s not universal that everyone will receive what he/she needs from God without obeying John 14:15 KJV. Nevertheless, God is great and we say thank you Jesus in obedience to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV that says: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I heard a sad news about a young Minister (Youth Pastor) and his precious wife who passed away in a car accident December 30 2016. See Kimberly Reese Obituary at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/readingeagle/obituary.aspx?pid=183311250 online. And visit the her Church Site (Kevin and Kim Reese) at http://www.lighthousehome.org online.
Then I remembered not so long before I heard about that, I spoke about God and leaving this Earth at a young age, and how critically important it is for us to make sure our young people (without ignoring the older folks) are helped to be saved by Jesus and prepared to see God from serving Him during their lifetime – Matthew 24:13 KJV.
Then the New Year just appeared like that. I was so busy with Church and going to work after Church Services I just got the chance to reflect on the past 2016 Year. Then I remembered those Resolutions that many or most people will make and do at the start of the New Year.
But nothing is wrong with New Year Resolutions. I just hope that many will include God: Jesus in their plans even if they are not sure as yet about how that will be done – God will help. If we plan for happiness without God we will have a man-made style of happiness in our marriage or personal lifestyle. If we are seeking to lose weight (as many do and will) and do other things as well, we can get the best encouragement from the Word of God (Philippians 4:8, Titus 1:15, Galatians 5:22-23 KJV, etc) to stay on the path to success. If we need more money, paying our Tithes to God’s real Church (not some wicked TV Evangelist) can help a lot and really works all the time (Malachi 3:10, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV etc). And the list of possibilities can go on and on.
Above all, we need to just realize that we did not make ourselves and can never save ourselves. God is real and His Salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus is real. We need to open our physical eyes and minds to the Word of God to read and receive the Spiritual Revelations to be saved by God and change our lives for the best (not just good or better).
We must die. But fear about death is never a good point to try and tell anyone about God. It’s not so much about Hell and fire, but more about love, peace, joy and hope of Eternal Life.
And above all, it’s always better with Jesus than it will ever be with satan in this lifetime and eternally.
The Bible says Jesus is God in the flesh. Read 1 Timothy 3 verse 16 KJV that says: “…great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
In Luke 7 verses 48-49 (KJV) we read “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?” So we know only God can forgive our sins and Jesus forgave the sins of those he met while he was on Earth because he is God seen in human flesh. God is One God (not 3 persons in one) from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
The Bible says in the Book of Isaiah 43 verse 10 (KJV) “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
How to be saved from sins and received Eternal Life was taught, preached and practiced by the Apostles at Acts 2 verse 38 when Peter said: “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” So Peter knew what Jesus meant when Jesus spoke the words at Matthew 28 verse 19 and commanded the Apostles.
The name from “in the name of” is Jesus Christ. And no where in the Bible was anyone baptized according to Matthew 28 verse 19 as mentioned. Why? Because Peter knew the correct understanding of that is Acts 2 verse 38 and many people in the Bible were baptized that way. Read also Acts 2 verse 36, Acts 8 verse 16, Acts 10 verse 48 and Acts 19 verse 5 in the Bible. And there is no infant baptism recorded or taught in the New Testament.
Jesus and the Bible also said we must be born of water and the Spirit to receive Salvation and Eternal Life from John 3 verse 5 in the Bible. So were are to seek and receive the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) to be chosen Saints of God Almighty. Read Romans 8 verse 9 in the Bible.
Sometimes when we are thinking of our days in the world, God (i.e. the Holy Ghost) will remind us that we are saved.
I often hear (at supermarkets, retails clothes stores, food places and such alike) songs that remind me of where I am coming from. And every time I do, I remember that I am saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV). Because I no longer willfully listen to or sing those songs. But I can still see my past myself in others as they still sing those songs, dance to them, etc.
Recently I was in Church when the worship was not “hot as yet” in the Holy Ghost. Then God again reminded me that it’s not about how you feel but about what you know – that you are saved. Then I just did what the Holy Ghost said and worshiped God knowing that he was in Church with us, and we are to do his will – worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24 KJV).
So the point is, if you believe in Jesus and already received the Holy Ghost inside of you, listen to God and do what he says. When our fleshly body or our natural mind is weary and telling us one thing, we need to tune in to the Spirit and do what God says…when God reminds us.
