Thursday, December 31, 2009

A HYMN for the 9th Hour of the Morning...


Thank YOU+ for going
to the cross for me;
.
Help me to go
to the cross
for THEE+.
.
Thank YOU+ for enduring
the agony and shame;
.
Help me, for THEE+,
to embrace the same.
.
Thank YOU+ for love
that doesn't flee;
.

Help me not
to flee from THEE+.
.
.
<(((><
.
.
Glory be to The FATHER,
And to The SON+,
And to The HOLY SPIRIT.
.
As it was in the beginning,
is now,
and ever shall be,
World without end.
Amen
.
+ + +

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Honor of Aunt Marie...


We love you, Aunt Marie!

This woman, my dear Aunt, entered into Glory with The LORD

on the 17th of December... just like she lived her life: quietly and uprightly.



As soon as I heard about her death,


The LORD graciously spoke to my heart:


"She is a member in good standing


in the Body of CHRIST."


<(((><

.

Such a wonderful commendation from The LIVING LORD! Such a life needs to be examined thoughtfully by anyone who wants to receive the same commendation.

.<(((><


She was not a missionary. She spent her life tending to her family. Sometimes she helped out the slender family budget by doing cleaning and other odd jobs around her small town. So, what did Aunt Marie DO DIFFERENTLY from any regular church-attender?

<(((><

.

From my own observations, this is what I saw for nearly 60 years of my life: She picked up her cross...the one appointed to her by The LORD. She learned how to die daily to Self. She was self-effacing when others were demanding... or mocking. She returned good for evil. She did not engage in gossip. She kept herself free from judgment amongst the many family bickerings. She issued kindness to all. She kept her heart free from bitterness when she got hurt.

<(((><
.

The family priest commended her for her serious walk throughout the years. And, in times of plenty or poverty, she quietly remained true to HIM+. She trained her children in the way they should go. She remained true to her husband when he was an invalid for a very long time, a couple of years with hepatitis... and there was no income to sustain her or the children. She didn't have to remain faithful, naturally speaking, because she was a beautiful blond of Hungarian ancestry , with beautiful skin to match and a lovely figure. She always had a delicate way about her. But she remained faithful to her husband, to her children, to her vows, AND TO HER LORD.

.<(((><


I remember Aunt Marie cooking over a cook-stove in the middle of winter. Life was NOT EASY for this dear woman. She always was patiently caring for her little flock of children plus her sick husband, and doing it all with good cheer and a peaceful demeanor. No nervous breakdown for this Woman of GOD. She didn't need it; she had her LORD to support her.



.<(((><



We salute you, Aunt Marie, as you leave the Church Militant and enter into the Church VICTORIOUS... in victory over temptation, sin, and heartache. May you rest in the JOY of The LORD now, and for all Eternity.

.<(((><

Let us join in prayer together:


Dear Heavenly FATHER,

We come before THEE in the Name of Thy Beloved SON+ JESUS to thank you for this woman's life, her wonderful example that THOU hath set before us. Grant us the desire to please THEE so earnestly that we too may turn the other cheek, go the second mile, and return good for evil as this dear Daughter of Thine+ did throughout her lifetime.

Help us to become meek and quiet of spirit, self-effacing in the face of the demands of others, following Thy HOLY SON+ JESUS Who+ set before us all the Ultimate Example of Holiness and Purity of heart.

.
LORD, help us to embrace the kind of quiet humilty that only THOU+ seest and the uprightness which pleaseth THEE+ beyond all other sacrifices. Amen.

<(((>< <(((>< <(((><

In the name of The FATHER,

Who created thee;

His Beloved SON+,

JESUS CHRIST,

Who+ saves thee;

And the Blessed HOLY SPIRIT,

Who anoints thee.

+ + +

You've been a good example, Aunt Marie! I hope you enjoy the Paradise of GOD in HEAVEN now, seeing as you always loved gardens here below.
Your flowers were gorgeous here below... I can't even imagine how much more glorious they are in the Paradise of GOD in HEAVEN!



