Monday, November 30, 2015

The PROMISED ONE+ #2 - Advent Meditations

HE+ Was Promised...#2





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Guess where the very first PROMISE was given about the Coming MESSIAH+ ?
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Most would guess correctly:
in The Garden of Eden.
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Now, guess WHO was the very first one to hear the PROMISE of this pre-planned,  Coming MESSIAH+  ?
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If you guessed Eve or Adam and Eve… 
you are wrong!
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The first being to receive DIRECTLY to his face  the PROMISE from YHWH ELOHIM of the Coming ONE+ was ... the nachash... that wicked serpent !
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Genesis 3:15 [ Here, in context,  YHWH ELOHIM ( GOD: The FATHER, SON+, and HOLY SPIRIT ) is directly addressing the nachash which tempted Eve to disobey The LORD. ]
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And I ( THE LORD)
will put enmity 
between thee ( the nachash)
 and the woman,
and between thy seed and her SEED+;

 *HE+ shall bruise thy head,

and thou shalt bruise His+ heel.
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( Note: Hebrew Grammar has no "it";  Hebrew only uses he or she for independent pronouns, 3rd person singular,  as in this place in this verse.)
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 In Hebrew, nachash is the word translated as "serpent" in the KJV Bible. 

However, nachash does NOT mean the earthly animal we know of as a "snake" or reptile or the Greek “herpeton.” 

In Hebrew, an adder or an asp or viper are the words used to mean what we call a “snake” or “serpent”, i.e.,  copperheads, rattlesnakes, cobras, pythons, etc.
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A nachash is a cunning, hissing or whispering, coppery-colored  being ... not a creature in the earth’s animal kingdom at all. Even the Hebrew word for "copper" comes from this root. 
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The LXX ( Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament) tells us in Genesis 3 that this clever "being" who talked to Eve was an OPHIS, in the Greek language.
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This "ophis" ( pronounced like "office" ) is NOT a reptile, an animal we find in the yard or zoo, but rather a "being" who is a "sharp-eyed" one !

An "ophis" is that very same "serpent" found in Mark 16:18 which refers to the same satanic "being" which was in the Garden beguiling Eve. 
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MARK 16:18

They shall take up serpents "ophis" ;
and if they drink any deadly thing,
it shall not hurt them;
they shall lay hands on the sick,
and they shall recover.
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We see The LORD bruising something  in Romans... and once again, The PROMISE is stated:
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Romans 16:20

And the GOD of Peace+
shall bruise  the satan under your feet shortly.
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The grace of our LORD JESUS CHRIST
be with you. Amen.
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BRUISE, according to Strong's Concordance:
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(4937) suntri>bw, — soon-tree’-bo; from (4862) (su>n) and the base of (5147) (tri>bov); to crush completely, i.e. to shatter (literal or figurative): — break (in pieces), broken to shivers (+ -hearted), bruise.
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Thus, we see The PROMISED ONE+  coming to do a MIGHTY WORK… a DIVINE WORK which NO OTHER BEING IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH OR UNDER THE EARTH  could ...  or can … possibly do.
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HE+ came to beat the satan !
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This is why Abraham rejoiced to see His+ Day… and he saw it and was GLAD !
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Let us pray:
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Bless GOD: FATHER, SON+, and HOLY SPIRIT ! We thank THEE, O GOD, for preparing a way to deliver us from the satan’s power and influence in our lives.
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Now we do not have to spend our lives serving the satan and his lies. We are no longer forced to follow our fallen Adamic nature, if we come unto Thy SON+ JESUS for salvation.
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We praise THEE for sending  Thy SON+ , both planned and slain from the foundation of the world to come, to bruise the satan at such a great cost to Thy Fatherly heart.
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How can we possibly thank THEE enough, dear Heavenly FATHER ?
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Help us so to live that we reflect our sincere thanks through our total obedience unto Thy Beloved SON+, our LORD and SAVIOR+ JESUS CHRIST, Who+ lives and reigns with THEE and Thy Blessed HOLY SPIRIT, ONE GOD, forever and ever, world without end to the ages of the ages.  Amen



Sunday, November 29, 2015

ADVENT MEDITATIONS 2015 -- The PROMISED ONE+


HE+ was Promised ! 



