Each of us are a temple unto God and wherever two or three or more of us are gathered in his name is a church… I mean Jesus is attending, so I would call this as holy a place as a Church.
And God told Moses that you can’t perfect the stones leading to the alter any more than they already are. So by you and I conversing about the Lord we may have Jesus looking over our shoulder… but just to make sure — go get anyone else and get ready to gather in his name… and he will be there with you. Beautiful. But to make this a true gathering in his name, take turns, or have the person reading my letter, read it out loud.
Peter taught us that we are to facilitate baptisms of the Spirit, and that a public baptism in water can be done at the same time but the water represents your sins being washed away, and perhaps obedience to God before others. (It is a fantastic way to get a group of believers who believe as you do together for your Baptism… which will have their faith surrounding you which will greatly bolster your faith… and that is what it is all about.)
The baptism of the Spirit can indeed happen anywhere at anytime, for the Holy Ghost can light upon us in a baptism of the Spirit when we are ready for the Lord to take away our sins and to lead a truly Christian life where you do all you believe you should do as a Christian and follow the two commandments as best you can. For this is indeed a belief system and if you do not do what you believe the Lord would have you do then you either don’t care, are slipping at the moment or you don’t truly believe for this is the proof. Doing what you believe the Lord would have you do is proof of your belief and what makes many say that a saved person will be known by their fruits. They can not help but to listen to the spirit and do good for others once they are saved. And Peter taught us this at the house of Cornelius.
And what a gift. To have all of the sins which weigh us so terribly down, just cast aside and forgotten and then all we are asked to do is to live a life filled with love. No wonder all these people are always trying to share what they have. And sharing the word with folks who decide to make the Lord their Savior and give up the weight of sin they carry creates the fruit… for we are the fruit!
So important in fact, the Lord himself, would break the Sabbath to come find you if you are lost.
You see, the Law was a set of actions for us to follow to be one with God, but actions do not prove our faithfulness, only how much we wish to be seen as pious, thus works do not save you. And the Law was insufficient. Salvation is derived from faith first and then good works will surely follow.
For Jesus saw our frailties and knew that our greatest challenge was true faith. Faith in the grace is what we need. Jesus did not come to change the law one bit or ‘one tittle’. In fact if you think about it he came to make it harder to become a disciple of the Lord than it was to be a follower of the Law of Moses. For we must love God with all of our might, and love our neighbors as we do ourselves (or as much as we love the Lord) and then Jesus went on to teach us we need to love strangers and our enemies this much too.
We have to hold our families safe from the world and shun sin… but yet we must go into the world everyday (amongst our ‘loved ones’ and forgive, edify, and build one another up in the right manner.)
The ten commandments and then a pretty long book on the Law called Leviticus can not cover what these two basic laws from which Jesus said all commandments come from covers. As a true disciple of Christ we are asked to do much more… and hold ourselves responsible for sinful thoughts too… for we have been taught that to think of a sin is a sin too.
Yet. You do not have to change to get saved, getting saved will change you. Once convicted and asking the Lord to come into your life, if you are sincere and are willing to follow his two commandments, as best you can… then the Holy Spirit will light upon you and you will feel a rush… it is different for so many people. But once filled with the Spirit, if you listen quietly after your prayers you will hear the spirit speak to you (really the spirit can speak to you and your heart anytime). For some it remains a whisper guiding them along their path and for others it can grow within them until it spills over and they speak in tongues… (I have never had this personal experience and there are three types of speaking in tongues but we can speak about this later).
All of us are indeed sinners and indeed we would all lie to cover these sins so that we may be saved. So a ‘Sinners Only’ line in a fellowship invitation is so appropriate… whether we like it or not. For we must realize the second half of what the Lord told us. Yes, he told us that not one tittle of the law would change because of his coming, but he also brought the second covenant with him… for we would be saved by our faith in the Grace and not by following the Law any more, yet one folds into the other quite neatly.
And he knew you could not receive (perhaps because you could not believe in the Faith as he was able to) the baptism of the Spirit believing that you held the Grace as he did. But he did know, as evidenced by those who followed and believed in him, that we could believe he held the Grace of God and afforded this Grace to us for believing in him holding the Grace. As Peter walking on the water could not occur without Jesus holding his hand… We had to believe we would receive the Grace through our faith that he held the Grace.
Now we can fully understand why Jesus is indeed the key!
And Grace is a state of bliss, perfection, love and forgiveness. Don’t forget the last word there. As long as you hold to your faith that Jesus held the Grace of God and do what you believe Jesus would have you do, Love God so you could learn how much he loves you and to love everyone else in this manner… you will be saved and receive everlasting glory in heaven.