...Until we meet again

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A LIGHT+ to Lighten the Gentiles...

...JESUS is His+ Name... the light of the world,


the TRUE LIGHT which lighteth every man

that cometh into the world.




HE+ was in the world,


and the world was made by HIM+,


and the world knew HIM+ not.


HE+ came unto His+ own,


and His+ own received HIM+ not.

BUT


as many as received HIM+,


to them gave HE+ power


to become the sons of GOD,


even to them that believe on HIS+ name.


Which were born,


not of blood,


nor of the will of the flesh,


nor of the will of man,


but of GOD.


~ ~ ~

A friend of mine has landed upon a new way for her to share JESUS during the Advent season. She is making a conscious and determined effort to bless someone each day... by phone, by visit, by sharing a treat, by prayer. She arises with this goal in mind: to share JESUS and alleviate some loneliness in the little corner of the world where she lives.

.

If we must do Christmas, then let us do it as unto The LORD, redeeming the time, making every day count to draw someone closer to the LORD. The holy days should be CHRIST-oriented, focused upon The Coming of The LORD.

.

However, many of us have much stronger memories of family get-togethers and gifts and feasts than we do of CHRIST-centered Holy Days. Thus, when family members die or families grow apart through distance or bickering, the holy days become a burden ... a battle with the blues. It is of serious proportions. Many, many persons even in the churches dread these holy days greatly. But, the people belonging to CHRIST can ferret out these individuals and turn the focus upon CHRIST!

.

As someone has said, "In every pew sits a broken heart." Myself, I would change that to, "Most pews are filled with the broken-hearted."
.

The many-fold activities that churches do during this season try to fill up the void. That awful void can only be filled up by CHRIST JESUS. But how shall they hear, if no-one tells them? How shall they know if no-one takes the time to reach out in a personal, quiet, one-to-one way? Was JESUS born so that we could give parties for our friends... or was HE+ born to give hope and love to a sad and lonely heart?

.

Let us become Advent messengers of that hope and love. What is really needed is for CHRIST to be born in the hearts of man, and then HE+ will set the captives free... free from fear, free from loneliness, free from futility of life. And, free to focus upon the SAVIOR+ of Mankind.

.

And we ourselves will be set free of Self-serving. We will be bearers of that LIGHT+, that was the TRUE LIGHT+, that lighteth every man which cometh into the world.

+ + +

In the name of The FATHER,

Who created us;

And HIS Holy SON+ JESUS,

Who+ saves us;

And the Blessed HOLY SPIRIT;

Who sanctifies us.

Amen.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Battle Against SELF-WILL...