While preparing a Bible Study for Church I noticed the verse (Heb 12:14 KJV) in one of my Bishop Bernard’s book “General Holiness Principles” from “Practical Holiness: A Second Look” page 31.
Then I remembered how for years this has been my favorite New Testament Scripture. The “follow peace” part is what was mostly on my mind over the years. Because I have encountered (and still do today) so many people (saved and unsaved) who are so cantankerous they can almost make the holiest of Christians life unhappy – especially if you live with them in marriage or work with them on a daily basis, such as, 5 or more days a week.
But the Holiness part of that verse will always win over any evil from anyone – including cantankerous people. Because the Power of the Holy Ghost through God will and can never fail – God is not a failure and can never be defeated by the enemy of our souls. So even if the person is a “Jezebel” or a “Judas Iscariot” in our lives now or in the future, if we still apply Heb 12:14 KJV in Practical Holiness, God will in deed be pleased because he knows with him we must succeed to our Divine Destination.
Last night (9/13/2016) while traveling home after the Prayer Meeting at the local Philly Church I attend, I was listening to some music on my cell phone from the K-Love Station. But only a few of the “Christian Religious songs” played mentioned the name “Jesus” in their lyrics. So it seems like the songs are geared towards being “Christian Religious” rather than being “Spiritual.”
Many years ago, a Deacon at my first Church where I got saved, got up one Sunday Morning during the Sunday Service and testified how the “songs of Zion” are so good and pure, there are no other songs like those songs. He was right back then and he still is today. Because back then many of our songs in Church came from the “Pentecostal Hymnal” that has lots of songs with the name Jesus in those songs lyrics to clearly say who we are singing to or praising in worship, etc.
Not to be too harsh or criticize the songs K-Love and other Radio Stations play, but many songs do not mention Jesus. They will, for example, sing about hope, or power of God, or love, or healing power, etc., but they (the song Writers) often do not mention the name Jesus in their songs.
I had to say that because, as I said and posted online before, when someone talks or sings about “God” sometimes they are not talking about the same God that I and maybe you know. They use “God” in a general way because they know people will love their songs if they are just “Religious” and want to hear some songs about “God” and his love or power, etc.
But we need to know the importance of the name Jesus as far as our healing, miracles, Salvation, financial provisions, love in life, true Christian Fellowship and such alike are concerned. See more information at: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Nam…/ online. It’s just not enough to talk about “God.” Anybody can do that and may not even mean the God who created the Heavens and the Earth – just a Religious God base on their personal belief System and Religion.
I like listening to K-Love sometimes. They really do play some good songs (just like Praise 103.9). But I still prefer to hear some new “Spiritual songs” that do mention the name Jesus in the lyrics and what that name really means to all of us who believe in the Bible.
“O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day” Psalm 96:1-2 King James Version (KJV).
Matthew 5:8 KJV says “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” And Proverbs 3:5 (KJV) says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
One of my earliest Home Bible Study (HBS) critical lessons as a new and then recent convert with those good men of God many years ago, had to do with knowing and understanding our “Spiritual hearts” (i.e. our minds). Because I still believe that the critical decisions that we will make concerning our lives in Christ will come from our minds – the changing of our minds, sometimes away from believing in God. I have seen many videos on YouTube with “testimonies” from former Pentecostal Apostolic (UPCI former members included) that goes right back to those people (or former Saints) changing their minds about God, Creation and the Bible, for example. But I pause many times in my life to thank God I have not changed my mind about him and his Word. And I hope even on the day I die I will not. God forbid, like some Saints of God, I may change Organization from UPCI and Church Fellowship, but I hope I will still keep the Faith – believing the Apostolic Doctrine.
Too many Saints of God get themselves in trouble in Church by using their minds in the wrong way. I have said it before and I say again, unless we have the Gift of Discernment as mentioned at 1 Corinthians 12 KJV, for example, we are to be very careful about interpreting (or misinterpreting) what we see in Church and via the Fellowship with Saints of God, or even outside of the Church Environment. Many times Saints full of “foolish emotions” get others in trouble with the Pastor, for example, or other Saints because of the stupidity from the enemy of their souls or pure gossip (or guessing) from mischievous or envious people. From that we often see the carnal mind and the works of the flesh in action. That will only make good people lives miserable and difficult – adversely affecting their fellowship with the wonderful Saints of God, their families, friends and even the Church Community. The mind can help to bring beautiful blessings in our lives. But it can also destroy precious friendships and families in Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 King James Version (KJV) says “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.”
