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Churches

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I think the Bible verses here will give good indications of some of the problems encountered at not only the starting up of a church, but problems encountered even after initial startup. One could, or should, use these verses to help determine how to start and maintain a proper church. A True Church.

The initial starting of the Church:

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward[1] generation.

1 "UNTOWARD": 4646. skolios, skol-ee-os'; from the base of G4628; warped, i.e. winding; fig. perverse:--crooked, froward, untoward.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common[1];

1 "COMMON": 2839. koinos, koy-nos'; prob. from G4862; common, i.e. (lit.) shared by all or several, or (cer.) profane:--common, defiled, unclean, unholy.
4862. sun, soon; a prim. prep. denoting union; with or together (but much closer than G3326 or G3844), i.e. by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition etc.:--beside, with. In comp, it has similar applications, includ. completeness.

Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Now, just a little later:

Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring[1] of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected[2] in the daily ministration[3].

1 "MURMURING": 1112. goggusmos, gong-goos-mos'; from G1111; a grumbling:--grudging, murmuring.

2 "NEGLECTED": 3865. paratheoreo, par-ath-eh-o-reh'-o; from G3844 and G2334; to overlook or disregard:--neglect.

3 "MINISTRATION": 1248. diakonia, dee-ak-on-ee'-ah; from G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); fig. (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (espec. of the Chr. teacher, or techn. of the diaconate):--(ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).

Now what was the complaint? Was it the widows wanting to take part in the service? Maybe as deacon, teacher, or some office as that? Or maybe wanting some kind of relief. There were no subsidy programs in those days. Just how did the twelve apostles handle this?

Acts 6:2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason[1] that we should leave the word of God, and serve[2] tables[3].

1 "REASON": 701. arestos, ar-es-tos'; from G700; agreeable; by impl. fit:--(things that) please (-ing), reason.

2 "SERVE": 1247. diakoneo, dee-ak-on-eh'-o; from G1249; to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend or [fig.] teacher); techn. to act as a Chr. deacon:--(ad-) minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon.

3 "TABLES": 5132. trapeza, trap'-ed-zah; prob. contr. from G5064 and G3979; a table or stool (as being four-legged), usually for food (fig. a meal); also a counter for money (fig. a broker's office for loans at interest):--bank, meat, table.

Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business[1].

1 "BUSINESS": 5532. chreia, khri'-ah; from the base of G5530 or G5534; employment, i.e. an affair; also (by impl.) occasion, demand, requirement or destitution:--business, lack, necessary (-ity), need (-ful), use, want.

Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry[1] of the word[2].

1 "MINISTRY": 1248. diakonia, dee-ak-on-ee'-ah; from G1249; attendance (as a servant, etc.); fig. (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (espec. of the Chr. teacher, or techn. of the diaconate):--(ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).
2 "WORD": 3056. logos, log'-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extens. a computation; spec. (with the art. in John)
the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):--account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Acts 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

Acts 6:7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples[1] multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

1 "DISCIPLES": 3101. mathetes, math-ay-tes'; from G3129; a learner, i.e. pupil:--disciple.

Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.

Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

This would soon cost Stephen his life. Donít think thingís are much different today, Just gain a little in wisdom and understanding of Godís word, display that understanding when called on to do so, and youíll soon begin to feel some of the treatment Stephen received. Maybe not to the point of death but none the less, you will receive some negative treatment.

The apostle Paul wrote most of the New Testament. One should read with understanding all of Acts chapter nine. It tells of how he got started in this business and just what kind of a man he was. Iím including only one verse of the chapter. It states, (by Jesus), that he was a chosen vessel, (A Divine Selection). I assume from that alone, that his credentials are very great and that things he wrote to the churches, (which heíd started), were written for our benefit as well as theirs. Youíll note that Paul held nothing back. He gave credit where it was due and criticism when it was needed.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen[1] vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

1 "CHOSEN": 1589. ekloge, ek-log-ay'; from G1586; (divine) selection (abstr. or concr.):--chosen, election.

I Corinthians

1 Cor 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes[1] our brother,

1 "SOSTHENES": 4988. Sosthenes, soce-then'-ace; from the base of G4982 and that of G4599; of safe strength; Sosthenes, a Chr.:--Sosthenes.

