Difference between pages "October - Christian Community Year Devotional" and "November - Christian Community Year Devotional"

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<h1>October - Theology part 2</h1>
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<h1>November - The Christian Church, Harvest</h1>
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 1</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 1</h2>
<h3>Confession</h3>
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<h3>The 7 Churches</h3>
<h4>Confession means to have the same thoughts, same reason and the same speech as God</h4>
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<h4>Introduction: The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ</h4>
Homologomenos (G3670) Homou - same, place or time, together; Logos - words, reason, thoughts spoken
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There is a structure and a teaching style that is employed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments revealing that although written over time and by several different people the Bible really has only one true author and that author is God.
  
Verses - Daniel 9:20; Romans 10:9-10 14:11; 1 Timothy 6:13; 1 John 1:9 4:2-3; Revelation 3:5
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The Parables of Jesus (Matthew 13:1-50) are from the teaching of Jesus during His time on earth. The letters of the Apostle Paul (New Testament) are from a representative of Jesus and finally the 7 letters of Revelation (Revelation 2:1-3:22) are teaching and instruction from the resurrected Jesus Christ, the three teaching groups span three timeframes with the one unique message of Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Leviticus 5:5 And it shall be, when he is guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing.</i>
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<b>The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ</b>
<blockquote>Also I (Jesus) say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: ~ Luke 12:8</blockquote>
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<blockquote>That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.~ Romans 10:9</blockquote>
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1. The Church at Ephesus -- The teaching instructing Church
<blockquote>Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: ~ 1 John 4:1-2</blockquote>
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2. The Church at Smyrna -- The martyred persecuted Church
Confession means to have the same thoughts and same reason and the same speech as God. Confession is to align our thoughts with the thoughts of God. Confession is not solely to a negative thought or action. We confess when we align our thoughts with God's thoughts and God's main thoughts are that He loves, adores and cherishes us. We are to confess God's love for us.
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3. The Church at Pergamos -- The worldly government Church
<blockquote>How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. ~ Psalms 139:17-18</blockquote>
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4. The Church at Thyatira -- The Roman Catholic Church
<blockquote>For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ~ Jeremiah 29:11</blockquote>
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5. The Church at Sardis -- The Protestant Church
Confession means to align our thoughts with the thoughts of God. The word confession or similar words are used approximately 21 times in the New Testament and in only two uses is it referring to confessing sin, <b>James 5:16</b> and <b>1 John 1:9</b>. The other 19 times confession is referring to confessing Jesus. This is an important point. The night Jesus was betrayed, both Judas and Peter sinned and both Judas and Peter confessed their sin.
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6. The Church at Philadelphia -- The friendship (Evangelical) Church
<blockquote>Then Judas, which had betrayed Him (Jesus), when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying,
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7. The Church at Laodicea -- The modern comfortable (Emergent) Church
I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed and went and hanged himself. ~ Matthew 27:3-5</blockquote>
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Only Peter went on to confess Jesus. Just as with Judas, it does us no good to examine or confess our sin without also confessing Jesus, the remedy from our sin.
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<b>The Matthew Parables of Jesus Christ</b> (Matthew 13:1-50)
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Instructions from Jesus Christ to the 7 Churches
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1. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower
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2. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares
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3. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant)
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4. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven
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5. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure
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6. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price
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7. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net
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<b>The New Testament Church Epistles of the Apostle Paul</b>
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Instructions and Guidance to the 7 Churches
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1. The Church at Ephesus --&gt; 1st &amp; 2nd Corinthians --&gt; The Parable of the Sower
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2. The Church at Smyrna --&gt; Galatians --&gt; The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares
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3. The Church at Pergamos --&gt; Ephesians --&gt; The Parable of A Mustard Seed
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4. The Church at Thyatira --&gt; Philippians --&gt; The Parable of Leaven
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5. The Church at Sardis --&gt; Colossians --&gt; The Parable of A Buried Treasure
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6. The Church at Philadelphia --&gt; Romans &amp; Hebrews --&gt; The Parable of The Pearl of Great Price
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7. The Church at Laodicea --&gt; 1st &amp; 2nd Thessalonians --&gt; The Parable of A Large Net
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<small>Source: BasicChristian.org</small>
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 2</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 2</h2>
<h3>Conscience</h3>
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<h3>Church at Ephesus</h3>
<h4>Conscience is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Ephesus -- The teaching and instructing Church - Predominant in the Early Church Age</h4>
Suneidesis (G4893) to witness between right and wrong, an obligation to do good
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Church #1 Revelation 2:1-7 Ephesus (desirable) desire to follow and please Jesus Christ
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The Bible smart, but too busy to Love Church
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<blockquote>Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write; These things says He that holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: And have borne, and have patience, and for My Name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. ~ Revelation 2:1-7</blockquote>
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Ephesus is the first Church group to be addressed by Jesus in this series of 7 letters that the disciple John wrote as dictated by the resurrected Jesus. Ephesus is a Church strong in the word of God. The Church was established by Paul the Apostle who spent three years at Ephesus. The Church was well known and well visited by the other apostles and disciples. The epistle letter "The book of Ephesians" that the Apostle Paul wrote and it is now in our Bible and carries the title name of "Ephesians" was a circular letter intended for all of the churches to read and distribute. The Ephesians title remained on the book we have in the Bible although the letter may have originally been known as the letter to the Church at Laodicea.
  
Verses - Acts 24:16; 1 Corinthians 8:7,10:29; 2 Corinthians 5:11; Hebrews 9:9; 1 Peter 2:19 3:16-21
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It is likely that the book in the Bible that we call "Ephesians" originated as the letter (epistle) from Laodicea. The early Churches distributed the letters from the Apostles and the Disciples to each Church. A letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Colossus was intended to be distributed to all of the Churches. Today the letters are distributed to all of the Churches via the Bible. As the Bible was assembled they used the letters (epistles) that they had on hand at the time and if a letter happened to be addressed to the Ephesians then that address title remained when the Bible was published.
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<blockquote>And when this epistle (Colossians) is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. ~ Colossians 4:16</blockquote>
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Church history has it that the disciple John who Jesus spoke to in order to write the Book of Revelation was heavily involved at Ephesus and later John became the overseer of the Church. With the Disciple John at Ephesus, Christian history also records that Mary the mother of Jesus was then also at the Church. While on the cross Jesus spoke to Mary and to John and Jesus told John to look after Mary. The heavyweights of the early Church were at and associated with the Church of Ephesus a Church that Jesus is now critiquing. Jesus commends the Church that they have done a good job and do not allow evil to be in their presence and that they test the people who say they are apostles to see if they do have a relationship with Jesus. The Church has also labored long and been patient and continues to desire and look for the return of Jesus. After telling the Church what they have done that is good Jesus now instructs them in the areas where they need to change and improve. Jesus points out that the Church has lost sight of the first love relationship they are supposed to have with Him and with one another. Jesus reveals that He knows the heart of the Church and that works without love are empty. Jesus instructs the Church to "Repent" to change their ways and to get back to the most important part of the Christian walk, which is having a loving relationship with God. This is such a serious matter that Jesus says He will remove His candle from among them, in other words without love the Church would not be able to function as light to the world and without love the Church would not have the presence of Jesus. Sadly as history tells us Jesus did have to remove His candle from the Church at Ephesus. The Church that started out so strong for Jesus does not exist today. Today there is not one single Church in the area of Ephesus as Ephesus is now a dominant Muslim area. This is a strong warning for us as the Church at Ephesus that had so many people directly involved with the physical life of Jesus, even Mary herself, and yet it is a Church that lost sight of a loving relationship with God.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil ...</i>
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As we study the letter from Jesus to the Church at Ephesus what application is there for us today. The Church at Ephesus was a strong doctorial based Church they knew what they believed and they knew why they believed it but it is not enough to know the word of God we have to also practice it and live it. The Bible says that God is love we have to do more than know it we have to live it ourselves. The Bible especially the New Testament is a collection of letters and writings, so many with so much information that at times it is hard to know which letter to read to address the problems in our lives. Ephesus is the first Church that Jesus addressed and in the New Testament the book of Corinthians is the first Church addressed by name. If we read the letter of Jesus to Ephesus and then read the two letters to the Church at Corinth we will get a good idea of how to change and repent from the errors that Jesus spoke about to Ephesus. For instance Jesus instructed them in the need to return to their first love, Corinthians chapter 13 is the definition of love, after reading 1st and 2nd Corinthians we will have no doubt about what God's standard of love is. Also of note 1 Corinthians deals with a man who is committing a terrible sin and tells how to remove him from Church fellowship but then 2nd Corinthians instructs the Church that if a sinner has repented to let them back in and to treat them as a brother in other words to love them. We can consider Jesus' letter to Ephesians and 1st &amp; 2nd Corinthians to be companion books and very useful for guidance and instruction.
<blockquote>And they which heard it, being convicted by their own Conscience, ... ~ John 8:9</blockquote>
 
Conscience is the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Conscience is a product of the fall of mankind. Man was created in the Garden of Eden where there was only good and not evil and therefore a conscience was not needed. After the fall mankind would begin to experience both good and evil and therefore a conscience was needed to distinguish between the two.
 
<blockquote>Now the (Holy) 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; having their Conscience seared with a hot iron; ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-2</blockquote>
 
Since our conscience is a by-product of sin it alone is not sufficient to direct our actions in a way pleasing to God. It is required that our thoughts and actions be submitted to the Holy Spirit and in alignment with the Bible Scriptures.
 
  
Just like we cannot trust our conscience alone to convict us and direct us from evil we also cannot trust our conscience alone to support us in our right decisions. Again we are required to rely on the Bible for support and confirmation of our right actions.
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Since in our modern mobile times we can easily seek out and locate a Church to our liking we will usually pick a Church to attend that is like us. Our Church consisting of people like us will have a certain personality and dominant trait. This church has the dominant trait of correct doctrine over the love of other people and over their love for God this is something to be repented from but still they are to continue in all the good that the Church is doing.
<blockquote>How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot (fault) to God, purge your Conscience from dead works to serve the living God. ~ Hebrews 9:14</blockquote>
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As Christians we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, this cleansing includes our thoughts our actions and our conscience. Some people would give anything to have a conscience cleansed from past wrong actions. A clean conscience is possible, the price is high. The price for our clean conscience is the blood that resulted from the death of Jesus. Jesus came to give His life so that we would be reunited with Him and He gave His blood so that we would have a clean conscience in our relationship with Him. The price for our clean conscience was high. Jesus gladly paid the high price.
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1. 1st &amp; 2nd Corinthians
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Love "The more excellent way" the epistle of 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13 lists the more excellent way to compliment the teaching and stricter ways of the #1 Ephesians' Church.
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<blockquote>And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13</blockquote>
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1. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower
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<blockquote>And He spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a planter went forth to plant; And when he planted, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. <u>Who has ears to hear, let him hear</u>. ~ Matthew 13:3-9</blockquote>
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Instruction in planting/sowing the seed (Gospel) into the proper soil (heart) type. Teaching the Gospel message to mankind with the right message at the right time and always in truth, love and reconciliation. Instructing with growth, maturity and accomplishment as the intended outcome.
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<b>Note:</b> There are no custom messages that apply to only one Church and not to the others. All of the messages, teachings, letters, and prophecies of the Bible are intended for all of the Churches to read, understand and apply.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 3</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 3</h2>
<h3>Contentment</h3>
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<h3>Church at Smyrna</h3>
<h4>Contentment stems directly from our being aware of God's wall and hedge of protection around us</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Smyrna -- The martyred and heavily persecuted Church</h4>
Arkeo (G714) suffice, be sufficient, satisfactory, Lit. Being content through the erecting of a barrier or a wall of protection
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Church #2 Revelation 2:8-11 Smyrna (Myrrh, bitter herb for anointing particularly for burial)
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The Martyred - heavily persecuted Church
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<blockquote>And unto the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; These things says the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive; I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that all of you may be tried; and all of you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a Crown of Life. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. ~ Revelation 2:8-11</blockquote>
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Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay.
  
Verses - Exodus 2:21; Joshua 7:7; Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5; 3 John 1:10
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This wonderful letter of Jesus to the second Church the Church at Smyrna, is written to a persecuted Church. The members of the Church were being harassed and even killed for their faith in Jesus. The word Martyr simply means witness. Jesus said go and martyr (witness) of Him to all the world. It has been said that people gave their lives and became a martyr but actually they didn't become a martyr they were one before they gave their life it is just happened that death was their final act of witness/martyr here on earth. Those people who give their life and die do receive a better resurrection than even those of us Christians who are not put to death. They are a Special group of people to Jesus; they receive a special crown in heaven that only the martyred witnesses receive.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 37:26-27 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother (Joseph) and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites {descendants of
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What a wonderful Church and letter, people who love God more than their own possessions, circumstances and even more than their own lives. Many of these people do not have the doctrinal knowledge of the Church of Ephesus yet they have the love. Love that overcomes and conquers all things even death. Jesus does not have repentance for this Church like He did for the first Church and as He does for the other churches. This Church is special and there is no condemnation to those who love Jesus more than they love their own life.
Ishmael, Abraham's child born to Hagar the Egyptian slave} and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.</i>
 
<blockquote>But godliness with contentment is great gain. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6</blockquote>
 
Contentment is the result of safety, well-being and peace. Contentment comes from God's wall of protection that He places around us. The opposite of contentment is in-contentment, which means "self-condemning". Contentment is an interesting situation because, wherever we go in life, whether we go to foreign countries, to the heights of success or the depths of despair "there we are". In other words there is no escaping ourselves wherever we go "there we are" and there are all of our problems, handicaps and hang-ups right there with us. Since we accompany ourselves wherever we go and into every situation we encounter and our positives and negatives accompany right along with us, it is a good thing in life to learn to accept ourselves and not to "self-condemn" ourselves but to learn to be content. Content with God and content with ourselves in God.
 
  
Contentment stems directly from our being aware of God's wall and hedge of protection around us. It is a Biblical fact that God is our constant companion, continually accompanying us through life. It is wonderful to realize that God is with us, then when we encounter problems, we know and believe that God is with us. But then why the problems? Isn't God for us? Isn't God on our side? Yes! God is on our side. Yes! God is doing a big work in each of our lives. It is the work of God in our lives that we need to recognize and acknowledge. God is God, therefore He is doing what He wants to do and what God wants to do in our lives is to get us to walk with Him. Walking with God means to walk where God walks and where God often walks is right into the midst of life's most difficult problems. God is a big God. He is far bigger than any problem man can ever encounter, God is even bigger than sin and death, problems man created for ourselves, but God being bigger overcame sin and death for us. Since Spiritually we will never die and never be separated from God then in actuality we will never encounter a true problem that cannot be overcome in God.
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In His letter Jesus explains to the Church that He knows what it is like be killed, but that He is alive and they too will be alive with Him. Jesus also knows the condition of the Church He knows that they are persecuted and do not have many resources. Jesus tells that although they do not have much here on earth they are rich in heaven. He also informs them not to listen to the people who claim to have all of the answers and deride those who are being persecuted. Jesus says that the ones admonishing the suffering Church are from Satan and are not from God. Jesus continues and says for them to "fear not" that although there will be trouble, the trouble is from Satan and not from God, as the evil counselors have said. They are instructed to be faithful to God even unto death and that they will receive the prized crown of life given only all the martyrs. Jesus closes the letter to the Church of Smyrna telling them that the second death the spiritual death will not apply to them and will not be able to harm them.
  
Contentment comes from the peace, rest and comfort of the fruits of God, the Holy Spirit, residing inside of us. And God desires for us to be content in Him. We cannot be content if we fail to understand the sinful nature of the world that we live in and if we fail to understand the temporary existence of our current predicament. We as humans live in a fallen imperfect world, that is a fact. All mankind is consigned to eat from the tree of good and of evil. God takes us by the hand and walks us through any evil we might encounter. Knowing that God is with us and that God is for us, we can find our contentment in God during life's situations and circumstances.
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The tribulation saints are a future group of people that give their life to Jesus and are killed by a coming false Jesus called the Anti-Christ. Anti means "instead of "so he is the "instead of" Christ. It is like asking for water and getting poison "instead of" water. The poison might look and smell like water but it is not water and we will not be refreshed if we drink it, we will die if we drink it. This man that is coming in the future is the instead of Jesus he will pretend to be Jesus and he will pretend to offer refreshing water but it will instead be poison and those who drink it or go along with the plans of the Anti-Christ will die an everlasting death. The future martyred Saints will be the people who know the true Jesus and will refuse to accept the poisoned false Jesus. The false Jesus will be so angry that he will murder every witness he can get hold of. The Bible says that those special saints that are not deceived and follow the true Jesus even to their death at the hands of the false Jesus, they will be very special to the real Jesus and in Heaven the Martyred Saints will always be with Jesus.
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Unfortunately martyrdom was very much a part of the early Church. In fact martyrdom has continued throughout the entire Church history and may even be getting worse in our very own day. Today many Christians throughout the world are being denied the basic necessities of life and are being abused even killed for their faith in Jesus. Tragically martyrdom will stay with the Church until the time that Jesus sets up His righteous, Kingdom full of love and justice here on earth. Evil will always hate goodness and evil will try to destroy goodness but it can't because evil is actually fighting against God and God has already won. Christianity is costly and the price has been high every since Jesus was rejected, beaten and crucified on a wooden cross. Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay.
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Possessing love is a wonderful thing yet knowledge of the Bible assists our love and gives us faith so that we are not so easily shaken during the trials and tribulations that we do not understand. The companion book for this second Church is the epistle to the second named Church, the Church of Galatians, coming right after Corinthians in the Bible. When studding the book of Galatians the Martyred Church can learn for starters that Paul received his doctrine and teachings from Jesus. This means that we all have Jesus as a comforter and a teacher. We do not need to rely on man to teach us the Bible God will do it. If a Christian is imprisoned God will be right there with him to teach him who God is and to comfort him. In the book of Galatians Paul also rebukes Peter. Again we as Christians do not have to let sinful men rule over us. All mankind is sinful and no one is right all of the time so we need to look to God and not man in our lives. Also in the letter to Galatians Paul encourages the Galatians to continue in their Christian walk in a spiritual walk not based on their physical understanding but to literally walk in the Spirit of God. People being harassed and persecuted might want to revert to worldly ways of anger and revenge but these ways will not profit us in our relationship with God. We have to start our Christian walk in the Spirit of God, continue it in His Spirit and end remaining in His Spirit.
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2. Galatians
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Presenting the resurrection life, a reminder that there is only one true gospel, and confirming that works are of the Spirit not of the flesh the Galatians epistle is sure conformation to the Church in distress the #2 Smyrna Church.
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<blockquote>Paul, an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead; ~ Galatians 1:1</blockquote>
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<blockquote>As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. ~ Galatians 1:9</blockquote>
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2. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares
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<blockquote>Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which planted good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and planted tares [weeds] among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you plant
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good seed in your field? from whence then has it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? But he said, No; lest
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while all of you gather up the tares, all of you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather all of you
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together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. ~ Matthew 13:24-30</blockquote>
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The perils of the Kingdom, there is still an enemy (Devil) in this world, and the importance of giving people influenced by the Devil an opportunity to repent and to be saved and gathered into the Kingdom of God. The necessity of entrusting the Kingdom to God's decisions and to His timing.
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 4</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 4</h2>
<h3>Conversion</h3>
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<h3>Church at Pergamos</h3>
<h4>Conversion is a realization that there is a living, loving God</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Pergamos -- The desiring a voice in worldly government Church</h4>
Epistrepho (G1994) Epi - upon; Strepho - turn, new direction
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Church #3 Revelation 2:12-17 Pergamum (tower, "burgh") like the 'Tower of Babylon' the sins of mankind have piled up to heaven
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This is a worldly tower government/system
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<blockquote>And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write; These things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges; I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast My Name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because
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you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you
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also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear, let
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him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man
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knows saving he that receives it. ~ Revelation 2:12-17</blockquote>
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The intermingled Church/State with worldly ways and popular trends.
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<blockquote>And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (world), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached (piled) unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. ~ Revelation 18:4-5</blockquote>
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The third Church represents the time period in Christian history where the persecutions of Christians turned into acceptance and where the Christians embraced the world that was now embracing or at least tolerating them. Jesus in His letter says that He knows where their works are from and where they dwell that it is among this world where Satan has his throne. He goes on to say that they stumble and put obstacles in front of other Christians and that they embrace the practice of "Nicolaitanes" which is the practice of lording over other people, not letting people be free to worship God in a personal relationship. Instead prayers are written to be prayed and man's thoughts are taught in place of Bible study. Jesus says that He hates this practice. Jesus died so that we will be free; the truth has set us free. Jesus does not want us to control or to be controlled by other people.
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Often this Church/person is the person that claims to be a Christian but doesn't follow any or many of the Christian ways. This Christian doesn't pray regularly at least not with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and usually they do not even acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit. They seldom read the Bible and think much of the Bible makes no sense and that it is of little value to their life or worse yet that parts are untrue. They have wrong opinions about the Bible because they have been wrongly taught by others and they have not taken the time to read or study the Bible for themselves. The people who do seriously study the Bible if they didn't already believe in God usually become believers in God after just a short time of reading the Bible. Some don't even need the Bible to come to God and have come to God just by studying nature, world history or archaeology. The Bible is so factual, so practical, so prophetic, and so complete that those who do take the time to read the Bible can only rejoice in the one true living God while removing their shoes because they know that when reading the Bible they are standing on Holy ground and like Moses at the burning bush they are in the very presence of the Almighty God.
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Pergamum Christians do not have many Holy experiences as they think Christianity is yet to happen after they die thinking that they will meet Jesus in the future not knowing that Jesus already resides inside of them being born Again. Because these Christians are not looking to God they are not experiencing God. They go about their lives and jobs looking to themselves, their friends, their bosses, and government for the answers in their lives, missing out on the daily moment by moment relationship God has for us. When we limit our options in life to what we can achieve with our own hands we are living a life one handful at a time and God says let go of what we can hold onto in our hands and to receive from His hands a vast ocean of possibility. When we live our life in the Holy Spirit every moment, every possibility, every person becomes a Divine encounter of God and there is no limit to who we might meet or to what opportunities we have. Sadly the worldly Christian is the one who is secretly ashamed of Jesus and the messy cross. This person wants acceptance from the worldly people around him and in doing so is ashamed of Jesus to some degree or another. This person does not know of the Glory of Heaven and of all the Heavenly angels that await to meet him, so they look at the fallen world and distance themselves from Jesus and ridicule other Christians that are living a life pleasing to God. Jesus said that if we do not say we know Him to people here on earth then Jesus will say that He does not know us to the Father and all the Angeles in Heaven.
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Fortunately there is a way out of this Church and into a more meaningful Church. The way out is painful but the results are well worth it. The way is for God to allow every worldly thing that we put our hope and trust into to absolutely fall apart and let us down. Is our security in our money, job, health, friends, and government, all of these will let us down. God in the Bible calls these false cisterns or false water wells that we think hold water but when we go there to drink they had many cracks that we couldn't see and all the water leaked out and the well is empty leaving us empty and thirsty. Fortunately when we thirst enough and when all of our false wells have let us down we can reach out to Jesus who is right there just a breath away, wanting to have a meaningful relationship with each one of us. Once a Christian drinks from the everlasting water of Jesus Christ we will no longer desire what this world has to offer and we will have changed from our old church into a new church with new life and a heavenly focused wonderful life.
  
Verses - Psalms 51:13; Isaiah 1:27; Matthew 13:15 18:3; Mark 4:12; Luke 22:32; John 12:40; James 5:20
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The governments of this world will not last God will return to reign and rule on the earth. The prayer "Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" is the prayer we pray right now as we eagerly look for the return and government of Jesus. The Church is a higher calling than the world. Currently Satan is a trespasser and is stealing his ruling authority and Satan is influencing all of the governments of the world, that is why the Bible tells us to pray for all governments and rulers in charge. Remember the prophecies of Daniel say that at the return of Jesus He will destroy and scatter the existing worldwide Government system and His government will take its place.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting (new direction) the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.</i>
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The companion book of the Bible for this 3rd Church is the book of Ephesians written by the Apostle Paul. In Ephesians the Church will learn that we are made one with Jesus and to not conform to this world but to God. The book also teaches that we the believers are one body and to "keep the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace." The book goes on to explain our relationship with God and relationships with our spouse, children and employers.
<blockquote>Brethren (Christian), if any of you (Christians) do err from the truth and one
 
(helper) convert (new direction) him (Christian); Let him (helper) know, that he which converteth (new direction) the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death (separation from God) and
 
shall hide a multitude of sins. ~ James 5:19-20</blockquote>
 
All people are sinners. When someone is knowledgeable enough with God and the Bible, to instruct and help others, then that person is walking in a converted (new direction) manner. That person
 
has made corrections in their own life and sins. They are hiding their sins in a sense by now recognizing them as sin and no longer committing them and now they are helping others not to sin as well.
 
  
Conversion is a realization that there is a living, loving God. Many people in the world are simply unaware
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3. Ephesians
that there is a God and that God is available for a personal relationship. It is evident in the actions and deeds
 
of disobedient people that they do not have the knowledge that God exits, or they wouldn't act the way they do.
 
Once the existence of God becomes known to a person the person is now aware of something that they were not
 
previously aware of. This new awareness is called a conversion. The changes from living for self and the earthly
 
existence, to a conversion (new direction) of living with God and an everlasting existence.
 
  
An example of something unknown is from a story often told that when a group from a Church in the USA, went on a missionary trip into the
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The completeness and sufficiency of the Christian Church, navigating relationships and family responsibilities completed by lessons in spiritual warfare make the epistle of Ephesians a great companion to the worldly Church/State of #3 Pergamos.
rain forest of South America. After several days and a long canoe ride up a river the missionaries settled into a
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<blockquote>Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6</blockquote>
village next to the river. After making acquaintances with the native people, one of the missionaries commented
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3. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant)
about the sweltering heat and remarked that he would like some ice to put into his drink to cool it down. The
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<blockquote>Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and planted in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. ~ Matthew 13:31-32</blockquote>
interrupter unfamiliar with the word ice asked for some clarification. The natives living in the tropics had never
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The evil birds of the air (demons) will exist and flourish within Churches that have shade - darkened corners where the light of honesty and oversight is not permitted to shine.
experienced ice. The missionary assured the natives that water could freeze and become hard as rocks. He even
 
explained that the river that flowed near the village could become ice and could then be safely walked on. The
 
natives never did believe the concept of ice, until some was dropped off from a visiting helicopter. And then the
 
ice melted into water. To the unconverted, God is like the mythical ice, yet to the converted, God is real and He
 
exists. It took an encounter with ice to convert the unfamiliar natives to ice; likewise it takes an encounter
 
with God to convert man to the existence of God.
 
<blockquote>And the Lord (Jesus) said, Simon (Peter), Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he (Satan) may sift you as wheat: {sifting separates the unusable chaff from the desired
 
wheat. Satan is saying that Peter is unusable and he wants to separate Peter from God} But I (Jesus) have prayed {to the Father} for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted (New
 
direction from denying Jesus), strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. And He said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest Me. ~ Luke 22:31-34</blockquote>
 
Conversion is not limited to a one-time event. We realize that God exists; we can still have other conversions (new directions) as we realize more and more about God. Back to our native friends that had not believed in ice. Once they believed in the existence of ice they still had many new discoveries to make with ice. They would learn that ice is a great medicine to comfort a bump and a bruise; they might enjoy ice treats like snow cones and ice cream. We likewise know God, but then some moments we really get to know God even more personally.
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 5</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 5</h2>
<h3>Justification</h3>
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<h3>Church at Thyatira</h3>
<h4>Justification is the way of being made acceptable to God</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Thyatira -- The Roman Catholic Church</h4>
Dikaios (G1342) innocent, righteous, equitable; innocent of judgment, acceptable
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Church #4 Revelation 2:18-29 Thyatira (white castle) - The Roman Catholic Church
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The Church/people not recognizing the majesty, power and sole authority of Jesus Christ
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<blockquote>And unto the Angel of the Church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls
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herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But that which all of you have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the Morning Star. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 2:18-29</blockquote>
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This Church is most represented today by the Roman Catholic Church.
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The 4th Church grew out of the 3rd Church. Where the 3rd Church was involved in worldly government this 4th Church then took the power and influences they had learned in government and used them to create a governing Church, sort of a government for Church. This Church in modern day is most represented by the Roman Catholic Church. It should not seem surprising that God knows about the Catholic Church, because He knows about everything. This is yet another place in the Bible where we can really see the relevance and accuracy of the Bible and recognize that God knows all things past present and future. Remember a correction from Jesus is to draw us closer to Him in the correct manner of worship.
  
Verses - Job 25:4; Psalms 143:2; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 3:8; Hebrews 10:38; 1 John 1:9
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Jesus begins the letter to the Church of Thyatira by addressing Himself as the Son of God. The Catholic Church has become too focused on Jesus as the infant son of Mary and this Church letter is placing the emphasis that Jesus is God and is the son of God and that it is Jesus who our relationship is to be with. Jesus continues that He knows the works and the love that the Church does have and that their works and love are increasing. This is very true about the Catholic Church they are doing marvelous works of charity and love throughout the world. The Catholic Church is almost single handed in their devotion to orphans and the unborn. Jesus then continues with repentance, that He cannot stand the teaching and works of Jezebel. Jezebel was a wicked woman of the Old Testament, maybe the most wicked. Jezebel is referenced in connection with this #4 Church because they are keeping a doctrine that "Mary" (the Virgin Mary) has a part in the work of God. The true Mary of the Bible called herself a humble handmaiden and her spirit rejoiced that God is her savior. The current teaching that is attributed to Mary has nothing to do with the real Mary. The teaching is the teaching of Jezebel and not of Mary. The true Mary is a very courageous and wonderful woman. If anyone in the world could have stopped the crucifixion of Jesus it was Mary. All Mary had to do was to go to either the Jewish authorities or the Roman authorities and tell them that she knew Jesus had a human father and that He was not the Son of God. An earthly father would have put an end to the claims of Jesus being God, having two earthly parents Jesus would not be Holy. Yet Mary did not do this because she could not do it, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus has no earthly father. If Jesus were not God, Mary would not have allowed the crucifixion to continue. Because Jesus is the Son of God, the real Mary stood boldly by while Jesus suffered on the cross.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God.</i>
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Jesus continues in His letter saying that if we follow the false teachings of Jezebel, there is no salvation in any false teaching. Those who follow false leaders will go into the great tribulation [miss the coming rapture] and be killed with death. This is a strong warning because of the strong danger in the false teaching and leading of Jezebel. Then Jesus concludes with the promise that those who remain faithful in the Church will then rule with Jesus.
  
Justification is the act of justifying or making acceptable something that is unacceptable. We as sinful humans are unacceptable to God. We then need to be made acceptable justified. We are made acceptable when we become one with Jesus, because Jesus is acceptable to God.
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The Bible companion book to this Church is the next book, the book of Philippians. Philippians is a wonderful book of encouragement. The book explains that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human. The book tells us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" not to let others prescribe our salvation but to let God work it out in us. Remember Salvation is different from Redemption. Salvation means healing, removing hurts and fears. We have a part in our own healing as we seek and trust God. Redemption is the work of Jesus on the cross; we do not have a part in the redemption except to receive it as a free gift from God. The book of Philippians tells of our high calling in Jesus and goes on to encourage us to rejoice and to be content in the Lord Jesus Christ.
<blockquote>But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him (Jesus) that Justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. ~ Romans 4:5</blockquote>
 
Isn't it interesting that if we worked and made ourselves wonderful, then we still wouldn't be justified because God only justifies the ungodly.
 
<blockquote>But for us also, to whom it (righteousness) shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses (sins) and was raised
 
again for our justification. ~ Romans 4:24-25</blockquote>
 
We become acceptable to God when we believe in the finished work of God in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
 
  
Let's look at justification from another angle; the angle of us justifying our own sins. When do our thoughts
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4. Philippians
or actions become sin? After all, it is not a sin to be tempted. Satan tempted Jesus yet Jesus remained without
 
sin. One area where temptation becomes sin is when we justify or make right our wrong actions. For example, if we
 
accidentally brought home from work a pen, this is not a sin. But when we justify our wrong action and make
 
excuses, like saying, "that big company they can afford it, they won't miss it," or saying, "they owe it to me, so
 
I'll just take it," having justified our action it becomes sin.
 
  
Another example, sin does not have to be a physical event. We tend to justify our sins by not protecting our
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The epistle of Philippians is one of the most Jesus Christ centered epistles. Written in love to a Catholic Church that has strayed it's attention and affections away from Jesus and onto the Virgin Mary and an assortment of human saints. This epistle is a great reminder of the supremacy of Jesus Christ for the #4 Church of Thyatira.
thoughts and by inappropriate actions and behaviors. In Churches a person can often observe men starring at women
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<blockquote>That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. ~ Philippians 1:10-11</blockquote>
and almost without fail the men will say, "I'm not doing anything wrong, I'm just looking," or "I only looked
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<blockquote>And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7</blockquote>
once," or "God made women to be looked at," really? God made women for his fellowship. All women that are not our
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4. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven
wives are to be treated as sisters and mothers. Is that the way we look at our sisters and our mothers? No! Are we
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<blockquote>Another parable spoke he unto them; The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. ~ Matthew 13:33</blockquote>
forgiven for sin that we have justified? No! We are forgiven when we confess our sin. Making excuses is not how
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Incorrect teachings and outright bad doctrine can permeate into the True Doctrine of the Christian Church creating a new system that was never originally intended.
sin is dealt with. Sin is removed by our confession-repentance and through the blood and death of Jesus.
 