Many like myself in Church, after so many years, are still looking unto Jesus with the mind of Christ in accordance with the Word of God. Because one of the best ways to “survive” and remain in Church to see God in the end, is to “oppose everything that is opposing God” in our minds.
Over the past week or so the Pastor and Saints of the Apostolic Church I attend in Philadelphia have been placing “additional” attention on the young people of the Assembly. I say “additional” because they do that all the time. Now that is good. But then it’s the parents that keep coming back to my mind. Because it’s one thing to tell kids, teens and young adults to do one thing but for the parents to do another. They will always watch and learn from them. The “do as I say and not as I do” philosophy has no Christian foundation and validity in the real Church of the living God. Instead, it’s gotta be like do as the Word of God says and follow me keep God’s Commandments.
Just last Tuesday we had a special time praying for the youths at our Tuesday Prayer Service. And then yesterday (8/14/2016) the Church First Lady inspired another special moment of prayer for the youths. Now those 2 occasions were “good.” But then my mind kept going back to the parents. Such as, what are they doing consistently to help their kids stay in Church, attend Church or be involved in the Church activities?
Some parents will consistently turn-up late for Church but leave early, even before the preaching ends or avoiding the Altar Call “second Service.” But many Saints have been really blessed and delivered in those “second Services” at the Altar. Then there are some parents who do not pray (or come to the Tuesday Prayer Service) or turn-up for the before Service Prayer on Sundays, and so on. The point is, how can they expect their kids/children to do what is right, when they themselves are not doing what is right. Leaving it to the Pastor or another close friend at Church is not the will of God for any parent towards their kids/children.
In recent weeks, the Pastor ministered/preached about Faith and Forgiveness. But it’s the Faith part of the preaching/teaching that some parents need to look at again. Maybe they can go back and re-watch that video from that Service or talk to the Pastor about getting some written information to help. In this respect, the Bible says…
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
(From: James 2:14-26 King James Version, KJV)
Now it will be good to know and see some of the parents remembering this: “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” They need to show that faith in God and His Word by works as well so their kids/children will follow consistently, and all the days of their lives. It’s just unfair to expect too much from those young folks when they really need help from their parents and guardians who are to be helping to take care of their souls for God’s Will and purpose.
I still believe we can help our young people in Church. But that will always require the parents do what must be done for their kids/children as Apostolic Christian Saints of the real God. I believe God: Jesus is expecting that from all of us as believers and fellowship members of the Church – in Jesus Name.
Many years ago two sisters from my brother Apostolic Church were so excited about the new building the Bishop built that they were almost overwhelmed. They were new Converts and so were not too familiar with the realities of life in Church. Both worked at the same Government place I was working at the time. So from time to time we saw each other and chat a little.
I mentioned the above because the Apostolic Church I attend in Philadelphia recently moved to a new location in the same Community, and the memory of those 2 sisters came back to me. My point is to say that the building is not the “Church” and we need to remember that. It’s just a place were the Saints of God meet (Hebrews 10:25 KJV). In the book of Acts we can remember how Jesus original Apostles and their Disciples who learned from them, met in homes and where they could for Church Meeting (Acts 2:46-47 KJV) and Fellowship. It was the people that made the difference, not the building or physical location. So whether the Church is brand new, “fancy” looking or not, is not the point. The quality (holiness) of the people as the Saints of God is the real essence of the Church.
Many years ago when I told those 2 sisters that (as mentioned above) as part of the Youth Ministry Fellowship they laughed. I know they were not being cynical. They were just happy to be in that brand new building built by the Bishop and his faithful Saints financial resources. Those 2 sisters (and many others) were not around during the construction – just when the new Church building was finished.
However, the sad part of the above memory, is that a few years later, both of those 2 sisters left the Church for understandable and unpleasant/sinful reasons. One got married and went to her husband Church in another location/city. The other did what was wrong (i.e. sin) and had to leave that Church building. The Bishop I know and know about very well. So I know he would not allow her to stay after what she did. In fact, the Saints would have made it not very easy for her to stay because most of them did not like what she unfortunately did.