4982. sozo, sode'-zo; from a prim. sos (contr. for obsol. saos, "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):--heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

4599. sthenoo, sthen-o'-o; from sthenos, (bodily vigor; prob. akin to the base of G2476); to strengthen, i.e. (fig.) confirm (in spiritual knowledge and power):--strengthen.

1 Cor 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Cor 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

1 Cor 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched[1] by him, in all utterance[2], and in all knowledge;

1 "ENRICHED": 4148. ploutizo, ploo-tid'-zo; from G4149; to make wealthy (fig.):--en- (make) rich.

2 "UTTERANCE": 3056. logos, log'-os; from G3004; something said (including the thought); by impl. a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extens. a computation; spec. (with the art. in John) the Divine Expression (i.e. Christ):--account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work.

1 Cor 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1 Cor 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Cor 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Cor 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions[1] among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment[2].

1 "DIVISIONS": 4978. schisma, skhis'-mah; from G4977; a split or gap ("schism"), lit. or fig.:--division, rent, schism.

2 "JUDGMENT": 1106. gnome, gno'-may; from G1097; cognition, i.e. (subj.) opinion, or (obj.) resolve (counsel, consent, etc.):--advice, + agree, judgment, mind, purpose, will.

1 Cor 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions[1] among you.

1 "CONTENTIONS": 2054. eris, er'-is; of uncert. affin.; a quarrel, i.e. (by impl.) wrangling:--contention, debate, strife, variance.

Galatians

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)

Gal 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:

Gal 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world[1], according to the will of God and our Father:

1 "WORLD": 165. aion, ahee-ohn'; from the same as G104; prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):--age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Comp. G5550.

Gal 1:5 To whom be glory for ever[1] and ever[2]. Amen.

1 "EVER": 165. aion, ahee-ohn'; from the same as G104; prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):--age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Comp. G5550.
2 "EVER": 165. aion, ahee-ohn'; from the same as G104; prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):--age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Comp. G5550.

Gal 1:6 I marvel[1] that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another[2] gospel:

Just like today, amnesia sets in pretty quick.

1 "MARVEL": 2296. thaumazo, thou-mad'-zo; from G2295; to wonder; by impl. to admire:--admire, have in admiration, marvel, wonder.

2 "ANOTHER": 2087. heteros, het'-er-os; of uncert. affin.; (an-, the) other or different:--altered, else, next (day), one, (an-) other, some, strange.

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert[1] the gospel of Christ.

1 "PERVERT": 3344. metastrepho, met-as-tref'-o; from G3326 and G4762; to turn across, i.e. transmute or (fig.) corrupt:--pervert, turn.

4762. strepho, stref'-o; strengthened from the base of G5157; to twist, i.e. turn quite around or reverse (lit. or fig.):--convert, turn (again, back again, self, self about).

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Gal 1:9 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[1].

1 "ACCURSED": 331. anathema, an-ath'-em-ah; from G394; a (religious) ban or (concr.) excommunicated (thing or person):--accursed, anathema, curse, X great.

Gal 3:1 O foolish[1] Galatians, who hath bewitched[2] you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

1 "FOOLISH": 453. anoetos, an-o'-ay-tos; from G1 (as a neg. particle) and a der. of G3539; unintelligent; by impl. sensual:--fool (-ish), unwise.

2 "BEWITCHED": 940. baskaino, bas-kah'ee-no; akin to G5335; to malign, i.e. (by extens.) to fascinate (by false representations):--bewitch.

Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Gal 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Gal 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Ephesians

Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

Eph 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Philippians

Phil 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Phil 1:2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Phil 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

Phil 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Phil 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Colossians

Col 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Col 1:2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Col 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Col 1:4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,

Col 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Col 1:6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Col 1:7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;

Col 1:8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.

I Thessalonians

1 Th 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Part of Paul's second missionary journey.
Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

1 Th 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

1 Th 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

1 Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power[1], and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

There were great demonstrations of the Holy Spirit. Outright miracles.