<blockquote>And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but
 
smote upon his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I (Jesus) tell you, this man went down to his
 
house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteht himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
 
himself shall be exalted. ~ Luke 18:13-14</blockquote>
 
Our sins are unacceptable to God, so let's not create excuses and try to make them acceptable. Fortunately, we do not have to justify ourselves. We become justified when we humble ourselves, admit our sins and exalt God in His resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus.
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 6</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 6</h2>
<h3>Law - Conformity</h3>
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<h3>Church at Sardis</h3>
<h4>Law - Conformity see also Legalism
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<h4>The Church at Sardis -- The Protestant Church</h4>
Grace - Individuality</h4>
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Church #5 Revelation 3:1-6 Sardis (red, gemstone) - Liberal Protestant Church
Nomos (G3551) to give out, to be used, like giving out food and land to cattle
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The Church/people not recognizing the work, and the necessity of the person of the Holy Spirit
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<blockquote>And unto the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works fully accomplished before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and
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hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled
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their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I
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will confess his name before My Father, and before His Angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:1-6</blockquote>
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This Church is most represented today by the liberal Protestant Church.
  
Verses - Psalms 1:2; Proverbs 6:23; Romans 2:12 3:31; Galatians 2:16; 1 John 3:4
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A Church people that are not allowing themselves to be washed clean by the Holy Spirit. Spiritually this is a dead Church. A modern Church that feels that we are special in and of ourselves and that even apart from God we are to be admired. Yet God said "come let us reason though your sins are red as scarlet He will make them white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). Modern liberal Churches welcome in any manner of doctrine and any kind of sin now also seems welcome among the people yet this Church does not even let God Himself into His own Church. In yet another insult to God the modern liberal Church has decided it knows best in how to interpret God's word the Bible but it has done so in a way that completely neglects and negates what God has actually said.
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<blockquote>Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. ~ Isaiah 1:18-20</blockquote>
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The forth Church emerged from the 3rd church that was best represented by the Roman Catholic Church, the 5th Church emerged from the 4th Church and is best represented by the Protestant Church. In 1572 a Catholic Monk named Martin Luther began a formal dissention with the Catholic Church and the end result was the "Reformation" or splitting off of part of the Catholic Church into the Protestant Church. The Church is labeled "Protestant" from the meaning protesters. The Christians were dissatisfied with the doctrines and decrees of the Catholic Church and protested and eventually left to worship God in a less restricted environment.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man (Adam) saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge (experience) of good and evil,
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As Jesus began the 4th letter to Thyatira to remind them that He is the Son of God, Jesus begins this 5th letter to the Church at Sardis to remind this Church that He has the seven [complete] Spirits of God. Jesus is informing this Church that their biggest problem is in neglecting the Holy Spirit. Jesus then tells the Church that He knows their works and that they have a reputation for being alive but instead they are really dead. Again strong words for strong circumstances. Jesus wants us to follow Him in a right relationship and not in a way that is made up or pretend. Jesus says that He has not found their works to be "Perfect." The word perfect means complete like a car would be perfect if it had an engine, a car without an engine is imperfect. Jesus is telling this Church that they are imperfect without the Holy Spirit, in other words they are a people without the engine of the Holy Spirit.
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (separate from God).</i>
 
<blockquote>For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it [inheritance] to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. ~ Galatians 3:18-19</blockquote>
 
Law &amp; commandments are instruction from God. God's laws are universal to all mankind. God's laws are not
 
suggestions. They are how the universe operates. For instance the laws of physics are discovered laws of God.
 
Gravity, chemistry, biology and other physical laws are laws of God. Likewise, sin resulting in death is a
 
spiritual law of God. The law of liberty in Christ Jesus is another law of God as well. If we mix chemicals
 
together God's laws will determine the outcome. If we acknowledge Jesus, just as certain as any observed chemical
 
reaction the law of completion in Christ Jesus will result since it is a law of God and dictates how the universe
 
operates.
 
  
The laws of the Old Testament are usually written in the negative, " Thou shall not steal," not lie, not covet, etc. The laws in the New Testament are usually written in the positive, thou shall love God, preach, teach, baptize, etc. The Biblical laws are just as powerful as the observable laws of nature and there is a definite result whether the laws are obeyed or disobeyed.
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The protestant Church has left the Catholic Church and they have also left the Holy Spirit. Repeatedly the Bible tells us that works done without the guidance and glory of the Holy Spirit are works that are meaningless. It is better not to do something than to do it without the Holy Spirit. Strangely enough the only person excluded from the Protestant Church is the Holy Spirit. Much of the Church now recognizes homosexual marriages, abortion is no longer considered murder, any proud arrogant person is welcome at a protestant Church, adultery and fornication are seldom considered sin, divorce and abandonment of spouses and children are now common place. The Church that is supposed to be the salt and light is not even lifting a finger to turn the pages of the Bible and see what God has to say about it all. It is obvious to anyone that looks that the works of the Church are dead. The reason the works are dead is because the Holy Spirit is not being listened to. Jesus tells this Church to repent and to watch for His return [rapture]. Jesus says that the people who overcome will be clothed with white raiment. The over comers of the #3 Church are to be given a white stone, the stone of acceptance. In the book of Isaiah God told the prophet to tell the people "come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." The word Sardis means a red stone.
  
The law encompasses many concepts. First, the law is the character and essence of God. The law describes God.
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The companion book for Sardis is the book of Colossians. The book explains that the revealed mystery of the ages is that Jesus is in us and that this is glorious. The book says "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" an admonishment to us to set our affections on the things of above the things of God the Holy Spirit and of heaven.
God is not a liar, not a thief, not a murder therefore lying, theft and murder are against the law. The law
 
reveals to us who God is and how we are to behave in a manner compatible with God. Jesus did not come to follow
 
the law, Jesus is the embodiment of the law. The law commands that if a Jew touches a dead body they will become
 
unclean. Jesus, a Jew, touched a dead body, Jesus didn't become unclean as the law stated for a person, instead
 
the dead body became alive having been touched by God.
 
  
Since the law describes the nature and character of God, following Jesus is following and fulfilling the law.
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5. Colossians
It is sort of like this; let's say my car broke down (sin) and I needed transportation (Jesus). A friend (prophet)
 
tells me that I can use his car (Jesus). The friend (prophet) writes directions to the car and a description of
 
the car and also where the keys to the car are and any instructions about the car. The instructions are a type of
 
law but they are not the car. The instructions will not drive me down the highway of life. The instructions if I
 
believe them and follow them will take me to the car (Jesus). The car is my destination. Once I have the car I the
 
instructions are not obsolete, they help me to stay on track. If I parked the car and forgot where it was or even
 
if I forgot if it was a car, a small truck or a van then I could refer to the law to get re-acquainted with the
 
vehicle. Then while I'm being taken along the highway of life I can still refer to the law (instruction) to learn
 
about the car since the instructions resemble the car.
 
  
The Laws of God are not bad. The law, by telling us that we are wrong, convicts us. This is not wrong and does
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The epistle of Colossians is excellent instruction to the Protestant Church that the Kingdom of Jesus is a Spiritual Kingdom where we are to exercise our attitudes and desires in
not make the law bad it makes the law the truth. If I were a banker and I told someone that their check bounced
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"spiritual understanding" and not just the physical things of this world and especially not the false physical teachings and ideologies of this world like evolution or population control (abortion-euthanasia) theories and practices. The epistle is a great reminder of the Spiritual supremacy of the Kingdom of God for the #5 Church of Sardis.
and that they are bankrupt I'm just the messenger telling them something they didn't know. I didn't bankrupt them.
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<blockquote>For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with <u>the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding</u>; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; ~ Colossians 1:9-11</blockquote>
If I were able to point them in the right direction from there, then I would also be instructive and helpful. The
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5. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure
laws of the Bible are instructive and helpful. All of the laws of the Bible are instructive and helpful in
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<blockquote>Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto Treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. ~ Matthew 13:44</blockquote>
pointing us to Jesus.
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The world is not the treasure the Church is the treasure. The Church is more precious and more valuable to God than the entire world.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 7</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 7</h2>
<h3>Legalism</h3>
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<h3>Church at Philadelphia</h3>
<h4>Legalism see also Grace - Individuality; Law - Conformity</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Philadelphia -- The fellowship (friendship) Church</h4>
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer (allow) ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte (convert) and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. ~ Matthew 23:12-13-15
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Church #6 Revelation 3:7-13 Philadelphia (Philao - Brotherly love)
<blockquote>And He (Jesus) said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers (interrupters of the law)! For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your
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The Church/people of Brotherly Love
fingers. ~ Luke 11:46</blockquote>
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<blockquote>And to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; These things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the
<blockquote>Come unto Me (Jesus), all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
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Word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have,
souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30</blockquote>
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that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of
The law reveals us as sinners and God as Savior. Legalism is the law without a savior. The law instructs us but it does not empower us. The law says "do not murder" but the law does not put it's arm around us and comfort us to take away the anger that causes the desire to murder, God in Spirit does this for us. The law points us to God; it is God that has a relationship with us. A legalist has taken away the guiding, comforting Spirit of God and strictly has the heavy burdens of law and man.
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My God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:7-13</blockquote>
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A Brotherly embrace of both the Jews (Hebrews) and the Romans (Catholics)
  
Legalism is the dreaded result of focusing on laws and man's rules instead of focusing on a relationship with Jesus. The Bible is written by God to give insight into every circumstance humans will encounter. The Bible says to be still and hear God. It also says to go out into all the world. Well, sometimes we need to be still and sometimes we need to go out and sometimes we need to go out and be still. Seeking Jesus determines the result and having Him reveal what is right at the right time. A legalist, not focusing on Jesus, will use the same Verses of the Bible in all circumstances thus giving people the added burden of following the legalist and trying to follow Jesus.
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The 6th Church is the Church of brotherly love. Jesus gave us one commandment or law the new (insight) into the law to love God and to love man. Jesus further said that the distinctive mark of a Christian would be our love for God and our love for one another. This is the same law of the Old Testament, Jesus called it new or fresh in that Jesus is now our example for what fulfilling the law is to be and we now have new insight into how to really love God and one another as Jesus loves us so much that He gave His life for us.
  
Legalism is a lack of faith in God. A legalist sees the obvious like a person who smokes cigarettes. The legalist does not have the faith in God to let God deal with the person. Instead the legalist will determine what is wrong (always looking for the bad instead of the positive) like smoking or whatever is wrong then the legalist will place all kinds of burdens on the smoker to attempt to get them to stop. Focusing on our problems is a guaranteed way to fail. Biblically, we focus on Jesus. Where the legalist is working on the outside, the Holy Spirit of God is working on the inside of us and God might be saying, "lets work on the relationship with your Mother, or your sister and we will deal with that and the smoking issue will come into line later". We will never know how God is working in our lives if we listen to other people and don't listen and look to God.
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In this Church group the people are filled with God's love. They love the Father, they love Jesus and they love the Holy Spirit. These people love Christians in general and denomination names, titles or Church roles mean nothing to them they just meet you where you are and give you a big love boost right into the lap of Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father's throne. Meeting one of these Christians is like taking a big refreshing drink from the free flowing river of life. Often these people are loving in the midst of life's biggest challenges. Their bodies wracked with cancer, having lost parents or children, homes, jobs, etc. these people are the modern women at the well and modern Mary Magdalenes and like them they have met Jesus and have wept and rejoiced at His feet. Many have had a lifelong walk with the Lord knowing Him personally for decades and like Moses they are seated securely in the clift of the rock (Exodus 33:11-23) looking back and seeing the Glory of God in their lives, knowing that Jesus has brought them through the troubles and perils of life. They have seen fellow Christians go home to glory with a smile on their face and the countenance of an angel. They know the one in whom they have entrusted their spirit and soul and they know that God will complete the work that He has begun in them and that His thoughts toward them and towards others are all good thoughts and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
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Often the new Christian starts out in this Church. The newness of Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled life put us in a peaceful blissful state of well being. We call this the honeymoon state of Christianity when we meet Jesus and all is well. Then the storms and trials come into our lives and we wander through the various churches and growth phases and wonder what we did wrong to lose God, but not to worry, God often gives us a good first taste also called a "first fruit" of what the eternal future will be like and this honeymoon state is where we are destined to return. So forgetting our destination we get confused and think is the Christian life supposed to be this way the trials and troubles? Then we falter when God starts doing a new or different work in another area of our life and emotions. Just hang in there God is expanding us and growing us up in Himself. If we do not get persecuted how would we have intimate fellowship with God and also with our fellow man? So we are bound to sway from Church group to Church group as life's challenges come our way and we have our moments of doubt or our circumstances get the best of us but in the end we should again be back in this Church.
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The growing maturing Christian is growing softer and becoming more compassionate and merging into the image of Jesus and away from the image of this cold, hard, cruel world.
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There is no rebuke from Jesus for this Church. Jesus instructed the doctrine wise Ephesians to return to their first love, the honeymoon feelings they had in the beginning with Jesus, in other words Jesus encouraged them to get back to the Church of Philadelphia. These people are loving and being loved in a Godly way and Jesus is well pleased with them. This group is not a specific Church age as each of the other churches are. This Church is not addressed from the identification letter that the other churches are. This Church is a special remnant to God and they have existed everywhere there are Christians and at all times of the Church age. This special group of people has the promise from God that they will not enter into the coming tribulation that the world is going to suffer in. Jesus is going to catch up or rapture His people before the coming tribulation (the rest of the book of Revelation). All born again Christians will be raptured before the tribulation. The coming tribulation is coming from God onto a disobedient people. Right now the tribulation we suffer is from our own bad decisions and from the things Satan does to us. If we mismanage our money and go bankrupt it is certainly tribulation but it is from us not from God. God uses our messes to draw us closer to Him so the messes are not that bad after all. The difference between the current tribulation and the future one is that the future one continues to be from Satan and is also from God but God is not going to pour out His tribulation upon the righteous. Jesus resides inside each born again Christian, on the cross Jesus said "it is finished" Jesus will undergo no more tribulation so there is a need for the rapture to remove the "Jesus filled" born again Christians prior to the coming great tribulation.
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When the Christian Church first came together the early Church was entirely Jewish-Hebrew as Jesus the head of the Church is Jewish. Then with the admittance of non-Jews (Gentiles) into the Christian Church the early Church struggled with the relationships between Christians, Jews and also the new gentile Christians. An early Church council was established to consider these interactions, the council meeting and its decision are recorded in the Book of Acts (Acts 15).
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<blockquote>And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us (Hebrews); And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke (law) upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our (Jewish) fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even (by faith) as they (gentiles). Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this [after the Christian Church age] I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my (James - Church leader) sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. <u>For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him (laws of Moses)</u>, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; ~ Acts 15:6-22</blockquote>
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The early Christian Church declared that of utmost importance for the Christian whether being of Jewish or of Gentile origin is not to offend the followers of Moses, the practicing Jews "For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him." The dietary laws of not eating blood are not for the Church but the council determined that of greater importance than personal freedom is for the Christian not to offend God's people the Jews who do obey His laws and follow His customs.
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The Church of Philadelphia is the brotherly love Church. The two companion Bible books for this Church are the books of Romans and Hebrews. Christians in this Church will need to know the book of Romans to understand that Christians are called into a relationship with God based on faith, that nothing can separate us from the love of God and then how to have fellowship with the fellow brethren by not offending them in our actions and deeds. The book of Hebrews will help us to enter into the very presence of God. Jesus is God and He is also our High Priest and as He has entered into the Holiest place where God the Father's presence is, we by being identified with Jesus are also to enter with Jesus into the Holy presence of God the Father.
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6. Romans &amp; Hebrews
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The Bible's books of Romans and Hebrews are excellent instruction for the Church of Philadelphia the open door church, where mankind has an open door to fellowship with both man and God. Romans in how to minister one to anther and Hebrews in how to minster to God set the examples for the #6 Philadelphia Church.
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<blockquote>Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. ~ Romans 15:2</blockquote>
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<blockquote>Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living (Spiritual) way, which He (Jesus) hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, ~ Hebrews 10:19-22</blockquote>
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6. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price
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<blockquote>Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. ~ Matthew 13:45-46</blockquote>
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God gave all that He had at the cross in order to buy people out of sin. A pearl is an organic jewel that originally was an irritant, a grain of sand that has taken the time to grow into a gem, like sinners who have taken the time to grow into precious, valuable saints.
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<b>Note:</b> This Church is closely related to the Smyrna Church in that these are the people who love God enough to give their life and Satan is usually mad enough at these Christians to try to take their life. So one day you can be in this Church and the next moment be in the martyrs Church of Smyrna.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 8</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 8</h2>
<h3>Love - Commitment</h3>
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<h3>Church at Laodicea</h3>
<h4>Love - Commitment see also Lust</h4>
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<h4>The Church at Laodicea -- The modern comfortable Church - Predominant in the Last Church Age</h4>
Agapao (G25) [Verb] to love, highest commitment
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Church #7 Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea (Laos - People, diceaos - rule; People rulers)
Agape (G26) [Noun] love, highest commitment, unselfish love
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The comfortable worldly Church where people rule over their own lives not allowing God to lead or rule in their life
Philadelpheia (G5360) "Philadelphia" brotherly love, kindness
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<blockquote>And unto the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you says, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you
Phielo (G5368) affectionate, emotional
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may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in his Throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:14-22</blockquote>
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Laodicea is the comfortable last Church, in this letter God is speaking to most of us. This is the last Church era so also read the Books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians to get ready for the Christian rapture.
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The seventh and last Church in Jesus' Revelation Church letters is the Church that is dominant in our current time and current Church age. This is the last Church letter and also the last Church age or era, there are no more Christian Church ages after this as Jesus will return during this present Church age and He will rapture all the 'born again' Christians unto Himself in Heaven.
  
Verses - Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 5:44; Romans 5:5; James 2:5; Revelation 2:4 3:19
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After Jesus returns and raptures the Church there will no longer be a 'born again' Christian Church here on earth. There will be Jewish believers and there will be those Martyred saints who give their life for their faith in Jesus but there will not be the 'born again' Church as all of the born again Christians will now be in heaven participating as the bride of Jesus in the wedding feast with Jesus. Remember there was no 'born again' Church during the entire Old Testament. The Church began on the day (Easter) of the resurrection of Jesus when Jesus baptized the disciples in the upper room with His breath and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.
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<blockquote>I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ~ Matthew 3:11</blockquote>
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<blockquote>came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: ~ John 20:19-22</blockquote>
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The Church began with the cross and Resurrection of Jesus and is continuing on right now and will end at the rapture when Jesus meets us, the Church, in the air and He takes us to heaven to be with Him therefore saving us from the terrible time of the tribulation to come.
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<blockquote>For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18</blockquote>
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The various churches all dominated throughout each Church era in the order that Jesus has addressed them in His letters. The first era was the Apostolic Church when the Apostles and disciples of Jesus were writing and teaching Gods word at Ephesus and other places. With so much knowledge at Ephesus they had no patience for people who didn't catch on to doctrine and theology. After the apostles of Jesus grew old and went on to be with Jesus in heaven the next Church age was characterized by bitter persecution and martyrs, the Church of Smyrna. Today there are more martyrs worldwide than at any time but this period happened when the Church was young and didn't have a worldwide following and when the Bibles were copied by hand, Satan was actually trying to demoralize the Christians and Satan literally tried to kill every Christian and wipe out every Bible. The next era was the Pergamos era and surprisingly the Christians of that era went from persecuted by the world to living in the world. After the brutal nonstop persecutions the Christians themselves became worldly and at the Roman coliseums were Christians were once put to death, the Christians now sat in the seats and cheered as gladiators fought each other to the death on the very places where their fellow Christians had died.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 22:2 And He (God) said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the
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After the worldly Christians the next Church era was the structured Church known as Thyatira the Roman Catholic Church where for centuries everyone was supposed to belong to the Catholic Church or they were not considered a Christian. This much authority brought on much abuse of power and much resentment as the Catholic Church ruled with such force that people were not allowed personal Bibles to read and people couldn't even pray personal prayers in their own native language. People even had to go to priests to have them talk to God for them. The puritans that left England and came and started America were fleeing this Church and come to America to establish a Puritan "pure" Christian life. This restrictive Thyatira Church age gave way to the next Church era called the Protestant reformation where Protestants [protesters] protested the Catholic domination, rightfully insisting that the Bible tells people how to worship and not any organization. This Protestant era took so many liberties that they soon had a muddled comfortable Christianity, people compared themselves to others instead of comparing themselves to Jesus and always finding someone perceived to be of worse character than themselves, people decided wrongly that they had a good Christian walk so now the Christian walk became anything that we determine we want it to be. This brings us to the current and last Church age the Church of Laodicea. This current Church period is a continuation of the protestant age and it is a Church so empty of Jesus that we have become our own god, we are a Church where the "people rule" instead of God.
mountains which I will tell thee of.</i>
 
  
This is the definition of love. Abraham is acting out the love that God
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This is the last Church age and it is during this current Church Era that Jesus will return.
has for us, that one day at the same mountain location, God the Father would offer His beloved only Son Jesus for
 
us, that we might live. It was necessary for Abraham to enact this out so when the actual sacrifice of Jesus
 
occurred, we would fully understand that the cross is an act of love from both the Father and the Son.
 
<blockquote>For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16</blockquote>
 
Love is a commitment. God in His love for us, committed His life to us on the cross that we could enter into a committed relationship of love with Him. Love is a commitment for good; love seeks the highest good for the other person. God in His love on the cross was seeking the highest good for us, a life in God. Love is not selfish love is a relationship of commitment.
 
<blockquote>and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not love I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: ~ 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1-8</blockquote>
 
God's love for us is complete. It is impossible for God to love us more than He already does. It is also impossible for God to love us less then He already does. If we were to go out into the streets and carry a sign that says repent and tell people all day long about the glorious plan that God has for their life, God would not love us any more than He already does. If we sin and totally blow it before man, God and the angels of heaven, God would not love us any less than He already does. God's love for us is complete it is not conditional and is not determined by our actions.
 
  
We cannot win or lose God's love, we can only acknowledge God's love.
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Jesus opens this letter to Laodicea like the previous letters addressing the biggest problem facing the Church. In this case Jesus proclaims that He is the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Jesus is confronting the biggest error of the last day Church. Jesus is reminding us that He is faithful and true and that He is the creator of creation and that creation is from God. It is appropriate that God is speaking to the end time Church about creation. Perhaps the biggest lie being perpetuated right now is the lie of evolution. Evolution is a joke; life does not evolve out of non-life no matter how long you wait millions or billions or years. God being life can create and give life. Life is more than chemicals and material, life is spirit and soul, life is awareness and life is feelings and emotions. The error of evolution would never be believed by the previous churches because they lived in close proximity to life and death. We are now so removed from death that we do not understand life. We give scientist credit for the wonderful inventions that they have worked on in this is wonderful high teach time, but technology does not explain life and scientist apart from God are not able to explain life. In every case of evolution the evolutionist has grossly simplified the complex mechanisms of life. The simplest human cell is more complicated than anything science has ever assembled. A baby being formed in the womb of a woman consists of 23 chromosomes from the man and 23 chromosomes from the woman, living for nine months under water in the womb and then at birth suddenly and instantly starts breathing air, this is complicated as this is the reality of life and this is creation it is Jesus' creation. Without believing that God is our creator, giver and sustainer of life it is impossible to have a relationship with God.
<blockquote>And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect (complete), that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love but perfect (complete) love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect (complete) in love. We love Him because He First loved us. ~ 1 John 4:16-19</blockquote>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 9</h2>
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This is the last Church era and we are well into it right now. This era is characterized by worldly comfortable Church people. People are now so comfortable with worldly accommodations that we no longer need what Jesus has to offer. We now live better than any King of the Bible era ever lived. We have orchestras on demand in our Mp3 players, operas on demand in TV and on DVD's. The counsel of the worldly wise in www computing with Google search. Our chariots are always harnessed and travel 75 mph, cell phone messengers in our pockets on demand, our cash vault is carried in a card in our pockets wherever we go, we feast on chefs offerings anywhere we point our chariot. We snuggle cozily into warm beds with dry roofs, living better than any king of the Bible has ever lived. A king from the Bible era would be envious to the point of rage at our opulent lifestyle.
<h3>Melchizedek</h3>
 
<h4>Melchizedek the Eternal Heavenly Priesthood</h4>
 
Hebrew; Melchizedek (H4442) Melek - King, royal; Tsedeq - righteousness, moral, equity; King of Righteousness
 
  
Verses - Genesis 14:16; Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6,10 6:20 7:1,10,11,15,17,21
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We do not need a vow of poverty that is not the point Jesus is making in this letter. His point is that we have neglected Jesus and have left Him the creator of life on the outside of life as we live our comfortable life to ourselves fulfilling only our own whims. Jesus finds Himself knocking at the door of our heart and asking us to please let Him in. Jesus is not addressing this to the unsaved but to the Church and not as a group but to each individual in hopes that someone, anyone will stop drowning in the river of worldliness and join Him in Spiritual matters. Because this Church is so disgusting to Jesus He says that He will spit us out of His mouth unless we change. The spitting out of the mouth is an involuntary action it is like drinking spoiled milk that your body will not allow you to swallow so the natural reaction is to spit it out. Jesus also tells us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire the fire of trials. None of us wants trials in our life but Jesus says to us to have the trials and to learn from them. Learn that there are tired and hurting people in this world and learn that life is unfair and unjust and most important learn that Jesus is God and apart from Him no soul will have lasting rest or peace.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis And Melchizedek king Salem (Peace) brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the most high God.</i>
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The companion Bible books for the last Church era are the last Church epistles written by the Apostle Paul, the two epistles to the Church of Thessalonians. In reading the two books of Thessalonians we will learn that it is a time of heavy persecution. The Church of Thessalonica was heavily persecuted, so much in fact that they thought that they had missed the rapture and had gone into the tribulation period. Paul wrote the book to inform them that before the tribulation period there will be a big falling away of Christians from the faith of Jesus called the "Apostasy" and second that the Church will not be here during the time of the coming anti-Christ. The Apostle Paul explained that before the anti-Christ arrives the Church will have been raptured. Jesus told Peter and the rest of the disciples that He was going to build His Church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The anti-Christ is given authority over the people of the earth to overcome them and the anti-Christ will wage war against the Martyred saints of the book of Revelation and overcome them but the Church will have been removed from earth and we will be in heaven during those future events. The Apostle Paul tells us to comfort one another with this thought that Jesus is coming to take us to heaven with Him.
<blockquote>The LORD (Yahweh) hath sworn and will not repent, Thou (Jesus) art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Psalms 110:4</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Though He (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect (complete), He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that
 
obey Him; Called of God a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec [Greek]. ~ Hebrews 5:8-10</blockquote>
 
Melchizedek is a name of God just like Elohiem, Yahweh, Adonai, Jesus etc. are also names of God. Melchizedek is not the title of a king like the word President is a title, Melchizedek is a name of God and the name means Melek - King, Tsedeq - righteousness, Melchizedek means King of Righteousness, God is the one and only King of Righteousness.
 
  
Melchizedek is a priest to God. A priest is someone chosen by God that has access to God. Melchizedek being God has access to Himself, therefore Melchizedek is a priest. All priests are appointed by God. Nobody can decide to be a priest on their own. In the Old Testament God chose the family of Levi to be the priests. Only a person physically born into the family of Levi is eligible to be a Levitical priest.
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The Church of Laodicea is a sick Church, but the books of Thessalonians are strong medicine. When we start to realize that Jesus is returning and will return to gather us at any moment without any advanced notice, this medicine should cure our illness of an ungodly lifestyle. We should live every moment like it is our last moment here on earth and our first moment in heaven. When Jesus comes we are encouraged by the Apostle John to be living in a manner that we do not shrink back in embarrassment at the coming of Jesus but that we rejoice and embrace Jesus.
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<blockquote>But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Able. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. ~ Hebrews 12:22-25</blockquote>
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7. 1st &amp; 2nd Thessalonians
  
Like the required genealogy for the Levitical priesthood, the Melchizedek priesthood also has a strict gemology required to be a Melchizedek priest. The requirement to be a Melchizedek priest is to be eternal, "having neither beginning, of days, nor end of life". Not many people have the genealogy of endless life to be a Melchizedek priest. In fact, humans are not eligible to be a Melchizedek priest. Only God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and Jesus have the genealogy required to be a Melchizedek priest.
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The epistle of 1 Thessalonians mentions the rapture of the Christian Church and the Church being gathered into the presence of Jesus Christ. It is of paramount importance that the Christian Church be ready to meet God without a moment's notice and it is meeting God that is the great comfort for the modern #7 Laodicea Church.
<blockquote>For this Melchisedec, king Salem (peace), priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and (Melchisedec) blessed him (Abraham); To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; First being by interpretation King of righteousness and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. ~ Hebrews 7:1-3</blockquote>
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<blockquote>For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18</blockquote>
<blockquote>For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; {the tribe/family of Judah, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Judah means "Praise" in Hebrew} of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning
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7. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net
priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest (Jesus), who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of endless life. ~ Hebrews 7:14-17</blockquote>
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<blockquote>Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. <u>So shall it be at the end of the world</u> [i.e. the total of all Dispensations]: the Angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus says unto them, Have all of you understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yes, Lord. ~ Matthew 13:47-51</blockquote>
It is this endless life of Jesus that qualifies Jesus to be a Melchizedek priest as opposed to a human Levitical priest.
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At the end of the world there will be a gathering together followed by a judgment that will separate all that is good from all that is bad.
<blockquote>By so much was Jesus made a surety (guaranteed payment) of a better testament. And they (Levitical priests) truly were many priests, because they were not suffered (allowed) to continue by
 
reason of death (physical death): But this man (Jesus as priest) because He continueth ever (forever), hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able also to save them (sinners) to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever (forever) liveth to make intercession for them (sinners). ~ Hebrews 7:22-25</blockquote>
 
Jesus is our High Priest. He is the Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, (King of Righteousness) a position Jesus is able to hold because God appointed Him to it, Psalms 110:4 and because Jesus has the genealogy of a Melchizedek that He exists eternally. Therefore, Jesus is able to eternally be our priest. We will never have another priest and we will never be separated from our glorious High Priest, Jesus.
 
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 10</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 9</h2>
<h3>Minister</h3>
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<h3>John's 7 Miracles of Jesus</h3>
<h4>Minister a servant</h4>
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<h4>The Christian Walk Illustrated in the 7 Miracles of Jesus Recorded in the Gospel of John</h4>
Diakonia (G1248) "Deacon", servant Lit. Table waiter
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<b>Introduction:</b>
Leitourgia (G3009) "Liturgy", public function, public servant
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Huperetes (G5257) "Under-rower" Minister, to function and facilitate from a position of serving and supporting, from beneath. Lit. The oarsman that power the ship or boat from a position in the bottom of the boat
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After accepting Jesus as our very own personal Lord and Savior by knowing that without the sacrifice of Jesus, what He did for us on the cross, that we would be permanently dead in our sin and rebellion, separated forever from God. Now that the sin has been paid for and taken away at the cross of Jesus we Christians are now free from sin and reunited with God in the Resurrection of Jesus.
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But what do we do now? After our conversion [Heavenly focus] for the Christian the conversion is just the start of Christianity the best is yet to come.
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In the fascinating Gospel of John, John one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus and an eyewitness that was present at all seven miracles, lays out seven miracles that Jesus Himself performed while in person on the earth and in a specific order. These seven miracles in the Gospel of John are a model of the very miracles that Jesus is doing right now this very moment and day in the life of every single living and breathing Christian. Let's take a look at the 7 miracles that Jesus performed and that His disciple John recorded for us.
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Miracle 1 - A New Creation - Born Again (John 2:1-11) - Turning wedding water into wine
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The New Christian is now clean and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit
  
Verses - Leviticus 7:35; Matthew 20:28; Acts 13:2; Romans 15:25; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 3:7; 1 Peter 4:10
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Miracle 2 - Healing - Nobility in Jesus (John 4:46-54) - Healing the Nobleman's Son
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Our cured Life and Nobility in Jesus Christ
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Exodus 24:13 And Moses rose up and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the Mount (Mt. Sinai) of God.</i>
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Miracle 3 - Starting the Christian Walk (John 5:1-17) - Healing of the lame man to walk
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The Christian can now walk a Christian lifestyle
  
Minister or ministry is the function of service and support. To be a minister is to be a servant.
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Miracle 4 - Fellowship among Believers (John 6:1-15) - Feeding the Thousands with Bread and Fish
<blockquote>Then shall they also answer Him, saying Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked or sick, or in prison and did not minister unto thee? ~ Matthew 25:44-46</blockquote>
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Fellowship of strengthening, building up, and nourishment in the faith among the believers
<blockquote>And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? ~ James 2:16</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Pure religion and undefiled before God is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world. ~ James 1:27</blockquote>
 
The opposite of the servant deeds of the minister are the lording over deeds of the Nicolaitanes and the Pharisees.
 
<blockquote>But this thou (Church of Ephesus) hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I (Jesus) also hate. ~ Revelation 2:6</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>So hast thou (Church of Pergamos) also them (members) that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I (Jesus) hate. ~ Revelation 2:15</blockquote>
 
Jesus died to set us free. This freedom includes freedom from religious confinements that keep us separated from Jesus.
 
<blockquote>Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. ~ Colossians 2:8</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. ~ Galatians 5:1</blockquote>
 
It is interesting that when the early Church was gathered together, their main function was to minister to Jesus.
 
