It’s Always Paul and Somebody Else

SCRIPTURE READING IN PHILEMON 1:23-24

Philemon Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow labourers.

The Apostle Paul was a TEAM PLAYER.

I never read in Scripture where JUST Paul took trips to establish churches in the Roman Empire.  It was ALWAYS Paul and somebody else–Paul and Barnabas or Paul and Silas.  In addition, a number of people were with these headliner pairs, like John Mark, Luke, Timothy and Epaphras, and the valuable couple, Aquila, and Priscilla.

One of these helpers that traveled with Paul was a young man named DEMAS.

Notice in the Bible verse Demas is referred to as one of Paul;s “fellow laborers.”  At this point, Demas was valued enough to be mentioned as one of Paul’s fellow laborers, an honored designation.

But in Colossians 4:7-14what I found as notable and something interesting as well.  In Paul’s closing remarks and as was his custom, he mentions a list of servants by name.  Notice that Paul says some glowing things about several people in this passage:

Tychicus is a “much-loved brother and faithful ministering assistant and fellow servant”…verse 7

Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother…verse 9

Aristarchus a fellow prisoner along with Mark the relative of Barnabas…verse 10

Epaphras, a servant of Christ Jesus, a man of prayer and convictions…verse 12

Luke the beloved physician…verse 14

Great praise was given to these men.

Demas is also mentioned at the end of this passage, notice in Verse 14 and the only thing Paul says about him is “And Demas”.  Glowing remarks for all but one, Demas, and all he got was his name mentioned.

Was Demas being slighted here, demoted in Paul’s estimation somehow?  Hold that thought.

Now, let’s look at 2 Timothy 4:9-11 –

DEMAS has abandoned Paul’s team in this portion of Scripture while Paul while incarcerated in Rome. 

The phrase “deserted me”  in the Greek literally carries the idea of “abandonment in a time of need.” Today we might say, “He left me in the lurch”.

Ironically, Paul asks Timothy in verse 11 to bring with him Mark, who had abandoned Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15 but had later been restored to service.

[11] Only Luke is with me.  Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”  (NIV)

I find it ironical when Demas had deserted him, Paul sent the former quitter, John Mark, whom Paul now says it was helpful to him in the ministry.

Ah, reconciliation at play!

This is a reminder to all of us that no one is UNSALVAGEABLE to God.

John Mark, like Demas, had been a miserable failure earlier in life, but now he had become a “helpful” servant.

GETTING BACK TO DEMAS…

What happened to him?  He started off with great promise.

ONCE he’d been a valued co-laborer; NOW he’s a tragic failure.

I’m not a big fan of reading between the lines in Scripture, BUT…

I can think of several reasons DEMAS may have left his post.

FIRST, DEMAS MAY HAVE BECOME WORN OUT –

Perhaps he had not anticipated how tiring ministry really was.  No doubt, working with Paul involved many hours of tiresome labor to:

  • Witnessing the Gospel to many people…
  • Counseling sessions to attend…
  • Study time needed to be done for sermons…
  • Teaching responsibilities…
  • Meetings to attend.
  • Choir practices
  • Drama rehearsals.

Many times, undoubtedly, he may have been burning the candle at both ends.  And I can relate!

Past times in my serving in ministry…after working all day at a secular job, then at night, attending leadership meetings, evangelism outreach classes…And that’s okay, actually, because honestly…I LIVE for this kind of usefulness.

But I can see myself being in Demas’ shoes if I’m not careful; just getting WEARY of being tempted to quit if you caught me at the wrong time.

What Demas needed to hear is the same thing we need to hear when we get WEARY IN THE lORD’S WORK.

Paul said in Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.”

Sometimes we need to get some rest…But don’t get weary in well-doing.

Sometimes we have to reprioritize to make sure the important things get done first, but don’t get WEARY in doing well!

Sometimes we may feel taken advantage of and unappreciated, but don’t be weary in well-doing–because we’re not doing our service for people anyway.

I want to share a couple of tips that I’ve learned over forty-five years in various ministries on how NOT to get or stay weary in well-doing:

  • First, when you can, SERVE in harmony with your spiritual gift.

We can’t always have that luxury to serve only where we’re GIFTED, but that’s where we should gravitate when possible.

When we minister in our giftedness, we may get tired, but we get tired because we’re doing too much of what we ENJOY and that’s a good kind of tired.