1 "POWER": 1411. dunamis, doo'-nam-is; from G1410; force (lit. or fig.); spec. miraculous power (usually by impl. a miracle itself):--ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

1 Th 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction[1], with joy of the Holy Ghost:

When you become a follower of Christ, don't expect all to be peaches and cream.

1 "AFFLICTION": 2347. thlipsis, thlip'-sis; from G2346; pressure (lit. or fig.):--afflicted, (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.

1 Th 1:7 So that ye were ensamples[1] to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

1 "ENSAMPLES": 5179. tupos, too'-pos; from G5180; a die (as struck), i.e. (by impl.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. a statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler ("type"), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning):--en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.

1 Th 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

These people really took to the Word and spread it further.

1 Th 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1 Th 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

1 Th 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

1 Th 3:6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:

1 Th 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:

1 Th 3:8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

1 Th 3:9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;

1 Th 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

1 Th 3:11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

1 Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

1 Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

This entire book is full of talk of the coming of Christ.

1 Th 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound[1] more and more.

1 "ABOUND": 4052. perisseuo, per-is-syoo'-o; from G4053; to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous; also (trans.) to cause to superabound or excel:--(make, more) abound, (have, have more) abundance, (be more) abundant, be the better, enough and to spare, exceed, excel, increase, be left, redound, remain (over and above).

In Paulís second letter to the Thessalonians, I feel he included the second chapter to clarify a misunderstood portion of his first letter to them.

2 Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Hebrews

Paul really chastises these people.

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use[1] have their senses[2] exercised[3] to discern both good and evil.

Brain exercises. Just like exercising the body for the Olympic games. The brain is the organ of perception.

1 "USE": 1838. hexis, hex'-is; from G2192; habit, i.e. (by impl.) practice:--use.

2 "SENSES": 145. aistheterion, ahee-sthay-tay'-ree-on; from a der. of G143; prop. an organ of perception, i.e. (fig.) judgment:--senses.

3 "EXERCISED": 1128. gumnazo, goom-nad'-zo; from G1131; to practise naked (in the games), i.e. train (fig.):--exercise.

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles[1] of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection[2]; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Be sure to include Heb 5:5-14 when teaching this portion of scripture thru verse 6. The foundation of repentance is the first step. The acceptance of Christ as your saviour. The milk. Like with a new baby, it'll last for a little while. Soon, very soon, one needs to get into the meat of God's word in order to strengthen their foundation. With a strong foundation one can withstand the wiles of the world and Satan.

1 "PRINCIPLES": 746. arche, ar-khay'; from G756; (prop. abstr.) a commencement, or (concr.) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank):--beginning, corner, (at the, the) first (estate), magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule.

2 "PERFECTION": 5051. teleiotes, tel-i-o-tace'; from G5048; a completer, i.e. consummater:--finisher.

Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal[1] judgment.

Still the basics.

1 "ETERNAL": 166. aionios, ahee-o'-nee-os; from G165; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well):--eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).

Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

What is the heavenly gift? Jesus Christ. If one has truly and deeply touched Christ, it's impossible to fall away. If one has been saved and then sins, just repent. Tell God you're sorry.

Heb 6:5 And have tasted[1] the good word of God, and the powers of the world[2] to come,

1 "TASTED": 1089. geuomai, ghyoo'-om-ahee; a prim. verb; to taste; by impl. to eat; fig. to experience (good or ill):--eat, taste.

2 "WORLD": 165. aion, ahee-ohn'; from the same as G104; prop. an age; by extens. perpetuity (also past); by impl. the world; spec. (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):--age, course, eternal, (for) ever (-more), [n-]ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end). Comp. G5550.

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away[1], to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify[2] to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

1 "AWAY": 3895. parapipto, par-ap-ip'-to; from G3844 and G4098; to fall aside, i.e. (fig.) to apostatize:--fall away.

2 "CRUCIFY": 388. anastauroo, an-as-tow-ro'-o; from G303 and G4717; to recrucify (fig.):--crucify afresh.

Some say this is the most misunderstood verse in the bible. Me, I think as this was the state of some of the Hebrews at the time of Paul, it should warn us of what is going to happen in the end time generation. I think it's good to note what Peter said of Paul's writings.