<blockquote>Now there were in the Church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas and Simeon that was called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch and Saul (Apostle Paul). As they ministered to the Lord. ... Acts 13:1-3</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Giving no offense in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in
 
distresses, in stripes (whippings), in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings (looking for the return of Jesus), in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness... ~ 2 Corinthians 6:3-4</blockquote>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 11</h2>
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Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears (John 6:16-21) - Jesus calms the disciples during a storm
<h3>Mediator</h3>
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Jesus calms our fears during the storms of life
<h4>A mediator is the contact between two parties</h4>
 
Mesites (G3316) reconciler, intercessor, mediator, go-between, confirmer
 
  
Verses - Romans 8:26-27,34; Galatians 3:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25 8:6 9:15 12:24
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Miracle 6 - Mature Christians Preach (John 9:1-11) - Blind eyes opened
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Apostles with their eyes opened to the hopeless plight of humanity are sent out to non-believers
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Isaiah 59:16 And He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His righteousness it sustained Him.</i>
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Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life (John 11:1-45) - Resurrection of Lazarus from death to life
<blockquote>For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Timothy 2:5</blockquote>
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Resurrection of the believer from physical death to eternal life
A mediator is the contact between two parties that are not in direct communications with each other. It is absolutely necessary that the mediator have access to both parties otherwise the mediator is ineffective and cannot mediate. The mediator is far more than a messenger (Angel). Where a messenger (Angel) would simply deliver the message, the mediator is a counselor, a voice of reason. The mediator has a grasp of the situation and of the grievances the mediator has the vision to overcome the difficulty and the mediator has a desire to end the dispute and unite the two parties.
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<blockquote>That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~ Colossians 1:10</blockquote>
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<b>Note:</b> These are Seven Miracles performed by Jesus before His resurrection and recorded in the Gospel of John by John a Disciple of Jesus. John was an eyewitness present at each of these seven miracles. These miracles are illustrations representing miracles that Jesus is currently doing in the life of each and every individual Christian.
  
Jesus is the mediator between God and man. Because Jesus is God and Jesus has come as a man Jesus is able to effectively mediate between the two parties. Jesus is performing the most difficult mediation. The relationship between man and God is so broken that many people refuse to even acknowledge the existence of God. Jesus has accomplished much of His mediation through the written Holy Bible, revealing who God is to mankind. At the cross Jesus, God in man, mediated peace to mankind. Jesus continues to mediate to a disobedient mankind. God the Holy Spirit also facilitates Jesus in order to bring mankind into a relationship with God.
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<small>Source: BasicChristian.org</small>
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 12</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 10</h2>
<h3>Martyred Saints of Revelation</h3>
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<h3>Miracle 1 - Born Again</h3>
<h4>Martyred Saints of Revelation see also Church, Jews</h4>
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<h4>Miracle 1 - A New Creation a sinner becoming Born Again</h4>
There are three groups of redeemed people mentioned in the Bible regarding the last days (days since the First coming of Jesus). The Jews, the Church and the future Martyred Saints, mentioned in the book of Revelation, are these three groups.
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Miracle 1 - A New Creation - Born Again (John 2:1-11) Turning wedding water into wine
<blockquote>And when He (Jesus) had opened the fifth seal, I (Disciple John) saw under the altar the souls of them (Martyred Saints) that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony
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The Purified Believer becomes filled with the Holy Spirit
(confession of the resurrection of Jesus) which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying How long, O Lord, holy and true, doust thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto everyone of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season {about 7 years} until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. ~ Revelation 6:9-11</blockquote>
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<blockquote>And the Third Day [i.e. Resurrection Day] there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and [Mary] the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called [invited], and [also] His Disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus says unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus says unto her, Woman, what have I to do with you? mine hour [Glorification] is not yet come. His mother says unto the servants, Whatsoever He says unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone [chiseled stone pots for ceremonial religious washings - not ordinary clay pots], after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece [i.e. man-sized stone pots]. Jesus says unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He says unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And says unto him, Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but you have kept the good wine until now. His beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His Glory; and His Disciples believed on Him. ~ John 2:1-11</blockquote>
<blockquote>And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: ~ Revelation 17:6</blockquote>
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In the Gospel of John chapter 2 we read that Jesus' mother is attending a wedding in the city of Cana in the district of Galilee. We read that both Jesus and his disciples are also called [invited] to the marriage. At this particular wedding the host runs out of wine for the guests. Mary, then comments to Jesus that there is no wine. Of course Jesus knew in advance that there was not a sufficient amount of wine at the wedding, this is part of the reason Jesus went to the marriage and brought His disciples with so that He could perform this miracle as an illustration to them and have it recorded in the Bible for us His future disciples. Jesus and the disciples are not the reason that the wine ran out. Jesus and the disciples were both invited [called] and the host would have declined to invite them rather than to invite them and run out of food and drink. Probably everyone at the marriage was having such a festive time that people stayed longer and drank more since the wine ran out yet the food did not lack.
The future Martyred Saints are a unique group of redeemed people. Currently while the Church exists on earth there are two groups of redeemed, the Jews and the Church. At the end of the Church age the redeemed will be in the two categories of Jew and Martyred Saint. The distinction between the Church and the Martyred Saints is, to become a part of the Church we confess Jesus and believe in His resurrection.
 
<blockquote>That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart <u>that God hath raised Him from the dead</u>, thou shalt be saved. ~ Romans 10:9</blockquote>
 
This confession makes us a member of God's Church family. The Martyred Saints become a Martyred Saint when the enemies of God kill them.
 
  
Jesus gave a promise regarding the disciple Peter's confession of Jesus being God, that whoever maintained the same confession that Peter confessed would be a part of the Church and that the Church would not be overcome.
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Jesus replies to Mary that "His hour has not yet come." Jesus knows that He is going to provide the much needed wine, but Jesus is establishing that miracles are not the reason that God became a man in the person of Jesus and walked on earth with mankind. Jesus came in the form of a man to die on the cross to remove sin and reunite us with the Father. The hour that Jesus came for is the cross of crucifixion. Mary then instructs the servants to "Whatever He (Jesus) saith unto you, do it." The "obedient" servants then go to Jesus. Jesus instructs the servants to fill the six water pots used for purification to the brim with water. Remember six is the number for man, as man was created on the sixth day. The stone water pots are clean because they are used in cleaning, a dirty water pot would not clean the person who washes from it. Jesus then tells the servant to "Draw out now and take it to the governor of the feast." And they did obey Jesus. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water that was turned into wine he declared that unlike other feasts this feast had reserved the best wine until the end.
<blockquote>He (Jesus) saith unto them (disciples), But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him,
 
Blessed art thou, Simon (Peter, rock) Bar-jona (son of grace): for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (rock) and
 
upon this rock {confession} I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ~ Matthew 16:15-18</blockquote>
 
While the Church exists on earth the Church will not be overcome. The Church will always exist until the moment when Jesus comes and takes the Church [Christians] to heaven in an event referred to as the "rapture of the Church". The future Martyred Saints live after the Church in a time when God will give authority to the coming Antichrist to overcome the saints that live on earth.
 
<blockquote>And it was given unto him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations. ~ Revelation 13:7</blockquote>
 
The Church did not always exist. The Church did not exist during the Old Testament times and the Church will not exist on earth after the rapture. The Church began on the day of the resurrection of Jesus when Jesus baptized the disciples with His Spirit (breath) in the upper room. The Church will no longer be on earth but many people on earth will still be redeemed and will still have a relationship with God. This group of post Church redeemed people will be the Martyred Saints.
 
  
The Martyred Saints are divided into two groups; the First group is killed because they believe the word of God (Bible) and they have the testimony that Jesus is alive, that He has resurrected from death.
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This first marvelous miracle that Jesus is performing is an illustration to us His believers. When we obey Jesus we become His servant, Romans 6:16 says "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When we acknowledge our sins and the forgiveness of the cross of Jesus we become clean like the stone water pots. Once we are clean Jesus then comes inside and fills us with His presence. We are then to draw out the wine of Jesus' presence in us and pour it out to others. When we do this we are effecting the lives of others around us.
<blockquote>And they overcame him (Satan) <u>by the blood of the Lamb</u> (Jesus) and <u>by the word of their testimony</u>; and they loved not their lives unto the death. ~Revelation 12:11</blockquote>
 
Later the second group of Martyred Saints are killed for the same reasons as the First group and for wisely not accepting the mark of the beast given by the Antichrist and his followers.
 
<blockquote>And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast [Antichrist] and over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name,
 
stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. ~ Revelation 15:2</blockquote>
 
Together these two large groups of killed people comprise the Martyred Saints of Revelation.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 13</h2>
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Wine is used as a Biblical example for the Holy Spirit. Wine has an effect and influence on the person who drinks it. Worldly wine has a bad effect with headaches and hangovers and demeans the person who drinks it and who's actions are influenced by worldly alcohol wine. The presence of the Holy Spirit has an influence on the person who is under His influence, the influence of love and of a testimony of Jesus. This is the first miracle, Jesus has taken the water of this world and turned it into His wine. It is nice to know that the start of the Christian walk is to be cleansed and be filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. We get confused at times and think if I get my behavior right then Jesus will come to me and give me the Holy Spirit, but it is the other way around when we believe we receive the Holy Spirit in full. It is the Holy Spirit that then instructs us and guides us in our life to live a life of Holiness and communion, pleasing to God. And the best part of the miracle is that God gives the best wine last. The best is always yet to come with Jesus. The Christian walk just keeps getting better and better. If for instance we went to church as a child with our parents then we stopped going to church or we never went at all, and now we think I don't want to go to church I have missed so much and people will judge me. This is wrong in God's eyes, He says follow Him and it will be better than it ever was.
<h3>Satan</h3>
 
<h4>Satan the Deceiver</h4>
 
Greek: Satanas (G4567) "accuser"; Satan
 
Greek: Diabolos (G1228) "slanderer" false accuser; Devil
 
Hebrew: Heylel (H1966) Bright shining, morning star; Lucifer
 
Spanish: Diablo; Devil
 
  
Verses - Genesis 3:1; Job 1:6-2:10; Isaiah 14:12-22; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Zechariah 3:1-10; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 10:17-20; Revelation 20:1-10
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<b>Note:</b> the events depicted indicate a synergism between God and man of religious activity i.e. 'stone pots' that are already religious vessels (humans seeking to please God) being used in the turning of water (ordinary - unsaved) to wine (Spiritual - salvation).
  
<b>First Use:</b> <u>Not mentioned</u>, Satan, although he exists, is not mentioned to Adam in the early Verses of the Bible. Mankind's relationship is with God; Satan is basically a non-factor.
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The Calvinism teachings of today wrongly neglect the intended synergistic (God and human interaction) teachings of the Holy Bible and presume that God is directly one-sided and is filling disobedient 'clay pots' (unreligious - unsaved humans) with spirituality (salvation) when in actuality God is responding more to the preexisting human desire of Salvation in using stone (religious ceremony) pots for the example of the giving of salvation wine.
<blockquote>How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the
 
ground, which did weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt
 
my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I
 
will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell,
 
to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee, saying, Is this the
 
man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; ~ Isaiah 14:12-16</blockquote>
 
Satan means accuser and Devil means slanderer. Both names are descriptive titles of this fallen angel's
 
character. The actual name of Satan is unknown. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Satan was the First to rebel
 
against God and through the deception of Satan, sin and death entered into all mankind. Satan knew what He was
 
doing when he set out to destroy mankind. Satan knows the pain and suffering that exists and yet he continues to
 
perpetuate as much pain and suffering as he can.
 
<blockquote>Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in
 
thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence and thou hast sinned;
 
therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, ~ Ezekiel 28:15</blockquote>
 
Satan was originally an Angel created by God and called Lucifer. Lucifer is a title meaning bright and morning
 
star and originally Lucifer didn't have sin but in himself he sinned against God. He desired to rule even above
 
God. Lucifer is now the fake morning star, still seeking to be worshipped above God. The word lucky is an old
 
pagan witchcraft word and comes from Lucifer. Lucky is not a Biblical term, lucky; lu- Lucifer; ky - key; lit.
 
Lucifer key; acknowledging Lucifer as giving someone a key to unlock their worldly desires. A person that claims
 
to be lucky is someone who is claiming to have received from the devil. Christians are never lucky; Christians are "blessed" from God.
 
<blockquote>Do not err my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness (no deception), neither
 
shadow (no darkness) of turning (deceit). ~ James 1:16-17</blockquote>
 
<b>Two characteristics of Satan are that he is subtle (not obvious) and that he is a counterfeiter (a copycat):</b>
 
<blockquote>Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? ~ Genesis 3:1</blockquote>
 
Satan is subtle, it is the subtle lie, the subtle deception that is just as Satanic as any outrageous act. Because Satan is so subtle and since he
 
is also a spirit being, the First piece of Spiritual armor for the Christian is the belt of truth (Bible).
 
<blockquote>Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (methods) of the devil. ... Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth. ... ~ Ephesians 6:11-14</blockquote>
 
Satan is also a counterfeiter. Satan is pretending to be god and therefore counterfeits what God does for real.
 
<blockquote>For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the [counterfeit] apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an [counterfeit] angel of light. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:13-14</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. ~ Revelation 20:10</blockquote>
 
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 14</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 11</h2>
<h3>Mind</h3>
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<h3>Miracle 2 - Nobility</h3>
<h4>Mind is our reason, our thought, our intellect</h4>
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<h4>Miracle 2 - Our Healing (Salvation) and our Nobility (Royal Priesthood) in Jesus Christ</h4>
Nous (G3563) intellect, thought, reason, decision, comprehension, understanding
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Miracle 2 - Healing - Nobility in Jesus (John 4:46-54) Healing the Nobleman's Son
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Our Life and Nobility in Jesus
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<blockquote>So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except all of you [i.e. 'born again' Christians] see signs and wonders, all of you will not believe [i.e. grow in faith]. The nobleman says unto him, Sir, come down before my child die. Jesus says unto him, Go your way; your son lives. And the man believed the Word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Your son lives. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Your son lives: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee. ~ John 4:46-54</blockquote>
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The second miracle, Jesus is again in the city of Cana and a certain nobleman's son is sick in the distant city of Capernaum. The noble man approaches Jesus and asks Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replies "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Then Jesus said unto him "go your way; your son liveth." As the nobleman was on his way the next day he met his servants that told him "his son liveth" he asked them when he became well? and discovered it was the same hour that Jesus had spoken the words.
  
Verses - Romans 7:23; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 2:16; Colossians 1:21, 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Peter 1:13
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After being cleansed by the blood of Jesus and filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit, we now partake in the second miracle. Because we "liveth" we have now become a son of Nobility. We are now children of God and our new position is a child of the King Jesus. Jesus' position of nobility elevates us to nobility as well. We can now like this nobleman approach Jesus and talk with Him just like this nobleman did, seeking out Jesus and telling Him our cares and concerns. Jesus tells him "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Jesus is telling this new believer that miracles do not validate God's existence, His presence or man's salvation. We receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith not by experience. In the turning of water to wine in the first miracle only the servants knew that it had happened but they knew it by faith there was no experience involved in the first miracle. Jesus wants us to know by faith that He loves us, He died for us on the cross and He now lives with us in His resurrection.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 23:8 And he (Abraham) communed with them (land owners), saying, if it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me and entreat for me.</i>
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In Moses day the children of God saw many miracles performed mightily by God yet the people Jews and Egyptians alike both refused to have faith in God. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. Faith does not come by seeing with our eyes or experiencing with our intellect or emotions. Miracles are also performed and counterfeited by Satan and the demonic realm. In fact the Anti-Christ, the coming world leader, is a demonic person who rises to power by performing false miracles and false wonders. The people who accept the Anti-Christ will have accepted him based on the miracles he performs instead of relying on the Bible for guidance. If they had read the Bible they would know that the one coming with miracles for everyone to see he will be the fake one.
  
Mind is our reason, our thought, our intellect. It is through our mind that we interact both with man and with God. Our mind is not just our brain. We are not chemical, biological, beings, we are spiritual beings. The brain represents our mind in the physical realm, but cognizant (self awareness), memory, thought, conscience, reason, intellect, rational, creativity, etc. are functions of our soul and our spirit and not products of chemical reactions.
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When we specifically look for miracles we are prone to miss the biggest miracle of all and that is the Spiritual healing of us from death to life. Jesus said the son "liveth" Christianity is not about being bad then becoming good it is about being dead in sin and then becoming suddenly alive to God and life. Notice that Jesus spoke this miracle and healed the son when the son was in a different city than Jesus. It is that way for us, Jesus is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father, we are here on earth, but we are not out of the effect of Jesus' voice. When Jesus speaks we are healed. This miracle is important, Jesus wants us to know for certain that we are now alive in Him and that we belong to Him. This is the first part of a relationship with God it comes even before our Christian walk and is to be establish beyond any doubt that we are alive Spiritually and that we belong to Jesus. Jesus wants us to have a lifelong Christian walk, one that is grounded in the Bible and strong enough in faith to get us through all of life's disappointments, pains, suffering, and hurts. In fact the healing that is now taking place in the son of the nobleman is the real miracle the miracle healing of hurts, pain, loneliness, sorrow, and suffering.
<blockquote>And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect, will of God. ~ Romans 12:2</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man [old unsaved ways], which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. ~ Ephesians 4:22-23</blockquote>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 15</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 12</h2>
<h3>Peace</h3>
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<h3>Miracle 3 - Christian Walk</h3>
<h4>Peace is complete rest of the body, soul (mind) and the spirit</h4>
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<h4>Miracle 3 - Starting the lifelong Christian Walk (Journey)</h4>
Eirene (G1515) "to join"; join rest, join quietness, peace is the absence of strife, a state of comfort, rest and wellbeing
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Miracle 3 - Starting the Christian Walk (John 5:1-17) Healing of the Lame man
Hebrew: Shalowm "Shalom" (H7965) peace, wellbeing of body, soul and spirit
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The Christian can now walk
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<blockquote>After this there was a Feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He says unto him, Will you be made whole [Salvation]? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus says unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on
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the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. He answered them, He (Jesus) that made me whole (Salvation), the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What Man is that which said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? And he that was healed know not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed [moved] Himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus finds him in the Temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work.</blockquote>
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In the third miracle Jesus sees a man near the pool of Bethesda who has had a crippling infirmity for a long time for 38 years to be exact. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be "made whole?" Interestingly the man instead of saying yes replied with a myriad of excuses and reasons as to why he has not been made whole. It turns out that an angel would agitate or trouble the water of the pool of Bethesda and when the hurting people saw the pool disturbed the first one into the pool would be healed by God from whatever ailed them. In this man's case he was so crippled that he was not able to get into the pool first as he could find no one to help him.
  
Verses - Nahum 1:15; Zechariah 6:18; Matthew 5:9; Romans 5:1; Philippians 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:22; Revelation 6:4
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Jesus completely ignoring the infirmed man's excuses said to him "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." And immediately the man took up his bead, and walked. Here is another man being healed by the voice of Jesus. The nobleman's son was healed to life this man is then being healed to have a walk [relationship] with God. Once it has been established that we are alive [born again] and belong to God. The next miracle in the life of the Christian is to begin to have an intimate relationship with God, a walk as it is called. Notice that the man was infirm for 38 years, that is exactly the amount of time that the Jews with Moses wandered in the wilderness after neglecting to enter the promise land the first time, and before actually entering into the promised land. After leaving Egypt God led the Jews to Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the law (613 commandments), and instruction to build the tabernacle and establish the Levitical Priesthood under Moses' brother Aaron. Then God led the Jews to the promise land where each of the 12 tribes sent out two spies. It took two years once leaving Egypt and staying at Mount Sinai to get to the promise land and send out spies. The spies returned and were afraid to enter the promise land because of the giants in the land. The Jews then had to continue wandering in the desert until the entire generation of unbelief died. The Jews wandered for 38 years until God took them to the promise land the second time and Joshua [Jesus] led them into the promise land as they by faith crossed over the Jordan river.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 15:15 And thou (Abraham) shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.</i>
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This crippled man, like us, is in a similar circumstance as the Jews who came out of slavery in Egypt were. They have been saved from slavery and have received instruction at Mount Sinai in how to follow and worship God, they are being miraculously provided for from God with the manna [bread] from heaven, yet they are not yet able to believe and trust God to take care of the giants in their lives. We likewise have been delivered from the bondage and slavery of sin and death, we have been instructed in how to follow and worship the Holy God of Israel, we receive our daily manna in the Bible to sustain us through this wilderness wandering. Yet just like the Jews and just like the crippled man we lack the faith in God to provide for us and to take care of us and our problems. So we to having rejected entering into the promise land must now wander in the wilderness of excuses and complaints until by faith we hear the voice of Jesus and pick up our bed and walk.
  
Peace is comfort of the body, soul and the spirit, a well-being and contentment. Peace is the absence of
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Jesus performed this miracle on the infirm man on the Sabbath day, the weekly Saturday Jewish day of rest. The infirmed man was confronted by others for being healed on the Sabbath but remember it is not work to worship God or to be healed by God. Jesus has done the work of salvation [healing] for us. We just need to work through our circumstances with Jesus and the healing is a natural part of walking with God it is not work.
strife. "Peace" is the Jewish greeting. We say "hello," the Jew says peace (Shalom), the Greek would say "grace"
 
(karris). The New Testament often combines the Greek and the Hebrew greetings, grace and peace to you.
 
<blockquote>... <u>Grace</u> be unto you and <u>peace</u>, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:1</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>But He (Jesus) was wounded (injured) for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement (correction) of our peace (Shalom) was upon Him; and with His
 
stripes we are healed (cured, made whole). ~ Isaiah 53:5</blockquote>
 
Peace is precious the cost of peace is high. Our peace cost Jesus His life on the cross. The cost was high but the high price was met and we now, through Jesus, have peace with God, peace with man and peace with ourselves.
 
<blockquote>Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1</blockquote>
 
We have a peace through the cross of Jesus that the world does not comprehend. The world is seeking a false peace. The world is trying to find peace without Jesus. The familiar peace sign of the world is the post with two smaller posts leaning against it at the bottom and a circle surrounds all three posts. The posts look like a "coat rack" or a "chicken track" then a circle surrounds it. These posts are actually the world's symbol of a broken cross. The two smaller posts on the false peace symbol are the cross beams to the cross. If the smaller beams were slid up the post and straightened out horizontally the symbol is the cross. The circle around the false peace sign is the satanic circle. It is the satanic circle of domination and control and it is Satan's trap.
 
  
The world sees peace as the absence of Jesus, the absence of the cross. With a broken cross the world has rejected God and God's judgment. The world has made peace with sin. The world claims that Jesus, religion and Christians are the cause of the wars of the world and that man left alone can be peaceful. Nothing could be further from the truth! War is the result of man and sin. Jesus is the true Peace.
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It is interesting in this miracle that God would trouble or stir the water in the pool of Bethesda and that getting into the troubled waters would heal the sick. God does that in our lives He troubles the water of our life He has us work beside a co-worker that we have nothing in common with that we cannot stand to be around. Through these troublings we are healed if we get into the water. Get in there and get to know that co-worker, get in there and work on that resume, work on that marriage and those bills and through the troubled waters God is healing us as we are walking with God.
<blockquote>These things I (Jesus) have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33</blockquote>
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Jesus later sought out the now healed man and found him in the "Temple" and told him "behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." That is where Jesus should find us is in the church body worshiping and fellowshipping. Just think what if Jesus had found this man with the sinners? We are freed up from sin to follow God not to return and sin more and make a mockery out of the cross and suffering of Jesus. Jesus makes the point to this man that although our sins are forgiven we still have our own freewill and if we choose to sin "a worse thing will come to us." We are free to worship God and we are free to sin. If however we choose to sin then there will be ramifications. If we return to what we know is wrong it gives Satan a chance to condemn us and accuse us, making our walk with Jesus even more difficult. Difficult that is if we choose to listen to Satan and ignore Jesus, but remember every sin is taken care of at the cross of Jesus, confess the sin, acknowledge the Deity of Jesus and remember the good wine is right now and the best wine is yet to come.
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Once the healed man gave credit to Jesus for healing him. The people he told became so upset that Jesus had healed the infirmed man on the Sabbath, they actually sought to kill Jesus. This is the first part of persecution in the Christian walk. As soon as we start to glorify Jesus people are going to start to get upset. People are going to want to kill Jesus and claim that He does not exist or that He is not capable of healing even that Jesus does not care enough to heal us. Jesus' answer to these people is that "My Father worketh now and I work." In fact this is the very work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and their work is going on right now whether people choose to believe it or not. And how Jesus would love to do His healing work and have a relationship with even the most critical, cynical and reached sinner.
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 16</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 13</h2>
<h3>Pray</h3>
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<h3>Miracle 4 - Fellowship</h3>
<h4>Prayer is to both Talk and Listen</h4>
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<h4>Miracle 4 - Fellowship among the Believers -- note: this could be a taste of Heaven and this could also be a taste of Hell (2 Corinthians 6:7)</h4>
Proseuche (G4335) Pros - toward, forward; Euche - express, expression; talk, speak, ask, listen, comprehend, communicate, discussion
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Miracle 4 - Fellowship among Believers (John 6:1-15) Feeding of the Thousands with Bread and Fish
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Fellowship among the believers
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<blockquote>After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.
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And Jesus went up into a Mountain, and there He sat with His Disciples. And the Passover, a Feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He says unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove [test] him: for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth [i.e. all the money we have] of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, says unto Him, There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves;
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and when He had Given Thanks, He distributed to the Disciples, and the Disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, He said unto is Disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is Truthfully that Prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed again into a Mountain Himself alone. ~ John 6:1-15</blockquote>
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Jesus performs this next miracle while on a Mountaintop. A great multitude had followed Jesus out into the countryside. Jesus asked the disciple Philip "where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" It says that Jesus asked Philip to test Him because Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Philip wondered how much money it would take to buy all of the bread that the huge crowd would need. Another one of the disciples named Andrew said "There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are these among so many?" And Jesus said "Make the men sit down" Jesus took the loaves and the fish and after giving thanks distributed them to the disciples and the disciples distributed them to the people who were sitting down. When the people were full Jesus instructed the disciples to "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." And the disciples gathered 12 full baskets of fragments from the five barley loaves of bread.
  
Verses - Exodus 33:9; 1 Samuel 12:23; Acts 8:15; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Timothy 4:5; Revelation 5:8
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Sharing bread and fish that God has provided for us is an example of fellowship. The miracle of fellowship is that God has broken down every wall and barrier. Believers are now converted and see themselves and others in God's true agape love knowing that we are all created by God in the Image of God. We are all saved and cleansed by the same precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross. All people are descendants of Adam and Eve and again we are all related in Noah and His wife. There is no longer any color barrier or ethnic barrier we are all one in Jesus. We are all now nobility, children of the King. We have been elevated to the highest standard obtainable to become a relative in the one and only true Royal Family of King Jesus.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 12:13 Say, I (Abram) pray [ask] thee (Sarai), thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.</i>
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Jesus gives thanks, takes the bread and breaks it, distributing the fragments of bread to feed the multitudes. We often think what do I have to offer in fellowship &amp; Church with other Christians. We look at ourselves and know our problems and our shortcomings. We wrongly think that Christians are "perfect" people and that we need to be "perfect" to fellowship. The reality is that in Jesus He is using the fragments of our life to nourish others in fellowship. When we honestly open up our lives to others we are truly fellowshipping and helping others many who are in similar circumstances as we are.
  
God had called Abram from his native country and instructed him to go to the promise land and stay there. There was a famine and Abram
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Then Jesus instructed "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." The truthful fellowship will remain and last even into eternity. There are some things that will transfer with us into Heaven and earthly fellowship is one of those things. The people and Godly relationships we establish here on earth will transfer with us for eternity into Heaven.
disobeyed God Abram removed himself and his wife Sarai from the promise land and went to Egypt. Once in Egypt,
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Abram feared for his life. His wife Sarai was beautiful and Abram feared that he would be killed so someone else
 
could take his wife. Abram, fearing death, asked his wife to tell people she was his sister. This fear of death
 
was a lack of faith in God. Later Abram believed that God would give life by giving them a child and that God
 
would preserve life. When Abram believed God as the giver and protector of life, God then changed the name of
 
Abram to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. Both of them received the "h" the breath letter in their names, signifying
 
that they had received the breath of life from God.
 
  
Prayer means to talk to, as in a conversation of speaking and listening. In order to have a conversation First the presence and attention of both parties needs to be acknowledged.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 14</h2>
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<h3>Miracle 5 - Calming Storms</h3>
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<h4>Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears in Life</h4>
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Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears (John 6:16-21) Jesus calms the disciples during a storm
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Jesus Calms our Fears
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<blockquote>And when evening was now come, His Disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship (boat), and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were
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afraid. But He says unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land where they went. ~ John 6:16-21</blockquote>
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The disciples entered into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, alone and in the dark, the disciples began to experience a great storm "and they were afraid." They were still afraid when Jesus walking on the water approached them and said to them "It is I; be not afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the ship (boat): and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
  
Queen Esther in the Old Testament book of Esther is one of our best examples in how to approach and have a relationship with a king, in our case King Jesus. Esther was the bride of King Ausherus and therefore became the queen. Likewise the Church is the bride of Jesus. In this Biblical example the Church is the bride of the king, the most prized position in the land next to that of being king. Notice though how Esther approaches the king even when she is the queen. It is required even of Esther to request permission to enter into the presence of the king and she can only approach the king if the king holds out the scepter in acceptance and she touches the scepter in recognition of his kingly authority. Likewise for us, we cannot go to God without being invited. The scepter that Jesus holds out to us is the scepter of His cross and we are required to touch His cross in acknowledgement of His Kingly rule and authority. To barge into the presence of the King without an invitation and without touching the King's scepter in submission and recognition of His authority and rule is to enter the presence of the King as an enemy and not as a loyal subject. The penalty for entering the king's presence as an enemy is to be immediately put to death.
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The dark nights and the storms of life will come. It is up to us to look to Jesus and to invite Him into our situation into the very boat of our circumstances. As we look around for Jesus we need to look up to see Jesus, for He is above our problems He is walking on the waters. Jesus is above the very storms that threaten to capsize us.
  
Esther, once in the presence of the King, continued in a cordial relationship with the King. Esther didn't barge in and say as Queen I demand that you take care of my problems. Esther had problems, her entire race of people, the Jews, were about to be annihilated from the earth. The enemy of the Jews was attempting to use the King's authority to wipe Esther and her people out. Esther went to the King and instead of making demands she instead prepared a banquet for her king. Then she went back and prepared another banquet for the King. In the process of this dinning together and communing together, the King took care of the threat to Esther and her people.
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In following Jesus the sea of life will from time to time become stormy, strong winds will blow. These are the very circumstances which Jesus allows into our lives in order for us to call out to Him and to see that He is bigger than any storm. Often these strong winds are nothing less than demonic attacks, but that doesn't matter as Jesus has the authority to calm every storm even satanic and demonic storms. It is important to remember that no matter what direction the wind is blowing from or how strong the storm that Jesus is always in control and He is always with us.
<blockquote>I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ~ Philippians 1:3-6</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which all of you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. ~ Philippians 4:8-9</blockquote>
 
Christianity is not about what you do, it is about whom you know. Getting to know God on a personal individual basis, communicating with King Jesus, is more important than anything else that can ever be accomplished here on earth.
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 17</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 15</h2>
<h3>Predestination</h3>
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<h3>Miracle 6 - Evangelism</h3>
<h4>Predestination is a Prior Determination</h4>
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<h4>Miracle 6 - Mature Christians share the Gospel with others</h4>
Proorizo (G4309) Pro - prior, before; Horizo - "horizon" determine, decree, mark, establish, boundary
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Miracle 6 - Mature Christians Preach (John 9:1-11) Blind eyes opened (Revelation 3:17-18)
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Apostles sent out to non-believers
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<blockquote>And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered,
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Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the Works of God should be made manifest in him. I must Work the Works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [lit. Apostle], which is by interpretation, Sent. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were your eyes opened? He answered and said, A Man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.</blockquote>
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This man has remained blind since his birth. Jesus Informed His disciples that the act of making this man see is a work of God. It is a work that God will be glorified in doing. Vision requires light in order to see, Jesus proclaims Himself to be the light for our sight.
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Jesus made clay from His spit and dust from the ground then Jesus "anointed" the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Clay represents the frail condition of humanity. The Bible says that we are but clay (Job 4:19). This man was blind to the plight of humanity. This man was blind to the sin and suffering that is occurring around him.
  
Verses - Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5-11
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Then Jesus instructed the man to "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, which is by interpretation, Sent." In Greek the pool of Siloam is called the pool of Apostle. Apostle means sent. The Apostles of Jesus are the "sent out ones" But in order to be sent out it is first required to have sight in the light of Jesus and to have our eyes Anointed with the Clay of humanity. Apostles have the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus to Eternal life. Apostles have the Good News and the message is to the sinner that God desires to save them.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Romans 8:29-30 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He glorified.</i>
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We were once blind now that we have been filed with the Holy Spirit read God's word daily, walk according to God's word, share God's word in fellowship with believers, braved the storms of life by calling on Jesus, we can now participate in the 6th miracle of Jesus which is to be a sent out one an Apostle. Jesus said to take the Good News [gospel] of His resurrection into all the world. We do not have to be sent out into the globe to be sent out we can reach our families, friends, communities and co-workers all of them need to experience the love that Jesus has for them. When we have applied God's word to our own life and Christian walk we can now share God's word with others we must be careful to give only God's word and not to pass off our notions as God's word but share only the true bread of Jesus.
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Predestination is a prior determination. For the Christian it has been predetermined that once a person becomes a Christian, the end result will be the person being conformed to the image of Jesus. This is like an artist that with foreknowledge has predetermined the subject of a painting, or a sculptor, predetermining the shape he is going to mold. Predestination is simply knowing in advance what the final design or destination is. The final predestined destination for the believer is to be in heaven with Jesus and to be similar to Jesus. Similar in that we can interact with Jesus.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 16</h2>
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<h3>Miracle 7 - Our Resurrection Life</h3>
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<h4>Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life in the Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ</h4>
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Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life (John 11:1-45) The Resurrection of Lazarus from death to life
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Resurrection of the believer from physical death to eternal life
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<blockquote>Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose
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brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that
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the Son of God might be Glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. Then after that says He to His Disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His Disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone you; and go you thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. These things said He: and after that He says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Nevertheless Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent all of you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow Disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it you. Jesus says unto her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha says unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the Resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her [you are wrong, regarding a persistent ancient myth about a one-time Last Days resurrection], <u>I Am the [continual] Resurrection, and the [continual] Life</u>: he [OT saint] that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he [continually] live: And whosoever [NT saint] lives and believes in Me shall never die. Believe you this [in the Living Christ, instead of the one-time Last Days resurrection myth]? She says unto Him, Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master has come, and calls for you. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have all of you laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself comes to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take all of you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days. Jesus says unto her, Said I not unto you, that, if you would believe, you should see the Glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. And I knew that you hear Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent Me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a cloth. Jesus says unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.</blockquote>
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Lazarus was sick. The Lazarus whom "thou (Jesus) lovest." Jesus replied "This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Then Jesus waited two more days before departing with the disciples on the journey to get to where Lazarus was. By the time Jesus and the disciples arrived, Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for four days. The sisters of Lazarus were in despair that Jesus had arrived too late to heal their now dead brother. Jesus replied that to believe in Him is to never die. Then Jesus called Lazarus by name and the dead Lazarus became alive and walked out of his own grave. Not only did Jesus resurrect Lazarus back to life Jesus instructed that the grave cloths that had Lazarus bound up were to be removed.
  