~ or~

An ADVENT Message for us

to "Prepare Ye the Way of The LORD"
.
It was a sweet card... a Christmas card from an old school chum with the appropriate message about the birth of Our SAVIOR on it. She signed it with "love and prayers" because she fancies herself to be a Christian, having come through a battle with cancer with the help of The LORD.
.
So glad she is for the Hand of The LORD touching her life that she has found energy for a new life... by locating a man "who has her interests now" and buying a house together with "her new friend" ... outside the bounds of holy matrimony. Because she is beyond the age of child-bearing, all is well... she thinks.
.
Now, she was un-churched growing up and although she is a mother, grand-mother, and great-grandmother, my old school chum DOES know the difference between right and wrong.
.
The real problem is she calls herself a Christian.
.
Her man friend, whom I do not know, was raised in the Roman Catholic church. At least he knows that confession and repentance are needed before taking of The LORD'S Body and Blood at Communion.
.
In another situation, a young man was a musician in a local church. He loved to play on Sundays. They love to have him. His dear mother, a Christian anointed with the HOLY SPIRIT, confided to me that this son is doing well, out of jail, off drugs and alcohol. The only problem is that he is choosing not to live with Mom but rather with his girl friend.
.
The minister of his church counseled him about unrepentant sin. But, the young man wouldn't turn from it. So, the church forbade him to play for the worship service [ Bless GOD! ] ... and the minister cried! He urged him, however, to keep on coming to church, but the young man is toying with it.
.
The real problem is he calls himself a Christian.
.
In yet another situation of a totally different caliber, a Godly, well-seasoned and experienced church leader is pursuing a building scheme to establish his ministry with a name. At one point, this minister LEFT the helm of a huge church in order to reach out to the little poor unreached tribes. Everyone scoffed at him, but Pastor followed The Will of GOD. He now has more than 200 native missionaries under his wing, going to the unreached tribes.
.
What happened to this dear Pastor? He became ambitious and full of Self-Will. Problems soon developed as he pursued his will and not GOD'S will. Many words of warning have been lovingly given him. Several Christians have now distanced themselves from him and his ministry. Certain shipwreck is looming on the horizon if this Pastor pursues his self-willed course.
.
The real problem is that he calls himself
following CHRIST JESUS.
.
In all of these cases, Self-Will is ruling. In all of these cases, the delusion is strong that the pursuit of Self-Will will bring happiness.
.
The TRUTH is that Self-Will
will destroy anyone...
...in the Kingdom or out.
The pursuit of GOD'S WILL
is the only way
to avoid certain destruction.
.
That is why a daily, private, disciplined time of worship and Scripture reading is so important: it will open one's ears to know His+ Will. That is why seasons of repentance practiced by the ancient church are important for us to re-install today.
.
The original intent of the not-so-ancient Advent Season was to establish a season of repentance for the Church awaiting the Incarnation remembrance*. Anything to bring to mind repentance from the human condition is GOOD.
.
We all need it.
.
O HEAVENLY FATHER, we have erred from Thy Way like lost sheep. We have wandered too far from Thy Fold. We have allowed our hearts to lie to us about "what" makes us happy. Help us to worship THEE+ in Spirit and in Truth in the inner man. Turn us again, O LORD GOD of HOSTS, and we shall be saved.
+ + +
*[ We KNOW this day was arbitrarily chosen for less-than-holy purposes. Even so, we unite with the Western Church in remembering the Incarnation of Our LORD simply so the Church's witness to the Unredeemed ones doesn't become more confused than it already is. ]


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Royal Invitation...

~ ~ ~ R.S.V.P. ~ ~ ~
(ASAP)
.
.
The LORD GOD HEAVENLY FATHER offered an invitation .... one fraught with good will and lovingkindness... at the Incarnation+. HE sent forth HIS SON+ to be born of a humble and lowly Hebrew girl, a virgin of Israel from the hill county, to make solid that Royal Invitation.
.
But The LORD gives a warning for Christendom : Do not offer amnesty without repentance. We Christians tend to do that at Christmastime, especially. However, that Royal Invitation does NOT preclude nor eliminate the absolute necessity of repentance... before peace flows from the Heavenly Throne of The LORD towards a man.
.
If you offer amnesty without repentance,
My+ Blessing will not be upon it
and all is in vain;
I+ will not look upon
such a one with favor.
It will be with him
as the banquet-crasher
who deigned to come to ME+
at that Great Wedding Feast
improperly clad in his current
filthy clothing and sins.
Remember: that one had ample
opportunity to receive
an appointed and anointed
wedding garment;
My+ supply is limitless.
.
Do not substitute fiction for fact,
for you will be accountable.
I+ offer an Invitation
of the Best Goodwill
ever for mankind.
I+ do NOT offer pardon
without repentance.
My+ Blood is sufficient
to cover every sin.
If you do not respond
to the Invitation,
the Wedding Feast will still go on...
without you.
.
But remember:
when the door is shut,
it is shut
and no man can open it.
+ + +
In the name of The FATHER,
Who created thee;
.
His Beloved SON+,
JESUS CHRIST,
Who+ delivers thee;
.
and His Blessed HOLY SPIRIT,
Who sanctifies thee.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Bring us to CHRIST...