Therefore, in reality, she eventually discovered for herself that what I was telling her about the Church being the Saints and not the nice building, was true. After she left, that nice building was still there for other new converts who came after her to enjoy the Fellowship within the walls of the building with the Saints of God.
So it’s far more about the people and not the building. It’s the fellowship with the Saints and friends of the Church with the Church Community from time to time, that will make the real difference in our lives. It’s all about people. John 13:34 KJV says: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
I believe many of us will agree that there are some Scriptures (just like some songs) that will always reach the heart and soul no matter how many times we read them, and when we do so in good or not so good times. Scriptures like Romans 8:31 KJV – What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Jeremiah 29:11 KJV, Deuteronomy 18:22 KJV, Romans 12:2 KJV, Hebrews 12:14 KJV, 1 Kings 19:12 KJV and others are examples.
From my years in Church, every serious Christian I have met has always wanted to know about the Will of God for his/her life, and more about 1 Kings 19:12 KJV – God’s voice speaking to us in today’s Christian life-time. Because it is easier to do the Will of God when we hear from God through his “voice.” There will be less mistakes and uncertainty, we all hope. But we need to always remember that the first dimension of the Will of God for us today is still the Word of God. So if we are not being obedient to the Word of God, I believe it is unlikely that God will speak to us in a still small voice, etc. God is holy and the Bible says “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” 1 Peter 1:16 KJV. Instead and from the Bible example, God will speak to someone else to speak to someone as in Deuteronomy 18:22 KJV. And sometimes Christians mistake their “conscience” for the “still small voice” of God. And that is why it is always advisable to seek the counsel of their Godly Bishops/Pastors/Ministers in Christ to avoid unwanted mistakes or confusion.
Then there are many deceivers who will claim that God is speaking to them as Bishops, Pastors, Evangelist, Ministers, etc., to get others to do what they want for their means as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:25 KJV. That’s why so many people in the Religious Churches are suffering at the hands of corruptible men and women. But even in the Apostolic Churches today we can see some elements of this. Because the “holiness” standards in many is being lowered more and more as the World changes in many ways.
If God be for us…does not remove the fact that we are still humans with all the natural emotions and feelings of life as humans. Some Saints tend to forget or overlook the fact that receiving and having the Holy Ghost does not make us “angelic” being without the “issues” life in the flesh. Some Ministers and Pastors tend to mislead their Saints into believing that since they have the Holy Ghost they are to be super righteous when they themselves are not.
We must never sin willfully, but some do. And as I have said many times over the years (in preaching, teaching, Home Bible Study, witnessing, testimonies, etc) we are to avoid the “big sins” of life: the idolatry, adultery, fornication, stealing, and the list goes on – Colossians 3:5-10 KJV. Any sin is sin in the eyes of God. But in reality, just as there is an unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31 KJV – blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men) some sins in our lives will destroy us (and that of our families and friends) in the immediate future and down through the years.
So if God be for us, we are to be for God as well. And God says if we are for him (so to speak) then we are to remember what John 14:15-21 KJV and other Scriptures say.
I am one of those men in Church who believes in what the Bible says about men leading in the Church in Ministries, being faithful “Stewards of the mysteries of God” and more (Ephesians 4:11-16 and Colossians 3:23 KJV). But when we do not have the men we need as yet, we have to thank God for our faithful ladies in Church and show our appreciation from time to time.
Over the many years in Church, I have seen some “not so good men” in Church change because of their wives (or wives to be) who are also saved. They have set a good example for not only the ladies but some men to follow. But that is exceptional and not the norm. It’s usually the other way around – i.e. vice versa.
Spiritually speaking, the Bible says: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” 1 John 4:7-8 King James Version (KJV). Now I believe, first and foremost, that is referring to the Church of Christ, the Spiritual implication from fellowship, and not how the World may interpret that Scripture in an ungodly lifestyle or manner. But even when we do love in spirit and in truth, some how the enemy seems to double or triple his efforts to adversely affect some – especially the men.
There is one brother I know in Church for over 5 years. When I first met him and got to know how he is (how he loves his Pastor and Family) I never could have imagined how he would have changed. He’s still a good guy inside when he tries his sincere best, and is not being wrongly influenced by others. But it’s his wife that is the “strong one” in the family. And I sincerely believe that. So we see a sister to the “rescue” (so to speak). The brother means well when he is listening to his Pastor (i.e. doing what his Pastor says). But some how, something always gets in his way to turn him the wrong way. I guess he gotta fight harder on his knees and in fasting as well. But what can I say, God bless the sister wife for helping.