Destination is the end of a journey, the final destination. Biblically we are only predestined to heaven once we have acknowledged God. We are not predestined to individual fates in our life. In other words God does not predestine certain people to heaven and then others to hell. Our relationship with God is based on our own individual freedom and choice as God has already chosen to die for our sins the choice is now up to us to acknowledge Him. Therefore we have the freedom in our spirit to either acknowledge Jesus is God or to reject who He has proven Himself to be.
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Many people are afraid of death, Jesus has said that to believe in Him is to have the binding cloths of death and the grave permanently removed from us. In Jesus we have both life and freedom.
  
It is only after a person enters into a personal relationship with Jesus that then the person becomes "predestined" to a permanent reunion with Jesus in heaven. There are many factors that affect our daily life. We can make our own decisions and choices, we can let others influence us or make decisions for us. There are also Biblical factors such as we will reap what we sow. In other words, if we do Godly things we will receive Godly things, if we do evil things we will receive evil outcomes.
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It only makes sense that God can resurrect us from death, after all God created each of us and gave us each a life in the first place. What is more difficult, to create life the first time or to give existing life a new body? To God nothing is impossible. The difficult part is not in creating a physical body or next a Spiritual body for us, the difficult part was to remove the sin that separated us from God.
  
God also maintains control "providence" over His creation at all times, as according to God's plan God will permit certain events and He will not permit other events. Our lives are filled with many events, accomplishments and even some failures yet none of these are a part of "predestination" as the Bible defines it but all of them are a part of our normal living conditions in a fallen existence and in the fellowship and company of the living God who oversees His entire creation.
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The final miracle of Jesus that we get to participate in is the glorious resurrection of the believer. Jesus called Lazarus by name just as Jesus knows our name and will call us by name to the first resurrection. The first resurrection is a selective resurrection and is for the believer only the unbelievers will not come forward until the end and that is to be condemned. Jesus said "unbind him and let him go" at the resurrection we will no longer be bound to these bodies of flesh and sin. Jesus has set us free from sin and the penalty of sin which is death. The resurrection is where we realize what God has already done for us at the creation and re-united for us at the cross of Jesus.
<blockquote>Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; Wherein He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the Mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will: ~ Ephesians 1:5-11</blockquote>
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<b>Note:</b> Jesus resurrected other people (Matthew 9:25, Luke 7:15) from death during His 1st Coming. Lazarus was not a special onetime event. The 1st Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:23, Revelation 20:6) since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a continual and ongoing event not a onetime end of days event. That is why the doctrine of Purgatory is completely rejected by Protestantism because people are either currently resurrected, in order, or are awaiting judgment, a State of Purgatory biblically doesn’t exist.
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 18</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 17</h2>
<h3>Priests</h3>
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<h3>8th - Heavenly</h3>
<h4>Priests offer acceptable offerings to God</h4>
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<h4>Where biblically the number 7 often implies an earthly completeness the number 8 often signifies a Heavenly newness</h4>
Hiereus (G2409) sacred, holy, priest, set apart; office of offering acceptable offerings to God from man
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<b>Jesus' 8th Miracle in the Gospel of John</b>
  
Verses - Genesis 14:18; Luke 1:8; Acts 6:7; 1 Peter 2:5-9; Revelation 1:6 5:10 20:6
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The 8th Miracle in the Gospel of John is after the Resurrection of Jesus
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek King Salem (peace &amp; righteousness) brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the most high God.</i>
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Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish - signifying that Jesus will bring in the entirety of the Christian Church Age.
<blockquote>But ye (Church) are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His
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<blockquote>After these [Passion - Holy Week] things Jesus showed Himself again to the Disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and likewise showed He Himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His Disciples. Simon Peter says unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus [after the Resurrection] stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus says unto them, Children, have all of you any food? They answered Him, No. And He said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and all of you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. ~ John 21:1-6</blockquote>
marvelous light: ~ 1 Peter 2:9</blockquote>
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<b>Jesus' 8th Parable in the Gospel of Matthew</b>
Priest, the office (job) designated by God, to offer from man to God acceptable sacrifices, offerings and gifts. Melchizedek is the First mentioned priest in the Bible. Later in the book of Hebrews in the New Testament we learn that Jesus is the High Priest of the Church in the same faculties of the priesthood of Melchizedek. We also learn that Jesus did not take on the role of Priest Himself As with all priests it is an appointed position by God.
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<blockquote>Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed [in the Bible] unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his Treasure
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things New [New Testament] and Old [Old Testament]. ~ Matthew 13:52</blockquote>
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This 8th Kingdom Parable of Jesus Christ seems to imply that a good Bible Scholar (scribe) is to interpret first the New Testament and then using the knowledge of the New Testament is able to more aptly understand the intentions and Biblical applications of the Old Testament.
  
<b>Jesus was appointed (confirmed) a Priest as noted in Psalms 110:4</b>
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<b>Jesus' 8th Seal of Revelation</b>
<blockquote>The LORD hath sworn and will not repent, Thou (Jesus) art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Psalms 110:4</blockquote>
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<blockquote>I Jesus have sent mine Angel to Testify [Seal - 8th Seal] unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit
<blockquote>And they (raptured Church in heaven) sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain (cross) and has redeemed us to God by thy
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and the Bride [Church] say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that hears the
blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on earth. ~ Revelation 5:9-10</blockquote>
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Words of the Prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: And if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book
Each Christian member of the Church is also their own individual (low) priest officiating their own individual altar before God on their own behalf. Each Christian is in interaction with God, offering to God sacrifices, offerings and gifts. In other words, Christians do not go to another (low) priest and then request that priest to go to God for us. The Christian is the priest and we each go to God ourselves, through the (high) priest Jesus.
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of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are Written in this Book. He which Testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. ~ Revelation 22:16-20</blockquote>
<blockquote>Ye also, as lively stones [living confessions of Jesus], are built up a Spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 2:5</blockquote>
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The Book of Revelation seems to have been Sealed with an 8th Seal the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Implied in this 8th Seal is that it has to be activated "Surely I come quickly" (Acts 3:21) before the events of Revelation unfold and that when the Seal is activated then the events of Revelation will quickly unfold.
But just what are these spiritual sacrifices and offerings that we as priests are to offer to God? Some of our offerings to God are, praises, rejoicing, love, faith, hope, patience, involvement, anything we do for God or any interaction from us to God is done in our function as a priest.
 
<blockquote>But I have all and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus [a messenger] the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. ~ Philippians 4:18</blockquote>
 
The Apostle Paul is writing to the Church at Philippi that their giving to the ministry of Paul was an acceptable sacrifice, not just to Paul but also to God.
 
<blockquote>But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. ~ Hebrews 13:16</blockquote>
 
 
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 19</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 18</h2>
<h3>Resurrection</h3>
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<h3>The Bible is Perfect</h3>
<h4>Resurrection is to Live Again</h4>
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<h4>The Christian Bible is Inspired, Infallible and Perfect in leading people to Salvation</h4>
Anastasis (G386) Ana - up; Stao - Stand; stand up again, raise, live again
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<blockquote>Your Word (Scripture) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~ Psalms 119:105</blockquote>
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<blockquote>All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17</blockquote>
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Our Bible as we have noted earlier is a translation from the original Hebrew and Greek languages. During the translation process decisions were made by the translators to favor some doctrines while neglecting others. The fact that some doctrines are more clearly and more precisely translated than others does not make the Bible infallible because on whole the Bible as one whole Document is clear, concise, readable and therefore infallible.
  
Verses - Matthew 27:53; John 5:29 11:25; Acts 1:22; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:42; Philippians 3:10; Revelation 20:5-6
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Taking select verses out of context and neglecting the greater general principal of Salvation only in Jesus Christ does make the instructor suspect but it does not make the Bible infallible.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 22:1-19 .. And He (God) said, Take now thy (Abraham's) son, thy only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and get thee into the land of Moriah</i> {present day temple mount in Jerusalem}; <i>and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell thee.. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the donkey; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship (acknowledge life comes from God) and come again to you.</i>
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The Bible, especially the trustworthy and reliable KJV 1611 version is perfect, at least perfect enough for what we need to study in our given day.
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
Abraham was acknowledging the resurrection ability of God, stating that he and Isaac were both going to return after he had offered Isaac as a sacrifice. The sacrifice was both prophetic and symbolic of the future sacrifice of our Heavenly Father offering His Son Jesus, at the exact same location. The Father offered Jesus His Son so that mankind would be reunited with God.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 19</h2>
<blockquote>The same day came to Him (Jesus) the Sadducees {religious/political leaders}, which say that there is no resurrection... Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err (error), not knowing the Scriptures (Bible), nor the power of God... But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and
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<h3>The 7 Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church</h3>
the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. ~ Matthew 22:23,29,31-32</blockquote>
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<h4>Roman Catholic Sacrament - divine life dispensed to the people</h4>
Resurrection is to stand up again, to come back living from the dead. Jesus has done just that. Jesus suffered and died on the cross and resurrected the third day. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection of Jesus there is no Christianity. The resurrection proves that Jesus is God. It proves that His sacrifice is acceptable and that our own sins are forgiven and it proves that believing Christians will spend eternity with the loving God in heaven.
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The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions."
  
The resurrection of Jesus is the pivotal event that a Christian is required to believe in, in order to be a Christian and become justified. One has to believe in the actual bodily resurrection of Jesus. It is not a theory, nor is it a vague hazy concept, or in a "spiritual" sense that Jesus has resurrected. The same Jesus that was born from the womb of a virgin, died on the cross and was buried in the tomb, is the same Jesus that stood again in full resurrection life. The resurrection of Jesus is the one act of faith (belief) that we as Christians are required to believe. Without a belief in the resurrection of Jesus it is impossible to be a Christian, it is impossible to have a relationship with God. Christianity stands on the wonderful resurrection of Jesus.
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While the Church itself is the universal sacrament of salvation, the sacraments of the Catholic Church in the strict sense are seven sacraments that "touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith". "The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation", although not all are necessary for every individual, and has placed under anathema those who deny it: "If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not ineed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema."
<blockquote>For I (Apostle Paul) delivered unto you First of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: And that He was buried and that He rose again (resurrected) the third day according to the Scriptures: And that, He was seen of Cephas (Disciple Peter), then of the twelve (disciples): After that, He was seen of above five hundred (500+ people) brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain (are still alive) unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James (a 1/2 brother of Jesus, born to Mary and Joseph, he wrote the N.T. book of James); then all of the apostles {it was a requirement of the early Church to see the resurrected Jesus before you could be called an Apostle} and last of all He was seen of me (Apostle Paul) also. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-8</blockquote>
 
It was on the evening of the resurrection of Jesus that the disciples received the baptism of the Holy Spirit by Jesus. We are not baptized and do not receive the baptism from Jesus until the day we First realize that Jesus is indeed risen from the dead, that He is alive! The Gospel Message of the Church is the resurrection of Jesus. The Apostle Paul traveled the known world delivering this message to everyone, from Kings to outcasts.
 
<blockquote>Having therefore obtained help of God, I (Apostle Paul) continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer and that He should be the First that should rise from the dead and should show light unto the people and to the Gentiles (non-Jews). And as he (Paul) spoke thus for himself, Festus [Roman, Governor of Caesarea] said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. ~ Acts 26:22-25</blockquote>
 
The Apostle Paul was on trial for his life in the Roman court system. Paul was testifying before King Agrippa and the King's wife Queen Bernice. Festus the Governor had heard Paul's testimony before about the risen Jesus. But Festus misunderstood and thought Christianity was about a dispute that this man named Jesus was missing. Some thought Jesus to be dead and some thought Jesus to be alive. During the testimony Festus realized for the First time that Christianity is about the resurrection of Jesus and right in the middle of Paul's speaking a startled Festus shouted out that Paul was mad.
 
  
The resurrection of Jesus is a weighty topic to ponder and like Festus we might want to declare this is madness, but the truth is, Paul, the disciples, over 500 apostles, the prophets, the law, the scriptures and the Holy Spirit of God all testify to the Gospel News that Jesus is indeed the Christ and raised from the dead!
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The Church further teaches that the effect of a sacrament comes <i>ex opere operato</i>, by the very fact of being administered, regardless of the personal holiness of the minister administering it. However, a recipient's own lack of proper disposition to receive the grace conveyed can block the effectiveness of the sacrament in that person. The sacraments presuppose faith and through their words and ritual elements, nourish, strengthen and give expression to faith.
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The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the sacraments as follows: "The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.
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There are Seven Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church:
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Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist (Communion), Penance (Repentance - Reconciliation), Anointing of the Sick (including Last Rites), Holy Orders (Ministry - Ordination), and Matrimony (Marriage - Family).
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<b>Note:</b> each of the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church are administered by a Catholic Priest and received by the laity.
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 20</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 20</h2>
<h3>Second Coming</h3>
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<h3>The 2 Sacraments of the Protestant Reformation</h3>
<h4>A Second Coming means that there has already been a First Appearance</h4>
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<h4>Protestant Sacrament - an earthly sign associated with a promise from God</h4>
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Jude v. 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes (2nd Coming) with ten thousands of His saints,</i>
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The Two Reformed (Calvinism) Sacraments
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John Calvin defined a sacrament as an earthly sign associated with a promise from God. He accepted only two sacraments as valid under the new covenant: baptism and the Lord's Supper. He and all Reformed theologians following him completely rejected the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the treatment of the Supper as a sacrifice. He also could not accept the Lutheran doctrine of sacramental union in which Christ was "in, with and under" the elements [Communion bread and wine].
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The Westminster Confession of Faith also limits the sacraments to baptism and the Lord's Supper. Sacraments are denoted "signs and seals of the covenant of grace." Westminster speaks of "a sacramental relation, or a sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified; whence it comes to pass that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other." Baptism is for infant children of believers as well as believers, as it is for all the Reformed except Baptists and some Congregationalists. Baptism admits the baptized into the visible church, and in it all the benefits of Christ are offered to the baptized. On the Lord's supper, Westminster takes a position between Lutheran sacramental union and Zwinglian memorialism: "the Lord's supper really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance as the elements themselves are to their outward senses."
  
Second Coming means that there has already been a First Coming; the Second Coming is a return appearance. Jesus came the First time to redeem mankind back to Him. Jesus specifically came the First time to suffer death on the cross, but not just death; mocking, humiliation, rejection, abuse and a host of other things that the God of Glory would suffer at the hands of His creation. The mystery is not that Jesus would return, the mystery is why did Jesus come the First time. Of course there is only one answer to the First visit of Jesus and that is that Jesus came because He loves us.
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The Two Protestant Sacraments
  
The Second Coming of Jesus is when Jesus returns to establish His throne here on earth, when Jesus reigns and rules as the rightful King and God of the earth. Right now Jesus reigns and rules in the lives of Christians but apart from Christians the world does not acknowledge Jesus as the King.
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Anglican teaching is that "there are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the (Communion) Supper of the Lord", and that "those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction (Ministry), are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel".
<blockquote>And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, after this [after God takes for Himself people from among the gentiles] I (Jesus) will return and will build again the tabernacle [dwelling, throne] of [king] David. ~ Acts 15:15-16</blockquote>
 
Jesus is the physical seed (descendant) of king David, through Mary who is a descendant of David. Jesus a descendant of David is then eligible and is going to rule the earth from the same throne that king David ruled Judah from over 3,000 years ago.
 
  
There are approximately 333 prophecies written in the Old Testament of the Bible predicting the First coming, of Jesus. There are approximately 555 prophecies in the entire Bible (Old and New Testaments), prophesying about the second coming of Jesus creating a total of about 888 prophecies regarding the various comings of Jesus.
+
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
<b>First Coming Prophecies:</b>
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<b>Note:</b> some modern extreme Calvinism teachings are reinterpreting the two Sacraments (Baptism and Communion) to be "Proclaiming of the Gospel of Grace" and "Acts of Service" by an Ordained Pastor/Elder. Notice that the New Reformed Sacraments don't directly benefit the Laity as is the previous case with Roman Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation but instead the New Reformed Sacraments in a sense primarily benefit the Reformed Minister as it is the Minister that according to some customs will receive rewards in Heaven based on a compiling of sacraments on earth. It's also interesting how the New Reformed Sacraments of preaching 'talking' and service 'doing' basically becomes anything that the Reformed Pastor/Elder says or does is a sacrament while anything a non-ordained member does is probably not so much of a holy sacrament. -- The implementation of the New Reformed Sacraments could be a cause of concern regarding an existing pervasive cult mentality.
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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
The Bible's first prophecy given is about the 'First Coming' of Jesus.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 21</h2>
<blockquote>And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this (deceived the woman), thou are cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed (Antichrist) and her seed (Christ - Jesus); it (Jesus) shall bruise thy (Satan's) head [this occurred at the cross of Jesus, <b>John 19:17</b> and He bearing His cross went forth into a place called "the place of the skull".] and thou shalt bruise His heel ... Genesis 3:14-15</blockquote>
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<h3>The 3 Sacraments of Common Christianity</h3>
This among other things, happened to Jesus on the cross where His heel was nailed against the cross and was badly bruised as He supported His body on the heel of His foot. This is a prophesied injury that could not have occurred by stoning or any other means of death. Jesus bruised His heel in order to heal us.
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<h4>Common Christian Sacrament - Sacred interactions between humans and God</h4>
<blockquote>Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass (donkey) and upon a colt the foal of an ass (donkey). ~ Zechariah 9:9</blockquote>
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1. Confession of Faith
<blockquote>Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [Jerusalem was destroyed the First time by the Babylonian army in B.C. 722] unto Messiah (Jesus) the Prince shall be seven weeks {each week is a seven year time period, like a decade of seven years} and threescore (60) and two weeks: {7 + 60 + 2 = 69 weeks; 7 X 69 = 483 years, Jesus was prophesied to come 434 years after the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem and He did.} the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times.. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah (Jesus) be cut off (executed, (H3772)), but not for himself: ~ Daniel 9:25-26</blockquote>
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<blockquote>That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and <b>with the mouth confession is made unto salvation</b>. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus Christ) shall not be ashamed. ~ Romans 10:9-11</blockquote>
It was 7 weeks or 49 years until the Jerusalem temple was rebuilt, occurring after the 70 year Jewish captivity in Babylon was complete. Then there were roughly 169 years until the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was given. After an additional 60 and 2 weeks 434 years the Messiah was to be executed, the cross of Jesus.
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God the Father: <i>No man can come to Me (Jesus), except <b>the Father which hath sent Me draw him</b>: and I will raise him up at the last day.</i> ~ John 6:44
  
There are a total of 70 weeks, 490 years, explained to Daniel the prophet by an angel, 69 of the weeks have been fulfilled the 70th and last week (seven year period) is thought to take place during the time of Revelation.
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2. Baptism - Spirit, Water, Fire
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<blockquote>And Jesus came and spake unto them [Apostles], saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and Teach all Nations, <b>baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son (Jesus), and of the Holy Spirit</b>: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18</blockquote>
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God the Son - Jesus Christ: <i>I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He [Messiah] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: <b>He [Jesus Christ] shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire</b>: Whose fan [i.e. tools] is in His hand, and He will throughly purge [completely empty] His floor [workspace], and gather His wheat [saved] into the garner [building]; but He will burn up the chaff [unsaved] with unquenchable fire.</i> ~ Matthew 3:11-12
  
<b>Second Coming Prophesies:</b>
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3. Communion
<blockquote>Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. ~ Revelation 1:7</blockquote>
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<blockquote>And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and <b>gave it to the disciples</b>, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the New Testament [eternal life], which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ~ Matthew 26:26-28</blockquote>
The Bible's Second Prophecy is given by Enoch of the Old Testament and is about the 'Second Coming' of Jesus.
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God the Holy Spirit: <i>The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [Father], and <b>the Communion of the Holy Spirit</b>, be with you all. Amen.</i> ~ 2 Corinthians 13:14
<blockquote>And <u>Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied</u> of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh <u>with ten thousands of His saints</u>. ~ Jude ver. 14</blockquote>
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<blockquote>The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us not [the water and] the putting away of the filth of the flesh, <u>but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ</u>: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him. ~ 1 Peter 3:21-22</blockquote>
<blockquote>And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son. ~ Zechariah 12:10</blockquote>
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<blockquote>For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord [Jesus Christ] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same [Passover] night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: <b>this do in remembrance of Me</b>. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped [eaten], saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood: <b>this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me</b>. <u>For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death [i.e. and resurrection] till He come</u>. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26</blockquote>
This is an Old Testament prophecy, stating that the Messiah would return and the one whom they "have pierced". Psalms 22 in the Old Testament contains direct quotes of Jesus from the cross. Isaiah Chapter 52:13 - 53:12, is also an Old Testament direct description of the events of the crucifixion of Jesus.
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<b>Note:</b> To participate in any one of the 3 Sacraments is to participate in all of them. An individual confession of faith that Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Son of God is the same profession as Baptism and Communion.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 21</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 22</h2>
<h3>Sin</h3>
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<h3>The Original 3 Solas</h3>
<h4>Sin is our missing God's goal for our life i.e. being defeated</h4>
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<h4>The 3 Solas of the Protestant Reformation</h4>
Hamartia (G266) missing the target, defeated, beaten, looser
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The theology of the Reformers departed from the Roman Catholic Church primarily on the basis of three great principles:
  
Verses - Mark 2:10; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 18:4-5
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• Sole authority of Scripture -- God revealed
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door and unto thee shall be his desire and [but] thou (you) shall rule over him.</i>
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• Justification by faith alone -- man revealed
<blockquote>For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; ~ Romans 3:23</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: ~ Romans 5:12</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? ~ Romans 6:16</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>For sin shall not have dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. ~ Romans 6:14</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. ~ 1 Timothy 1:15</blockquote>
 
Sin is disobedience to God. When we sin against God we have been overcome, we have lost, been defeated, the modern term for sin would be looser. We have lost when we sin, lost the accomplishment, lost the victory and lost the reward. Jesus is not a sinner, Jesus is not a looser, Jesus is victorious and Jesus is a winner. Jesus has allowed us to trade in our loosing position and join Him in His victory over sin and death.
 
  
Sin is disobedience, without at least one rule or law there would be no sin. No rules or no laws would indicate no infractions and therefore no sin. Without any laws there also wouldn't be any obedience. Adam and Eve had at least one law to follow and that law was to not eat from the tree of good &amp; evil. During the time of Moses, God instructed the Jews in about 613 laws.
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• Priesthood of the believer -- interaction between the two
  
Since Jesus has come, all of the laws have been combined into two commandments:
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<b>By Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)</b>
  
We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
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Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) was one of the watchwords of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that Scripture, as contained in the Bible, is the only authority for the Christian in matters of faith, life and conduct. The teachings and traditions of the church are to be completely subordinate to the Scriptures. Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, holds Scripture and Tradition to be of the same inspired Deposit of Faith.
<blockquote>Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the First and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. ~ Matthew 22:37-40</blockquote>
 
This law that we follow is called the Royal Law because Jesus who gave it to us, is also a Royal King, it is the Royal Law coming from the Royal King Jesus.
 
  
A law is different from a rule; a rule is basically a person's decree. Breaking the speed limit is actually breaking a rule. People have decreed a rule for all to follow while driving. When the rule is broken, then there are options for fines and punishments and they vary according to the desires of the people in charge.
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<b>By Faith Alone (Sola Fide)</b>
  
A law on the other hand is God's rule. Laws are a guaranteed cause and effect. There are many laws, including a law of gravity, a law of entropy (anything left alone will decay, not improve), a law of electricity if we break one of these laws a lawyer or a judge cannot lessen the penalty. Touching electricity will cause a shock, falling from a high place will cause a hard landing, etc.
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Sola Fide (by faith alone) was the other watchword of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that we are justified before God (and thus saved) by faith alone, not by anything we do, not by anything the church does for us, and not by faith plus anything else. It was also recognized by the early Reformers that Sola Fide is not rightly understood until it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of Sola Gratia, by grace alone. Hence the Reformers were calling the church back to the basic teaching of Scripture where the apostle Paul states that we are "saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God," Eph. 2:8.
  
The same cause and effect applies to spiritual laws, the end result of sin is death. If you're not sure about this law, try to find someone, anyone over about 120 years old. Very old people do not exist because everyone is under sin and from the law of sin the result is death. There are other laws. God also has the complete (in Jesus) law of liberty, that if we have Jesus we have complete liberty and God has given us the Royal Law to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
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<b>Priesthood of All Believers - 'one priesthood of believers' (Sola Sacerdos)</b>
  
If we follow Jesus and the royal law of Jesus we are guaranteed, by the Law of God, to be in the Family of God.
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The third great principle of the Reformation was the priesthood of all believers. The Scriptures teach that believers are a "holy priesthood," 1 Pet. 2:5. All believers are priests before God through our great high priest Jesus Christ. "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Tim. 2:5. As believers, we all have direct access to God through Christ, there is no necessity for an earthly mediator. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox concept of the priesthood was seen as having no warrant in Scripture, viewed as a perversion and mis-application of the Old Testament Aaronic or Levitical priesthood [the O.T. having been successfully accomplished, completed and fulfilled in the bringing in and establishing of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and His N.T.] which was clearly fulfilled in Christ and done away with by the New Testament.
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 +
<small>Source: Theopedia.com</small>
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<b>Note:</b> the original 3 Solas are comprised of the three necessary and distinct categories; God Revealed (One Scripture), Man Revealed (One Faith), and the interaction between the two (One Priesthood).
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 22</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 23</h2>
<h3>Sleep</h3>
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<h3>The Revised 5 Solas</h3>
<h4>To Sleep in Jesus Christ is to be unharmed by the physical effect of death</h4>
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<h4>The Revised 5 Solas of Reformed Theology</h4>
Koimao (G2837) sleep, slumber, unaware, die, deceased
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The Five solae are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which the Reformers claimed had usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the Pope.
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Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone") -- God Revealed
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Sola fide ("by faith alone") -- God Revealed
  
Verses - Psalms 13:3; Matthew 13:25; 1 Corinthians 15:20-51; Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:14 5:6,7,10
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Sola gratia ("by grace alone") -- God Revealed
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep [i.e. death on the cross] to fall upon Adam and he slept: and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof;</i>
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Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone") -- God Revealed
  
The bride of Adam came from His side, while he was placed in a deep sleep. The bride (Church) marriage with Jesus was made possible by the blood that flowed from the side of Jesus, while He was dead on the cross. God through Adam was acting out how Jesus was to obtain His bride, the Church.
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Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone") -- God Revealed
  
Sleep has several meanings in the Bible. Sleep is referred to as the physical act of sleep. Sleep is also referred as the death of the believer. Just as physical sleep is not harmful to the person, death is not harmful to the believer. Sleep is also used to refer to being unaware, that is unaware of God, unaware of man's sinful predicament and unaware of God's plan for man.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
<blockquote>Wherefore whosoever shall eat this (communion) bread and drink this (communion) cup of the Lord, unworthily shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you and many sleep. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:27-30</blockquote>
 
This sleep does not mean death, it means unaware. Many people in the Church of Corinth were not awake to the relationship and salvation that are available in the living resurrected Jesus.
 
  
It is possible to partake in the Christian practice of communion by eating bread and drinking from the cup, yet not being aware of the gift of God from Jesus that the bread and the cup represent. We are being told in this verse that ritual does not heal us and make us alive to God but that a relationship with Jesus does. We are being encouraged to awake from sleep and to be aware of God and His healing salvation plan for us.
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<b>Note:</b> the Priesthood of All Believers (Sola Sacerdos) has been removed.
<blockquote>But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day (the day of Jesus' return, to rapture the Church) should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep in the night (darkness); and they that be drunken are
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drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day (awake), be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8</blockquote>
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<b>Also Note:</b> although there are now 5 phrases expanding the original 3 [though 3 phrases are new as (Sola Sacerdos) was removed] there is in actuality now only one category. Gone are the two categories of Mankind [faith is from God in this new model] and the Priesthood category has also been removed from this model. The implication that the newer 5 Solas are somehow more complete or more knowledgeable is misleading in that the 5 Solas are really only 5 rephrasings of the one Sola category.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 23</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 24</h2>
<h3>Spirit</h3>
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<h3>The 3 Church Governments</h3>
<h4>Spirit life is Eternal life</h4>
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<h4>Introduction: The 3 Biblical Church Governments - Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational</h4>
Pneuma (G4151) air, breath, spirit, indestructible spirit life, everlasting spirit life
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<b>New Testament -- Three and Four Tiered Fellowships</b>
Hebrew: Ruwach (H7303) breath, life, spirit
 
  
Verses - Genesis 41:8,38; Ecclesiastes 3:21; Joel 2:28,29; Romans 1:9, 8:11; 1 Peter 1:11; Revelation 11:11
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1. Bishops - Pastors and Leaders
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.</i>
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2. Elders - Office-bearers and Teachers {Elders primarily serve the Bishops as the Bishops are to test their theology, get their Biblical instruction and receive leadership guidance primarily from the church Elders.}
<blockquote>And the LORD said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. [This was probably 120 years before the flood of Noah.] ~ Genesis 6:3</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. ~ Job 32:8</blockquote>
 
<b>Where our soul is our self-awareness, our spirit is our awareness of God</b>
 
  
The spirit and soul are not the same thing yet they interact closely.
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3. Deacons - Servants {The Deacons primarily serve the Congregants (internal and external i.e. hospital visits) and inform the Elders regarding the needs and condition of the Congregation.}
<blockquote>For the word of God is quick (alive) and powerful (energy) and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12</blockquote>
 
The Bible refers to the relationship between spirit and soul as being like the relationship between the marrow of the bone and joints that hold the bones together. And like the difference between thoughts and intents. Science cannot tell the point where marrow stops being marrow and starts to become bone because the change from marrow to bone is so gradual and interwoven. Nor can scientist tell where bone starts to become joints, ligaments and tendons, because the change is also interwoven and gradual. ~ Hebrews 4:12
 
  
The Bible does refer to separating the spirit from the soul; this requires that they are not the same item. If they were the same in substance the Bible would probably refer to cleaving (chopping). The Soul is often mentioned encompassing spirit and the spirit is often mentioned encompassing soul so the relationship is close and interwoven yet the two are each unique.
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4. Congregation - Members {Confess a belief in God the Father, The Deity - Virgin Birth and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Ministry of the Holy Ghost, publically confessing Jesus Christ to be the only Son of God, are water baptized and are receiving the bread (unleavened - unsweetened) and the cup (fruit of the vine, grape juice) communion.}
  
Spirit refers to spirit existence; the Bible uses the same word to refer to the Holy Spirit that it uses to refer to human spirits and the same word for angelic spirits and even demonic, unclean spirits.
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<b>The Biblical Pattern of the Three Church Governments</b>
  
<b>The spiritual realm is the true permanent realm:</b>
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The three prominent forms of church government [Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational] all appeal to the Scriptures as well as church tradition for support of their respective positions. Since the Bible is not silent on the subject, key elements in the biblical examples are germane. Greg Bahnsen has noted the following:
  
The physical realm, what we see, touch, taste, smell, feel &amp; hear with our physical bodies is the temporary realm.
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There is no distinction between "elders" and "bishops" (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28); these represent the same office and order.
  
light from dark and light shining into darkness to dispel darkness. Fire, water, breath are all physical elements to represent Spiritual truths, water is cleansing and refreshing, fire is light and through heat judgment, judging between what will last and what will burn.
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Each congregation and center of leadership is to have a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1), not one-man rule.
  
Breath is required for life; humans have only one breath of life in our possession at any one time. We are always one breath away from physical life and physical death. Likewise, a non-believer is only one breath away from repentance and Spiritual life from spiritual death at any one moment.
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These elders have oversight of the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-3) and are thus responsible to rule the congregation (1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). They judge among the brothers (cf. 1 Cor. 6:5) and, in contrast to all the members, they do the rebuking (1 Tim. 5:20). Christ calls them to use the "keys of the kingdom" to bind and loose (Matt.16: 19; 18: 18; John 20: 23)-these keys being the preaching of the gospel (I John I :3), administering of the sacraments (Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 11: 23ff.), and the exercise of discipline (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:1-5).
  
The battle that the Christian faces is a spiritual battle. Satan is a spirit being. It is said that Jesus is on the inside of us trying to be exposed to the outside world while Satan is on the outside of us trying to get inside and direct or possess us. Satan cannot overpower the human spirit so Satan's main tool to control and possess humans is by deception and tricks. Satan tricks humans into thinking what they are doing is right, yet all along it is wrong. It is any con artist's biggest con to so completely fool the victim that they never become aware that they were deceived and therefore never putting the con artist in any danger.
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The elders are assisted in their ministry by "deacons" who give attention to the ministry of mercy (Phil. 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13).
  