GOD SENT HIS MESSAGE OF "GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN."
.
Historically, Advent is a man-made event. Invented, though it be, as a serious time of fasting and repentance in the 4th Century or thereabouts, the early centuries of Christendom knew nothing about Advent nor its culmination in Christ-mass.
.
Advent, from the Latin, means the coming of CHRIST. It marks the beginning of the church year by several denominations. In the Greek, however, Parousia, is the word meaning "advent" and it refers to the Second Coming of CHRIST.
.
Advent and the Incarnation ... The LORD JESUS coming to earth as a man... can possibly be used to remind the world of HIM+. But truthfully, I have never known, heard of, or read about a single soul being brought to a living, loving, obedient, faith-filled relationship with The LORD JESUS because of Advent and "Christmas" tide.
.
While the carols, hymns, and various church traditions and rituals are comforting to Christians... they are also comforting to worldlings who have grown up with them.
.
Year after year, manger scenes are displayed on mantels, the Messiah is sung, and Christmas Eve candlelight services are religiously attended. People look forward to them all and would be out-raged and depressed if such were denied them. Yet, year after year, no lives are changed, no repentances made, no salvations granted as a result of this season of the much-heralded birth of CHRIST the King.
.
Thus, it would seem obvious that The LORD'S anointing does not rest upon this seasonal celebration contrived by man.
.
Many, many conscientious Christians of every flavor have revealed the origins of the "Christmas" traditions, both religious and secular, yet the Church proper is un-moved by Truth.
.
Why?
.
To Bring Us to CHRIST is not the ACTUAL and REAL goal of this "religious season" as it should be, but rather to bring us fleshly comfort. Unity and concord flow between most denominations during the Christmas season as they celebrate in unison the birth of CHRIST JESUS. Good Will... from the keepers of Christmas... flows toward all, as an amnesty against the Judgment of GOD upon the unrighteous, the sinners, the teachers of heresy, the apostates.
.
Has The LORD ordained such amnesty ?
.
With repentance, yes... but there is NO AMNESTY from GOD without repentance. Instead, there is a certain fearful looking for the JUDGMENT of GOD to overtake them.
.
If we Christians offer amnesty without repentence we are guilty of mis-representing the character of GOD. We are guilty of offering HIS love-gift, the sacrifice of HIS SON+, to be trampled underfoot by the un-holy.
.
This is what spiritually occurs by those who refuse repentance as a means to come to CHRIST... but want HIS+ heart-comforts, especially during this season of GOD'S "Good Will towards men."
.
Do we seriously look forward to the Advent, the Parousia, of CHRIST?
+ + +
In the Name of The FATHER,
Who begot us,
His Holy SON+,
Who saves us,
And His Blessed HOLY SPIRIT,
Who sanctifies us.
.
. . .
.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The WORMS of CHRISTENDOM...


The spider taketh hold with her hands,
and is in the kings' palaces.

Proverbs 30:28

Worms are interesting characters. They are lowly... so lowly that they usually slip by UN-NOTICED. They forbear drawing attention to themselves, knowing most people disdain them.

~ ~ ~


Anybody important would not give a "worm" a second glance. Certainly, there is no competition, either, with a worm. A worm just quietly goes about his duties in life ...unhindered because he is unimportant... without trying to take the stage. He has no trumpet to shout out his coming. He is content with being low.

~ ~ ~

In the natural sense, every gardner knows how valuable worms are. They are the living cultivators who digest things and leave valuable soil in their wake. The natural worms loosen the soil so air and water can get through to the roots of plants. A garden without natural worms is woebegone. Worms are so important that many seed catalogues for the home gardener have worms for sale.



In GOD'S Kingdom, the lowly ones, the nobodies, the "worms" of Christendom are important... vitally important.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Worms,

like the spider in Proverbs,

can get in places

and have the freedom of movement

that others more important do not have.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thus, Christian "worms" can minister to the hidden and hurting ones. Christian "worms" ... simply because they are lowly... are able to be used by The LORD.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

O Christian, is your life empty and seemingly bearing little fruit

for the Kingdom of GOD?

Is life a bit dull and dead-feeling for you?

Are you growing by leaps and bounds

into the likeness and image of

The LORD JESUS CHRIST...

or...

are you barely making it through the day,

facing oppression on one side and depression on the other?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Then, join the Army of Worms that The LORD is calling forth. Take HIS+ yoke upon you. That yoke is light because it is exactly and precisely fitted to worms.