Now I love the sisters at the Apostolic Church I attend. And I mean that in a holy God-like manner in spirit and in truth. But still, it’s the men we need to “get-up and stand-up” for what’s right in Christ Church. And not be influenced by others who may not really have God: Jesus as the true source of their faith and strength.
In the Bible, many men have fallen from God because of “bad” women, some will say. But from my life in Church, I know good and great Bishops, Pastors, Evangelists, Deacons, and other Church Leaders in the true Apostolic Church are so (good and great) because of those precious ladies who will stand by them when they are right, but will not be afraid or ashamed to tell them they are wrong – respectfully when they need to do so. And that’s one of the things I like about our good Apostolic ladies in Christ.
So we can love our sisters in Christ, but we bless our men in Christ by saying this because it’s still applicable today: “…Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest….” Joshua 1:9 King James Version (KJV) and in Jesus Name.
Normally, when our lives begin to change or change again, we will usually experience faith in God, fear or doubt. There are other “signs” but I believe those are the most essential from what I have seen and experienced over the years.
Many people believe we have no control over our fate (i.e. what will ultimately happen in each of us life as individuals). That is incorrect. Because many years ago I could have change my fate by doing something that was wrong. In deed, many people (saved in Church and unsaved) have done wrong by willful choice, and have changed their lives for the worse (or better in some cases). Some live to regret their errors or bad judgement and deeds, while some just do not care.
The change I am talking about here is when God starts to do or allow things in our lives that we have not control over. Most Christians will pray for God to do “this and that” (so to speak). And when he does or does not, that will change our lives. A popular situation in Church is prayers to marry someone who is right. And when that occurs it will certainly change both persons lives. This is especially so when the persons involved are in Church, and the Church does not believe in divorce (in case the marriage goes bad). Because of that point, the parties involved will have to live with all the problems and “issues” from that while they are still serving God. For example, many years ago I discovered that a fellow who was one of my Outreach Pals had a very nasty and unpleasant divorce from a sister in Church. And yet, they were still attending the same Assembly – facing an everlasting unpleasant situation. Likewise, going to College for 3, 4, 6 or more years and away from Church, spouses, families and friends, can change our lives in either way. I remembered the “problems” I faced in my College days and how that was trying to adversely affect my faith and Church life. Thank God I survived.
I believe as long as we have faith in God: Jesus there is no room for fear in our lives. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV. I never like to make any significant decisions in my life until I am 100% sure that God has answered my prayers, or has done or allowed something to happen to tell me my prayers have been answered. While waiting on God, I have learned and practiced to remove fear and hence doubt from my mind and heart. And instead, just wait for the ultimate answer or sign from God. Fear is truly the opposite of faith when we are in Christ Jesus. And doubt can be a sign of confusion or lack of confidence. The Bible says we are to do thing by faith in God (Philippians 4:13 KJV) and in so doing avoid the spirit of doubt in our minds and hearts to rule over us.
If we are afraid of the future as Christians (or Bible Believers) then we are in need of help from God to increase our faith in him and his Word.
See Acts 19:1-6 King James Version (KJV) in the Bible. It’s Pentecost Sunday for Apostolic Christian Churches around the world as that relate to Acts Chapter 2 and other Scriptures, King James Version (KJV).
Receiving the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit) is still real and possible today as back then in Acts 2. It was not just a “one time” thing as some will misleadingly tell others today. Anyone who believes in Jesus can receive the Holy Ghost. John 14:26 King James Version (KJV) says: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” But Faith is the critical element to receive the “Comforter” from God: Jesus. And a strong consistent desire to seek after and receive His Spirit will always help.
However, it’s a fact and from my experience, that some will not receive the real and genuine Holy Ghost because they are not doing so according to Biblical reasons but by ungodly carnal reasons. In Church, I have seen some people received God’s Spirit in the genuine way as described in the Bible from Acts 2. Then there are others who desire “Fellowship” and the social aspect of being in Church above receiving the Holy ghost to the extent that they will “fake” receiving the Spirit and “fake” speaking in tongues. Then there some who will just give up and leave Church because they are “tired” of seeking after God for the Spirit or the World has overwhelm them more than the desire to seek after God. Whether it’s faking the Spirit or giving up on seeking God’s Comforter, both cases are wrong. We must never give-up of God because he will never give-up on us. Some will return and receive the Spirit. But unfortunately, far too many do not return.