The spirit realm is the important realm. We as Christians have to acknowledge the existence of the spirit realm, good and evil and to react appropriately.
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The office-bearers in the church are nominated and elected by the members of the congregation (e.g. Acts 6:5-6), but must also be examined, confirmed and ordained by the present board of elders (Acts 6:6; 13: 1-3; 1 Tim. 4: 14).
<blockquote>But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:23-24</blockquote>
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<blockquote>But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the
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Members of the church have the right to appeal disputed matters in the congregation to their elders for resolution, and if the dispute is with those local elders, to appeal to the regional governing body (the presbytery) or, beyond that, to the whole general assembly (Acts 15). The decisions of the wider governing bodies are authoritative in all the local congregations (Acts 15:22-23, 28, 30; 16:1-5).
works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. ~ 2 Peter 3:10-14</blockquote>
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<small>Source: Theopedia.com</small>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 24</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 25</h2>
<h3>Temptation</h3>
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<h3>Congregational Church</h3>
<h4>Tempting is testing a quality while adding maturity and development</h4>
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<h4>Congregational: Practiced by Jesus and the Apostles - Servant Ministry - Equality</h4>
Periazo (G3985) temporary, tempt, test i.e. Testing for good or for bad qualities
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<b>History of the Congregational Church</b>
Hebrew: Nacah (H5254) test, prove i.e. Testing the quality of the product
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According to the congregationalist theory of the history of the Christian Church, the early disciples of Jesus had little or no organization. Congregationalists believe that in the centuries after the spread of Christianity, attempts to gain influence over all the churches were made by leaders in centers like Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, Byzantium, and Jerusalem. Typically, congregationalists view this supposed accumulation of power to be complete by the year AD 1000, with the bishop of Rome claiming authority over all Christendom, and many churches throughout the western part of Europe submitted to his authority. The churches of eastern Europe, all of Asia, and Egypt likewise had been gathered under a hierarchy of bishops, but retained their independence from the pope, according to this view.
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Congregationalists sympathetically interpret various dissident movements among the western churches, that were suppressed throughout the Middle Ages. By the sixteenth century, political and cultural changes had created a climate in which the Roman church could no longer suppress the protests of men such as John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, and John Calvin against alleged church abuses. These reformers advocated a return to the simplicity and sincerity they saw described in the New Testament Church, which congregationalists believe is fulfilled in the congregationalist model of church governance.
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There are difficulties in identifying a specific beginning because <b>Congregationalism is more easily identified as a movement than a single denomination</b>, given its distinguishing commitment to the complete autonomy of the local congregation. The idea that each distinct congregation fully constitutes the visible Church can, however, be traced to John Wyclif and the Lollard movement which followed after Wyclif was removed from teaching authority in the Roman Catholic Church.
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<b>The early Congregationalists shared with Anabaptist theology the ideal of a pure church</b>, which made adult conversion experience important for full membership in the church, unlike other Reformed churches. As such, the Congregationalists were a reciprocal influence on the Baptists, differing from them in that they counted the children of believers in some sense members of the church unlike the Baptists, because of baptism.
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In England, the Roman system of church government was taken over by the king, Henry VIII, who (because he wanted to legitimize his marriage to Anne Boleyn in 1533 after divorcing his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, without the blessing of the Pope in Rome) influenced Parliament to enact the 1st Act of Supremacy in 1534, which declared the reigning sovereign of England to be 'the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England', an act which is in effect to this day. Robert Browne, Henry Barrow, John Greenwood, John Penry, William Brewster, and John Robinson were notable people who, in defiance of royal command, established churches separate from the Church of England.
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With the demise of the monarchy, the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) was officially declared the statement of faith for both the Church of England (Anglican) and Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). The Congregationalists created their own version of the Westminster Confession called the Savoy Declaration in 1658. The underground churches in England and exiles from Holland provided about 35 out of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower, which sailed from London in July 1620. They became known in history as the Pilgrim Fathers. The early Congregationalists sought to separate themselves from the Anglican church in every possible way and even forwent having church buildings. They met in one another's homes for many years.
  
Verses - Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:3; Mark 12:15; Acts 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; James 1:3; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 3:10
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The Pilgrims sought to establish at Plymouth Colony a Christian fellowship like that which gathered around Jesus Himself. Congregationalists include the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which were organized in union by The Cambridge Platform in 1648. These settlers had John Cotton as their most influential leader, beginning in 1633. Cotton's writings persuaded the Calvinist theologian John Owen to separate from the Presbyterian church, after which he, among others, became very influential in the development of Congregationalist theology and ideas of church government. Jonathan Edwards, considered by some to be the most important theologian ever produced in America, was also a Congregationalist.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt (test) Abraham and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.</i>
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The history of Congregational churches in the United States is closely intertwined with that of American Presbyterianism, especially in New England where Congregationalist influence spilled over into the Presbyterian churches farther west. Some of the first colleges and universities in America, including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Williams, Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Amherst, all were founded by the Congregationalists, as were later Carleton, Grinnell, Oberlin, Beloit, and Pomona.
<blockquote>Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth (test) the hearts and reigns (our determination). ~ Psalms 7:9</blockquote>
 
God is testing the hearts and the determination of man to determine if man desires and is determined to follow God or to do evil.
 
  
Temptation is one of the more interesting aspects for us, being that we are freewill moral agents living in a society with both good and evil influences. As we navigate through life's options and challenges we routinely encounter temptations both to do good and to do evil. A temptation is an external circumstance we encounter that gives us the opportunity to either do good or to do something else. For instance when we see or hear of someone in need we often are tempted to do more for them than is already being done. We are being tempted to do good. A good temptation test would be when God is encouraging us to do the things that He is involved in like helping, giving, mercy, peace and everything that is consistent and compatible with God. We can easily fail these tests by neglecting to do good when goodness is called for.
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<b>Without higher courts [church committees - synods] to ensure doctrinal uniformity among the congregations, Congregationalists have been more diverse</b> than other Reformed churches. Despite the efforts of Calvinists to maintain the dominance of their system, some Congregational churches, especially in the older settlements of New England, gradually developed sentiments toward Arminianism, Unitarianism, Deism, and transcendentalism. By the 1750s, several Congregational preachers were teaching the possibility of universal salvation, an issue that caused considerable conflict among its adherents on the one side and hard-line Calvinists and sympathizers of the First Great Awakening on the other. The first church in America with an openly Unitarian theology was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1785 (although in a former Anglican parish) and by 1800, all but one Congregational church in Boston had Unitarian preachers teaching the strict unity of God, the subordinate nature of Christ, and salvation by character. Harvard University, founded by Congregationalists, itself became a source of Unitarian training. Eventually, the Unitarian churches, prompted by a controversy over a theological appointment to Harvard, separated from Congregationalism in 1825; most of its descendants now hold membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association, founded in the 1960s by a merger with the theologically-similar Universalists, another group dissenting from Calvinist orthodoxy.
<blockquote>Let no man say when he is tempted (tested) I am tempted of God [for evil]: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man [for evil]: ~ James 1:13-14</blockquote>
 
Like good temptations there are also bad temptations (tests). Bad temptations however are not from God they originate instead from ourselves, others, or Satan and his demons. Where a good temptation is to build others and us up bringing us closer to the love of God. A bad temptation is to distance and separate us from God. Satan uses bad temptations in an attempt to distance us from God. Satan also uses them in an attempt to disgrace God. We are created in God's image, we are also God's children. It is a disgrace when instead of living a holy life resembling the characteristics of God our Heavenly Father, we instead act like the devil. Fortunately God is pure holy and undefiled and it is not even possible to disgrace Him. Even more fortunately God has taken the disgrace that we clothe ourselves with and He has wrapped us in His clean garments of righteousness.
 
<blockquote>There hath no temptation (test) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13</blockquote>
 
Jesus, while He was here on earth to do the Father's will, was continually being tempted by Satan. We can learn many things by how Jesus successfully handled His being tempted. For one thing it is not a sin to be tempted, Jesus was tempted yet He was without sin. Sin comes from how we react to the temptation. The Bible actually tells us that it is not possible for Jesus to fall to temptation and sin. We might think that if it wasn't possible for Jesus to sin then He wasn't really tempted, but remember, tempted means a test it does not mean a desire. Jesus had no desire to sin yet He was still tested.
 
  
There are several factors that led to Jesus successfully dealing with temptation by making it no temptation at all and as a result glorifying the Father. Jesus always recognized the truth of the Father. Jesus was not about to trade the truth of the Father for a lie of the devil. Jesus sees sin for what it is, sin is death and sin in its true state of death is not attractive. Jesus kept an eternal focus. Jesus did not get lost in the moment or have any momentary lapses. He kept an eternal heavenly focus, keeping focused on the Father, on the truth of the Bible and trusting in the Father's ability He committed Himself to the Father and kept Himself from falling to temptations.
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Thus, the Congregational churches were at the same time the first example of the American theocratic ideal and also the seed-bed from which American liberal religion and society arose. Even still, many Congregationalists in the several successor denominations to the original tradition consider themselves to be Reformed first, whether of traditional or neo-orthodox persuasion.
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
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In 1931 the Congregational Churches and the General Convention of the Christian Church, a body from the Restoration Movement tradition of the early 19th century, merged to form the Congregational Christian Churches. The Congregationalists were used to a more formal, less evangelistic form of worship than the Christian Church members, who mostly came from rural areas of the South and the Midwest. Both groups, however, <b>held to local autonomy and eschewed binding creedal authority</b>.
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 25</h2>
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In 1957, the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches in the U.S. merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ.
<h3>Theology part 2</h3>
 
<h4>Theology is Logic, Reason and Understanding as applied to our revealed knowledge of God</h4>
 
Theology, Theos - God; Logos - word, study, logical, reason, discuss, write
 
<blockquote>All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, [so we can know God] and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17</blockquote>
 
Theology is the study of God. It is not enough to study God. It is required that we accurately and correctly study God. If we studied President Abraham Lincoln and said he sure was an accomplished violinist, no one ever looked better in a straw hat and those cigarettes he constantly smoked. We would not know Abraham Lincoln because we did not study Abraham Lincoln. To get to know God we have to correctly study God.
 
<blockquote>Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15</blockquote>
 
It isn't fair to someone to misrepresent others. Sometimes we have a teacher, an employer or someone who has totally misrepresented our abilities and who we are. We don't appreciate it. God has asked us to take the time to get to know Him, who He is. If at the end of our physical life we enter into heaven, look around and say, "Who are you? What is this place?" It could be that we should have spent a little more quality time getting to know God and His kingdom.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 26</h2>
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© 2008 by Gene Webster
<h3>TriUnity</h3>
 
<h4>TriUnity the Three in One God</h4>
 
Tri - three; Unity - oneness; three in one
 
  
Triunity is a word used in an attempt to explain the nature of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Each person: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, is an individual, yet each one is the one and only God. The Bible referrers to each one of them as God and as individuals. The Bible also refers to them collectively as the one and only true God. How can God be three separate persons and yet be only one God? The answer to this human dilemma of ours exists in the nature of God. God is Spirit. Physical man does not yet comprehend the Spirit realm and until we enter the Spirit realm of God when we pass on from our physical body and receive a spiritual body we will never comprehend fully the three in one nature of God.
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<small>Source: gene.kellerhouse-webster.com</small>
<blockquote>Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. ~ Galatians 3:20</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: ... ~ James 2:19</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude ver. 25</blockquote>
 
The Triunity concept of God is completely supported in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. <i>Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.</i> The very First opening verse of the Bible instructs us that God is plural in existence. The Hebrew word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohiem (H430). El is one of the Hebrew descriptive names of God. El is used in many Hebrew names Daniel (judged of God, Dani-el); Michael (who is like God, Micha-el) even in city names Beth - El (house of God, Beth-El). The "ohiem" ending in Elohiem is a plural ending. It is like adding an "s" to the end of a word in English. The First mention of God in the First verse of the Bible is instructing us that God is plural in existence.
 
<blockquote>Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4</blockquote>
 
The Hebrew word for one in this verse is Echad (H259). Ehcad means one, like one in unity, or one group. There is a different Hebrew word used for single, or one and only one, exclusively one. The Hebrew word Yachiyd (H3173) has the meaning of single, or only one, exclusive one. Genesis 22:2 And He (God) said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,. The word used for only is Yachiyd. Isaac is not the only child of Abraham, but Isaac is the only exclusive son of Abraham to receive the inheritance of the promise land. The Bible is consistent in reference to the plural Father, Son and Holy Spirit, of triune God.
 
  
Each of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are individually given Biblical credit for eternal existence, being Holy, creating creation, our redemption, being sinned against by man, forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of Jesus and many, many more attributes that can only be attributed to God.
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<b>Note:</b> traditionally the Congregational style of Church participation is successful based directly on the extent that the congregation is informed, educated, motivated and involved.
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 27</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 26</h2>
<h3>Truth</h3>
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<h3>Episcopal - Roman Catholic</h3>
<h4>Truth is the Unchangeable Facts</h4>
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<h4>Episcopal Roman Catholic - Bishops (Popes) and Overseers (Cardinals)</h4>
Greek Aletheia (G225) Truth, true that which exists and cannot change
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<b>Catholic Church Hierarchy</b>
  
Verses - Exodus 18:21; Psalms 25:5; Proverbs 12:19; Matthew 22:16; John 1:14-17 3:21 4:23-24 8:32 14:6 17:17; Revelation 3:7
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The term hierarchy (literally, "holy government") has a variety of related usages in the Catholic Church. There is a hierarchy of truths, which refers to the levels of solemnity of the official teaching of the faith. There is a hierarchical nature of the church, which is a structural feature considered to be of divine institution.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 24:27 And he (Abraham's servant) said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of His mercy and His truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my masters brethren.</i>
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Most commonly, it refers to the ordering of ministry in the church into the threefold order of episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate, which is considered to be divinely instituted and essential to the Church itself. In some cases, it refers only to the magisterium, the official teaching body of the church, the bishops, excluding deacons and presbyters (priests).
<blockquote>For I am the LORD, I change not; ~ Malachi 3:6</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words (Truth) of eternal life. ~ John 6:68</blockquote>
 
Truth is that which exists and cannot change. The truth is the unchangeable fact. There are basic truths in existence. We exist in physical human form on a planet called the earth. It is an undeniable unchangeable truth that we exist. It is also an undeniable unchangeable truth that physical life exists temporally here on earth. The truth is that all who have lived in the past have suffered physical death; they are no longer physically alive with us on earth. Since there are truths in existence there is a truth that explains life and death here on earth.
 
  
There can be many theories about how life originated on earth, why and how we exist and why we die, but there is only one unchangeable truth.
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There is, in addition, an order of precedence of the various offices and ministries, which indicates the precedence or 'rank' of various ministers and offices in the Church for use during liturgies or other ceremonies where such protocol is helpful.
<blockquote>Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word (Bible), then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:31-32</blockquote>
 
Evolution is a fantasy about how life came into existence:
 
  
Evolution claims that everything that exists now came from nothing. But the truth is if you have nothing, you have nothing and nothing will come from nothing. Evolution claims that change in circumstances makes for changes in life.
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The Catholic Church comprised, as of December 31, 2011 of 2,834 dioceses, each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests. Priests may be assisted by deacons. All clergy, including deacons, priests, and bishops, may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only priests and bishops are allowed to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Confirmation (priests may administer this sacraments with prior ecclesiastic approval), and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.
  
Oops, First they say that life came from non-life; the truth is if you have no life then there is no life and no life will come from it. They then say that life once it sprang into existence can now change and adapt. First it took millions of years for life to adapt and for humans to figure out to grow thumbs. Now evolutionist say it actually took billions and billions of years for life to spring and for our thumbs to grow. Oops, now evolutionists say that it might have taken millions or billions of years they don't know but they think they are sure that we got our thumbs from space aliens. Space
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<b>The Pope - The Bishop of Rome</b>
aliens who themselves sprang into existence from nothing. As long as the explanations and stories change they are not the truth. The truth is we are here and we do exist and only one truth will explain the truth of our existence.
 
  
The Bible is the truth. The Bible hasn't changed. The Bible explains creation, life, death, past, present, future. The Bible is complete and unchangeable. The Bible is the truth that matches with the truth of human existence and human death.
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Catholics believe Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessors, is the Vicar of Christ and 265th successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and therefore the leader of all Catholics and head of the Catholic Church.
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What most obviously distinguishes the Catholic Church from other Christian bodies is the link between its members and the Pope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council’s document Lumen Gentium, states: "The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’"
  
Universalism is a term used for a school of thought that unchangeable truth does not exist so we can just make up our own truth and that is truth. Someone says I think we evolved from monkeys and that is their truth, another says I think we evolved from space aliens and that also becomes truth and neither is wrong they are entitled to their own set of truths. The only unacceptable truth to the Universalist is that God exists because if God exists then He is the one unchangeable truth, so man has rejected God in order to accept their own version of truth. Man's version of truth cannot solve the mystery of existence nor can it solve the problem of death.
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The Pope is referred to as the Vicar of Christ and the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. He may sometimes also use the less formal title of "Servant of the Servants of God". Applying to him the term "absolute" would, however, give a false impression: he is not free to issue decrees at whim. Instead, his charge forces on him awareness that he, even more than other bishops, is "tied", bound, by an obligation of strictest fidelity to the teaching transmitted down the centuries in increasingly developed form within the Church (though he himself is the final arbiter of what constitutes fidelity to those teachings).
<blockquote>Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. ~ John 14:6</blockquote>
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In Catholic theology, the bishop who is the successor of Saint Peter in the episcopal see of Rome is viewed as the head of the College of Bishops, as Saint Peter was the chief of the Apostles; and communion with him is considered essential for the existence of the College of Bishops. He has direct authority, not an authority mediated through other bishops, over the whole Church.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 28</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 27</h2>
<h3>Unpardonable Sin</h3>
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<h3>Episcopal - Anglican</h3>
<h4>Unpardonable Sin (unbelief)</h4>
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<h4>Episcopal Anglican - Bishops and Overseers</h4>
<blockquote>If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. <u>There is a sin unto death</u>: I do not say that he should pray for it. ~ 1 John 5:16</blockquote>
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<b>Anglican History</b>
Unpardonable sin or sin unto death (separation from God) is the sin of not acknowledging God as God. God has given each person the spiritual freedom to acknowledge God and God has also given each person the spiritual freedom not to acknowledge Him. We are instructed not to pray for sin unto death. If God were to over-ride the human choice then it wouldn't be a choice. This doesn't mean that God is sitting back hoping people will acknowledge Him. God is actively busy wooing, courting and calling us into a relationship with Him. God is also actively arranging the circumstances of our life to bring us into a relationship with Him and once we are in a relationship, to bring us into a closer relationship with Him.
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<blockquote>But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the glorious gospel of Christ, who is
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The name "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican church exists worldwide. It began in the sixth century in England, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Britain to bring a more disciplined Apostolic succession to the Celtic Christians. The Anglican Church evolved as part of the Roman church, but the Celtic influence was folded back into the Roman portion of the church in many ways, perhaps most notably by Charlemagne's tutor Aidan. The Anglican church was spread worldwide first by English colonization and then by English-speaking missionaries.
the image of God, should shine unto them. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-4</blockquote>
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We are instructed not to pray for God to overlook unbelief. If God saved people who didn't believe, then the cross of Jesus would not be necessary, for redemption. The Bible tells us that there are several reasons for unbelief. One is that Satan has blinded the mind of the person in unbelief. The Bible does tell us to pray to bind the works of Satan, so we pray that people will acknowledge God and we can also pray that Satan will be kept away (bound) from interfering in the decisions and choices of the individual, that the individual will be unhindered by Satan and allowed to freely acknowledge Jesus.
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The Anglican church, although it has apostolic succession, is separate from the Roman church. The history of Christianity has produced numerous notable separations. In 1054 came the first major split from Roman administration of the church, when the Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman split apart.
  
We do not pray for God to go against His nature or to overlook sin apart from the cross of Jesus Christ.
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The conflict of authority in England between church and state certainly dates back to the arrival of Augustine, and has simmered for many centuries. The murder of Thomas a Becket was one of the more famous episodes of this conflict. The Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, contains 63 points; the very first point is a declaration that the English church is independent of its government.
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The beginning of the sixteenth century showed significant discontent with the Roman church. Martin Luther's famous 95 Theses were nailed to the door of the church in Wittenburg in 1517, and news of this challenge had certainly reached England when, 20 years later, the Anglican branch of the church formally challenged the authority of Rome. Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and abbeys in 1536 AD.
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The newly-separated Anglican church was given some formal structure in 1562 during the reign of Elizabeth I. That structure is not a management process or governing organization. What binds us together is not common administration but shared tradition and shared belief. Our belief is written down in the Holy Bible and the Articles of Religion; our tradition is in part embodied in our Book of Common Prayer. The first Book of Common Prayer was produced in 1549. In it the Latin liturgy was radically simplified and translated into English, and for the first time a single 'use' was enforced throughout England. It has been revised numerous times since then, the most significant revision being the first, in 1552. All revisions since then, before the modern era, were very conservative revisions. The 1662 English Book of Common Prayer forms the historical basis for most Anglican liturgy around the world. While several countries have their own prayer books, all borrow heavily from the English tradition rooted in Cranmer's original work [Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 - 21 March 1556 AD) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury - Wiki.com].
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<small>Source: Anglican.org</small>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
  
<h2 class="chapter-title">October 29</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 28</h2>
<h3>Warfare</h3>
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<h3>Presbyterian - Reformed</h3>
<h4>Warfare is to engage the opposition</h4>
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<h4>Presbyterian - Elders and Leaders (Pastors)</h4>
Strateuomai (G4754) Stratos - army, encampment, array; battle, opposing views, to serve in military campaign, duties and functions involved with warfare
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<b>Presbyterian Church History</b>
  
Verses - 2 Corinthians 10:3; 1 Timothy 1:18; James 4:1-2; 1 Peter 2:11; Revelation 19:19
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In western Europe, the authority of the Roman Catholic Church remained largely unquestioned until the Renaissance in the 15th century. The invention of the printing press in Germany around 1440 AD made it possible for common people to have access to printed materials including the Bible. This, in turn, enabled many to discover religious thinkers who had begun to question the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. One such figure, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor, started the movement known as the Protestant Reformation when he posted a list of 95 grievances against the Roman Catholic Church on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517 AD. Some 20 years later, a French/Swiss theologian, John Calvin, further refined the reformers' new way of thinking about the nature of God and God's relationship with humanity in what came to be known as Reformed theology. John Knox, a Scotsman who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, took Calvin's teachings back to Scotland. Other Reformed communities developed in England, Holland and France. The Presbyterian church traces its ancestry back primarily to Scotland and England.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 14:2 That these made war ...</i>
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<small>Source: PresbyterianMission.org</small>
<blockquote>This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: ~ 1 Timothy 1:18-19</blockquote>
 
Warfare is to engage the opposition in a life and death struggle. Warfare is used in the Bible to illustrate the life and death nature of the struggle. There are many struggles people face, many of which involve Spiritual life and death.
 
<blockquote>For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5</blockquote>
 
<b>Warfare: Believer</b>
 
  
Our own old sin nature, referred to as flesh, wars against our new Spirit nature. This is a condition that is unique to the Spirit filled Christian believer. Only a Born Again Christian has this inner conflict and warfare. We want to do what is right and pleasing to God, yet we still at times do the wrong thing. This is the warfare of the Christian desiring to please God, yet engaging in a conflict within ourselves between right and wrong. Occasionally we do what is wrong but we are always concerned about our actions between right and wrong. This warfare does not cease until we physically die and are no longer in a physical sinful body.
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Reformed churches are joined by historical lineage and certain beliefs rather than by a way of structuring their communities and churches. They are churches that developed out of the Swiss Reformation founded by Huldrych Zwingli in Zurich and John Calvin in Geneva. Like other Protestants they state a belief that salvation is through faith alone, and a belief that the Bible is the final authority for matters of belief and practice. In contrast to other Protestant Christians they are more likely to hold to the doctrine of predestination, though contemporary Reformed scholarship has helped them to understand this in the light of the grace of Christ. They are more likely to believe that Christ is present spiritually or symbolically in the Lord's Supper than physically.
<blockquote>From whence (where) come wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence (from), even of your lusts that war in your members. ~ James 4:1</blockquote>
 
<b>Warfare: Non-Believer</b>
 
  
The worldly non-Christian person also has desires that they would like fulfilled but they are carnal desires and not Godly desires. For instance the unbelieving person has a strong desire for a certain food or certain music. As soon as the food or music is sought out their warfare has ended. However, their desires are only momentarily fulfilled. Jesus said anyone who drinks from the worldly well will thirst again. Warfare to a Non-Believe is self-gratification. Their desire is to meet their own needs First and therefore they do not have the warfare of a Christian who truly, Spiritually desires to deny self and live for God.
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Reformed and Presbyterian churches are somewhat distinguished from Lutheran and Anglican (Episcopal) churches in the way they organize their communities. This derives from Zwingli's principle that what is not expressed in scripture is not allowed (as opposed to Luther's principle that what is not forbidden in scripture is allowed). In some ways Zwingli and Calvin are more radical reformers than Luther, especially when it came to Church structure. They, and Reformed Christians who followed them, tried to set up their churches on the model they found of the early Church in scripture. In general Reformed churches reject a model of organization based on bishops (Lutherans, Anglicans, and some Wesleyans continued this model) in favor of a structure based on elders and deacons. ... Written by: Ted Vial
<blockquote>Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; ~ 1 Peter 2:11</blockquote>
 
<b>Warfare: Spiritual</b>
 
  
True warfare is spiritual. Humans have spiritual opposition from spirit powers that want to keep us from a relationship with God. Warfare also manifests in the physical realm, but it is primarily a spiritual existence. If we dislike someone and physically argue with them, it is because we spiritually dislike that person. It is a spiritual condition that is manifesting in a physical argument. Therefore, the remedy to warfare is Spiritual. God oversees the spirit realm and we are to conduct our lives according to God's Spiritual principals of prayer, Bible devotions, Christian fellowship and Christian service.
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<small>Source: Patheos.com</small>
<blockquote>Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood [humans], but against principalities [demonic spirits], against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. ~ Ephesians 6:10-12</blockquote>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 30</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 29</h2>
<h3>Worship</h3>
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<h3>Emergent Church</h3>
<h4>Worship is to Acknowledge where Life comes from</h4>
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<h4>The Modern Emergent Progressive Church Movement</h4>
Proskuneo (G4352) Pros - towards, Koun - kiss lit. Like dog licking a masters hand, reverence, adore, Worship.
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<b>What is the Emerging Church?</b>
Hebrew: Shachah (H7812) depress, bow down, prostrate
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The Emerging Church is a movement that claims to be Christian. The term 'Emerging Church' is used to describe a broad, controversial movement that seeks to use culturally sensitive approaches to reach the postmodern, un-churched population with the Christian message. Some Emerging Churches might use props such as candles, statues, and incense along with poems, open mics, and videos, etc. EC services are sometimes extremely informal, while others are more formal.
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Emerging Churches seek to reach the lost by focusing on relationships and developing a "story," a "journey of life" that is expressed through the "narrative" of learning. These words and others are often used by emerging teachers in describing their religious experience. Other terms sometimes used are "reimagine," "tribe," "story of Jesus," "deconstruction," etc. There is sometimes an ambiguous, <b>feelings-oriented desire to experience God</b> and also share in the lives of people as they seek to find God in their way. Some Emerging Churches are inclusivistic (those outside of Christianity will be saved), while others are not. Some Emerging Churches are environmentally focused, while others concentrate on local issues. Some downplay doctrine, reinterpret creeds, and de-emphasize tradition, while others hold to them. Obviously, it is difficult to define precisely what is emerging and what is not.
  
Verses - Exodus 34:14; Psalms 95:6; Deuteronomy 8:19; John 14:23; Philippians 3:3; Revelation 19:10 22:9
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Seeker-sensitive churches are similar to Emerging Churches except that Emerging Churches are sometimes lax doctrinally, where seeker-sensitive churches, which sometimes are lax in presenting the gospel, hold nonetheless to orthodox theology. Seeker-sensitive churches try to meet people's needs through programs, where Emerging Churches do this by investing time in people's lives. Seeker churches tend to focus on people in their thirties and up where Emerging Churches tend to reach people in their teens to thirties. But, some areas of the Emerging Church are so similar to seeker-sensitive churches that it is hard to tell the difference. So how do you distinguish between the two? Generally, a church is emerging if it seeks to reach those lost in the post-modern culture, rejects doctrinal absolutes, and, of course, proclaims itself to be emerging.
  
<b>First OT Use:</b> <i>Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the donkey; and I and the lad (Isaac) will go yonder and worship and come to you again.</i>
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<b>No Official Emerging Church or Doctrine</b>
  
<b>First NT Use:</b> <i>Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him.</i>
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There is no official single Emerging Church or Emerging Church doctrine so there is no unified structure to examine. But, there are a lot of Emerging Church writings. The more I read them, the more concerned I become. It is apparent that the movement as a whole is off-center and is sacrificing time-honored biblical truths for a let's-get-along kind of attitude.
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Remember, the Emerging Church is, in part, reacting against the modernistic, absolute structure of stale traditional churches that want people to convert to their style of worship and time-frozen culture. Instead, Emerging Church members believe it is necessary to establish relationships with people, going where they are, meeting them on their level, and then later presenting doctrinal truths after they have become part of their lives. I must admit, this is what Jesus did. He was involved with the lives of the disciples, interacted with them, grew very close to them and taught them by example, not just propositionally.
  
The word worship is a reverence for the one who has given us life and created us. Worship means acknowledging where life comes from. To worship the sun is to say that the sun is responsible for creating and sustaining life. other people worship ancestors, science, evolution, thinking that this has caused and sustained their existence.
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<b>Conclusion</b>
  
Abraham was on his way to take Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice {acting out prophetically, the crucifixion of Jesus; a Father giving his beloved only son} when Abraham told the young men that he and the lad (Isaac) would be back. Abraham was acknowledging (worshiping) that God was going to give life to and sustain Isaac. Isaac was the only child between Abraham and Sarah making Isaac the child of promise. God had promised multitudes of descendants from Isaac and also that Jesus the redeemer would eventually come from the lineage of Isaac. Both of these promises from God could only be fulfilled by Isaac remaining physically alive and having a child.
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Even though there are some pastors in the Emerging Church Movement that are true to scripture, the movement as a whole needs to stick to the essentials of the Christian faith, otherwise, in spite of its proclamation to renew Christianity afresh, it will become <b>stale and heretical</b>. No one, no movement of people should ever be so arrogant as to say that they can't fall into error -- even though they seek truth. As I've always said, if you want to mess something up, all you need is two things: people and time. The Emerging Church movement has much good in it, but it also has a good bit of bad already within its doors. by Matt Slick
  
God does not allow us to worship anything other than God, because only God created and sustains life. For this reason we do not worship Satan or angels or anything else. Satan did not create us in fact he comes to kill, steal and destroy. To worship anything other than God is to be misinformed and deceived.
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<small>Source: carm.org</small>
<blockquote>Come let us Worship and bow down: let us kneel before <u>the LORD our maker</u>. ~ Psalms 95:6</blockquote>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">October 31</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">November 30</h2>
<h3>Yahweh God</h3>
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<h3>Cults</h3>
<h4>Yahweh God is the Eternal, Self-Existing, One</h4>
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<h4>Cults - Controlling and Manipulating</h4>
Hebrew: - Yahweh (H3068); God, Self-Existing One, Eternal God, LORD
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<b>The Marks of a Cult</b>
Greek - Theos (G2316); God, Self-Existing One, Eternal God
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English - God; Self-Existing One, Eternal God, Almighty One
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1. Extrabiblical Authority: All cults deny what God says in His Word as true. Cults have shifted their theological point of authority away from God's full and final written Word, the Bible, to their own unique, self-promoting opinions about the Bible; they generally will use parts of the Bible but will have their own unique scripture which is considered to be superior to the Bible. While some cult groups give token respect for the Bible and go through the motions of accepting the authority of Scripture, in reality, they honor the group's or leader's novel interpretation of Scripture as normative.
Latin - Jehovah; God, Self-Existing One, Eternal God
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2. Works Salvation/Legalism: Cults teach that eternal life depends upon something other than the Atonement; i.e., faith in the atoning, finished work of Christ on the cross is deemed not to be sufficient (usually replaced with human works and human responsibility). Rather than relying on the grace of God alone for salvation, the salvation message of the cults always boils down to required obedience to, or abstention from, certain obligations and practices (some even including obedience to the Old Testament law).
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3. No Assurance of Salvation: The issue of a cult member's salvation is never settled, but is constantly affected by the changing circumstances of life; in this way, cult leaders are able to produce continued obligation and spiritual bondage, rather than spiritual freedom.
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4. Guru-Type Leader/Modern Prophet: The cult leader is looked to as the infallible interpreter of Scripture, specially appointed by God to be a special saint, guru, or contemporary messiah, and thereby, has divine authority that must not be violated. Cultists almost always quote their leader rather than the Bible. The cult's adherents often expound the virtues of the founders and seek to cover the founder's sins and wickedness.
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5. Vacillating, Ambiguous Doctrines/Spiritual Deception: In order to gain favor with the public, and thereby aid in the recruitment of new members, cult "doctrine" tends to be characterized by many false or deceptive claims concerning the cult's true spiritual beliefs (e.g., Mormons are not quick to reveal their belief that God was a man, who has now become the God of planet Earth).
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6. Exclusivity from/Denunciation of Other Groups: Each cult group, regardless of what other doctrines are taught, will all have this one common idea -- "The Only True Church Syndrome." The members of each specific organization have been taught that their church, organization, or community, is the only true group and that all other groups are false. The group's leaders will explain that it is impossible to serve God without being a member of the specific group. Moreover, when the cult leader announces himself as the true "Messiah," all others are declared to be dishonest, deceitful, and deluded, and must be put down; alternative views are denounced as being satanic and corrupt. Persecution is welcomed, and even glorified in, as "evidence" that they are being persecuted for righteousness sake. Thus, if a member decides to leave the group, they have been told that they are not simply leaving an organization, but rather they are leaving God and His only true organization. Hence, for a member of a cult who has been in a group for any length of time, the action of leaving the group is much more difficult than what most Christians understand. To leave the group is, in the minds of the cult member, tantamount to leaving God.
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7. Claims of Special Discoveries/Additional Revelation: Acceptance of new, contemporary, continual revelations that either deny the Bible or are allowed to explain it. The fundamental characteristic of Christianity is that it is historical, not dependent upon private knowledge and secret, unconfirmable relationships, while the almost universal basis of cult religion is the claimed exclusive revelation that one person has supposedly received. Rather than conforming to Biblical rules of evidence (2 Cor. 13:1), cult leader revelations almost always emanate from hallucinations, visions, dreams, private discoveries, etc. These new revelations often become codified as official written "scripture" of the cults (e.g., The Book of Mormon), and are considered as valid as that of the apostles (and even more relevant because they are given in these end times).
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8. Defective Christology: Cults always have a false view of the nature of the Person of Jesus Christ; a cult will usually deny the true deity of Christ, His true humanity, His true origin, or the true union of the two natures in one Person.
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9. Defective "Nature of Man": Most cults do not see man as an immortal being; instead they see him either as an animal without a soul or as a being which is being perfected to the point of becoming a god. They usually do not see man as a spirit clothed in a body of flesh awaiting the redemption of body and soul.
  