Our LORD JESUS CHRIST cannot ... and will not... use the high-minded, strong-willed Believer because that person refuses the yoke of worms, HIS+ yoke.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Are we content to be a worm...
in the eyes of man...
but precious and beloved
in the eyes of GOD?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

O FATHER of LIGHTS and GOD of All Mercies, FATHER of Our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST...
~~~Hear the regret of our hearts, O LORD, for the many, many times we have vaunted our Self, our fleshly attainments, our abilities, and "what we know" in order to make an impression upon someone... our employer, our neighbor, our acquaintances. O GOD, we are so ashamed; no wonder we have no fruit to bring to THEE+. Turn us from this.
.
Help us to be content to do the low-paying jobs, to play the bottom line of the quartet, to take the unimportant postitions and duties at work and home. Help us not to clamor for more but rather to desire to be un-noticed by all but YOU... in order to do Your+ Bidding and work Your+ will. Help us to become privates in Your+ Army of Worms... so that we may indeed be found to be useful to YOU in Your+ Kingdom. Deliver us from illusions of grandeur, O LORD, and make us fit for the Kingdom of GOD .
.
In the Name of Thy dearly-Beloved SON+, Our LORD and Our EXAMPLE+, JESUS CHRIST.
+ + +
by Sister Worm, with many regrets...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Those 3 WILLS of GOD....

...that ye may prove

what is that good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

WILL of GOD.
Romans 12:2
.

At a church picnic last summer, I happened to be sitting near a group of older teen-agers / young adult sisters. One of them was sharing an experience, a situation, that had befallen her and she was troubled and unsure if she had done the right thing. In the midst of their youthful but serious discussion, I heard one of the sisters offer comfort from the Word of GOD.

.

In brief, she said there is a GOOD WILL of GOD and then, there is that ACCEPTABLE WILL of GOD , and thirdly, there is that PERFECT WILL of GOD.

.

So, in case one misses that perfect WILL of GOD, one should be okay if he or she does either HIS GOOD WILL or HIS ACCEPTABLE WILL ! They all nodded and agreed this was so, for wasn't this so in the Scriptures and teachings that they heard ?

.

Aha! So now, Christendom, there are 3 ... yes, three... possible "WILLS of GOD" for any given situation.
.
? ? ?
.
Is this rightly dividing
the Word of GOD?
.

From Romans 12:1 and 2 ~
.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of GOD,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto GOD,
which is your reasonable service.
.
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.
.
Even a school child can look at these verses, specifically the last phrase of verse 2 of Romans 12, and see that WILL is SINGULAR, not plural. There are NOT 3 different "wills" of GOD in CHRIST JESUS concerning us.
.
The trouble develops NOT because of misunderstanding the grammar. The trouble... and deliberate teaching ... develops because of the REJECTION of our cross. Not HIS+ cross... our cross.
.
What is being rejected is exactly what is written in this very verse, directly above the "3 Wills-of-GOD" phrase: and be not conformed to this world.
.
Christians become a target for oppression and torments when they ignore this instruction by the Apostle Paul, written under the inspiration of the HOLY SPIRIT.
.
The next phrase in this verse says: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
.
How do we "renew" our mind SO MUCH SO that we become transformed ? We learn to separate ourselves from the world's values and the world's systems. Yes, it is GOOD to change our manner of dress so that we give a visible witness of CHRIST. It is good to cease going to movies and worldly concerts and doing other activities (perhaps on the computer ?) that do not reflect CHRIST JESUS.
.
But the KEY to renewing our mind is to REJECT the world's values with which we have all been raised ...and replace those values with HIS+ values, what HE+ considers important. For example, when we are in the office, do we learn how to crush others down and exalt our own prowess? Or, do we learn how to speak well of others and promote them, instead?
.
Do we point our children to ways of worldly success... or are we content to point them to CHRIST and teach them how to work honestly as UNTO CHRIST... no matter what line of work they prepare to do?
.
As we learn NOT to conform (to the world) ourselves, our lives, our dress, and our values that we teach our children, AND REPLACE THESE VALUES with HIS+, then we will have our mind "renewed."
.
And, when we renew our mind in this way, we will be transformed into HIS+ likeness and image, in our heart.
.
When we Christians walk in MATURITY and take seriously the need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, then we will indeed prove what is that ONE...