What’s for sure, is that God knows the hearts, minds and future of everyone. So let us hope for the best for ourselves and those who are yet to receive their personal Pentecost – in Jesus Name.
Here are some of the personal experiences of our Site Admin as experienced through daily life contact in the real world.
Glory to God – Luke 2:14 KJV…The right attitude towards God’s Word.
I have been teaching a Home Bible Study (HBS) to two Brazilian guys for weeks now and it’s been the best experience so far since I started doing HBS for the Philadelphia Local Church in 2014. I have been doing HBS for many more years than that.
The younger fellow says he loves Church and the Church in Philadelphia that his uncle takes him to. Some of his friends at the Middle School he attends told him they do not believe in God. But he told them he does. So that is just great to know. He loves the HBS and reading the Word of God in English and Portuguese as well. Before we started the recent HBS I had to help him with his Cinquain Poetry from school until a friend came along and started to help as well.
The older HBS person is more mature being over 30 years old. He is more interested in the Bible and the Word of God especially since he is baptized according to Acts 2:38 KJV. Like the other person, English is his second language so it makes since to me to ask him to read the Bible in Portuguese and English so he will feel more comfortable and willing during our HBS. It also help both person to read and understand more English. This person seems to be serious about God in a general way. But he needs lots of encouragement to receive his New Birth Spiritual experience. Base on our conversation about his experience in Church (I know him for over a year now) and what he sees and encounters on the job, he is a willing to do what the Word of God says even when his Church Fellowship members are not around him. That is good to know.
Hoping those guys will continue to believe the Word of God. They are still young. And I know from experience that the enemy is not done with them. So pray always I say to them and keep in touch with God’s Word.
Glory to God…
So I recently went into a Dollar General store near where I am living to get a few items including “Parboiled rice” because it was too late and far to try the Aldi Supermarket near my home. When I got to the Cashier she was an African American young lady no more than about 18 or 19 (I believe and guessed because she was so young). And as she cashed in the cost of the rice, she asked me what is the difference between “Parboiled rice” and the other regular rice. I told her I was not sure but it was some sort of pre-boiled rice. Then I said to my self, could be one more for the Youth Ministry (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV).
The point is, sometimes when I encounter these young folks any where (male of female good or bad ones) I am just seeing how they too could become Youth Ministry Members in an Apostolic Church somewhere. I remember how so many of them need help in so many ways. I know because I have tutored some of them at the Middle and High School levels in North-West and West Philadelphia Communities during my work life in Philadelphia. And just like back then, I am still concerned about them.
One of the best things that can happen to a Christian Apostolic Church (I can only speak about such a Church) is to have a vibrant Youth Ministry with good and potential Youth Leaders who seek after Christ, and to do the right things, such as to help each other be saved and remain saved, while growing up in Church. So one day, they can “take the batton” and carry on the “Great Commission” (so to speak) in their respective Church. I believe their parents, Pastors, fellow Saints and good friends/neighbors would love to see that – in Jesus Name (1 Timothy 4:12 KJV).
So they remembered me this Easter…
A few of the Saints at the Apostolic Church I attend remembered me this Easter Sunday with a nice gift of kindness after Sunday Communion Service. I say thank you Jesus. And it’s not just because they are African Americans why I say that. That’s just a fact.
I have in the past received kindness from “white folks” as well. And since I am purely Apostolic in Spirit, I do not have respect unto person base on their skin color or in other ways as the Scriptures talk about (James 2:1-10 KJV). Instead, I prefer holy Apostolic friends the most, whether they are black, white, yellow, “red skinned” and so on. And I do love my unsaved friends because they have helped to shape my life for the better.
But the gift from the Saints today was well needed, I must admit. If I remembered correctly, last year one of those same persons also gave me a gift during Easter. But this year’s gift is more and just as nice. I hope they will not take so long to remember me so I have to wait until next Easter. Because who know, God may just decide to all me home before that or the Rapture may just take place before next Easter and that would be nice in deed.
