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Many years ago my first Pastor (who was also a Bishop) at the Church I received the Holy Ghost liked to tell his Congregation how he “never” missed a Communion Service since he got saved. I knew him when he reached 40 years of his personal Salvation in Christ. So not to miss any Communion Service would have been quite an achievement. But I believe he was trying to encourage the Saints of his Church not to be absent from Communion Services, rather than saying he really never missed any. I do not know for sure if he really did not missed any, but I did believed him.
In reality, there will be times when someone can and will be absent from a Communion Service or a few because of good reasons. For example, that Pastor Church had Communion Services sometimes (if I remembered correctly) on Tuesdays or Thursdays during the week. So if you are driving from work, for example, and an accident occurs (not involving you) on the road, then you can be delayed too long to have missed a Communion Service. Then there is sickness like the “common flu” that can cause someone to be bed sick and absent from Communion Service. And there are other good examples like those.
I personally love Communion Services just like seeing someone receive the Holy Ghost at the Altar of our Services. Those two Church Matters always give me joy.
But my main concern about Communion Service is taking it for the wrong reasons as some people do. Over the years, some Apostolic Saints coming from a Christian Religious background will take Communion like they are still in the Christian Religious Denomination. That is, you do not see them much in Church and active in Church Life. But as soon as Communion Service is announced, they are at Church. Then there are some who still believe that “once saved always saved” is true. It is a lie. If you received the Holy Ghost and water baptized according to Acts 2:38 KJV and then went back to willful daily sin but turn-up in a Church to receive Communion, you are doing so contrary to Scriptures (1 Corinthians 11:27-30 KJV). And there are other Scriptures as well that anyone can search and find to contradict the “once saved always saved” Religious Philosophy like 2 Timothy 4:7 KJV. We must keep God’s Commandments all the days of our lives in Holiness. See also 1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV.
In addition, there was a time in my early Church Life that I taught when someone received the Holy Ghost he/she would have or feel the Spirit all the days of their lives. But a few years ago in Philadelphia at the local Church I now attend, I discovered something. I young man who is the nephew of a faithful sister in the Church came back to Church after “backsliding” as we know it. He came to the Altar many times and prayed. Then one day he just said to me (as I prayed with him) that he cannot feel anything. He cannot feel the Holy Ghost. So I asked him if he had received the Holy Ghost before and he said yes. But apparently he stopped going to his local Church (our Church was not his original Church) and serving God (i.e. keeping God’s Commandments).
A few weeks later on that famous and popular “Social Network” I tried to connect with him again to help him again. But he said he does not love God that much. Then a realized and remembered how important it is to continue in Christ (in Holiness) and not to believe the “once saved always saved” lie. And that’s also why some UPCI and Apostolic Church Pastors and Leaders will re-baptize someone in water according to Acts 2:38 KJV for their “backsliding sins” to be buried and washed away. Then to help them pray to be revived in the Holy Ghost. They already received the Holy Ghost so there is no need for that again. Just to be re-baptized in water and encourage them to pray/fast to be revived in the Spirit from keeping God’s Commandments again in love for God: Jesus (John 14:15-16 KJV).
Starting 7 years ago this April 2017 when I took my first Communion at the local Philadelphia Church I now attend, I was so happy (the first time as I do now) that it took weeks and maybe months before I stopped rejoicing. For me, Communion Service usually brings some Spiritual and positive changes in my life. It did 7 years ago in Philadelphia and over 20 years ago for the first time. As the days, weeks and months pass by, things will begin to happen. And some “bad things” are not necessarily that. We just need to wait on God to see what he will do eventually. By the next Communion Service time/day we can look back and evaluate our lives in Christ to see if God did his part that we cannot do for ourselves. And if we did our part so he can work those Spiritual Events and Happenings in our lives.
Therefore, many years ago the beloved Bishop and Pastor of the Church I received the Holy Ghost was right to encourage us not to miss or be absent from a Communion Service. Not to judge anyone, he was doing his best as a Shepherd of God’s Saints. He was helping and encouraging us to love God and keep God’s Commandments. That way, we will always feel the Spirit of God move inside of us and see God’s workings in our lives for a better daily holy life in Christ. So I say Amen to that.
Over the past few weeks I have been viewing some of the YouTube videos concerning “Christianity” in the contemporary world today. Many of those videos I saw before but revisited again. Then there are some new ones that are just the same in essence.
The point is, Jesus in the flesh as the son of God did not died for us to have a Christian Religion. If anyone says he did, then that is a lie. God in the form of Jesus the son in his role on the cross came for us to receive Salvation from God – not man. Man can water baptize anyone using Matthew 28:19 KJV Scripture but they (man or woman) cannot give us the Holy Spirit from the true Salvation process stated at Acts 2:38 KJV. The true God from the Old and New Testaments is the only one who can give us the Holy Ghost (same as Holy Spirit) as the new Spirit of Life and Salvation from Him.
When we see those many Religious Christian Churches around (and more starting every year) we see that majority of them use Matthew 28:19 as the foundation for there Church Membership/Fellowship – that is the easy way from man, not God. This is often so because their Churches do not have the Holy Ghost from God dwelling inside the Members so the presence of God can flow to new converts. And also because those Churches are not interested in their Members receiving Salvation but a Christian Religion designed by them from their own beliefs and objectives. Or it may just me that the Members do not really believe in the true God but a form of Christian Religion, and so God: Jesus has not called or chosen them for the true real Salvation as explained in Romans 8 KJV.
It’s almost Easter time (in April 2017) around the world and so many people will be embracing the man-made “Christian Religion” designed from the literal meaning (not the Divine Interpretation as revealed at Acts 2:38) of Matthew 28:19 KJV. They are then settling for a form of Christian Religion that often leads them to torment and then physical death in this world from the evil deeds of the men and women who lead those Christian Religions Churches (or Cults as some people call them). The Leaders of those Christian Religion (or Denominations) are not men and women of the true God. And they do not have the Holiness and Holy Spirit of God. Because the true Spirit of God will produce no evil against the Word of God and to the People of God, and even our unsaved neighbors.
Those of us who are saved by obeying Acts 2:38 KJV, have received the Holy Ghost and are living a daily Holy Life, will always have a burden to help others be saved as well. And we will always be sadden by the sins of those Christian Religious Church Leaders and Members who are taking others with them to mental torment, endless sorrows in this life and to hell thereafter. There are many examples of this on YouTube videos that we can search and find.
We pray for our neighbors to believe the truth as the Apostles of Jesus Christ taught and preached beginning with Peter from Acts 2:38 KJV. Peter did not preached and taught Matthew 28:19 for Salvation. Peter preached and taught Acts 2:38 KJV. So did the other Apostles like Paul – read Acts 19:1-6 KJV – in Jesus Name.
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.