GOOD, PERFECT, and ACCEPTABLE
WILL
of
GOD
in CHRIST JESUS concerning us.
.
At that point, we Christians may be able, in SPIRIT and in Truth, to actually present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.
.
However ~ until we separate our values and our activities and our ways from the world, we will NOT be renewed in our minds... regardless of how many Scriptures we read... and we will NOT be transformed into HIS+ likeness and image.
.
Worse, we will not be able to rightly divide the Word of GOD and will end up teaching and confusing the young CHRISTIANS with absurd renderings ...which will allow them to snuggle up to the world and change nothing.
.
So when the CHURCH
teaches
AGAINST the Word of GOD,
is it not ripe for judgment?
.
This is but ONE instance of the organized church going directly against the plain teachings of the Apostles and the PLAIN and STRAIGHTFORWARD Words of CHRIST,
and instead teaching for doctrines the compromising thoughts of men.
.
When this happens over and over again....
the Church is ripe for chastening of a severe nature, and judgment begins at the house of GOD, not the house of sinners.
THINK on this....
.
+ + +
.
In the name of The FATHER,
Whose Will was to send forth HIS Beloved SON+
to deliver us from sin and death;
In the name of The SON+
Who+ fulfilled the Will of His+ Heavenly FATHER;
In the name of The HOLY SPIRIT,
Who enables us
to fulfill the Will of CHRIST.
Amen


Monday, November 2, 2009

HANDS... the LAYING ON of....

HOLY HANDS
...for praying, for ministering,
for blessing, for worship...
Furthermore,
where does "laying on of hands" come in ?
.
Is this use of our hands in accordance with Scripture?
Is it in accordance with the SPIRIT of GOD?
.
The laying of on hands is found in only a few Scriptures. If one walks into many churches nowadays, one will find the "laying on of hands" going on with familiarity and ease... with everybody jumping into "doing" this. Is it in keeping with the WORD+ of GOD, both in Spirit and in Writing?
.
<(((><
.
Let's look at the Scriptures pertaining to the laying on of hands and evaluate: is it being done as the WORD+ of GOD teaches us to do it?
.
.
But before we begin with Scriptures, let me share about three separate incidences of laying on of hands.
.
The first one occurred in a conservative Anabaptist church. A church family was preparing to leave on a missionary journey. At the end of the church service, the congregation was called to "lay hands on the family" and pray. So, the men, women, and children of the congregation gathered around the family and did that. Later, the sisters were summoned to a Sunday School room and, after a time of sharing by a visiting sister, they laid hands on her and prayed.
.
The second incident was in an evangelical Baptist church... one known for being on fire for GOD... and a similar situation occurred. Men, women, and children laid hands on the couple going forth on the missionary trip and prayed for them.
.
The third incident happened in a small charismatic prayer meeting in a pastor's home, where, after a time of sharing, a lady was encircled for prayer. The pastor called for the sisters to come forward and lay hands on the lady during the prayer. So... we did.
.
.
Was all that... or any of that... Scriptural? In other words, were these seemingly well-meaning activities which were sanctioned by the pastors and leaders of 3 very different church groups done IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORD+ of GOD ?
.

Now that we have started with the examples of the activities of current day Christians, let us return to the TRUE PLACE where we ALWAYS should start: with the WORD+ of GOD.... written for our benefit, for:
.
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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (Written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy... 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
.
<(((><
.
The first passage in Scripture is found in Acts 8:17-19 ~
.
Then laid they (Peter and John) their hands on them (the new Samaritan believers) , and they received they HOLY GHOST. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles' hands the HOLY GHOST was given , he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the HOLY GHOST.
.
~ ~ ~ So we see here that the Apostles laid hands on the new believers and prayed for them (see verse 15) and the new believers received the HOLY SPIRIT. That is, the church leaders in authority did the laying on of hands and the result was the baptism of the HOLY SPIRIT.
.
~~ The second passage is found in I Timothy 4:14, where the Apostle Paul is speaking to Timothy with words of advice ~~
.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
.
Here we see that a Spiritual gift was bestowed upon Timothy. It came through the means of prophecy at the time of the laying on of hands. The hands-laying was those of the presbytery, or ordained eldership, the brothers appointed to be in charge.