HE+ Was Promised in the Creation. 

Since the beginning of man, JESUS is there at the conception, the beginning, of each person's life...  touching EVERY man's existence . 

HE+ was there at the beginning of your life... my life... whether we knew it or not. We were MADE in HIS+ likeness and image, unbeknownst to us.  

GENESIS 1
26   And GOD said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness:

and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So GOD created man in HIS own image, in the image of GOD created HE him; male and female created HE them.

 The LORD, YHWH ADONAI, The ELOHIM, first touched man when GOD created him. Man was created in the very likeness of GOD HIMSELF.

Man knows GOD solely through JESUS CHRIST. HE+ is the one way --- and the only way --- through Whom+ we have access to the ELOHIM.

HE+ became Emmanuel+... GOD WITH US... to show us WHO+ we are created to be... a living being made in HIS+ likeness. 

That likeness reflects The ELOHIM: The FATHER, The SON+, and the HOLY SPIRIT.

Let us pray:

O Holy FATHER,

THOU Who lovest all that THOU has created,

THOU Who cherisheth every living soul as a dear child ..dirty, but dear...

THOU Who madest no mistakes in my formation, 

O Holy ONE,   I come to THEE in need of cleansing, 

trusting in Thy mercy granted unto me through Thy Beloved SON+ JESUS CHRIST. 

I repent and turn from my grumbling and dissatisfaction with my formation, discontent with my life. THOU doeth all things well.

Help me, O gracious Heavenly FATHER, to reflect THEE in all my ways and thoughts, and to not dim the reflection of Thy HOLY SON+ JESUS, in my life.

I thank THEE for making me into Thy image; help me to be true to it... no matter what the cost.

In The Name of Thy Beloved SON+ , our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST , I pray.

Amen




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A PURIFIED THANKS-GIVING







Distancing themselves from the frivolousness of the day, persons who wear the Christian habit make it a habit to feast on sobriety and seriousness before The LORD JESUS on Thanksgiving Day.
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We recognize how easy it is for the cultural church to thank The LORD for temporal comforts... blessings which most have demanded from HIM+ for a good long while, like spoiled children.
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What happens when temporal comforts are absent  ... when health issues arise and will not be cured ... when the home and family are stricken  ... when necessities raise their ugly heads ?
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When temporal comforts are removed from us, do we ABIDE in thanksgiving? Are we as confidant of GOD'S abiding LOVE when we land in dire straights as we are when life is moving along fairly smoothly ?
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Listen to a frightening Scripture, found in Hebrews 5:7-8:
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Who+ in the days of His+ flesh, 
when HE+ had offered up prayers and
supplications with strong crying 
and tears unto HIM WHO 
was able to save HIM+ from death, 
and was heard in that HE+ feared;
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Though HE+ were a SON+,
yet learned HE+ obedience 
by the things which HE+ suffered;