God bless those Saints at ARC in Philadelphia who considered me worthy of their kindness today in spirit and in truth.
Glory to God…
One of the things that I really discovered, like and admire about African Americans is how they will “stick by you” (or support each other) in times of trouble. I guess that is coming from the days of slavery, and is still relevant in some respects even today.
In recent months, I have been the recipient of such support as mentioned above from African Americans in Philadelphia. Now the Pastors I have and had Apostolic Church Fellowship with in Philadelphia have been white men who are good people in general. But in many times of trouble and needing help it’s the African Americans who have “come to my rescue” (so to speak) the most and in significant ways. For example, one was my first Managers in Philadelphia who recognized my hard work, education and potential to grant me a just promotion and support up to the level of “Acting Manager” in my career, was an African American. The other in recent months has been a good Recruiting Supervisor who again saw the potential and granted me fair support and more.
While I always like to take a Godly Christian view of life and not be bias, I also need to be honest and recognize that African Americans in Philadelphia are still playing a very important role in my life even today. Not all of those I have encountered are known to have been good or fair to me. This is especially so since in recent years I had to resign a job and career because of the unfair treatment of an African American “Director of Operations” where I used to work. But I agree with Matthew 5:45 KJV.
The point is, they are still doing good deeds and I need to focus on the good ones and not let the bad ones distract me from losing the faith in my roots and heritage.
Glory to God…
Over the week-end (i.e. Saturday 02-27-2016) I was doing a final Home Bible Study Lesson with an African America brother about “The Power of the Holy Ghost” when I remembered some of my past experience with others over the years.
I followed the Lesson Outline when I told him the facts that to receive the Holy Ghost you need to “Desire to have it, Repent of you sins, Ask God for it, Believe God will give it, Begin to praise God” and so on. All of those are true. But I was careful to remind him that he needs a personal relationship with God to receive the Him (i.e. Holy Ghost). Because I will not see him at his home or on the job or when he is with his friends, etc., but God will. So he needs to be mindful of that fact and remember that repentance does not mean he can willfully sin during the day/night or week, and then come into the Church on Sunday to seek the Holy Ghost at the Altar. This is especially so since he has already been baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ. So his process with God has began.
I have personally seen many people receive the Holy Ghost in different ways, and read or heard about many others. But I still strongly believe that when someone is seeking the Holy Ghost for a long time (such as over a year or 2 and more) then he/she needs to look at his/her Faith in God and belief that he/she can still receive the Holy Ghost. Willful sin is never acceptable to God – even when the person repents as in David’s story from 2 Samuel Chapters 11 and 12 KJV. God will forgive because he is like that, but he will not just ignore the sin. He will deal with that in his way as God.
So the person seeking the Comforter (same as the Holy Ghost) needs to be mindful of the above and who God is. Because the Word of God is true when we read ” and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2;38 KJV). So the person who is seeking needs to keep on doing so by Faith and do their best not to go back to willful sin.
Glory to God…
Over the last few weeks, the Holy Ghost got me focused on the Video Training Seminars, Teaching and Preaching information from some black Ministers such as Dr Gerald Jeffers, Pastors Art Wilson, Johnny James, Chester Mitchell , Michael Mitchell, Marvin Bembry, Sam Emory, Richard Allmon and others.
This year will make 21 years since I am apart of the UPC Organization (from UPCJa to UPCI.org in the United States). And so most of the Teachers and Preachers I have learned from are caucasian (i.e. white folks). I still love many of them today because my “training” information from them was very good even to this day. But I have discovered that all of the black Ministers mentioned above are good men as well. Dr Jeffers is a part of UPCI and I have been listening to his teachings for over 17 years. The others are recent encounters and some may have passed on in life by now.
Having watched their videos, I can see how the teaching they received and passed on to us are still very good today. Most of those men as Pastors listed above are from UPCI. Pastor Johnny James if from PAWinc.org online. So if you are familiar with UPC you can understand what I am saying. But I can honestly say it’s great to know that we still got some great black Preachers and Teachers online who are sharing their knowledge, understanding and wisdom with all of us – in Jesus Name.