.
<(((><
.
~ ~ ~ In the third passage, which is found in Hebrews 6:2, we have the Apostle admonishing the Brethren, saying they should be ready for MEAT but instead, they are in need of being re-taught as babes that need MILK. He says:
.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of CHRIST, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward GOD, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
.
In other words, the Apostle is saying let us not do again... over and over... the primary, beginning things of a Christian's walk. He is not saying let's stop these things totally, but let us not make these things the SUM TOTAL of Christianity. For, it is not the totality.
.
But rather, let us GO ON towards maturity, REALLY picking up one's cross and following CHRIST as HE+ instructed us to do... to bring forth that good fruit which the Husbandman (The FATHER) is looking for... to decrease so that CHRIST+ would increase in our lives.
.
~ ~ ~ ~ Also, in I Timothy 5:22, the Apostle is instructing Timothy in the order of the Church. He says:
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ The last Scriptural passage I found was in Acts 13:1-3 where Saul and Barnabus were separated out by the HOLY SPIRIT for their work. The Prophets and Teachers in the Antioch Church ministered to the LORD and fasted. Then the HOLY SPIRIT spoke to them about Saul and Barnabus.
.
And when they (the prophets and teachers, all ordained brothers of the church) had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them (Saul and Barnabus), they sent them away.
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Now, to return to our topic:
Is laying on of hands Scriptural?
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YES... if it is done the same way as it was done in Scripture.
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By whom was it done?
The Apostles, prophets, or elders
( the brothers ordained to lead the church)
did the laying on of hands.
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Nowhere in Scripture is laying on of hands done by the congregation at large, the brothers and sisters in a prayer group, the unordained brothers, any of the sisters, or the children. It was considered a very serious thing to transfer very serious anointing and authority upon the one being prayed for.
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If we want The LORD'S blessing
then we must do it HIS+ way;
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HE+ is not obliged to honor
strange fire on the altar.
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In fact, HE+ loathes
the disregard of HIS+ Word.
(See Levitucus 10:1)
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O LORD GOD, FATHER of all mercies, help us to do Thy Work Thy way, so that it will be acceptable unto THEE. Deliver us from being out-of-order before Thy Majesty. Alert us when we are moving in opposition or in ignorance to Thy Holy Word. Awake in us a desire for pureness and holiness when we come before Thee. Help us to turn away from following the crowd in practices that are not sanctioned by Thy HOLY SPIRIT. Keep us from presumptuous sin. This we ask through Thy Great Mercies, in the name of Thy SON+ JESUS CHRIST, our LORD. Amen.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

ESTABLISHING the WORK of our HANDS...



So teach us to number our days,

that we may apply our hearts unto Wisdom+.

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Return, O LORD, how long?

and let it repent THEE concerning Thy Servants.

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O satisfy us early with Thy Mercy;

that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

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Make us glad according to the days

wherein THOU hast afflicted us,
and the years wherein we have seen evil.

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Let Thy Work appear unto Thy Servants,

and Thy Glory unto their children.

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And let the beauty of The LORD our GOD be upon us:

and establish THOU the work of our hands upon us;

yea, the work of our hands establish THOU it.



Psalm 90: 12-17


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This lovely, inspired passage in the Psalms seems to be talking about The LORD JESUS CHRIST, the ONE+ Who+ was in the beginning with GOD, the ONE+ Who+ was known as Wisdom+ , the Daily Delight of GOD the FATHER in Solomon's writings (Proverbs 8:30).

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Let us ponder more closely the phrase: Establish THOU the work of our hands... in that last verse of this passage.

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We know what is the Work of the LORD'S hands, don't we?