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When we suffer calamities, injuries, stresses, and deaths of our loved ones, we react in fear, hurt, and anger that GOD, our GOD, did not keep us from harm. We accuse HIM+ of not loving us or we accuse HIM+ of neglecting to keep HIS Word to us.
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Our hearts cry: 
How can GOD do this to me  ?  
Why did GOD allow this to happen to us  ?
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These are our first, anguished human reactions from our Adamic nature. Our Adamic nature is always, always focused on the temporal as though it was permanent and forever.  Our Adamic nature always agrees with the satan.
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But, we are NEW CREATURES IN CHRIST now.  Brethren, we must practice  giving thanks in all things, for this is the Will of GOD concerning us... whatever befalls us.
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Our LORD JESUS learned obedience by the things which HE+ suffered... an amazing statement.
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Is our flesh better trained than HIS+ ?
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No, we must wrestle daily to bring our fleshly man into submission to The Word.
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Is our Adamic nature better submitted to Our Heavenly Father than Our LORD was ?  I think not !
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Yet, if Our LORD JESUS CHRIST had to "learn obedience by the things which HE+ Himself+ suffered,"  then is it not reasonable that we too must learn obedience by the things which we suffer?
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Then, if that be the case, we are beholden to return thanksgiving to HIM+ Who+ orders our lives in accordance with His+ great good Will... a will that ALWAYS chooses our best good for now and for Eternity ... no matter how hard that Will looks like to us today. 
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We learn, in obedience, to give heart-felt thanks for His+ walking the Valley of the Shadow of Death before us, to enable us to walk it and to fear no evil
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We learn that calamities and injuries are indeed our best seasons of sanctification , drawing us closer to The LORD JESUS than we would have ever come, without the impetus of grief.
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We learn that suffering produces greater fruit than joy and exceedingly greater rewards than a life lived of temporal ease, earthly joys, and pleasant comforts.
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Few of us who wear the Christian habit would choose FASTING over FEASTING on Thanksgiving Day.
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Even fewer of us would choose suffering over non-suffering in this world.
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  Therefore, 
HE+ chooses it for us, 
in His+ Divine Will 
and foreknowledge. 
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His+ foreknowledge is great. HE+ has His+ eye on Eternity. 
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If our eyes are synchronized with JESUS and fixed on Eternity, our  thanksgivings will resound in times of calamities and we will rebound... no matter what anguish of heart we are called upon to endure here upon earth.  
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Hebrews 5:9
And being made perfect, 
HE+ 
became the Author+ of eternal salvation 
unto all them that obey HIM+;
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I Corinthians 2:9

But as it is written, 
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, 
neither have entered into the heart of man, 
the things which GOD hath prepared 
for them that love HIM+.
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Let us pray...
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Dear LORD JESUS CHRIST, we repent for murmuring and grumbling at the endurance trials THOU+  hast brought our way.
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Help us to look unto THEE+ at all times and stay focused --- with THEE+ --- on Eternity and Thy+ Eternal purposes.
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And for this, like the martyrs of old, we give THEE+ thanks for we know and are convinced that every hair of our heads are counted and nothing can by any means hurt us, as THOU+ has told us.
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We humble our hearts to THEE+, O CHRIST, in the joy that is set before us by Thy+ Hand. We offer praise and thanksgiving and with all that is within us, we bless Thy+ Holy Name.
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Amen and amen.



Monday, November 2, 2015

The UNIQUE FELLOWSHIP of CHRISTIANS

What Makes CHRISTIAN Fellowship 
DIFFERENT from other fellowships ?

An Object Lesson from a Teapot






KOINONIAThe UNIQUE Christian Fellowship

A WORLD of difference exists between “normal” fellowship and CHRISTIAN fellowship. One is rooted in humanism; the other is CHRIST-centered. One is formed in and by the world; the other is created in and by The HOLY SPIRIT.  

The Scriptures use the Greek word, Koinonia. It  is from a Greek root word that means a sharer, a partner, a participant. Christian fellowship, then, is that unique togetherness that is shared IN CHRIST and OF CHRIST and WITH CHRIST and BY CHRIST.

This kind of Scriptural fellowship we are exhorted to develop is totally oriented in CHRIST JESUS Himself+.

Contrary to common opinion, Christian fellowship is NOT doing:
·                    the same activities
·                    in the same way
·                    in the same place
·                    at the same time
·                    for a common cause
·                    with the same people
·                    and / or, with goods held in "common."

Many worldly organizations incorporate these very characteristics and their members consider themselves to have "fellowship" with each other.  

They may indeed have a fellowship... but they do not have that CHRIST-centered unique Fellowship that is referred to in Scriptures.