And all we have to do is try our best. For we never attain perfection except through the Faith in Grace that our Lord held. No. For only God our Father in Heaven is perfect… as the Lord also taught us. He taught us so much more in the few parables he left with us that it could fill bookshelves.
Now many disagree on what the Lord would have us do as his Disciples, his followers, his Brides. What do we do here… we meet those who profess to be our Christian Brothers and Sisters with a Christian kiss and we do not meet them with doubtful disputations for the Body of Christ is far larger than you have ever imagined… we may have different doctrines yet we all still have the calling to spread his name as waters upon the seas.
Let us speak of one more thing here.
Who do you believe the Lord was speaking to when he asked the Apostles who he was… All of them… Right? Then a couple wrong answers were given and Peter (Petra) said you are the Lord, the Jehovah, the one and only son of God.
And then who was Jesus talking to next… there is more than a little contention here but if we keep an open mind we can see the reasons for all of this. Then Jesus said “Yes, and on this Rock (Petra) I will build my church.”
What he was saying is… “You are right Peter and upon this amount of faith I will build my church.”
Now who was he speaking to next? For what he said next and who he was speaking to makes a world of difference.
“Whatever you make law on earth will be made law in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be made loose in heaven.”
Now we are getting pretty deep here and I did not wish to go too far. But when Jesus said this he was speaking to all of the Apostles as proven by what he also said. ‘Last time I sent you I said to not worry about shoes, a coat, money or a sword… This time I ask that you get these and if you have the money… buy a sword.’ For he meant for each of them to strike out in different directions and start his church.
And Peter, now having a sword, cut the ear of the soldier who came to collect Jesus… and Jesus performed his last minor miracle… he cured the ear of the man who meant to take him for what he knew would end in his crucifixion. Now, surely this is the true calling of the army of the Lord.
And if we remember that he said each of the Apostles would be judging over their tribes, then you can understand why they would be allowed to create the laws for those churches they created in his name. And we can only wonder about the many mansions he is preparing in heaven and his statement when his followers forbade others from preaching in his name… ‘If they are not against us… they are for us.’
All of this. 5,000 years of tradition and prophesy from the people God said were chosen to bring about the salvation of the earth. Then two thousand more years of Christianity making it through to these times tells you why he said ‘If they are not against us they are for us’… for the Word and our Christian faith had to make it through the thousands of years until his return. (Which I personally believe and must always believe is eminent… so I keep my/our oil cans full, feeding my family and whoever will listen to the Word whenever I can share it with others to keep our lamps lit upon the hill.)
Sometimes man did much wrong in the name of our Lord, but ‘Mission Accomplished’! And the Churches now each seem to continue to perfect themselves so they can match the mission which our Lord calls each of us to complete. Share the love.
The Apostles each taught pretty much the same exact lessons as evidenced by the three gospels written by Apostles. The Bishops or caretakers of their churches slowly changed the doctrine and dogma of these churches. Sometimes to benefit themselves, some their country and sometimes to benefit the people and their relationship with the Lord.
Those who misdirected their churches or started new churches which purposefully taught bad doctrine and knew they were leading people astray, they would pay the ultimate price for this is taking the Lord’s name in vain and denying the Holy Ghost. But later members and congregations of these churches, who wholeheartedly believe in these things would not be judged by these things as they are blind. Wrong perhaps on some things, but blind to the doctrine which was added to benefit someone earlier in their Church. But later when doctrine became rituals believed in the Churches and no one practiced it to go against the Lord then they were added to the beliefs they held, and therefore they must follow these rituals – these different doctrines – to be a true Christian believer.
One exception here, if the doctrine practiced goes against the two commandments the Lord gave us then it is our own responsibility to understand this and to act accordingly for we are each personally responsible for our salvation in a religion which mandates that there be freedom of religion so we may come to the Lord on our own through our desire to be one with the Lord.
Thus it takes a heart wide and great to pass through the narrow gate. And through what I call G.E.T. – Glorifying, Edifying and Testifying we can bring people back to the basics which our religion is truly based upon. We can all G.E.T. the Word out concerning our salvation and ‘Loving God and our Faith in the Grace’. Loving one another and understanding that we are each made in his image with an overwhelming ability to love.
We must read and hold close to our hearts the chapter of Romans 14, which I believe speaks to this generation of people very well on these topics. But I also believe that warnings of Malachi will come to pass if his warnings are not heeded. In essence he says that one day we will come to understand these truths and when we do the father will come to the son and the son to the father as their religions unite again. (The splitting of the veil was the division of Jews from Christians.)
Then when we think it simple to be a true disciple of the Lord… we need to go back and read Romans 12… then for the calling out – read Romans 13… Three simple chapters which say so much. And with these basic tenants held, the faith will build as your love grows… as the Spirit within you grows… and we will all benefit greatly from this.
I apologize for rambling on… I do that.