Putting clay on the eyes of one born blind, touching the leper for cleansing, taking the damsel by HIS+ Hand and telling her to arise... We recall the scourge HE+ made WITH HIS+ HANDS of small cords and drove the money-changers out of the Temple. And the Greatest Work of all... yielding HIS+ HANDS to the nails of the Cross. This was the Work of our LORD'S HANDS.


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Yet, what exactly is "the work of our hands ?"

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Since this passage is spiritually-oriented, it stands to reason that "the work of our hands" should be considered spiritually-oriented also.
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Our Praying Hands

Hands clasped together in prayer... in worship, in thanksgiving, in supplication for friends and enemies... are working hands, in the eyes of GOD, are they not ? Do you suppose these "working hands" are more lovely to Our Savior+ than hands that, perhaps, are busy holding a deck of cards... ? Don't you suppose HE+ sees us using our hands for all manner of things, both good and bad ?
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Do we want The LORD to establish "the work of our hands" when we use our hands to lock our doors and perhaps slam things around in our irritation with someone, things, or life in general... when we don't get our way? Is that the fruit we want to be established? Is that the testimony we want to have established upon us?
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Our hands should be used for HOLY purposes. As John Michael Talbot sang, "These are HOLY hands."
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A second HOLY work our hands can perform is making the sign of the Cross. Our friends in the Roman Catholic branches have been making the sign of the Cross for a long time, but...



the sign of the Cross



did NOT originate



with Roman Catholicism .

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Making the sign of the Cross is recorded by Tertullian as early as the year 197 AD, so it must have been done before that year, at least.


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Here is what some of the writings tell us about making the sign of the Cross long before the Roman Catholics acquired it; they simply retained the Early Christian practices. [ All quotes are from David Bercot's Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs, Scroll Publishing.]



From Tertullian ~


"At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at the table, when we light the lamps, when on the couch, on a seat, and in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace the sign upon our foreheads." (c. 211, Western writer, 3.94.95, )


From Lactantius ~~


" HE+ is the salvation of all who have written on their foreheads the sign of blood. I am referring to the sign of the Cross, on which HE+ shed HIS+ Blood... But I will show in the last book in what manner or in what region all will be safe who have marked on the highest part of their body this sign of the true and divine Blood+. " (c.304-311, Western writer, 7.129).


"While the Emperor Diocletian sacrificed, some attendants of his, who were Christians, stood by and they put the immortal sign on their foreheads. At this, the demons were chased away, and the (un)holy rites were interrupted. (c. 320, W, 7.304).


From Cyprian~~~


"Women did not benefit from that sign of circumcision. However, all are sealed by the sign of The LORD." (c. 250w, 5.510).


"Only those can escape who have been born anew and signed with the sign of CHRIST. 'Have no pity upon old or young. And slay the virgins, the little ones, and the women, that they may be utterly destroyed. But do not touch any man upon whom is written the mark.' What this mark is and in what part of the body it is placed, GOD sets forth in another place, saying 'Go through the midst of Jerusalem and set a mark (tau ... like a T) upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.' This sign pertains to the passion and blood of CHRIST. Whoever is found in this sign is kept safe and unharmed."

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We who are NOT of the Roman Catholic persuasion might do well to reconsider the practice of the signing of the Cross as part of our daily routine during worship and prayer. The Early Christians seemed to think it was a valid and genuine use of HOLY hands.

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O, LORD, THOU+ Whose+ hands were Most HOLY, help us to sow to the Spirit always, and establish THOU+ the work of these hands... made HOLY by Thy+ Blood and Spirit. Then, may our prayers be set forth before THEE+ as incense; and the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice.

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In the name of The FATHER, Who created thee;


His+ HOLY SON+ JESUS, Who+ saves thee;


And The Blessed HOLY SPIRIT, Who sanctifies thee.


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