1 John 1:3
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, SO THAT (Gk) ye also may have FELLOWSHIP WITH US; and TRULY our FELLOWSHIP is with The FATHER and with HIS SON+ JESUS CHRIST.

CHRISTIAN Fellowship will be found in the Church oriented in CHRIST JESUS, the one Apostolic, “Catholic,” Church out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation …  the Church Without Borders, the Church Without Walls.

Here is an object lesson from 1 John, chapter 1 to illustrate this fundamental truth.



Imagine a two-burner hot plate.  Turn the burners on HIGH and make them bright red. That is our power.


Secondly, feature a teapot on each burner, with the SPOUTS facing each other, close together BUT NOT TOUCHING.   The handles are each turned outward. 

Thirdly, picture clouds of STEAM rising from the two close spouts of the teapots. ... two separate columns of STEAM.


Q # 1  What happens to those two steam clouds when the water boils,  if the two spouts facing each other, are very close together ?

 The columns of steam combine or blend into each other, making one steam cloud out of two.  

Q # 2  Where  (or after ) the steam clouds combine, can you tell or discern one cloud of steam from the other ? In other words, can you tell WHICH pot is producing WHICH particles of STEAM ?   

NO  

Q # 3  There is now ONE thing that forms a CONNECTION between the separate teapots as they continue to boil. What is it? 

The STEAM 

The STEAM one teapot produces is the SAME kind of STEAM as the other teapot produces and the two steam clouds combine, merging seamlessly into one cloud of steam. 

In this object lesson, these teapots are filled with Living Water... so

·  #4 WHO are the teapots ?  You and me

· #5 WHO is the burner ?  The LORD JESUS 

· #6  WHAT is the STEAM ?  The HOLY SPIRIT

Let's think about the Living Water.
 
John 7:38 
He that believeth on ME+, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall  flow  rivers of Living Water.

Q # 7  From where does this LIVING WATER emanate ?

It comes from JESUS the LORD, when HE+ is LORD of our lives.

Since this LIVING WATER comes from JESUS, there is a constant supply flowing into those vessels, those "teapots," who live for HIM+. Notice that to be "living," the water is not static but must be flowing --- in and out.


Q # 8  What will happen to the water in a teapot if it is not refilled and sits static for a period of time? 

It will evaporate and be gone.

Now, let's think about the STEAM .

Q # 9 Can the teapots do ANYTHING on their own to produce the steam ? Can they do anything other than to CONTAIN the Living Water ?  

NO
   
Q # 10  Where must the teapot BE to have its Living Water boil to produce the steam ?  

On the burner or connected to the power source.

Since this power source is JESUS, the power is never, ever turned off. HE+ is always burning red hot and always burning on HIGH.

Matthew 28:18

JESUS said, ALL authority is given unto ME+ in Heaven and in earth.

Since " I " am this vessel -- this teapot -- I have the free will to move myself off the hot burner at any point in time. I have the free will to dis-connect myself from the power source whenever I want. 

Q # 11  What happens to my Living Water when I go off the burner or dis-connect from the power source?  

It stops boiling.

Q # 12 What happens when the boiling ceases? 

The steam stops.

Q # 13 What will happen if I sit off the burner or stay dis-connected ?
The Living Water will eventually evaporate.

Q #14 When the STEAM stops, is there ANY WAY I can CONNECT to any of the other teapots ?  

NO


1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the Light, as HE+ is in the Light, we HAVE fellowship one with another, and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+ cleanseth us from all sin.

Christian Fellowship is not formed from a selection of teapots sitting together on a counter top. Christian Fellowship is not even created by a collection of teapots once filled with Living Water but now is static, having gone stagnant.
 
Luke 8:18
 Take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he SEEMETH to have. ( See also Luke 19, Mark 4, Matthew 13, Matthew 25 ) 

Christian FELLOWSHIP occurs when those teapots filled with Living Water stay connected to JESUS on the hot burner... a burner hot enough to change that water into STEAM. 