Verses - Genesis 3:9; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 35:27 146:1; Proverbs 1:7; Isaiah 53:6-10; Jeremiah 29:11
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10. Out-Of-Context Scripture Use as Proof-Texts/Segmented Biblical Attention: Cults tend to focus on one verse or passage of the Bible to the exclusion of others, and without regard for the context in which Scripture is given (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:29 used by Mormons to justify baptism for the dead). In addition, cults have made an art form out of using Christian terminology, all the while pouring out their own meanings into the words.
  
<b>First Use:</b> <i>Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the <b>LORD God</b> made the earth and the heavens,</i>
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11. Erroneous Doctrines Concerning Life After Death and Retribution: Covering the gamut from soul sleep to annihilationism to purgatory to universalism to the progression to godhood, cults invariably deny the existence of a final judgment of, and a final "resting" place for, the unrighteous.
  
Yahweh is the name that God calls Himself, revealing that God is Self-Existing, that God relies on no one else and nothing else to exist, also revealing that God is eternal, He has always existed and will always continue to exist. God uses the names He allows us to call Him to reveal Himself to us. The First name mentioned for God in the Bible is Elohiem. El meaning God and Ohiem being a plural ending, confirming the plurality of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; the triune (3 in 1) God. Later God refers to Himself as Adonai, also translated Lord, revealing that God is the owner of the universe. God continues and reveals Himself in the name of ElShadi - meaning provider. Shadi actually means breast and El meaning God. God is revealing that He has everything necessary to sustain our lives.
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12. Entangling Organization Structure: The less truth a movement represents, the more highly it seems to have to organize itself; the absence of truth seems to make necessary the application of the bonds of fear. Cults often demand total commitment by their converts to an organizational involvement that entangles them in a complicated set of human restrictions, giving the impression of passionate and often irrational devotion to a cause.
<blockquote>Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain [empty - meaningless]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain. ~ Exodus 20:7</blockquote>
 
God gave us Ten Commandments [commandments not suggestions] to follow. To not take God's name in vain is the third of God's ten commandments. Vanity means emptiness, in Hebrew it actually means "soap bubble" as a soap bubble is empty and temporary. No one builds a house on a soap bubble. A soap bubble is vanity. We make God, to be vanity to ourselves, when we do not give substance to His name.
 
<blockquote>After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven Holy be Thy Name. [referring to all the Names that God reveals Himself to us] ~ Matthew 6:9</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>He (Jesus) saith unto them (disciples), but whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. ~ Matthew 16:15-16</blockquote>
 
It is important that we accurately say who God is.
 
  
The names of God are various aspects that we can know about God. We can know God as our provider, our creator, our comforter, our Savior, our leader, our Holy God.
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13. Financial Exploitation: The cultic practitioner strongly implies that money contributed to the cause will earn the contributor numerous gifts, powers, and abilities, and in many cases, outright salvation.
  
The more we know about God the more we know Him.
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14. Pseudomystical/Spiritistic/Occultic Influence: Occult influence is many times found in either the origin of the group and/or in its current practices.
  
For instance, for a long time I knew that God exists yet I always thought that God existed far away. I thought Heaven was some vague place far away. I would look out at the distant horizon and think, "I'll bet God is out there" but I couldn't comprehend a God that would be close to me. Then one day while reading the Bible I read Romans 10:6-8.
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<small>Source: rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/marksof.htm</small>
<blockquote>But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thy heart, who shall ascend into Heaven? That is to bring Christ down from above: Or, who shall descend into the deep? That is to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is the Word of Faith, which we preach. ~ Romans 10:6-8</blockquote>
 
We can know God as our creator, as our redeemer; yet fail to know Him as our constant companion, as our leader, our friend and our healer and yet that my friend is our supreme joy as people to get to know Jesus the wonderful God of Eternal life!
 
 
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Revision as of 18:33, 18 October 2016

Contents

November - The Christian Church, Harvest

November 1

The 7 Churches

Introduction: The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ

There is a structure and a teaching style that is employed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments revealing that although written over time and by several different people the Bible really has only one true author and that author is God.

The Parables of Jesus (Matthew 13:1-50) are from the teaching of Jesus during His time on earth. The letters of the Apostle Paul (New Testament) are from a representative of Jesus and finally the 7 letters of Revelation (Revelation 2:1-3:22) are teaching and instruction from the resurrected Jesus Christ, the three teaching groups span three timeframes with the one unique message of Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom.

The 7 Church Letters of Revelation from Jesus Christ

1. The Church at Ephesus -- The teaching instructing Church 2. The Church at Smyrna -- The martyred persecuted Church 3. The Church at Pergamos -- The worldly government Church 4. The Church at Thyatira -- The Roman Catholic Church 5. The Church at Sardis -- The Protestant Church 6. The Church at Philadelphia -- The friendship (Evangelical) Church 7. The Church at Laodicea -- The modern comfortable (Emergent) Church

The Matthew Parables of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:1-50) Instructions from Jesus Christ to the 7 Churches

1. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower 2. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares 3. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant) 4. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven 5. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure 6. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price 7. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net

The New Testament Church Epistles of the Apostle Paul Instructions and Guidance to the 7 Churches

1. The Church at Ephesus --> 1st & 2nd Corinthians --> The Parable of the Sower 2. The Church at Smyrna --> Galatians --> The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares 3. The Church at Pergamos --> Ephesians --> The Parable of A Mustard Seed 4. The Church at Thyatira --> Philippians --> The Parable of Leaven 5. The Church at Sardis --> Colossians --> The Parable of A Buried Treasure 6. The Church at Philadelphia --> Romans & Hebrews --> The Parable of The Pearl of Great Price 7. The Church at Laodicea --> 1st & 2nd Thessalonians --> The Parable of A Large Net

Source: BasicChristian.org

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November 2

Church at Ephesus

The Church at Ephesus -- The teaching and instructing Church - Predominant in the Early Church Age

Church #1 Revelation 2:1-7 Ephesus (desirable) desire to follow and please Jesus Christ The Bible smart, but too busy to Love Church

Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus write; These things says He that holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are Apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: And have borne, and have patience, and for My Name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. ~ Revelation 2:1-7

Ephesus is the first Church group to be addressed by Jesus in this series of 7 letters that the disciple John wrote as dictated by the resurrected Jesus. Ephesus is a Church strong in the word of God. The Church was established by Paul the Apostle who spent three years at Ephesus. The Church was well known and well visited by the other apostles and disciples. The epistle letter "The book of Ephesians" that the Apostle Paul wrote and it is now in our Bible and carries the title name of "Ephesians" was a circular letter intended for all of the churches to read and distribute. The Ephesians title remained on the book we have in the Bible although the letter may have originally been known as the letter to the Church at Laodicea.

It is likely that the book in the Bible that we call "Ephesians" originated as the letter (epistle) from Laodicea. The early Churches distributed the letters from the Apostles and the Disciples to each Church. A letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Colossus was intended to be distributed to all of the Churches. Today the letters are distributed to all of the Churches via the Bible. As the Bible was assembled they used the letters (epistles) that they had on hand at the time and if a letter happened to be addressed to the Ephesians then that address title remained when the Bible was published.

And when this epistle (Colossians) is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. ~ Colossians 4:16

Church history has it that the disciple John who Jesus spoke to in order to write the Book of Revelation was heavily involved at Ephesus and later John became the overseer of the Church. With the Disciple John at Ephesus, Christian history also records that Mary the mother of Jesus was then also at the Church. While on the cross Jesus spoke to Mary and to John and Jesus told John to look after Mary. The heavyweights of the early Church were at and associated with the Church of Ephesus a Church that Jesus is now critiquing. Jesus commends the Church that they have done a good job and do not allow evil to be in their presence and that they test the people who say they are apostles to see if they do have a relationship with Jesus. The Church has also labored long and been patient and continues to desire and look for the return of Jesus. After telling the Church what they have done that is good Jesus now instructs them in the areas where they need to change and improve. Jesus points out that the Church has lost sight of the first love relationship they are supposed to have with Him and with one another. Jesus reveals that He knows the heart of the Church and that works without love are empty. Jesus instructs the Church to "Repent" to change their ways and to get back to the most important part of the Christian walk, which is having a loving relationship with God. This is such a serious matter that Jesus says He will remove His candle from among them, in other words without love the Church would not be able to function as light to the world and without love the Church would not have the presence of Jesus. Sadly as history tells us Jesus did have to remove His candle from the Church at Ephesus. The Church that started out so strong for Jesus does not exist today. Today there is not one single Church in the area of Ephesus as Ephesus is now a dominant Muslim area. This is a strong warning for us as the Church at Ephesus that had so many people directly involved with the physical life of Jesus, even Mary herself, and yet it is a Church that lost sight of a loving relationship with God.

As we study the letter from Jesus to the Church at Ephesus what application is there for us today. The Church at Ephesus was a strong doctorial based Church they knew what they believed and they knew why they believed it but it is not enough to know the word of God we have to also practice it and live it. The Bible says that God is love we have to do more than know it we have to live it ourselves. The Bible especially the New Testament is a collection of letters and writings, so many with so much information that at times it is hard to know which letter to read to address the problems in our lives. Ephesus is the first Church that Jesus addressed and in the New Testament the book of Corinthians is the first Church addressed by name. If we read the letter of Jesus to Ephesus and then read the two letters to the Church at Corinth we will get a good idea of how to change and repent from the errors that Jesus spoke about to Ephesus. For instance Jesus instructed them in the need to return to their first love, Corinthians chapter 13 is the definition of love, after reading 1st and 2nd Corinthians we will have no doubt about what God's standard of love is. Also of note 1 Corinthians deals with a man who is committing a terrible sin and tells how to remove him from Church fellowship but then 2nd Corinthians instructs the Church that if a sinner has repented to let them back in and to treat them as a brother in other words to love them. We can consider Jesus' letter to Ephesians and 1st & 2nd Corinthians to be companion books and very useful for guidance and instruction.

Since in our modern mobile times we can easily seek out and locate a Church to our liking we will usually pick a Church to attend that is like us. Our Church consisting of people like us will have a certain personality and dominant trait. This church has the dominant trait of correct doctrine over the love of other people and over their love for God this is something to be repented from but still they are to continue in all the good that the Church is doing.

1. 1st & 2nd Corinthians

Love "The more excellent way" the epistle of 1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13 lists the more excellent way to compliment the teaching and stricter ways of the #1 Ephesians' Church.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

1. The Parable of the (Planter) Sower

And He spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a planter went forth to plant; And when he planted, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who has ears to hear, let him hear. ~ Matthew 13:3-9

Instruction in planting/sowing the seed (Gospel) into the proper soil (heart) type. Teaching the Gospel message to mankind with the right message at the right time and always in truth, love and reconciliation. Instructing with growth, maturity and accomplishment as the intended outcome.

Note: There are no custom messages that apply to only one Church and not to the others. All of the messages, teachings, letters, and prophecies of the Bible are intended for all of the Churches to read, understand and apply.

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November 3

Church at Smyrna

The Church at Smyrna -- The martyred and heavily persecuted Church

Church #2 Revelation 2:8-11 Smyrna (Myrrh, bitter herb for anointing particularly for burial) The Martyred - heavily persecuted Church

And unto the Angel of the Church in Smyrna write; These things says the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive; I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, but you are rich and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that all of you may be tried; and all of you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful unto death, and I will give you a Crown of Life. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death. ~ Revelation 2:8-11

Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay.

This wonderful letter of Jesus to the second Church the Church at Smyrna, is written to a persecuted Church. The members of the Church were being harassed and even killed for their faith in Jesus. The word Martyr simply means witness. Jesus said go and martyr (witness) of Him to all the world. It has been said that people gave their lives and became a martyr but actually they didn't become a martyr they were one before they gave their life it is just happened that death was their final act of witness/martyr here on earth. Those people who give their life and die do receive a better resurrection than even those of us Christians who are not put to death. They are a Special group of people to Jesus; they receive a special crown in heaven that only the martyred witnesses receive.

What a wonderful Church and letter, people who love God more than their own possessions, circumstances and even more than their own lives. Many of these people do not have the doctrinal knowledge of the Church of Ephesus yet they have the love. Love that overcomes and conquers all things even death. Jesus does not have repentance for this Church like He did for the first Church and as He does for the other churches. This Church is special and there is no condemnation to those who love Jesus more than they love their own life.

In His letter Jesus explains to the Church that He knows what it is like be killed, but that He is alive and they too will be alive with Him. Jesus also knows the condition of the Church He knows that they are persecuted and do not have many resources. Jesus tells that although they do not have much here on earth they are rich in heaven. He also informs them not to listen to the people who claim to have all of the answers and deride those who are being persecuted. Jesus says that the ones admonishing the suffering Church are from Satan and are not from God. Jesus continues and says for them to "fear not" that although there will be trouble, the trouble is from Satan and not from God, as the evil counselors have said. They are instructed to be faithful to God even unto death and that they will receive the prized crown of life given only all the martyrs. Jesus closes the letter to the Church of Smyrna telling them that the second death the spiritual death will not apply to them and will not be able to harm them.

The tribulation saints are a future group of people that give their life to Jesus and are killed by a coming false Jesus called the Anti-Christ. Anti means "instead of "so he is the "instead of" Christ. It is like asking for water and getting poison "instead of" water. The poison might look and smell like water but it is not water and we will not be refreshed if we drink it, we will die if we drink it. This man that is coming in the future is the instead of Jesus he will pretend to be Jesus and he will pretend to offer refreshing water but it will instead be poison and those who drink it or go along with the plans of the Anti-Christ will die an everlasting death. The future martyred Saints will be the people who know the true Jesus and will refuse to accept the poisoned false Jesus. The false Jesus will be so angry that he will murder every witness he can get hold of. The Bible says that those special saints that are not deceived and follow the true Jesus even to their death at the hands of the false Jesus, they will be very special to the real Jesus and in Heaven the Martyred Saints will always be with Jesus.

Unfortunately martyrdom was very much a part of the early Church. In fact martyrdom has continued throughout the entire Church history and may even be getting worse in our very own day. Today many Christians throughout the world are being denied the basic necessities of life and are being abused even killed for their faith in Jesus. Tragically martyrdom will stay with the Church until the time that Jesus sets up His righteous, Kingdom full of love and justice here on earth. Evil will always hate goodness and evil will try to destroy goodness but it can't because evil is actually fighting against God and God has already won. Christianity is costly and the price has been high every since Jesus was rejected, beaten and crucified on a wooden cross. Membership in the Christian Church is costly but you can be sure that our future glory with God is worth more than any cost Satan might try to make us pay.

Possessing love is a wonderful thing yet knowledge of the Bible assists our love and gives us faith so that we are not so easily shaken during the trials and tribulations that we do not understand. The companion book for this second Church is the epistle to the second named Church, the Church of Galatians, coming right after Corinthians in the Bible. When studding the book of Galatians the Martyred Church can learn for starters that Paul received his doctrine and teachings from Jesus. This means that we all have Jesus as a comforter and a teacher. We do not need to rely on man to teach us the Bible God will do it. If a Christian is imprisoned God will be right there with him to teach him who God is and to comfort him. In the book of Galatians Paul also rebukes Peter. Again we as Christians do not have to let sinful men rule over us. All mankind is sinful and no one is right all of the time so we need to look to God and not man in our lives. Also in the letter to Galatians Paul encourages the Galatians to continue in their Christian walk in a spiritual walk not based on their physical understanding but to literally walk in the Spirit of God. People being harassed and persecuted might want to revert to worldly ways of anger and revenge but these ways will not profit us in our relationship with God. We have to start our Christian walk in the Spirit of God, continue it in His Spirit and end remaining in His Spirit.

2. Galatians

Presenting the resurrection life, a reminder that there is only one true gospel, and confirming that works are of the Spirit not of the flesh the Galatians epistle is sure conformation to the Church in distress the #2 Smyrna Church.

Paul, an Apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead; ~ Galatians 1:1

As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. ~ Galatians 1:9

2. The Parable of Wheat and (Weeds) Tares

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which planted good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and planted tares [weeds] among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, did not you plant

good seed in your field? from whence then has it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Will you then that we go and gather them up? But he said, No; lest while all of you gather up the tares, all of you root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather all of you

together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. ~ Matthew 13:24-30

The perils of the Kingdom, there is still an enemy (Devil) in this world, and the importance of giving people influenced by the Devil an opportunity to repent and to be saved and gathered into the Kingdom of God. The necessity of entrusting the Kingdom to God's decisions and to His timing.

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November 4

Church at Pergamos

The Church at Pergamos -- The desiring a voice in worldly government Church

Church #3 Revelation 2:12-17 Pergamum (tower, "burgh") like the 'Tower of Babylon' the sins of mankind have piled up to heaven This is a worldly tower government/system

And to the Angel of the Church in Pergamos write; These things says He which has the sharp sword with two edges; I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast My Name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because

you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man

knows saving he that receives it. ~ Revelation 2:12-17

The intermingled Church/State with worldly ways and popular trends.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (world), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached (piled) unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. ~ Revelation 18:4-5

The third Church represents the time period in Christian history where the persecutions of Christians turned into acceptance and where the Christians embraced the world that was now embracing or at least tolerating them. Jesus in His letter says that He knows where their works are from and where they dwell that it is among this world where Satan has his throne. He goes on to say that they stumble and put obstacles in front of other Christians and that they embrace the practice of "Nicolaitanes" which is the practice of lording over other people, not letting people be free to worship God in a personal relationship. Instead prayers are written to be prayed and man's thoughts are taught in place of Bible study. Jesus says that He hates this practice. Jesus died so that we will be free; the truth has set us free. Jesus does not want us to control or to be controlled by other people.

Often this Church/person is the person that claims to be a Christian but doesn't follow any or many of the Christian ways. This Christian doesn't pray regularly at least not with the assistance of the Holy Spirit and usually they do not even acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit. They seldom read the Bible and think much of the Bible makes no sense and that it is of little value to their life or worse yet that parts are untrue. They have wrong opinions about the Bible because they have been wrongly taught by others and they have not taken the time to read or study the Bible for themselves. The people who do seriously study the Bible if they didn't already believe in God usually become believers in God after just a short time of reading the Bible. Some don't even need the Bible to come to God and have come to God just by studying nature, world history or archaeology. The Bible is so factual, so practical, so prophetic, and so complete that those who do take the time to read the Bible can only rejoice in the one true living God while removing their shoes because they know that when reading the Bible they are standing on Holy ground and like Moses at the burning bush they are in the very presence of the Almighty God.

Pergamum Christians do not have many Holy experiences as they think Christianity is yet to happen after they die thinking that they will meet Jesus in the future not knowing that Jesus already resides inside of them being born Again. Because these Christians are not looking to God they are not experiencing God. They go about their lives and jobs looking to themselves, their friends, their bosses, and government for the answers in their lives, missing out on the daily moment by moment relationship God has for us. When we limit our options in life to what we can achieve with our own hands we are living a life one handful at a time and God says let go of what we can hold onto in our hands and to receive from His hands a vast ocean of possibility. When we live our life in the Holy Spirit every moment, every possibility, every person becomes a Divine encounter of God and there is no limit to who we might meet or to what opportunities we have. Sadly the worldly Christian is the one who is secretly ashamed of Jesus and the messy cross. This person wants acceptance from the worldly people around him and in doing so is ashamed of Jesus to some degree or another. This person does not know of the Glory of Heaven and of all the Heavenly angels that await to meet him, so they look at the fallen world and distance themselves from Jesus and ridicule other Christians that are living a life pleasing to God. Jesus said that if we do not say we know Him to people here on earth then Jesus will say that He does not know us to the Father and all the Angeles in Heaven.

Fortunately there is a way out of this Church and into a more meaningful Church. The way out is painful but the results are well worth it. The way is for God to allow every worldly thing that we put our hope and trust into to absolutely fall apart and let us down. Is our security in our money, job, health, friends, and government, all of these will let us down. God in the Bible calls these false cisterns or false water wells that we think hold water but when we go there to drink they had many cracks that we couldn't see and all the water leaked out and the well is empty leaving us empty and thirsty. Fortunately when we thirst enough and when all of our false wells have let us down we can reach out to Jesus who is right there just a breath away, wanting to have a meaningful relationship with each one of us. Once a Christian drinks from the everlasting water of Jesus Christ we will no longer desire what this world has to offer and we will have changed from our old church into a new church with new life and a heavenly focused wonderful life.

The governments of this world will not last God will return to reign and rule on the earth. The prayer "Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" is the prayer we pray right now as we eagerly look for the return and government of Jesus. The Church is a higher calling than the world. Currently Satan is a trespasser and is stealing his ruling authority and Satan is influencing all of the governments of the world, that is why the Bible tells us to pray for all governments and rulers in charge. Remember the prophecies of Daniel say that at the return of Jesus He will destroy and scatter the existing worldwide Government system and His government will take its place.

The companion book of the Bible for this 3rd Church is the book of Ephesians written by the Apostle Paul. In Ephesians the Church will learn that we are made one with Jesus and to not conform to this world but to God. The book also teaches that we the believers are one body and to "keep the unity of the Spirit in a bond of peace." The book goes on to explain our relationship with God and relationships with our spouse, children and employers.

3. Ephesians

The completeness and sufficiency of the Christian Church, navigating relationships and family responsibilities completed by lessons in spiritual warfare make the epistle of Ephesians a great companion to the worldly Church/State of #3 Pergamos.

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. ~ Ephesians 4:3-6

3. The Parable of A Mustard Seed (Plant)

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and planted in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. ~ Matthew 13:31-32

The evil birds of the air (demons) will exist and flourish within Churches that have shade - darkened corners where the light of honesty and oversight is not permitted to shine.

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November 5

Church at Thyatira

The Church at Thyatira -- The Roman Catholic Church

Church #4 Revelation 2:18-29 Thyatira (white castle) - The Roman Catholic Church The Church/people not recognizing the majesty, power and sole authority of Jesus Christ

And unto the Angel of the Church in Thyatira write; These things says the Son of God, who has His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know your works, and love, and service, and faith, and your patience, and your works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto everyone of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden. But that which all of you have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the Nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the Morning Star. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 2:18-29

This Church is most represented today by the Roman Catholic Church.

The 4th Church grew out of the 3rd Church. Where the 3rd Church was involved in worldly government this 4th Church then took the power and influences they had learned in government and used them to create a governing Church, sort of a government for Church. This Church in modern day is most represented by the Roman Catholic Church. It should not seem surprising that God knows about the Catholic Church, because He knows about everything. This is yet another place in the Bible where we can really see the relevance and accuracy of the Bible and recognize that God knows all things past present and future. Remember a correction from Jesus is to draw us closer to Him in the correct manner of worship.

Jesus begins the letter to the Church of Thyatira by addressing Himself as the Son of God. The Catholic Church has become too focused on Jesus as the infant son of Mary and this Church letter is placing the emphasis that Jesus is God and is the son of God and that it is Jesus who our relationship is to be with. Jesus continues that He knows the works and the love that the Church does have and that their works and love are increasing. This is very true about the Catholic Church they are doing marvelous works of charity and love throughout the world. The Catholic Church is almost single handed in their devotion to orphans and the unborn. Jesus then continues with repentance, that He cannot stand the teaching and works of Jezebel. Jezebel was a wicked woman of the Old Testament, maybe the most wicked. Jezebel is referenced in connection with this #4 Church because they are keeping a doctrine that "Mary" (the Virgin Mary) has a part in the work of God. The true Mary of the Bible called herself a humble handmaiden and her spirit rejoiced that God is her savior. The current teaching that is attributed to Mary has nothing to do with the real Mary. The teaching is the teaching of Jezebel and not of Mary. The true Mary is a very courageous and wonderful woman. If anyone in the world could have stopped the crucifixion of Jesus it was Mary. All Mary had to do was to go to either the Jewish authorities or the Roman authorities and tell them that she knew Jesus had a human father and that He was not the Son of God. An earthly father would have put an end to the claims of Jesus being God, having two earthly parents Jesus would not be Holy. Yet Mary did not do this because she could not do it, Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus has no earthly father. If Jesus were not God, Mary would not have allowed the crucifixion to continue. Because Jesus is the Son of God, the real Mary stood boldly by while Jesus suffered on the cross.

Jesus continues in His letter saying that if we follow the false teachings of Jezebel, there is no salvation in any false teaching. Those who follow false leaders will go into the great tribulation [miss the coming rapture] and be killed with death. This is a strong warning because of the strong danger in the false teaching and leading of Jezebel. Then Jesus concludes with the promise that those who remain faithful in the Church will then rule with Jesus.

The Bible companion book to this Church is the next book, the book of Philippians. Philippians is a wonderful book of encouragement. The book explains that Jesus is 100% God and 100% human. The book tells us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling" not to let others prescribe our salvation but to let God work it out in us. Remember Salvation is different from Redemption. Salvation means healing, removing hurts and fears. We have a part in our own healing as we seek and trust God. Redemption is the work of Jesus on the cross; we do not have a part in the redemption except to receive it as a free gift from God. The book of Philippians tells of our high calling in Jesus and goes on to encourage us to rejoice and to be content in the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Philippians

The epistle of Philippians is one of the most Jesus Christ centered epistles. Written in love to a Catholic Church that has strayed it's attention and affections away from Jesus and onto the Virgin Mary and an assortment of human saints. This epistle is a great reminder of the supremacy of Jesus Christ for the #4 Church of Thyatira.

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. ~ Philippians 1:10-11

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7

4. The Parable of (Sin) Leaven

Another parable spoke he unto them; The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. ~ Matthew 13:33

Incorrect teachings and outright bad doctrine can permeate into the True Doctrine of the Christian Church creating a new system that was never originally intended.

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November 6

Church at Sardis

The Church at Sardis -- The Protestant Church

Church #5 Revelation 3:1-6 Sardis (red, gemstone) - Liberal Protestant Church The Church/people not recognizing the work, and the necessity of the person of the Holy Spirit

And unto the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works fully accomplished before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and

hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I

will confess his name before My Father, and before His Angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:1-6

This Church is most represented today by the liberal Protestant Church.

A Church people that are not allowing themselves to be washed clean by the Holy Spirit. Spiritually this is a dead Church. A modern Church that feels that we are special in and of ourselves and that even apart from God we are to be admired. Yet God said "come let us reason though your sins are red as scarlet He will make them white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). Modern liberal Churches welcome in any manner of doctrine and any kind of sin now also seems welcome among the people yet this Church does not even let God Himself into His own Church. In yet another insult to God the modern liberal Church has decided it knows best in how to interpret God's word the Bible but it has done so in a way that completely neglects and negates what God has actually said.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. ~ Isaiah 1:18-20

The forth Church emerged from the 3rd church that was best represented by the Roman Catholic Church, the 5th Church emerged from the 4th Church and is best represented by the Protestant Church. In 1572 a Catholic Monk named Martin Luther began a formal dissention with the Catholic Church and the end result was the "Reformation" or splitting off of part of the Catholic Church into the Protestant Church. The Church is labeled "Protestant" from the meaning protesters. The Christians were dissatisfied with the doctrines and decrees of the Catholic Church and protested and eventually left to worship God in a less restricted environment.

As Jesus began the 4th letter to Thyatira to remind them that He is the Son of God, Jesus begins this 5th letter to the Church at Sardis to remind this Church that He has the seven [complete] Spirits of God. Jesus is informing this Church that their biggest problem is in neglecting the Holy Spirit. Jesus then tells the Church that He knows their works and that they have a reputation for being alive but instead they are really dead. Again strong words for strong circumstances. Jesus wants us to follow Him in a right relationship and not in a way that is made up or pretend. Jesus says that He has not found their works to be "Perfect." The word perfect means complete like a car would be perfect if it had an engine, a car without an engine is imperfect. Jesus is telling this Church that they are imperfect without the Holy Spirit, in other words they are a people without the engine of the Holy Spirit.

The protestant Church has left the Catholic Church and they have also left the Holy Spirit. Repeatedly the Bible tells us that works done without the guidance and glory of the Holy Spirit are works that are meaningless. It is better not to do something than to do it without the Holy Spirit. Strangely enough the only person excluded from the Protestant Church is the Holy Spirit. Much of the Church now recognizes homosexual marriages, abortion is no longer considered murder, any proud arrogant person is welcome at a protestant Church, adultery and fornication are seldom considered sin, divorce and abandonment of spouses and children are now common place. The Church that is supposed to be the salt and light is not even lifting a finger to turn the pages of the Bible and see what God has to say about it all. It is obvious to anyone that looks that the works of the Church are dead. The reason the works are dead is because the Holy Spirit is not being listened to. Jesus tells this Church to repent and to watch for His return [rapture]. Jesus says that the people who overcome will be clothed with white raiment. The over comers of the #3 Church are to be given a white stone, the stone of acceptance. In the book of Isaiah God told the prophet to tell the people "come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." The word Sardis means a red stone.

The companion book for Sardis is the book of Colossians. The book explains that the revealed mystery of the ages is that Jesus is in us and that this is glorious. The book says "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" an admonishment to us to set our affections on the things of above the things of God the Holy Spirit and of heaven.

5. Colossians

The epistle of Colossians is excellent instruction to the Protestant Church that the Kingdom of Jesus is a Spiritual Kingdom where we are to exercise our attitudes and desires in "spiritual understanding" and not just the physical things of this world and especially not the false physical teachings and ideologies of this world like evolution or population control (abortion-euthanasia) theories and practices. The epistle is a great reminder of the Spiritual supremacy of the Kingdom of God for the #5 Church of Sardis.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; ~ Colossians 1:9-11

5. The Parable of A (nonvisible) Buried Treasure

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto Treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. ~ Matthew 13:44

The world is not the treasure the Church is the treasure. The Church is more precious and more valuable to God than the entire world.

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November 7

Church at Philadelphia

The Church at Philadelphia -- The fellowship (friendship) Church

Church #6 Revelation 3:7-13 Philadelphia (Philao - Brotherly love) The Church/people of Brotherly Love

And to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; These things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David, He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens; I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the

Word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of

My God, which is New Jerusalem, which comes down out of Heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:7-13

A Brotherly embrace of both the Jews (Hebrews) and the Romans (Catholics)

The 6th Church is the Church of brotherly love. Jesus gave us one commandment or law the new (insight) into the law to love God and to love man. Jesus further said that the distinctive mark of a Christian would be our love for God and our love for one another. This is the same law of the Old Testament, Jesus called it new or fresh in that Jesus is now our example for what fulfilling the law is to be and we now have new insight into how to really love God and one another as Jesus loves us so much that He gave His life for us.

In this Church group the people are filled with God's love. They love the Father, they love Jesus and they love the Holy Spirit. These people love Christians in general and denomination names, titles or Church roles mean nothing to them they just meet you where you are and give you a big love boost right into the lap of Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father's throne. Meeting one of these Christians is like taking a big refreshing drink from the free flowing river of life. Often these people are loving in the midst of life's biggest challenges. Their bodies wracked with cancer, having lost parents or children, homes, jobs, etc. these people are the modern women at the well and modern Mary Magdalenes and like them they have met Jesus and have wept and rejoiced at His feet. Many have had a lifelong walk with the Lord knowing Him personally for decades and like Moses they are seated securely in the clift of the rock (Exodus 33:11-23) looking back and seeing the Glory of God in their lives, knowing that Jesus has brought them through the troubles and perils of life. They have seen fellow Christians go home to glory with a smile on their face and the countenance of an angel. They know the one in whom they have entrusted their spirit and soul and they know that God will complete the work that He has begun in them and that His thoughts toward them and towards others are all good thoughts and that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Often the new Christian starts out in this Church. The newness of Jesus and the Holy Spirit filled life put us in a peaceful blissful state of well being. We call this the honeymoon state of Christianity when we meet Jesus and all is well. Then the storms and trials come into our lives and we wander through the various churches and growth phases and wonder what we did wrong to lose God, but not to worry, God often gives us a good first taste also called a "first fruit" of what the eternal future will be like and this honeymoon state is where we are destined to return. So forgetting our destination we get confused and think is the Christian life supposed to be this way the trials and troubles? Then we falter when God starts doing a new or different work in another area of our life and emotions. Just hang in there God is expanding us and growing us up in Himself. If we do not get persecuted how would we have intimate fellowship with God and also with our fellow man? So we are bound to sway from Church group to Church group as life's challenges come our way and we have our moments of doubt or our circumstances get the best of us but in the end we should again be back in this Church.

The growing maturing Christian is growing softer and becoming more compassionate and merging into the image of Jesus and away from the image of this cold, hard, cruel world.