2 Pet 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

2 Pet 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

2 Pet 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

2 Pet 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

No doubt, some thought, if one fell into sin after being saved, that Jesus had to save them once again, being crucified once more, which would in turn state that Christ didn't have the true ability to save. When in fact, to me, what is being said here, is that just because you and I can't cut it, don't for one minute think that Christ didn't do the job right the first time. He did the saving. It's you or I that can't stay on track. Don't blame Jesus. After your initial acceptance of and believing in Jesus, (or being saved), and you slip, all that's needed, is for you to repent. Believe it or not, Christians are still sinners, but upon a true repentance of a Christian, their slate is wiped clean. Refreshed as new. Forgiven.

The impossibility is that: One cannot go back to the old ways of sacrifice that was before Christ. That would now be a pagan type worship. And you can't re-crucify Christ. He is the author and finisher of our faith.

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What are we to sacrifice to God?
Jer 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

One should read from Hebrews 11:30 thru 12:2. Also read Heb 10:8 thru 10:14.

The parable of the sower:
Mat 13:3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Mat 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Mat 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

Mat 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

Mat 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

When one is first saved, if they don't get deep rooted into The Word Of God, it's easier for them to fall away, (or apostatize), as it is described here.

Mat 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Mat 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus explaining the parable:
Mat 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

See how quick Satan is to respond to a new babe in Christ.

Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Endures for a while longer. That root has to get deeper.

Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Same as those above.

Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Into the good ground? Good Ground?? You think maybe that could mean prepared ground? Prepared for planting the seed? Maybe the sower, (preacher/teacher), has been slacking on the job. Tries to get a person to commit prematurely. God, (Jesus), knows our thoughts. Exactly how we feel about Him as well as everything else. The state of our soul. Satan cannot read our minds, but, by our actions, he certainly knows our points of weakness, and he certainly knows who are babes in Christ. It appears to me that preachers in general, seem to get in the pulpit and preach or teach what they feel is a good enough message to convince some poor lost soul to come forward to the altar and confess all their sins before everyone, with all heads bowed, while no one is looking, come, come, while Jesus is calling. Then when someone does come, and publicly repents, he or she then turns and faces a crowd of onlookers. For those who're more outgoing, just want to fit in, or just like to put on an outward show, this may be alright, but for those who are more private, it just might not be the way. Is that what the Bible says is the way?

John 3:16 (Jesus Himself talking). 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.

Did Jesus say "Come, come, down the sawdust trail, while no one is looking, with their heads bowed, (in what appears to be shame). No, just believeth in Him. The preacher, teacher, or just another Christian's job is to first prepare the soil, (the flesh body), and then, and not before, you plant the seed, (or Word of God). Once the seed is planted we then have to nourish it, (the milk). They must soon get onto the meat of God's Word. If not, they become easy prey for Satan. This should be emphasized to all who are new in Christ. Be sure to point out who Satan is after. Following Jesus can be a bumpy road.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon, (one of Satan's names), was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

It's kinda like the military. You first join, go through all kinds of training, then go into battle. But guess what. The Creator of all things has already assured us that we'll win the war.

There's an old saying, "You can take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink". If that be the case, you must move on.

Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

If they shall fall away... I like the description in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a [falling away] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

[FALLING AWAY] 646. apostasia, ap-os-tas-ee'-ah; fem. of the same as G647; defection from truth (prop. the state) ["apostasy"]:--falling away, forsake.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

The time is about here when I think those who're not deep rooted enough, will follow the wrong Jesus, that man of sin, the son of perdition. The Christian churches of today are about like those here in Hebrews.

I think some are so afraid of committing the un-forgivable sin. Just what is it?

Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

When will this happen?
Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

Have you been delivered up yet? No. So this is yet future.

Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

Read more in Mark 13.

When this time comes, don't be like the five foolish virgins who weren't deep rooted in God's Word. They didn't have enough stamina to be a finisher. They just couldn't complete the race. Read Matthew 25:1 thru 12.

The time is soon coming when claiming to be Christian just wont cut it. You'll have to stand the test. What test? Just who is it that Satan is after? Christians.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded[1] better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Remember in 5:12, Paul had just dressed these people down. Here he has confidence they can do better. Much better, providing they get beyond the basics of God's Word.