  • Second, find time for alone time with God where you can get recharged and encouraged in the Lord by His Spirit.

Just maybe, Demas needed to set aside some time with God and get STRENGTH from Him.

SECOND, DEMAS MAY HAVE BECOME UNHAPPY WITH HIS EFFECTIVENESS –

Maybe he tried to win his relatives to the Lord, and they wouldn’t listen.

Perhaps as he preached alongside Paul he became disappointed that he didn’t see the same results as Paul.

Possibly Demas found that PREACHING when most of his hearers didn’t want to hear what he had to say was more difficult than he anticipated.

And he just simply became discouraged in his doing, and he decided to throw in the towel and QUIT!

If true, then he would’ve been helped by Paul’s words to the Corinthian church, 1 Cor. 3:5-7:

Paul was saying that much of what we do when we SERVE GOD doesn’t result in immediate visible results.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it or that God isn’t blessing it.

Maybe Demas just needed to HEAR that we work for God, not for effectiveness and it won’t be until we get to HEAVEN to see the fruit of our labor.  Right now, we just need not be WEARY in well-doing.

THIRD, POSSIBLY DEMAS HAD BEEN DISAPPOINTED WITH THE FAILURES AND INCONSISTENCIES OF OTHERS –

Maybe some of the Christians he worked with were not all they were cracked up to be.  It’s hard to imagine that he could have found a more spiritual man to minister alongside than the Apostle Paul, but Paul certainly wasn’t perfect.

  • Maybe some of the other Christian leaders he worked with didn’t live up to the standards he thought Christians or ministers of the Gospel should have.
  • Maybe he started looking at others for inspiration instead of Jesus!
  • Maybe he was looking around instead of looking up!

Or maybe he struggled with a certain SIN in his life that caused him to begin to look at others with more critical eyes so that he wouldn’t feel so bad about his own sin.

OUCH!!!

We really don’t know for sure, but if that’s the case, the writer of Hebrews had the answers to Demas’ problem

HEBREWS 12:1-2 (AMP)

[1] THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth]. let us strip off and throw away every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which is so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,  [2] Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection].  He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The writer says we should keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and not others as we run the race.

  • JESUS is the author and finisher of our FAITH, not those around us.
  • It was JESUS who endured the cross for us, not our co-workers in the Lord or our mentors, our fellow Christians.

I wish Demas had thoughts of that before he threw in the towel.

FOURTH, DEMAS MAY HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED WITH HIMSELF –

Perhaps he thought, once in the Lord’s service, somehow his struggles with sin, lust or fear, or covetousness, or anger from jealousy would disappear.

  • Maybe he forgot the importance of depending on the Holy Spirit.
  • Maybe, as he looked back over the last few years of serving in the ministry that he became disappointed he hadn’t come any further in the Christian life than he felt he should have.

As a young worker in God’s Vineyard, maybe he had been too idealistic–thought that people would flock to hear him teach and preach with multitudes being SAVED!

But things, well…they just didn’t turn out that way.

All anyone wanted to hear was that big-shot Paul!

Possibly, DEMAS struggled as many of us struggle and was disillusioned with his own wrong motives and lack of spiritual growth, especially when he compared himself with the great Apostle Paul, who seemed to always be “on target.”

FIFTH, IT’S ALSO POSSIBLE THAT HE HAD DEVELOPED A DIMINISHING OF SPONTANEOUS SERVICE FOR THE LORD –

  • I wonder if Demas was so involved with FIGHTING for the Word of God that he stopped FEASTING in the Word.
  • I wonder if he became so busy SERVING God, that he stopped SAVORING God.

If so, then most likely his spiritual life became forced, cold, mechanical, calculated, until he just didn’t bother taking time out to spend with the Lord anymore.

Maybe he became like Martha instead of Mary.  

MARTHA received a gentle rebuking from Jesus though she was busy serving, while MARY was commended because she took the time out to be with Jesus (Luke 10:41-42).

Maybe DEMAS wouldn’t have given up if he had been able to feed at the Lord’s table.

SIXTH, JUDGING FROM PAUL’S WORDS IN TIMOTHY 4, MOST LIKELY THE ATTRACTIONS OF THIS WORLD ALLURED DEMAS AWAY FROM GOD.

Paul said, “…because he loved this world, has deserted me and gone to Galatia…”  (2 Tim. 4:10).

That will rob you of your spiritual power and zeal like nothing else!