There is no rebuke from Jesus for this Church. Jesus instructed the doctrine wise Ephesians to return to their first love, the honeymoon feelings they had in the beginning with Jesus, in other words Jesus encouraged them to get back to the Church of Philadelphia. These people are loving and being loved in a Godly way and Jesus is well pleased with them. This group is not a specific Church age as each of the other churches are. This Church is not addressed from the identification letter that the other churches are. This Church is a special remnant to God and they have existed everywhere there are Christians and at all times of the Church age. This special group of people has the promise from God that they will not enter into the coming tribulation that the world is going to suffer in. Jesus is going to catch up or rapture His people before the coming tribulation (the rest of the book of Revelation). All born again Christians will be raptured before the tribulation. The coming tribulation is coming from God onto a disobedient people. Right now the tribulation we suffer is from our own bad decisions and from the things Satan does to us. If we mismanage our money and go bankrupt it is certainly tribulation but it is from us not from God. God uses our messes to draw us closer to Him so the messes are not that bad after all. The difference between the current tribulation and the future one is that the future one continues to be from Satan and is also from God but God is not going to pour out His tribulation upon the righteous. Jesus resides inside each born again Christian, on the cross Jesus said "it is finished" Jesus will undergo no more tribulation so there is a need for the rapture to remove the "Jesus filled" born again Christians prior to the coming great tribulation.

When the Christian Church first came together the early Church was entirely Jewish-Hebrew as Jesus the head of the Church is Jewish. Then with the admittance of non-Jews (Gentiles) into the Christian Church the early Church struggled with the relationships between Christians, Jews and also the new gentile Christians. An early Church council was established to consider these interactions, the council meeting and its decision are recorded in the Book of Acts (Acts 15).

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us (Hebrews); And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke (law) upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our (Jewish) fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even (by faith) as they (gentiles). Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this [after the Christian Church age] I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my (James - Church leader) sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him (laws of Moses), being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; ~ Acts 15:6-22

The early Christian Church declared that of utmost importance for the Christian whether being of Jewish or of Gentile origin is not to offend the followers of Moses, the practicing Jews "For Moses of old time hath in every city them (Jews) that preach him." The dietary laws of not eating blood are not for the Church but the council determined that of greater importance than personal freedom is for the Christian not to offend God's people the Jews who do obey His laws and follow His customs.

The Church of Philadelphia is the brotherly love Church. The two companion Bible books for this Church are the books of Romans and Hebrews. Christians in this Church will need to know the book of Romans to understand that Christians are called into a relationship with God based on faith, that nothing can separate us from the love of God and then how to have fellowship with the fellow brethren by not offending them in our actions and deeds. The book of Hebrews will help us to enter into the very presence of God. Jesus is God and He is also our High Priest and as He has entered into the Holiest place where God the Father's presence is, we by being identified with Jesus are also to enter with Jesus into the Holy presence of God the Father.

6. Romans & Hebrews

The Bible's books of Romans and Hebrews are excellent instruction for the Church of Philadelphia the open door church, where mankind has an open door to fellowship with both man and God. Romans in how to minister one to anther and Hebrews in how to minster to God set the examples for the #6 Philadelphia Church.

Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. ~ Romans 15:2

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living (Spiritual) way, which He (Jesus) hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; And having an high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, ~ Hebrews 10:19-22

6. The Parable of The Pearl (Jewel) of Great Price

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. ~ Matthew 13:45-46

God gave all that He had at the cross in order to buy people out of sin. A pearl is an organic jewel that originally was an irritant, a grain of sand that has taken the time to grow into a gem, like sinners who have taken the time to grow into precious, valuable saints.

Note: This Church is closely related to the Smyrna Church in that these are the people who love God enough to give their life and Satan is usually mad enough at these Christians to try to take their life. So one day you can be in this Church and the next moment be in the martyrs Church of Smyrna.

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November 8

Church at Laodicea

The Church at Laodicea -- The modern comfortable Church - Predominant in the Last Church Age

Church #7 Revelation 3:14-22 Laodicea (Laos - People, diceaos - rule; People rulers) The comfortable worldly Church where people rule over their own lives not allowing God to lead or rule in their life

And unto the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you says, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in his Throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the Churches. ~ Revelation 3:14-22

Laodicea is the comfortable last Church, in this letter God is speaking to most of us. This is the last Church era so also read the Books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians to get ready for the Christian rapture.

The seventh and last Church in Jesus' Revelation Church letters is the Church that is dominant in our current time and current Church age. This is the last Church letter and also the last Church age or era, there are no more Christian Church ages after this as Jesus will return during this present Church age and He will rapture all the 'born again' Christians unto Himself in Heaven.

After Jesus returns and raptures the Church there will no longer be a 'born again' Christian Church here on earth. There will be Jewish believers and there will be those Martyred saints who give their life for their faith in Jesus but there will not be the 'born again' Church as all of the born again Christians will now be in heaven participating as the bride of Jesus in the wedding feast with Jesus. Remember there was no 'born again' Church during the entire Old Testament. The Church began on the day (Easter) of the resurrection of Jesus when Jesus baptized the disciples in the upper room with His breath and told them to receive the Holy Spirit.

I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ~ Matthew 3:11

came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: ~ John 20:19-22

The Church began with the cross and Resurrection of Jesus and is continuing on right now and will end at the rapture when Jesus meets us, the Church, in the air and He takes us to heaven to be with Him therefore saving us from the terrible time of the tribulation to come.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

The various churches all dominated throughout each Church era in the order that Jesus has addressed them in His letters. The first era was the Apostolic Church when the Apostles and disciples of Jesus were writing and teaching Gods word at Ephesus and other places. With so much knowledge at Ephesus they had no patience for people who didn't catch on to doctrine and theology. After the apostles of Jesus grew old and went on to be with Jesus in heaven the next Church age was characterized by bitter persecution and martyrs, the Church of Smyrna. Today there are more martyrs worldwide than at any time but this period happened when the Church was young and didn't have a worldwide following and when the Bibles were copied by hand, Satan was actually trying to demoralize the Christians and Satan literally tried to kill every Christian and wipe out every Bible. The next era was the Pergamos era and surprisingly the Christians of that era went from persecuted by the world to living in the world. After the brutal nonstop persecutions the Christians themselves became worldly and at the Roman coliseums were Christians were once put to death, the Christians now sat in the seats and cheered as gladiators fought each other to the death on the very places where their fellow Christians had died.

After the worldly Christians the next Church era was the structured Church known as Thyatira the Roman Catholic Church where for centuries everyone was supposed to belong to the Catholic Church or they were not considered a Christian. This much authority brought on much abuse of power and much resentment as the Catholic Church ruled with such force that people were not allowed personal Bibles to read and people couldn't even pray personal prayers in their own native language. People even had to go to priests to have them talk to God for them. The puritans that left England and came and started America were fleeing this Church and come to America to establish a Puritan "pure" Christian life. This restrictive Thyatira Church age gave way to the next Church era called the Protestant reformation where Protestants [protesters] protested the Catholic domination, rightfully insisting that the Bible tells people how to worship and not any organization. This Protestant era took so many liberties that they soon had a muddled comfortable Christianity, people compared themselves to others instead of comparing themselves to Jesus and always finding someone perceived to be of worse character than themselves, people decided wrongly that they had a good Christian walk so now the Christian walk became anything that we determine we want it to be. This brings us to the current and last Church age the Church of Laodicea. This current Church period is a continuation of the protestant age and it is a Church so empty of Jesus that we have become our own god, we are a Church where the "people rule" instead of God.

This is the last Church age and it is during this current Church Era that Jesus will return.

Jesus opens this letter to Laodicea like the previous letters addressing the biggest problem facing the Church. In this case Jesus proclaims that He is the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God. Jesus is confronting the biggest error of the last day Church. Jesus is reminding us that He is faithful and true and that He is the creator of creation and that creation is from God. It is appropriate that God is speaking to the end time Church about creation. Perhaps the biggest lie being perpetuated right now is the lie of evolution. Evolution is a joke; life does not evolve out of non-life no matter how long you wait millions or billions or years. God being life can create and give life. Life is more than chemicals and material, life is spirit and soul, life is awareness and life is feelings and emotions. The error of evolution would never be believed by the previous churches because they lived in close proximity to life and death. We are now so removed from death that we do not understand life. We give scientist credit for the wonderful inventions that they have worked on in this is wonderful high teach time, but technology does not explain life and scientist apart from God are not able to explain life. In every case of evolution the evolutionist has grossly simplified the complex mechanisms of life. The simplest human cell is more complicated than anything science has ever assembled. A baby being formed in the womb of a woman consists of 23 chromosomes from the man and 23 chromosomes from the woman, living for nine months under water in the womb and then at birth suddenly and instantly starts breathing air, this is complicated as this is the reality of life and this is creation it is Jesus' creation. Without believing that God is our creator, giver and sustainer of life it is impossible to have a relationship with God.

This is the last Church era and we are well into it right now. This era is characterized by worldly comfortable Church people. People are now so comfortable with worldly accommodations that we no longer need what Jesus has to offer. We now live better than any King of the Bible era ever lived. We have orchestras on demand in our Mp3 players, operas on demand in TV and on DVD's. The counsel of the worldly wise in www computing with Google search. Our chariots are always harnessed and travel 75 mph, cell phone messengers in our pockets on demand, our cash vault is carried in a card in our pockets wherever we go, we feast on chefs offerings anywhere we point our chariot. We snuggle cozily into warm beds with dry roofs, living better than any king of the Bible has ever lived. A king from the Bible era would be envious to the point of rage at our opulent lifestyle.

We do not need a vow of poverty that is not the point Jesus is making in this letter. His point is that we have neglected Jesus and have left Him the creator of life on the outside of life as we live our comfortable life to ourselves fulfilling only our own whims. Jesus finds Himself knocking at the door of our heart and asking us to please let Him in. Jesus is not addressing this to the unsaved but to the Church and not as a group but to each individual in hopes that someone, anyone will stop drowning in the river of worldliness and join Him in Spiritual matters. Because this Church is so disgusting to Jesus He says that He will spit us out of His mouth unless we change. The spitting out of the mouth is an involuntary action it is like drinking spoiled milk that your body will not allow you to swallow so the natural reaction is to spit it out. Jesus also tells us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire the fire of trials. None of us wants trials in our life but Jesus says to us to have the trials and to learn from them. Learn that there are tired and hurting people in this world and learn that life is unfair and unjust and most important learn that Jesus is God and apart from Him no soul will have lasting rest or peace.

The companion Bible books for the last Church era are the last Church epistles written by the Apostle Paul, the two epistles to the Church of Thessalonians. In reading the two books of Thessalonians we will learn that it is a time of heavy persecution. The Church of Thessalonica was heavily persecuted, so much in fact that they thought that they had missed the rapture and had gone into the tribulation period. Paul wrote the book to inform them that before the tribulation period there will be a big falling away of Christians from the faith of Jesus called the "Apostasy" and second that the Church will not be here during the time of the coming anti-Christ. The Apostle Paul explained that before the anti-Christ arrives the Church will have been raptured. Jesus told Peter and the rest of the disciples that He was going to build His Church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. The anti-Christ is given authority over the people of the earth to overcome them and the anti-Christ will wage war against the Martyred saints of the book of Revelation and overcome them but the Church will have been removed from earth and we will be in heaven during those future events. The Apostle Paul tells us to comfort one another with this thought that Jesus is coming to take us to heaven with Him.

The Church of Laodicea is a sick Church, but the books of Thessalonians are strong medicine. When we start to realize that Jesus is returning and will return to gather us at any moment without any advanced notice, this medicine should cure our illness of an ungodly lifestyle. We should live every moment like it is our last moment here on earth and our first moment in heaven. When Jesus comes we are encouraged by the Apostle John to be living in a manner that we do not shrink back in embarrassment at the coming of Jesus but that we rejoice and embrace Jesus.

But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Able. See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. ~ Hebrews 12:22-25

7. 1st & 2nd Thessalonians

The epistle of 1 Thessalonians mentions the rapture of the Christian Church and the Church being gathered into the presence of Jesus Christ. It is of paramount importance that the Christian Church be ready to meet God without a moment's notice and it is meeting God that is the great comfort for the modern #7 Laodicea Church.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

7. The Parable of A Large (Gathering) Net

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world [i.e. the total of all Dispensations]: the Angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus says unto them, Have all of you understood all these things? They say unto Him, Yes, Lord. ~ Matthew 13:47-51

At the end of the world there will be a gathering together followed by a judgment that will separate all that is good from all that is bad.

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November 9

John's 7 Miracles of Jesus

The Christian Walk Illustrated in the 7 Miracles of Jesus Recorded in the Gospel of John

Introduction:

After accepting Jesus as our very own personal Lord and Savior by knowing that without the sacrifice of Jesus, what He did for us on the cross, that we would be permanently dead in our sin and rebellion, separated forever from God. Now that the sin has been paid for and taken away at the cross of Jesus we Christians are now free from sin and reunited with God in the Resurrection of Jesus.

But what do we do now? After our conversion [Heavenly focus] for the Christian the conversion is just the start of Christianity the best is yet to come.

In the fascinating Gospel of John, John one of the original 12 disciples of Jesus and an eyewitness that was present at all seven miracles, lays out seven miracles that Jesus Himself performed while in person on the earth and in a specific order. These seven miracles in the Gospel of John are a model of the very miracles that Jesus is doing right now this very moment and day in the life of every single living and breathing Christian. Let's take a look at the 7 miracles that Jesus performed and that His disciple John recorded for us.

Miracle 1 - A New Creation - Born Again (John 2:1-11) - Turning wedding water into wine The New Christian is now clean and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit

Miracle 2 - Healing - Nobility in Jesus (John 4:46-54) - Healing the Nobleman's Son Our cured Life and Nobility in Jesus Christ

Miracle 3 - Starting the Christian Walk (John 5:1-17) - Healing of the lame man to walk The Christian can now walk a Christian lifestyle

Miracle 4 - Fellowship among Believers (John 6:1-15) - Feeding the Thousands with Bread and Fish Fellowship of strengthening, building up, and nourishment in the faith among the believers

Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears (John 6:16-21) - Jesus calms the disciples during a storm Jesus calms our fears during the storms of life

Miracle 6 - Mature Christians Preach (John 9:1-11) - Blind eyes opened Apostles with their eyes opened to the hopeless plight of humanity are sent out to non-believers

Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life (John 11:1-45) - Resurrection of Lazarus from death to life Resurrection of the believer from physical death to eternal life

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~ Colossians 1:10

Note: These are Seven Miracles performed by Jesus before His resurrection and recorded in the Gospel of John by John a Disciple of Jesus. John was an eyewitness present at each of these seven miracles. These miracles are illustrations representing miracles that Jesus is currently doing in the life of each and every individual Christian.

Source: BasicChristian.org

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November 10

Miracle 1 - Born Again

Miracle 1 - A New Creation a sinner becoming Born Again

Miracle 1 - A New Creation - Born Again (John 2:1-11) Turning wedding water into wine The Purified Believer becomes filled with the Holy Spirit

And the Third Day [i.e. Resurrection Day] there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and [Mary] the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called [invited], and [also] His Disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus says unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus says unto her, Woman, what have I to do with you? mine hour [Glorification] is not yet come. His mother says unto the servants, Whatsoever He says unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone [chiseled stone pots for ceremonial religious washings - not ordinary clay pots], after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece [i.e. man-sized stone pots]. Jesus says unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And He says unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: but the servants which drew the water knew; the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And says unto him, Every man at the beginning does set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but you have kept the good wine until now. His beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His Glory; and His Disciples believed on Him. ~ John 2:1-11

In the Gospel of John chapter 2 we read that Jesus' mother is attending a wedding in the city of Cana in the district of Galilee. We read that both Jesus and his disciples are also called [invited] to the marriage. At this particular wedding the host runs out of wine for the guests. Mary, then comments to Jesus that there is no wine. Of course Jesus knew in advance that there was not a sufficient amount of wine at the wedding, this is part of the reason Jesus went to the marriage and brought His disciples with so that He could perform this miracle as an illustration to them and have it recorded in the Bible for us His future disciples. Jesus and the disciples are not the reason that the wine ran out. Jesus and the disciples were both invited [called] and the host would have declined to invite them rather than to invite them and run out of food and drink. Probably everyone at the marriage was having such a festive time that people stayed longer and drank more since the wine ran out yet the food did not lack.

Jesus replies to Mary that "His hour has not yet come." Jesus knows that He is going to provide the much needed wine, but Jesus is establishing that miracles are not the reason that God became a man in the person of Jesus and walked on earth with mankind. Jesus came in the form of a man to die on the cross to remove sin and reunite us with the Father. The hour that Jesus came for is the cross of crucifixion. Mary then instructs the servants to "Whatever He (Jesus) saith unto you, do it." The "obedient" servants then go to Jesus. Jesus instructs the servants to fill the six water pots used for purification to the brim with water. Remember six is the number for man, as man was created on the sixth day. The stone water pots are clean because they are used in cleaning, a dirty water pot would not clean the person who washes from it. Jesus then tells the servant to "Draw out now and take it to the governor of the feast." And they did obey Jesus. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water that was turned into wine he declared that unlike other feasts this feast had reserved the best wine until the end.

This first marvelous miracle that Jesus is performing is an illustration to us His believers. When we obey Jesus we become His servant, Romans 6:16 says "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" When we acknowledge our sins and the forgiveness of the cross of Jesus we become clean like the stone water pots. Once we are clean Jesus then comes inside and fills us with His presence. We are then to draw out the wine of Jesus' presence in us and pour it out to others. When we do this we are effecting the lives of others around us.

Wine is used as a Biblical example for the Holy Spirit. Wine has an effect and influence on the person who drinks it. Worldly wine has a bad effect with headaches and hangovers and demeans the person who drinks it and who's actions are influenced by worldly alcohol wine. The presence of the Holy Spirit has an influence on the person who is under His influence, the influence of love and of a testimony of Jesus. This is the first miracle, Jesus has taken the water of this world and turned it into His wine. It is nice to know that the start of the Christian walk is to be cleansed and be filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. We get confused at times and think if I get my behavior right then Jesus will come to me and give me the Holy Spirit, but it is the other way around when we believe we receive the Holy Spirit in full. It is the Holy Spirit that then instructs us and guides us in our life to live a life of Holiness and communion, pleasing to God. And the best part of the miracle is that God gives the best wine last. The best is always yet to come with Jesus. The Christian walk just keeps getting better and better. If for instance we went to church as a child with our parents then we stopped going to church or we never went at all, and now we think I don't want to go to church I have missed so much and people will judge me. This is wrong in God's eyes, He says follow Him and it will be better than it ever was.

Note: the events depicted indicate a synergism between God and man of religious activity i.e. 'stone pots' that are already religious vessels (humans seeking to please God) being used in the turning of water (ordinary - unsaved) to wine (Spiritual - salvation).

The Calvinism teachings of today wrongly neglect the intended synergistic (God and human interaction) teachings of the Holy Bible and presume that God is directly one-sided and is filling disobedient 'clay pots' (unreligious - unsaved humans) with spirituality (salvation) when in actuality God is responding more to the preexisting human desire of Salvation in using stone (religious ceremony) pots for the example of the giving of salvation wine.

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November 11

Miracle 2 - Nobility

Miracle 2 - Our Healing (Salvation) and our Nobility (Royal Priesthood) in Jesus Christ

Miracle 2 - Healing - Nobility in Jesus (John 4:46-54) Healing the Nobleman's Son Our Life and Nobility in Jesus

So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except all of you [i.e. 'born again' Christians] see signs and wonders, all of you will not believe [i.e. grow in faith]. The nobleman says unto him, Sir, come down before my child die. Jesus says unto him, Go your way; your son lives. And the man believed the Word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Your son lives. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Your son lives: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee. ~ John 4:46-54

The second miracle, Jesus is again in the city of Cana and a certain nobleman's son is sick in the distant city of Capernaum. The noble man approaches Jesus and asks Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replies "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Then Jesus said unto him "go your way; your son liveth." As the nobleman was on his way the next day he met his servants that told him "his son liveth" he asked them when he became well? and discovered it was the same hour that Jesus had spoken the words.

After being cleansed by the blood of Jesus and filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit, we now partake in the second miracle. Because we "liveth" we have now become a son of Nobility. We are now children of God and our new position is a child of the King Jesus. Jesus' position of nobility elevates us to nobility as well. We can now like this nobleman approach Jesus and talk with Him just like this nobleman did, seeking out Jesus and telling Him our cares and concerns. Jesus tells him "that unless ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe." Jesus is telling this new believer that miracles do not validate God's existence, His presence or man's salvation. We receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith not by experience. In the turning of water to wine in the first miracle only the servants knew that it had happened but they knew it by faith there was no experience involved in the first miracle. Jesus wants us to know by faith that He loves us, He died for us on the cross and He now lives with us in His resurrection.

In Moses day the children of God saw many miracles performed mightily by God yet the people Jews and Egyptians alike both refused to have faith in God. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. Faith does not come by seeing with our eyes or experiencing with our intellect or emotions. Miracles are also performed and counterfeited by Satan and the demonic realm. In fact the Anti-Christ, the coming world leader, is a demonic person who rises to power by performing false miracles and false wonders. The people who accept the Anti-Christ will have accepted him based on the miracles he performs instead of relying on the Bible for guidance. If they had read the Bible they would know that the one coming with miracles for everyone to see he will be the fake one.

When we specifically look for miracles we are prone to miss the biggest miracle of all and that is the Spiritual healing of us from death to life. Jesus said the son "liveth" Christianity is not about being bad then becoming good it is about being dead in sin and then becoming suddenly alive to God and life. Notice that Jesus spoke this miracle and healed the son when the son was in a different city than Jesus. It is that way for us, Jesus is in heaven seated at the right hand of the Father, we are here on earth, but we are not out of the effect of Jesus' voice. When Jesus speaks we are healed. This miracle is important, Jesus wants us to know for certain that we are now alive in Him and that we belong to Him. This is the first part of a relationship with God it comes even before our Christian walk and is to be establish beyond any doubt that we are alive Spiritually and that we belong to Jesus. Jesus wants us to have a lifelong Christian walk, one that is grounded in the Bible and strong enough in faith to get us through all of life's disappointments, pains, suffering, and hurts. In fact the healing that is now taking place in the son of the nobleman is the real miracle the miracle healing of hurts, pain, loneliness, sorrow, and suffering.

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November 12

Miracle 3 - Christian Walk

Miracle 3 - Starting the lifelong Christian Walk (Journey)

Miracle 3 - Starting the Christian Walk (John 5:1-17) Healing of the Lame man The Christian can now walk

After this there was a Feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an Angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, He says unto him, Will you be made whole [Salvation]? The impotent man answered Him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus says unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: it is not lawful for you to carry your bed. He answered them, He (Jesus) that made me whole (Salvation), the same said unto me, Take up your bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What Man is that which said unto you, Take up your bed, and walk? And he that was healed know not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed [moved] Himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus finds him in the Temple, and said unto him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now, and I work.

In the third miracle Jesus sees a man near the pool of Bethesda who has had a crippling infirmity for a long time for 38 years to be exact. Jesus asks the man if he wants to be "made whole?" Interestingly the man instead of saying yes replied with a myriad of excuses and reasons as to why he has not been made whole. It turns out that an angel would agitate or trouble the water of the pool of Bethesda and when the hurting people saw the pool disturbed the first one into the pool would be healed by God from whatever ailed them. In this man's case he was so crippled that he was not able to get into the pool first as he could find no one to help him.

Jesus completely ignoring the infirmed man's excuses said to him "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." And immediately the man took up his bead, and walked. Here is another man being healed by the voice of Jesus. The nobleman's son was healed to life this man is then being healed to have a walk [relationship] with God. Once it has been established that we are alive [born again] and belong to God. The next miracle in the life of the Christian is to begin to have an intimate relationship with God, a walk as it is called. Notice that the man was infirm for 38 years, that is exactly the amount of time that the Jews with Moses wandered in the wilderness after neglecting to enter the promise land the first time, and before actually entering into the promised land. After leaving Egypt God led the Jews to Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the law (613 commandments), and instruction to build the tabernacle and establish the Levitical Priesthood under Moses' brother Aaron. Then God led the Jews to the promise land where each of the 12 tribes sent out two spies. It took two years once leaving Egypt and staying at Mount Sinai to get to the promise land and send out spies. The spies returned and were afraid to enter the promise land because of the giants in the land. The Jews then had to continue wandering in the desert until the entire generation of unbelief died. The Jews wandered for 38 years until God took them to the promise land the second time and Joshua [Jesus] led them into the promise land as they by faith crossed over the Jordan river.

This crippled man, like us, is in a similar circumstance as the Jews who came out of slavery in Egypt were. They have been saved from slavery and have received instruction at Mount Sinai in how to follow and worship God, they are being miraculously provided for from God with the manna [bread] from heaven, yet they are not yet able to believe and trust God to take care of the giants in their lives. We likewise have been delivered from the bondage and slavery of sin and death, we have been instructed in how to follow and worship the Holy God of Israel, we receive our daily manna in the Bible to sustain us through this wilderness wandering. Yet just like the Jews and just like the crippled man we lack the faith in God to provide for us and to take care of us and our problems. So we to having rejected entering into the promise land must now wander in the wilderness of excuses and complaints until by faith we hear the voice of Jesus and pick up our bed and walk.

Jesus performed this miracle on the infirm man on the Sabbath day, the weekly Saturday Jewish day of rest. The infirmed man was confronted by others for being healed on the Sabbath but remember it is not work to worship God or to be healed by God. Jesus has done the work of salvation [healing] for us. We just need to work through our circumstances with Jesus and the healing is a natural part of walking with God it is not work.

It is interesting in this miracle that God would trouble or stir the water in the pool of Bethesda and that getting into the troubled waters would heal the sick. God does that in our lives He troubles the water of our life He has us work beside a co-worker that we have nothing in common with that we cannot stand to be around. Through these troublings we are healed if we get into the water. Get in there and get to know that co-worker, get in there and work on that resume, work on that marriage and those bills and through the troubled waters God is healing us as we are walking with God.

Jesus later sought out the now healed man and found him in the "Temple" and told him "behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." That is where Jesus should find us is in the church body worshiping and fellowshipping. Just think what if Jesus had found this man with the sinners? We are freed up from sin to follow God not to return and sin more and make a mockery out of the cross and suffering of Jesus. Jesus makes the point to this man that although our sins are forgiven we still have our own freewill and if we choose to sin "a worse thing will come to us." We are free to worship God and we are free to sin. If however we choose to sin then there will be ramifications. If we return to what we know is wrong it gives Satan a chance to condemn us and accuse us, making our walk with Jesus even more difficult. Difficult that is if we choose to listen to Satan and ignore Jesus, but remember every sin is taken care of at the cross of Jesus, confess the sin, acknowledge the Deity of Jesus and remember the good wine is right now and the best wine is yet to come.

Once the healed man gave credit to Jesus for healing him. The people he told became so upset that Jesus had healed the infirmed man on the Sabbath, they actually sought to kill Jesus. This is the first part of persecution in the Christian walk. As soon as we start to glorify Jesus people are going to start to get upset. People are going to want to kill Jesus and claim that He does not exist or that He is not capable of healing even that Jesus does not care enough to heal us. Jesus' answer to these people is that "My Father worketh now and I work." In fact this is the very work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and their work is going on right now whether people choose to believe it or not. And how Jesus would love to do His healing work and have a relationship with even the most critical, cynical and reached sinner.

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November 13

Miracle 4 - Fellowship

Miracle 4 - Fellowship among the Believers -- note: this could be a taste of Heaven and this could also be a taste of Hell (2 Corinthians 6:7)

Miracle 4 - Fellowship among Believers (John 6:1-15) Feeding of the Thousands with Bread and Fish Fellowship among the believers

After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased.

And Jesus went up into a Mountain, and there He sat with His Disciples. And the Passover, a Feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company come unto Him, He says unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this He said to prove [test] him: for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth [i.e. all the money we have] of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, says unto Him, There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves;

and when He had Given Thanks, He distributed to the Disciples, and the Disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, He said unto is Disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is Truthfully that Prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed again into a Mountain Himself alone. ~ John 6:1-15

Jesus performs this next miracle while on a Mountaintop. A great multitude had followed Jesus out into the countryside. Jesus asked the disciple Philip "where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?" It says that Jesus asked Philip to test Him because Jesus already knew what He was going to do. Philip wondered how much money it would take to buy all of the bread that the huge crowd would need. Another one of the disciples named Andrew said "There is a lad here, which has five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are these among so many?" And Jesus said "Make the men sit down" Jesus took the loaves and the fish and after giving thanks distributed them to the disciples and the disciples distributed them to the people who were sitting down. When the people were full Jesus instructed the disciples to "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." And the disciples gathered 12 full baskets of fragments from the five barley loaves of bread.

Sharing bread and fish that God has provided for us is an example of fellowship. The miracle of fellowship is that God has broken down every wall and barrier. Believers are now converted and see themselves and others in God's true agape love knowing that we are all created by God in the Image of God. We are all saved and cleansed by the same precious blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross. All people are descendants of Adam and Eve and again we are all related in Noah and His wife. There is no longer any color barrier or ethnic barrier we are all one in Jesus. We are all now nobility, children of the King. We have been elevated to the highest standard obtainable to become a relative in the one and only true Royal Family of King Jesus.

Jesus gives thanks, takes the bread and breaks it, distributing the fragments of bread to feed the multitudes. We often think what do I have to offer in fellowship & Church with other Christians. We look at ourselves and know our problems and our shortcomings. We wrongly think that Christians are "perfect" people and that we need to be "perfect" to fellowship. The reality is that in Jesus He is using the fragments of our life to nourish others in fellowship. When we honestly open up our lives to others we are truly fellowshipping and helping others many who are in similar circumstances as we are.

Then Jesus instructed "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." The truthful fellowship will remain and last even into eternity. There are some things that will transfer with us into Heaven and earthly fellowship is one of those things. The people and Godly relationships we establish here on earth will transfer with us for eternity into Heaven.

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November 14

Miracle 5 - Calming Storms

Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears in Life

Miracle 5 - Calming our Storms and Fears (John 6:16-21) Jesus calms the disciples during a storm Jesus Calms our Fears

And when evening was now come, His Disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship (boat), and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But He says unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land where they went. ~ John 6:16-21

The disciples entered into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, alone and in the dark, the disciples began to experience a great storm "and they were afraid." They were still afraid when Jesus walking on the water approached them and said to them "It is I; be not afraid." Then they willingly received Him into the ship (boat): and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

The dark nights and the storms of life will come. It is up to us to look to Jesus and to invite Him into our situation into the very boat of our circumstances. As we look around for Jesus we need to look up to see Jesus, for He is above our problems He is walking on the waters. Jesus is above the very storms that threaten to capsize us.

In following Jesus the sea of life will from time to time become stormy, strong winds will blow. These are the very circumstances which Jesus allows into our lives in order for us to call out to Him and to see that He is bigger than any storm. Often these strong winds are nothing less than demonic attacks, but that doesn't matter as Jesus has the authority to calm every storm even satanic and demonic storms. It is important to remember that no matter what direction the wind is blowing from or how strong the storm that Jesus is always in control and He is always with us.

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November 15

Miracle 6 - Evangelism

Miracle 6 - Mature Christians share the Gospel with others

Miracle 6 - Mature Christians Preach (John 9:1-11) Blind eyes opened (Revelation 3:17-18) Apostles sent out to non-believers

And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the Works of God should be made manifest in him. I must Work the Works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the World. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [lit. Apostle], which is by interpretation, Sent. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were your eyes opened? He answered and said, A Man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

This man has remained blind since his birth. Jesus Informed His disciples that the act of making this man see is a work of God. It is a work that God will be glorified in doing. Vision requires light in order to see, Jesus proclaims Himself to be the light for our sight.

Jesus made clay from His spit and dust from the ground then Jesus "anointed" the eyes of the blind man with the clay. Clay represents the frail condition of humanity. The Bible says that we are but clay (Job 4:19). This man was blind to the plight of humanity. This man was blind to the sin and suffering that is occurring around him.

Then Jesus instructed the man to "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, which is by interpretation, Sent." In Greek the pool of Siloam is called the pool of Apostle. Apostle means sent. The Apostles of Jesus are the "sent out ones" But in order to be sent out it is first required to have sight in the light of Jesus and to have our eyes Anointed with the Clay of humanity. Apostles have the Gospel of the Resurrection of Jesus to Eternal life. Apostles have the Good News and the message is to the sinner that God desires to save them.

We were once blind now that we have been filed with the Holy Spirit read God's word daily, walk according to God's word, share God's word in fellowship with believers, braved the storms of life by calling on Jesus, we can now participate in the 6th miracle of Jesus which is to be a sent out one an Apostle. Jesus said to take the Good News [gospel] of His resurrection into all the world. We do not have to be sent out into the globe to be sent out we can reach our families, friends, communities and co-workers all of them need to experience the love that Jesus has for them. When we have applied God's word to our own life and Christian walk we can now share God's word with others we must be careful to give only God's word and not to pass off our notions as God's word but share only the true bread of Jesus.

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November 16

Miracle 7 - Our Resurrection Life

Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life in the Resurrection Life of Jesus Christ

Miracle 7 - Our own Resurrection Life (John 11:1-45) The Resurrection of Lazarus from death to life Resurrection of the believer from physical death to eternal life

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose

brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that

the Son of God might be Glorified thereby. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. Then after that says He to His Disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. His Disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone you; and go you thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. These things said He: and after that He says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Nevertheless Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent all of you may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow Disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Then when Jesus came, He found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it you. Jesus says unto her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha says unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the Resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her [you are wrong, regarding a persistent ancient myth about a one-time Last Days resurrection], I Am the [continual] Resurrection, and the [continual] Life: he [OT saint] that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he [continually] live: And whosoever [NT saint] lives and believes in Me shall never die. Believe you this [in the Living Christ, instead of the one-time Last Days resurrection myth]? She says unto Him, Yes, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master has come, and calls for you. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the Spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have all of you laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself comes to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take all of you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days. Jesus says unto her, Said I not unto you, that, if you would believe, you should see the Glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. And I knew that you hear Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent Me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a cloth. Jesus says unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.

Lazarus was sick. The Lazarus whom "thou (Jesus) lovest." Jesus replied "This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Then Jesus waited two more days before departing with the disciples on the journey to get to where Lazarus was. By the time Jesus and the disciples arrived, Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for four days. The sisters of Lazarus were in despair that Jesus had arrived too late to heal their now dead brother. Jesus replied that to believe in Him is to never die. Then Jesus called Lazarus by name and the dead Lazarus became alive and walked out of his own grave. Not only did Jesus resurrect Lazarus back to life Jesus instructed that the grave cloths that had Lazarus bound up were to be removed.