Through the unity of the HOLY SPIRIT is Christian fellowship formed... not by power nor by might, but by MY+ SPIRIT, saith The LORD.   

We cannot --- we simply are NOT able ­­­--- to produce Christian fellowship by our own efforts:  there is no STEAM to unite us. We do NOT have the ABILITY to make our own STEAM. 

Hear John 15:5 …

I+ am the Vine+, ye are the branches: He that abideth in ME+, and I+ in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without ME+ ye can do nothing.

We must be attached to the Source+ of Power, our LORD JESUS CHRIST, in order to produce the STEAM which creates Christian fellowship. WHY?  Because CHRISTIAN Fellowship is a fellowship of the SPIRIT, not a fellowship of common or shared human efforts or activities. 

As the Scripture teaches us truly in 1 John 1:3:
  
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, SO THAT ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with The FATHER, and with HIS S0N+ JESUS CHRIST.

We might as well try to connect the cold teapots together by their handles and then try to "produce steam together" … if we try to produce fellowship WITHOUT EACH one of us staying lively on that hot burner, JESUS, our power source.

It simply cannot be done... not with teapots, not with Christian Fellowship.

·  Are you struggling hard to produce Fellowship ?
·  Are you on the Hot Burner ?
· Do you remove yourself from the Burner when the church meeting or cell group is over ?

If so... then the first step is to enter into FELLOWSHIP with JESUS .

This is easy. You do NOT have to labor at producing "fellowship," any more than the teapot "labors" to produce steam. You only have to stay attached to the Vine+, to stay connected to the Power Source, holding onto JESUS with all of your might. 

When you hold onto JESUS with all your might, 
HE+ will hold onto you... 
with ALL HIS+ MIGHT !

I John 1: 5-10
This then is the message which we have heard of HIM+, and declare unto you, that GOD is Light, and in HIM is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with HIM+, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

But if we walk in the Light, as HE is in the Light, we HAVE fellowship one with another, and the Blood of JESUS CHRIST HIS SON+ cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, HE+ is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make HIM+ a liar, and His+ Word is not in us.


CHRISTIAN Fellowship is Uniquely Formed

Christian Fellowship, then, is a fruit of our walk with JESUS.  We do not focus on making fellowship. Rather, we each focus on staying in un-broken fellowship with JESUS.

If there is no, little, or faulty Christian fellowship amidst the brethren, then we must FIRST FOCUS on the individuals' walk with CHRIST JESUS. When each person in the flock is growing in CHRIST --- no matter what their maturity level --- there will be the fruit of Christian fellowship growing also.

Now in 1 John, chapter 1, let us do a little statistical analysis of that chapter.

Out of those 10 verses dealing with Christian Fellowship, only two verses ( verse 3 and verse 7 ) discuss fellowship with one another within the Body of CHRIST. 

Thus, 80 % of that chapter deals with forming fellowship WITH the LORD.

That should tell us something about where our priorities ought to be when forming  "fellowship."  The majority of the flock's effort should be going towards staying attached to The VINE+, staying attached to JESUS.

That is the great responsibility when tending the flock: to see that each person is walking with JESUS, staying attached at the core to JESUS.

Problems in fellowship arise when one or two of the flock slide along, keeping a semblance of Christianity, but who have left their first love of CHRIST.

The Solution?  

Return unto the FIRST LOVE of The LORD. Seek HIS+ face when problems arise in the Fellowship.  The SPIRIT will be joined unto The SPIRIT when each person is “right” with GOD because there is no division when The SPIRIT meets Itself !  


The Invitation ~ ~ ~
Revelation 22:17
And the SPIRIT and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely.

Matthew 11:28-30
COME unto ME+, all ye that 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 souls. For MY+ yoke is easy, and MY+ burden is light.

John 3:17
For GOD sent not HIS SON+ into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through HIM+ might be saved.