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

1 "PERSUADED": 3982. peitho, pi'-tho; a prim. verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by anal. to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflex. or pass. to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):--agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered[1] to the saints, and do minister.

1 "MINISTERED": 1247. diakoneo, dee-ak-on-eh'-o; from G1249; to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend or [fig.] teacher); techn. to act as a Chr. deacon:--(ad-) minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon.

Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence[1] to the full assurance[2] of hope unto the end:

1 "DILIGENCE": 4710. spoude, spoo-day'; from G4692; "speed", i.e. (by impl.) despatch, eagerness, earnestness:--business, (earnest) care (-fulness), diligence forwardness, haste.

2 "ASSURANCE": 4136. plerophoria, play-rof-or-ee'-ah; from G4135; entire confidence:--(full) assurance.

Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers[1] of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

1 "FOLLOWERS": 3402. mimetes, mim-ay-tace'; from G3401; an imitator:--follower.

Heb 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Stay focused on God's word.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise[1] to God continually[2], that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

God wants our love. See Hos 6:6.

Jer 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

1 "PRAISE": 133. ainesis, ah'ee-nes-is; from G134; a praising (the act), i.e. (spec.) a thank (-offering):--praise.

2 "CONTINUALLY": 1275. diapantos, dee-ap-an-tos'; from G1223 and the genit. of G3956; through all time, i.e. (adv.) constantly:--alway (-s), continually.

Heb 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

In Revelations Jesus Himself mentions seven churches. The churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and the Laodiceans. He finds no fault with only two, Smyrna and Philadelphia. That's not to say that people associated with the other churches weren't going to make it. Wonder what those two have in common that the other five donít? Have you ever wondered why the churches at Thessalonica, Corinth, Colosse, or Phillipi, and others, werenít mentioned here? I've heard a couple different opinions as to what these seven churches represent. Me, I tend to think they represent seven different types of churches of the end generation. I guess we should closely compare the church we attend to the ones in the Bible.

Ephesus

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy
patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Rev 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Here's a church that seemed to have everything going for it. Until they left their first love. God is our first Love. Some will Leave God and go for the son of perdition. Right close to the very end.

2 Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent[1].

Get away from that garbage teaching.

1 "REPENT": 3340. metanoeo, met-an-o-eh'-o; from G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction):--repent.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

At least they hate the same things that Jesus hates.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches[1]; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

1 "CHURCHES": 1577. ekklesia, ek-klay-see'-ah; from a comp. of G1537 and a der. of G2564; a calling out, i.e. (concr.) a popular meeting, espec. a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Chr. community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):--assembly, church.

Smyrna

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know
the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

They know the difference between the profane and the Holy.

Ezek 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

1 Chr 2:55 And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.

The kenites, sons of Cain, dwelling in Jerusalem. See Jeremiah 35:6.

Jer 51:51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for
strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD'S house.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Don't think that God's people aren't going to have tribulation.

Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

Dan 1:12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

Another food that will be hard to find in this day is the Word of God.

Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Rev 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

The death spoken of here is the death to a soul.

Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Pergamos

Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Rev 2:13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Rev 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden[1] manna[2], and will give him a white stone[3], and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

See Rev 13:18 where the word count is the same as the word stone in this verse. Also, there will be no identity theft there.

1 "HIDDEN": 2928. krupto, kroop'-to; a prim. verb; to conceal (prop. by covering):--hide (self), keep secret, secret [-ly].

2 "MANNA": 3131. manna, man'-nah; of Heb. or. [H4478]; manna (i.e. man), an edible gum:--manna.

3 "STONE": 5586. psephos, psay'-fos; from the same as G5584; a pebble (as worn smooth by handling), i.e. (by impl. of use as a counter or ballot) a verdict (of acquittal) or ticket (of admission); a vote:--stone, voice.

Thyatira

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Rev 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel[1], which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication[2], and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Spiritual fornication.

1 "JEZEBEL": 2403. Iezabel, ee-ed-zab-ale'; of Heb. or. [H348]; Jezabel (i.e. Jezebel), a Tyrian woman (used as a synonym of a termagant or false teacher):--Jezabel.