Many people are afraid of death, Jesus has said that to believe in Him is to have the binding cloths of death and the grave permanently removed from us. In Jesus we have both life and freedom.

It only makes sense that God can resurrect us from death, after all God created each of us and gave us each a life in the first place. What is more difficult, to create life the first time or to give existing life a new body? To God nothing is impossible. The difficult part is not in creating a physical body or next a Spiritual body for us, the difficult part was to remove the sin that separated us from God.

The final miracle of Jesus that we get to participate in is the glorious resurrection of the believer. Jesus called Lazarus by name just as Jesus knows our name and will call us by name to the first resurrection. The first resurrection is a selective resurrection and is for the believer only the unbelievers will not come forward until the end and that is to be condemned. Jesus said "unbind him and let him go" at the resurrection we will no longer be bound to these bodies of flesh and sin. Jesus has set us free from sin and the penalty of sin which is death. The resurrection is where we realize what God has already done for us at the creation and re-united for us at the cross of Jesus.

Note: Jesus resurrected other people (Matthew 9:25, Luke 7:15) from death during His 1st Coming. Lazarus was not a special onetime event. The 1st Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:23, Revelation 20:6) since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a continual and ongoing event not a onetime end of days event. That is why the doctrine of Purgatory is completely rejected by Protestantism because people are either currently resurrected, in order, or are awaiting judgment, a State of Purgatory biblically doesn’t exist.

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November 17

8th - Heavenly

Where biblically the number 7 often implies an earthly completeness the number 8 often signifies a Heavenly newness

Jesus' 8th Miracle in the Gospel of John

The 8th Miracle in the Gospel of John is after the Resurrection of Jesus

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish - signifying that Jesus will bring in the entirety of the Christian Church Age.

After these [Passion - Holy Week] things Jesus showed Himself again to the Disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and likewise showed He Himself. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His Disciples. Simon Peter says unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with you. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus [after the Resurrection] stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus says unto them, Children, have all of you any food? They answered Him, No. And He said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and all of you shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. ~ John 21:1-6

Jesus' 8th Parable in the Gospel of Matthew

Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed [in the Bible] unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his Treasure things New [New Testament] and Old [Old Testament]. ~ Matthew 13:52

This 8th Kingdom Parable of Jesus Christ seems to imply that a good Bible Scholar (scribe) is to interpret first the New Testament and then using the knowledge of the New Testament is able to more aptly understand the intentions and Biblical applications of the Old Testament.

Jesus' 8th Seal of Revelation

I Jesus have sent mine Angel to Testify [Seal - 8th Seal] unto you these things in the Churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit

and the Bride [Church] say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that hears the Words of the Prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: And if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book

of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are Written in this Book. He which Testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. ~ Revelation 22:16-20

The Book of Revelation seems to have been Sealed with an 8th Seal the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Implied in this 8th Seal is that it has to be activated "Surely I come quickly" (Acts 3:21) before the events of Revelation unfold and that when the Seal is activated then the events of Revelation will quickly unfold.

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November 18

The Bible is Perfect

The Christian Bible is Inspired, Infallible and Perfect in leading people to Salvation

Your Word (Scripture) is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~ Psalms 119:105

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Our Bible as we have noted earlier is a translation from the original Hebrew and Greek languages. During the translation process decisions were made by the translators to favor some doctrines while neglecting others. The fact that some doctrines are more clearly and more precisely translated than others does not make the Bible infallible because on whole the Bible as one whole Document is clear, concise, readable and therefore infallible.

Taking select verses out of context and neglecting the greater general principal of Salvation only in Jesus Christ does make the instructor suspect but it does not make the Bible infallible.

The Bible, especially the trustworthy and reliable KJV 1611 version is perfect, at least perfect enough for what we need to study in our given day.

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November 19

The 7 Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church

Roman Catholic Sacrament - divine life dispensed to the people

The sacraments of the Catholic Church are, the Roman Catholic Church teaches, "efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions."

While the Church itself is the universal sacrament of salvation, the sacraments of the Catholic Church in the strict sense are seven sacraments that "touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian's life of faith". "The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation", although not all are necessary for every individual, and has placed under anathema those who deny it: "If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not ineed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema."

The Church further teaches that the effect of a sacrament comes ex opere operato, by the very fact of being administered, regardless of the personal holiness of the minister administering it. However, a recipient's own lack of proper disposition to receive the grace conveyed can block the effectiveness of the sacrament in that person. The sacraments presuppose faith and through their words and ritual elements, nourish, strengthen and give expression to faith.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists the sacraments as follows: "The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments.

There are Seven Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church:

Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist (Communion), Penance (Repentance - Reconciliation), Anointing of the Sick (including Last Rites), Holy Orders (Ministry - Ordination), and Matrimony (Marriage - Family).

Source: wiki.com

Note: each of the seven Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church are administered by a Catholic Priest and received by the laity.

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November 20

The 2 Sacraments of the Protestant Reformation

Protestant Sacrament - an earthly sign associated with a promise from God

The Two Reformed (Calvinism) Sacraments

John Calvin defined a sacrament as an earthly sign associated with a promise from God. He accepted only two sacraments as valid under the new covenant: baptism and the Lord's Supper. He and all Reformed theologians following him completely rejected the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the treatment of the Supper as a sacrifice. He also could not accept the Lutheran doctrine of sacramental union in which Christ was "in, with and under" the elements [Communion bread and wine].

The Westminster Confession of Faith also limits the sacraments to baptism and the Lord's Supper. Sacraments are denoted "signs and seals of the covenant of grace." Westminster speaks of "a sacramental relation, or a sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified; whence it comes to pass that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other." Baptism is for infant children of believers as well as believers, as it is for all the Reformed except Baptists and some Congregationalists. Baptism admits the baptized into the visible church, and in it all the benefits of Christ are offered to the baptized. On the Lord's supper, Westminster takes a position between Lutheran sacramental union and Zwinglian memorialism: "the Lord's supper really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually, receive and feed upon Christ crucified, and all benefits of his death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally in, with, or under the bread and wine; yet, as really, but spiritually, present to the faith of believers in that ordinance as the elements themselves are to their outward senses."

The Two Protestant Sacraments

Anglican teaching is that "there are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism and the (Communion) Supper of the Lord", and that "those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction (Ministry), are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel".

Source: wiki.com

Note: some modern extreme Calvinism teachings are reinterpreting the two Sacraments (Baptism and Communion) to be "Proclaiming of the Gospel of Grace" and "Acts of Service" by an Ordained Pastor/Elder. Notice that the New Reformed Sacraments don't directly benefit the Laity as is the previous case with Roman Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation but instead the New Reformed Sacraments in a sense primarily benefit the Reformed Minister as it is the Minister that according to some customs will receive rewards in Heaven based on a compiling of sacraments on earth. It's also interesting how the New Reformed Sacraments of preaching 'talking' and service 'doing' basically becomes anything that the Reformed Pastor/Elder says or does is a sacrament while anything a non-ordained member does is probably not so much of a holy sacrament. -- The implementation of the New Reformed Sacraments could be a cause of concern regarding an existing pervasive cult mentality.

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November 21

The 3 Sacraments of Common Christianity

Common Christian Sacrament - Sacred interactions between humans and God

1. Confession of Faith

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him (Jesus Christ) shall not be ashamed. ~ Romans 10:9-11

God the Father: No man can come to Me (Jesus), except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:44

2. Baptism - Spirit, Water, Fire

And Jesus came and spake unto them [Apostles], saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and Teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son (Jesus), and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18

God the Son - Jesus Christ: I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He [Messiah] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He [Jesus Christ] shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: Whose fan [i.e. tools] is in His hand, and He will throughly purge [completely empty] His floor [workspace], and gather His wheat [saved] into the garner [building]; but He will burn up the chaff [unsaved] with unquenchable fire. ~ Matthew 3:11-12

3. Communion

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is My blood of the New Testament [eternal life], which is shed for many for the remission of sins. ~ Matthew 26:26-28

God the Holy Spirit: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God [Father], and the Communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us not [the water and] the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him. ~ 1 Peter 3:21-22

For I [Apostle Paul] have received of the Lord [Jesus Christ] that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same [Passover] night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped [eaten], saying, This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death [i.e. and resurrection] till He come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Note: To participate in any one of the 3 Sacraments is to participate in all of them. An individual confession of faith that Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Son of God is the same profession as Baptism and Communion.

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November 22

The Original 3 Solas

The 3 Solas of the Protestant Reformation

The theology of the Reformers departed from the Roman Catholic Church primarily on the basis of three great principles:

• Sole authority of Scripture -- God revealed

• Justification by faith alone -- man revealed

• Priesthood of the believer -- interaction between the two

By Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)

Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) was one of the watchwords of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that Scripture, as contained in the Bible, is the only authority for the Christian in matters of faith, life and conduct. The teachings and traditions of the church are to be completely subordinate to the Scriptures. Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, holds Scripture and Tradition to be of the same inspired Deposit of Faith.

By Faith Alone (Sola Fide)

Sola Fide (by faith alone) was the other watchword of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that we are justified before God (and thus saved) by faith alone, not by anything we do, not by anything the church does for us, and not by faith plus anything else. It was also recognized by the early Reformers that Sola Fide is not rightly understood until it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of Sola Gratia, by grace alone. Hence the Reformers were calling the church back to the basic teaching of Scripture where the apostle Paul states that we are "saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God," Eph. 2:8.

Priesthood of All Believers - 'one priesthood of believers' (Sola Sacerdos)

The third great principle of the Reformation was the priesthood of all believers. The Scriptures teach that believers are a "holy priesthood," 1 Pet. 2:5. All believers are priests before God through our great high priest Jesus Christ. "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Tim. 2:5. As believers, we all have direct access to God through Christ, there is no necessity for an earthly mediator. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox concept of the priesthood was seen as having no warrant in Scripture, viewed as a perversion and mis-application of the Old Testament Aaronic or Levitical priesthood [the O.T. having been successfully accomplished, completed and fulfilled in the bringing in and establishing of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and His N.T.] which was clearly fulfilled in Christ and done away with by the New Testament.

Source: Theopedia.com

Note: the original 3 Solas are comprised of the three necessary and distinct categories; God Revealed (One Scripture), Man Revealed (One Faith), and the interaction between the two (One Priesthood).

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November 23

The Revised 5 Solas

The Revised 5 Solas of Reformed Theology

The Five solae are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which the Reformers claimed had usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the Pope.

Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone") -- God Revealed

Sola fide ("by faith alone") -- God Revealed

Sola gratia ("by grace alone") -- God Revealed

Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone") -- God Revealed

Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone") -- God Revealed

Source: wiki.com

Note: the Priesthood of All Believers (Sola Sacerdos) has been removed.

Also Note: although there are now 5 phrases expanding the original 3 [though 3 phrases are new as (Sola Sacerdos) was removed] there is in actuality now only one category. Gone are the two categories of Mankind [faith is from God in this new model] and the Priesthood category has also been removed from this model. The implication that the newer 5 Solas are somehow more complete or more knowledgeable is misleading in that the 5 Solas are really only 5 rephrasings of the one Sola category.

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November 24

The 3 Church Governments

Introduction: The 3 Biblical Church Governments - Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational

New Testament -- Three and Four Tiered Fellowships

1. Bishops - Pastors and Leaders

2. Elders - Office-bearers and Teachers {Elders primarily serve the Bishops as the Bishops are to test their theology, get their Biblical instruction and receive leadership guidance primarily from the church Elders.}

3. Deacons - Servants {The Deacons primarily serve the Congregants (internal and external i.e. hospital visits) and inform the Elders regarding the needs and condition of the Congregation.}

4. Congregation - Members {Confess a belief in God the Father, The Deity - Virgin Birth and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Ministry of the Holy Ghost, publically confessing Jesus Christ to be the only Son of God, are water baptized and are receiving the bread (unleavened - unsweetened) and the cup (fruit of the vine, grape juice) communion.}

The Biblical Pattern of the Three Church Governments

The three prominent forms of church government [Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational] all appeal to the Scriptures as well as church tradition for support of their respective positions. Since the Bible is not silent on the subject, key elements in the biblical examples are germane. Greg Bahnsen has noted the following:

There is no distinction between "elders" and "bishops" (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17, 28); these represent the same office and order.

Each congregation and center of leadership is to have a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1), not one-man rule.

These elders have oversight of the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2-3) and are thus responsible to rule the congregation (1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; 1 Thes. 5:12; Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). They judge among the brothers (cf. 1 Cor. 6:5) and, in contrast to all the members, they do the rebuking (1 Tim. 5:20). Christ calls them to use the "keys of the kingdom" to bind and loose (Matt.16: 19; 18: 18; John 20: 23)-these keys being the preaching of the gospel (I John I :3), administering of the sacraments (Matt. 28:19-20; I Cor. 11: 23ff.), and the exercise of discipline (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:1-5).

The elders are assisted in their ministry by "deacons" who give attention to the ministry of mercy (Phil. 1:1; Acts 6:1-6; cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13).

The office-bearers in the church are nominated and elected by the members of the congregation (e.g. Acts 6:5-6), but must also be examined, confirmed and ordained by the present board of elders (Acts 6:6; 13: 1-3; 1 Tim. 4: 14).

Members of the church have the right to appeal disputed matters in the congregation to their elders for resolution, and if the dispute is with those local elders, to appeal to the regional governing body (the presbytery) or, beyond that, to the whole general assembly (Acts 15). The decisions of the wider governing bodies are authoritative in all the local congregations (Acts 15:22-23, 28, 30; 16:1-5).

Source: Theopedia.com

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November 25

Congregational Church

Congregational: Practiced by Jesus and the Apostles - Servant Ministry - Equality

History of the Congregational Church

According to the congregationalist theory of the history of the Christian Church, the early disciples of Jesus had little or no organization. Congregationalists believe that in the centuries after the spread of Christianity, attempts to gain influence over all the churches were made by leaders in centers like Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, Byzantium, and Jerusalem. Typically, congregationalists view this supposed accumulation of power to be complete by the year AD 1000, with the bishop of Rome claiming authority over all Christendom, and many churches throughout the western part of Europe submitted to his authority. The churches of eastern Europe, all of Asia, and Egypt likewise had been gathered under a hierarchy of bishops, but retained their independence from the pope, according to this view.

Congregationalists sympathetically interpret various dissident movements among the western churches, that were suppressed throughout the Middle Ages. By the sixteenth century, political and cultural changes had created a climate in which the Roman church could no longer suppress the protests of men such as John Wycliffe, John Hus, Martin Luther, and John Calvin against alleged church abuses. These reformers advocated a return to the simplicity and sincerity they saw described in the New Testament Church, which congregationalists believe is fulfilled in the congregationalist model of church governance.

There are difficulties in identifying a specific beginning because Congregationalism is more easily identified as a movement than a single denomination, given its distinguishing commitment to the complete autonomy of the local congregation. The idea that each distinct congregation fully constitutes the visible Church can, however, be traced to John Wyclif and the Lollard movement which followed after Wyclif was removed from teaching authority in the Roman Catholic Church.

The early Congregationalists shared with Anabaptist theology the ideal of a pure church, which made adult conversion experience important for full membership in the church, unlike other Reformed churches. As such, the Congregationalists were a reciprocal influence on the Baptists, differing from them in that they counted the children of believers in some sense members of the church unlike the Baptists, because of baptism.

In England, the Roman system of church government was taken over by the king, Henry VIII, who (because he wanted to legitimize his marriage to Anne Boleyn in 1533 after divorcing his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, without the blessing of the Pope in Rome) influenced Parliament to enact the 1st Act of Supremacy in 1534, which declared the reigning sovereign of England to be 'the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England', an act which is in effect to this day. Robert Browne, Henry Barrow, John Greenwood, John Penry, William Brewster, and John Robinson were notable people who, in defiance of royal command, established churches separate from the Church of England.

With the demise of the monarchy, the Westminster Confession of Faith (1646) was officially declared the statement of faith for both the Church of England (Anglican) and Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). The Congregationalists created their own version of the Westminster Confession called the Savoy Declaration in 1658. The underground churches in England and exiles from Holland provided about 35 out of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower, which sailed from London in July 1620. They became known in history as the Pilgrim Fathers. The early Congregationalists sought to separate themselves from the Anglican church in every possible way and even forwent having church buildings. They met in one another's homes for many years.

The Pilgrims sought to establish at Plymouth Colony a Christian fellowship like that which gathered around Jesus Himself. Congregationalists include the Pilgrims of Plymouth, and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which were organized in union by The Cambridge Platform in 1648. These settlers had John Cotton as their most influential leader, beginning in 1633. Cotton's writings persuaded the Calvinist theologian John Owen to separate from the Presbyterian church, after which he, among others, became very influential in the development of Congregationalist theology and ideas of church government. Jonathan Edwards, considered by some to be the most important theologian ever produced in America, was also a Congregationalist.

The history of Congregational churches in the United States is closely intertwined with that of American Presbyterianism, especially in New England where Congregationalist influence spilled over into the Presbyterian churches farther west. Some of the first colleges and universities in America, including Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Williams, Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Amherst, all were founded by the Congregationalists, as were later Carleton, Grinnell, Oberlin, Beloit, and Pomona.

Without higher courts [church committees - synods] to ensure doctrinal uniformity among the congregations, Congregationalists have been more diverse than other Reformed churches. Despite the efforts of Calvinists to maintain the dominance of their system, some Congregational churches, especially in the older settlements of New England, gradually developed sentiments toward Arminianism, Unitarianism, Deism, and transcendentalism. By the 1750s, several Congregational preachers were teaching the possibility of universal salvation, an issue that caused considerable conflict among its adherents on the one side and hard-line Calvinists and sympathizers of the First Great Awakening on the other. The first church in America with an openly Unitarian theology was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1785 (although in a former Anglican parish) and by 1800, all but one Congregational church in Boston had Unitarian preachers teaching the strict unity of God, the subordinate nature of Christ, and salvation by character. Harvard University, founded by Congregationalists, itself became a source of Unitarian training. Eventually, the Unitarian churches, prompted by a controversy over a theological appointment to Harvard, separated from Congregationalism in 1825; most of its descendants now hold membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association, founded in the 1960s by a merger with the theologically-similar Universalists, another group dissenting from Calvinist orthodoxy.

Thus, the Congregational churches were at the same time the first example of the American theocratic ideal and also the seed-bed from which American liberal religion and society arose. Even still, many Congregationalists in the several successor denominations to the original tradition consider themselves to be Reformed first, whether of traditional or neo-orthodox persuasion. In 1931 the Congregational Churches and the General Convention of the Christian Church, a body from the Restoration Movement tradition of the early 19th century, merged to form the Congregational Christian Churches. The Congregationalists were used to a more formal, less evangelistic form of worship than the Christian Church members, who mostly came from rural areas of the South and the Midwest. Both groups, however, held to local autonomy and eschewed binding creedal authority.

In 1957, the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches in the U.S. merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form the United Church of Christ.

© 2008 by Gene Webster

Source: gene.kellerhouse-webster.com

Note: traditionally the Congregational style of Church participation is successful based directly on the extent that the congregation is informed, educated, motivated and involved.

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November 26

Episcopal - Roman Catholic

Episcopal Roman Catholic - Bishops (Popes) and Overseers (Cardinals)

Catholic Church Hierarchy

The term hierarchy (literally, "holy government") has a variety of related usages in the Catholic Church. There is a hierarchy of truths, which refers to the levels of solemnity of the official teaching of the faith. There is a hierarchical nature of the church, which is a structural feature considered to be of divine institution.

Most commonly, it refers to the ordering of ministry in the church into the threefold order of episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate, which is considered to be divinely instituted and essential to the Church itself. In some cases, it refers only to the magisterium, the official teaching body of the church, the bishops, excluding deacons and presbyters (priests).

There is, in addition, an order of precedence of the various offices and ministries, which indicates the precedence or 'rank' of various ministers and offices in the Church for use during liturgies or other ceremonies where such protocol is helpful.

The Catholic Church comprised, as of December 31, 2011 of 2,834 dioceses, each overseen by a bishop. Dioceses are divided into individual communities called parishes, each staffed by one or more priests. Priests may be assisted by deacons. All clergy, including deacons, priests, and bishops, may preach, teach, baptize, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only priests and bishops are allowed to administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation (Penance), Confirmation (priests may administer this sacraments with prior ecclesiastic approval), and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which ordains someone into the clergy.

The Pope - The Bishop of Rome

Catholics believe Pope Benedict XVI, like his predecessors, is the Vicar of Christ and 265th successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and therefore the leader of all Catholics and head of the Catholic Church. What most obviously distinguishes the Catholic Church from other Christian bodies is the link between its members and the Pope. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting the Second Vatican Council’s document Lumen Gentium, states: "The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’"

The Pope is referred to as the Vicar of Christ and the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. He may sometimes also use the less formal title of "Servant of the Servants of God". Applying to him the term "absolute" would, however, give a false impression: he is not free to issue decrees at whim. Instead, his charge forces on him awareness that he, even more than other bishops, is "tied", bound, by an obligation of strictest fidelity to the teaching transmitted down the centuries in increasingly developed form within the Church (though he himself is the final arbiter of what constitutes fidelity to those teachings).

In Catholic theology, the bishop who is the successor of Saint Peter in the episcopal see of Rome is viewed as the head of the College of Bishops, as Saint Peter was the chief of the Apostles; and communion with him is considered essential for the existence of the College of Bishops. He has direct authority, not an authority mediated through other bishops, over the whole Church.

Source: wiki.com

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November 27

Episcopal - Anglican

Episcopal Anglican - Bishops and Overseers

Anglican History

The name "Anglican" means "of England", but the Anglican church exists worldwide. It began in the sixth century in England, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Britain to bring a more disciplined Apostolic succession to the Celtic Christians. The Anglican Church evolved as part of the Roman church, but the Celtic influence was folded back into the Roman portion of the church in many ways, perhaps most notably by Charlemagne's tutor Aidan. The Anglican church was spread worldwide first by English colonization and then by English-speaking missionaries.

The Anglican church, although it has apostolic succession, is separate from the Roman church. The history of Christianity has produced numerous notable separations. In 1054 came the first major split from Roman administration of the church, when the Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman split apart.

The conflict of authority in England between church and state certainly dates back to the arrival of Augustine, and has simmered for many centuries. The murder of Thomas a Becket was one of the more famous episodes of this conflict. The Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, contains 63 points; the very first point is a declaration that the English church is independent of its government.

The beginning of the sixteenth century showed significant discontent with the Roman church. Martin Luther's famous 95 Theses were nailed to the door of the church in Wittenburg in 1517, and news of this challenge had certainly reached England when, 20 years later, the Anglican branch of the church formally challenged the authority of Rome. Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and abbeys in 1536 AD.

The newly-separated Anglican church was given some formal structure in 1562 during the reign of Elizabeth I. That structure is not a management process or governing organization. What binds us together is not common administration but shared tradition and shared belief. Our belief is written down in the Holy Bible and the Articles of Religion; our tradition is in part embodied in our Book of Common Prayer. The first Book of Common Prayer was produced in 1549. In it the Latin liturgy was radically simplified and translated into English, and for the first time a single 'use' was enforced throughout England. It has been revised numerous times since then, the most significant revision being the first, in 1552. All revisions since then, before the modern era, were very conservative revisions. The 1662 English Book of Common Prayer forms the historical basis for most Anglican liturgy around the world. While several countries have their own prayer books, all borrow heavily from the English tradition rooted in Cranmer's original work [Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 - 21 March 1556 AD) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury - Wiki.com].

Source: Anglican.org

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November 28

Presbyterian - Reformed

Presbyterian - Elders and Leaders (Pastors)

Presbyterian Church History

In western Europe, the authority of the Roman Catholic Church remained largely unquestioned until the Renaissance in the 15th century. The invention of the printing press in Germany around 1440 AD made it possible for common people to have access to printed materials including the Bible. This, in turn, enabled many to discover religious thinkers who had begun to question the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. One such figure, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor, started the movement known as the Protestant Reformation when he posted a list of 95 grievances against the Roman Catholic Church on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517 AD. Some 20 years later, a French/Swiss theologian, John Calvin, further refined the reformers' new way of thinking about the nature of God and God's relationship with humanity in what came to be known as Reformed theology. John Knox, a Scotsman who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, took Calvin's teachings back to Scotland. Other Reformed communities developed in England, Holland and France. The Presbyterian church traces its ancestry back primarily to Scotland and England.

Source: PresbyterianMission.org

Reformed churches are joined by historical lineage and certain beliefs rather than by a way of structuring their communities and churches. They are churches that developed out of the Swiss Reformation founded by Huldrych Zwingli in Zurich and John Calvin in Geneva. Like other Protestants they state a belief that salvation is through faith alone, and a belief that the Bible is the final authority for matters of belief and practice. In contrast to other Protestant Christians they are more likely to hold to the doctrine of predestination, though contemporary Reformed scholarship has helped them to understand this in the light of the grace of Christ. They are more likely to believe that Christ is present spiritually or symbolically in the Lord's Supper than physically.

Reformed and Presbyterian churches are somewhat distinguished from Lutheran and Anglican (Episcopal) churches in the way they organize their communities. This derives from Zwingli's principle that what is not expressed in scripture is not allowed (as opposed to Luther's principle that what is not forbidden in scripture is allowed). In some ways Zwingli and Calvin are more radical reformers than Luther, especially when it came to Church structure. They, and Reformed Christians who followed them, tried to set up their churches on the model they found of the early Church in scripture. In general Reformed churches reject a model of organization based on bishops (Lutherans, Anglicans, and some Wesleyans continued this model) in favor of a structure based on elders and deacons. ... Written by: Ted Vial

Source: Patheos.com

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November 29

Emergent Church

The Modern Emergent Progressive Church Movement

What is the Emerging Church?

The Emerging Church is a movement that claims to be Christian. The term 'Emerging Church' is used to describe a broad, controversial movement that seeks to use culturally sensitive approaches to reach the postmodern, un-churched population with the Christian message. Some Emerging Churches might use props such as candles, statues, and incense along with poems, open mics, and videos, etc. EC services are sometimes extremely informal, while others are more formal.

Emerging Churches seek to reach the lost by focusing on relationships and developing a "story," a "journey of life" that is expressed through the "narrative" of learning. These words and others are often used by emerging teachers in describing their religious experience. Other terms sometimes used are "reimagine," "tribe," "story of Jesus," "deconstruction," etc. There is sometimes an ambiguous, feelings-oriented desire to experience God and also share in the lives of people as they seek to find God in their way. Some Emerging Churches are inclusivistic (those outside of Christianity will be saved), while others are not. Some Emerging Churches are environmentally focused, while others concentrate on local issues. Some downplay doctrine, reinterpret creeds, and de-emphasize tradition, while others hold to them. Obviously, it is difficult to define precisely what is emerging and what is not.

Seeker-sensitive churches are similar to Emerging Churches except that Emerging Churches are sometimes lax doctrinally, where seeker-sensitive churches, which sometimes are lax in presenting the gospel, hold nonetheless to orthodox theology. Seeker-sensitive churches try to meet people's needs through programs, where Emerging Churches do this by investing time in people's lives. Seeker churches tend to focus on people in their thirties and up where Emerging Churches tend to reach people in their teens to thirties. But, some areas of the Emerging Church are so similar to seeker-sensitive churches that it is hard to tell the difference. So how do you distinguish between the two? Generally, a church is emerging if it seeks to reach those lost in the post-modern culture, rejects doctrinal absolutes, and, of course, proclaims itself to be emerging.

No Official Emerging Church or Doctrine

There is no official single Emerging Church or Emerging Church doctrine so there is no unified structure to examine. But, there are a lot of Emerging Church writings. The more I read them, the more concerned I become. It is apparent that the movement as a whole is off-center and is sacrificing time-honored biblical truths for a let's-get-along kind of attitude. Remember, the Emerging Church is, in part, reacting against the modernistic, absolute structure of stale traditional churches that want people to convert to their style of worship and time-frozen culture. Instead, Emerging Church members believe it is necessary to establish relationships with people, going where they are, meeting them on their level, and then later presenting doctrinal truths after they have become part of their lives. I must admit, this is what Jesus did. He was involved with the lives of the disciples, interacted with them, grew very close to them and taught them by example, not just propositionally.

Conclusion

Even though there are some pastors in the Emerging Church Movement that are true to scripture, the movement as a whole needs to stick to the essentials of the Christian faith, otherwise, in spite of its proclamation to renew Christianity afresh, it will become stale and heretical. No one, no movement of people should ever be so arrogant as to say that they can't fall into error -- even though they seek truth. As I've always said, if you want to mess something up, all you need is two things: people and time. The Emerging Church movement has much good in it, but it also has a good bit of bad already within its doors. by Matt Slick

Source: carm.org

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November 30

Cults

Cults - Controlling and Manipulating

The Marks of a Cult

1. Extrabiblical Authority: All cults deny what God says in His Word as true. Cults have shifted their theological point of authority away from God's full and final written Word, the Bible, to their own unique, self-promoting opinions about the Bible; they generally will use parts of the Bible but will have their own unique scripture which is considered to be superior to the Bible. While some cult groups give token respect for the Bible and go through the motions of accepting the authority of Scripture, in reality, they honor the group's or leader's novel interpretation of Scripture as normative.

2. Works Salvation/Legalism: Cults teach that eternal life depends upon something other than the Atonement; i.e., faith in the atoning, finished work of Christ on the cross is deemed not to be sufficient (usually replaced with human works and human responsibility). Rather than relying on the grace of God alone for salvation, the salvation message of the cults always boils down to required obedience to, or abstention from, certain obligations and practices (some even including obedience to the Old Testament law).

3. No Assurance of Salvation: The issue of a cult member's salvation is never settled, but is constantly affected by the changing circumstances of life; in this way, cult leaders are able to produce continued obligation and spiritual bondage, rather than spiritual freedom.

4. Guru-Type Leader/Modern Prophet: The cult leader is looked to as the infallible interpreter of Scripture, specially appointed by God to be a special saint, guru, or contemporary messiah, and thereby, has divine authority that must not be violated. Cultists almost always quote their leader rather than the Bible. The cult's adherents often expound the virtues of the founders and seek to cover the founder's sins and wickedness.

5. Vacillating, Ambiguous Doctrines/Spiritual Deception: In order to gain favor with the public, and thereby aid in the recruitment of new members, cult "doctrine" tends to be characterized by many false or deceptive claims concerning the cult's true spiritual beliefs (e.g., Mormons are not quick to reveal their belief that God was a man, who has now become the God of planet Earth).

6. Exclusivity from/Denunciation of Other Groups: Each cult group, regardless of what other doctrines are taught, will all have this one common idea -- "The Only True Church Syndrome." The members of each specific organization have been taught that their church, organization, or community, is the only true group and that all other groups are false. The group's leaders will explain that it is impossible to serve God without being a member of the specific group. Moreover, when the cult leader announces himself as the true "Messiah," all others are declared to be dishonest, deceitful, and deluded, and must be put down; alternative views are denounced as being satanic and corrupt. Persecution is welcomed, and even glorified in, as "evidence" that they are being persecuted for righteousness sake. Thus, if a member decides to leave the group, they have been told that they are not simply leaving an organization, but rather they are leaving God and His only true organization. Hence, for a member of a cult who has been in a group for any length of time, the action of leaving the group is much more difficult than what most Christians understand. To leave the group is, in the minds of the cult member, tantamount to leaving God.

7. Claims of Special Discoveries/Additional Revelation: Acceptance of new, contemporary, continual revelations that either deny the Bible or are allowed to explain it. The fundamental characteristic of Christianity is that it is historical, not dependent upon private knowledge and secret, unconfirmable relationships, while the almost universal basis of cult religion is the claimed exclusive revelation that one person has supposedly received. Rather than conforming to Biblical rules of evidence (2 Cor. 13:1), cult leader revelations almost always emanate from hallucinations, visions, dreams, private discoveries, etc. These new revelations often become codified as official written "scripture" of the cults (e.g., The Book of Mormon), and are considered as valid as that of the apostles (and even more relevant because they are given in these end times).

8. Defective Christology: Cults always have a false view of the nature of the Person of Jesus Christ; a cult will usually deny the true deity of Christ, His true humanity, His true origin, or the true union of the two natures in one Person.

9. Defective "Nature of Man": Most cults do not see man as an immortal being; instead they see him either as an animal without a soul or as a being which is being perfected to the point of becoming a god. They usually do not see man as a spirit clothed in a body of flesh awaiting the redemption of body and soul.

10. Out-Of-Context Scripture Use as Proof-Texts/Segmented Biblical Attention: Cults tend to focus on one verse or passage of the Bible to the exclusion of others, and without regard for the context in which Scripture is given (e.g., 1 Cor. 15:29 used by Mormons to justify baptism for the dead). In addition, cults have made an art form out of using Christian terminology, all the while pouring out their own meanings into the words.

11. Erroneous Doctrines Concerning Life After Death and Retribution: Covering the gamut from soul sleep to annihilationism to purgatory to universalism to the progression to godhood, cults invariably deny the existence of a final judgment of, and a final "resting" place for, the unrighteous.

12. Entangling Organization Structure: The less truth a movement represents, the more highly it seems to have to organize itself; the absence of truth seems to make necessary the application of the bonds of fear. Cults often demand total commitment by their converts to an organizational involvement that entangles them in a complicated set of human restrictions, giving the impression of passionate and often irrational devotion to a cause.

13. Financial Exploitation: The cultic practitioner strongly implies that money contributed to the cause will earn the contributor numerous gifts, powers, and abilities, and in many cases, outright salvation.

14. Pseudomystical/Spiritistic/Occultic Influence: Occult influence is many times found in either the origin of the group and/or in its current practices.

Source: rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/marksof.htm

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