Glory to God…
I live in the North-West side of Philadelphia PA in the USA and I have developed a liking for the Community. Because of that, more and more, I am getting the impression in my heart and mind (1 Peter 3:15 KJV) to start a formal Outreach Evangelism Ministry in the Community. I believe on waiting on the Spirit of God with proper financial support and a small team of people. So I will wait (Psalm 27:14 KJV). But having seen, read and heard about the people lives in the Communities, I believe that will be God-bless thing to do.
There are other Apostolic Churches in the Community but no UPCI Ministry. Being a predominant African-American Area of Philadelphia does not mean that it will be easier than North-East Philadelphia, for example. Sin is sin anywhere and regardless of the race or culture. What is essential is that Jesus must agree and be with us as a Team of Saints. One thing I have done so far is to keep in touch with some people via nextdoor.com online Neighborhood Community Network, and by the Website I will be promoting shortly. At my age and even after 20 years in Church, I believe what the Spirit is saying to me still requires prayer and fasting for the Perfect Will of God. Nevertheless, I say thank you Jesus.
Glory to God…The Winter Storm last week-end and my neighbors.
While shoveling and removing the snow after that wicked snow storm, I was doing some basic personality assessment of my two neighbors – the one to my right and the one living on the left of where I lived on the same block. We were all out side Sunday morning removing the snow from each of our entrance to our dwelling place, and the immediate sidewalk. I must say would prefer to have been in Church since it was Sunday, but we all know traveling was not feasible in Philly that Sunday morning.
Both of my neighbors are African American “middle-aged” ladies. One seems to be some how conscious of others and God since she referred to God a number of times during our shoveling and conversation. The other was more concerned about trying to get me to also shovel out her car from under that massive snow. Sorry but I could not since I had lots of snow to remove already and I was helping both ladies remove snow from the immediate sidewalks (Romans 13:10 KJV). But what struck me the most is that I was right about the lady “self mindset” and how she who was trying to get me to clear the snow from her car. So I applied some basic wisdom and courtesy by reminding her that some guys are passing by (from time to time) with shovels. Therefore, she can engage one of them service to remove the snow that buried her car and pay them. That she did, and paid one a mutually acceptable fee for the job.
The other neighbor and her son had removed the snow the previous Saturday night when the snow fall eased. But that was unwise. Because the snow did not stop completely until early Sunday morning. And when the City Officials cleared our street, the snow “splashed back” to block her drive way again. So she and her son had to remove the snow again Sunday morning. We can imagine the frustration that cost. Her son came out late but he did help again. However, my emphasis was on the fact that this particular neighbor, unlike the other, was also concerned about the other people on the block, and in particular the lady living beside her (Proverbs 19:17 KJV) who could not remove/shovel her snow herself. So my neighbor instructed her strong young son to help that neighbor and he did. Good I said. So while one neighbor focused on her self and her car, the other was also concerned about others in need.
It was a simple and interesting experience. And I never shoveled so many much snow in my life in Philly these many years. Nevertheless, “old man Winter” may not be done with us as yet. So we need to have that mindset to do it again this Winter – hopefully not from so much snow.
Glory to God (Luke 2:14 KJV)
This week Monday the United States celebrated another Martin Luther King Day in memory and honor of that great African American Leader.
I like what this person said about King Jr. “What I Love Most About Martin Luther King Is That He Taught African American People How To Fight Racism With Their Head & Faith In God” Zachary Wright on Twitter. I agree because the Bible tells us that “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12 KJV.
King Jr was not fighting against the flesh of evil men and women that were not of his race. He was fighting against a System that allowed “…principalities…powers…rulers of the darkness of this world…” to do great evil against others. And that System included some from all races, even his own, though not many. There are good and bad “white folks” as much as there are good and bad “black folks” and Asian, and so on. Those of us who know and understand the Bible know that we are talking about sin from all races, and not just one. It’s true that King Jr greatest struggles came from many “white folks” who were (and some still are today) against equality and justice for others – especially the African American or black/colored population in American. But the bottom line is, it was sin he was fighting against and sin caused the “physical’ death of his flesh. Because his brilliant ideas and biblical philosophy will live on (I believe) long after many of us have died and left this Earth in the future as he did.
So we honor not only a great man this week and his leadership struggles for a minority of people. But we also thank God for the Word of God and Jesus Salvation so we can know that it’s sin that we are still fighting against, not just a System of evil coming from some people. The battle is the Lord’s but he gave us his Spirit and Word so we know what to do (Ephesians 6:17 KJV).
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