2 "FORNICATION": 4203. porneuo, porn-yoo'-o; from G4204; to act the harlot, i.e. (lit.) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practise idolatry:--commit (fornication).

Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins[1] and hearts[2]: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

According to what? Your works.

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

1 "REINS": 3510. nephros, nef-ros'; of uncert. affin.; a kidney (plur.), i.e. (fig.) the inmost mind:--reins.

2 "HEARTS": 2588. kardia, kar-dee'-ah; prol. from a prim. kar (Lat. cor, "heart"); the heart, i.e. (fig.) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by anal.) the middle:--(+ broken-) heart (-ed).

Rev 2:24 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 none other burden.

Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Rev 2:27 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.

Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.

Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Sardis

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

They're alive in the flesh, but spiritually they are dead.

Rev 3:2 Be watchful[1], and strengthen[2] the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect[3] before God.

Jesus asked his disciples to watch with him for one hour. See Mat. 26:38 Thru 26:40.

1 "WATCHFUL": 1127. gregoreuo, gray-gor-yoo'-o; from G1453; to keep awake, i.e. watch (lit. or fig.):--be vigilant, wake, (be) watch (-ful).

2 "STRENGTHEN": 4741. sterizo, stay-rid'-zo; from a presumed der. of G2476 (like G4731); to set fast, i.e. (lit.) to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or (fig.) to confirm:--fix, (e-) stablish, stedfastly set, strengthen.

3 "PERFECT": 4137. pleroo, play-ro'-o; from G4134; to make replete, i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.:--accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

If you don't watch, Jesus will come as a thief in the night. If you study hard and do watch, you'll know what to look for. You'll also know what hour Jesus is coming. See Mark 13:35 thru 37.

Rev 3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

To me this verse indicates that God gets to the individual level even in the churches, or so called churches, of God. It's obvious that there are worthy and unworthy people going to the same church. God has the ability and will sort them accordingly.

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, 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.

Psa 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Psa 51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Call upon the Lord and He'll blot out your sins and not your name.

Rev 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Philadelphia

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

The church of Philadelphia and Smyrna are the only two that Jesus found no fault with. Which church would you, as an individual fall into? These two or one of the other five.

Isa 22:22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Rev 3:9 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 thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

1 Chr 2:55 And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.

The kenites, sons of Cain, dwelling in Jerusalem. See Jeremiah 35:6.

Jer 51:51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the LORD'S house.

Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

Mat 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Some say that the church of Philadelphia is supposed to be raptured.

Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh[1] 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 cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

1 "OVERCOMETH": 3528. nikao, nik-ah'-o; from G3529; to subdue (lit. or fig.):--conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

To overcome something means youíve met it and defeated it. If one has flew the coop, (or been raptured), he wouldíve bypassed it.

What, or who, is the temple of God?


Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Rev 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear[1] what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Hear with understanding.

1 "HEAR": 191. akouo, ak-oo'-o; a prim. verb; to hear (in various senses):--give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-er, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand.

The Laodiceans

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue[1] thee out of my mouth.

1 "SPUE": 1692. emeo, em-eh'-o; of uncert. affin.; to vomit:--(will) spue.

How would you like to be treated as vomit?

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Rev 3:20 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.

Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh[1] 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.

1 "OVERCOMETH": 3528. nikao, nik-ah'-o; from G3529; to subdue (lit. or fig.):--conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Iíve covered fourteen churches mentioned in Godís word. Of that fourteen only six got no reprimand. Eight had problems, some severe.

Itís obvious that churches arenít perfect and sometimes one can wonder, should I or should I not join one. I want to include two more verses with a comment made by Abraham Lincoln. Not that he was an authority on the subject but I found it rather interesting.

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

When asked why he wasn't a church member, Abraham Lincoln replied, "When any church will inscribe over it's altar, as it's sole qualification for membership, the Saviour's condensed statement of both law and Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself. That church will I join with all my heart and soul".

I guess this is a good place to stop.

Thanks, for allowing me, to share this with you. Remember, to always, study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

In His Word,
Art Porter

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