Jesus half-brother James (Mark 6:13) said in James 4:4

[4] “Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy?  So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God”  (AMP).

James uses mighty strong language here! 

A FRIEND of this world’s system is a spiritual adulterer or adulteress who, instead of loving God with ALL your heart, goes “a whoring” after the world, to use O.T. terminology.

How can one experience the JOY of walking with God if you’ve become His enemy?

No, the WORLD will not satisfy you; it will only pull you away from God and SERVICE to Him.

I’ve Given Some “Maybe’s”, the REASONS Demas Could Have Bailed Out On Paul.

But all is not lost in the case of DEMAS (3 John 1:12):

“Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone–and even by the truth itself…”  (NIV)

It is said that this passage of Scripture was written about 90-95 AD.  Many Bible scholars believe that DEMETRIUS in this passage is the same DEMAS found Philemon 23-24.  

The name “Demas” was what is called a diminutive of the name Demetrius; in other words, kind of like shortened nickname of the name like Bob for Robert or Will for William.  

If this is the same DEMAS as the one Paul referred to, it proves again, as with John Mark, it’s never too late to recover, restore, reconcile those who have FAILED, failed miserably. And reconciliation IS the theme of Paul’s letter to Philemon.

Somewhere along the line, Demas got things straightened out in his life so that John could say,  “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone…”

If you are in danger of becoming a DEMAS, or maybe you find yourself already a “Demas”, then it’s time to grab hold of God’s PROMISE found in 1 John 1:9:

[9] If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].  (Amplified Bible).

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CREDITS –

The Free Dictionary by Failex.

Bible Hub – 2 Timothy 4:10; Elliott’s Commentary for English Readers.

Ray Stedman, The End of the Road.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search, Settings Advance.

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS:  New International Version (NIV); Amplified Bible (AMP); except where noted in the text.

 

 

JESUS, a.k.a. ….

in-Zechariah-Christ-is-revealed-as-the-stone-with-seven-eyes

William Lyons Phelps, an American author, critic and scholar writes,

“We are all so vain that we love to have our names remembered by those who have met us but once.  We exaggerate the talents and virtues of those who can do this and we are ready to repay their power with lifelong devotion.  The ability to associate in the mind names and faces is a tremendous asset to a politician and it will prolong the pastorate of any clergyman.” 

BIBLE NAMES are significant because they indicate personal characteristics of LIFE.  

The meaning of Zechariah’s name for instance is “the LORD has remembered.”

In past conversations with my wife over the years, we have mentioned, “Wouldn’t it have been great if we had named our three children AFTER their personalities had developed based on their CHARACTER rather than what sounded good at the time of birth?”

NAMES ARE IMPORTANT –

BUT none are more important than the names given to the Son of God.  That is why the prophet said,

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace  (Isaiah 9:6 – NIV).

With the events leading up to, and including Resurrection Sunday (Easter), I wanted to look at some of the names and titles given to JESUS in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

He is our Day-Star (2 Peter 1:19 – NKJV):

[19] And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

2009-10-03-the-morning-star-paradox

The MORNING STAR, or DayStar in the Greek comes from phos and phero (“phosphorus”); Strong reference #5459, light-bringing.  

The meaning denotes the manifestation of Christ to the soul, imparting to the listener light and comfort when things look dark in life.

JESUS IS…“the Morning Star” (Revelation 2:28)–the “brilliant Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16);

“A star (Star) shall come forth out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17).  The wise men’s focus was from this verse in the Old Testament in searching for the Messiah–JESUS.

Jesus is characterized to the world as this “day-Star” or “morning star” that casts light to the darkened soul.  We were once in this DARKNESS OF SIN…BUT the morning-Star has dawned in our hearts as believers.

The Sun of Righteousness –

standing

Malachi 4:2 (AMP):

[2] But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

JESUS is called the Sun of Righteousness…

His LIGHT opens our eyes in a sometimes dim view in what is right.  And…His LIGHT brings healing into our lives spiritually and physically.

The LIGHT of the World –

[12] When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”  (John 8:12).

He is our Arbitrator (Job 9:33 NIV):

[33] If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both,

I love how the King James Version reads.  It uses the term “Daysman” and after doing a little investigation, I found“Daysman” especially appropriate in describing the mediation of Jesus. 

A “Daysman” was a mediator, or umpire, whose work was to settle disputes or grievances between two parties.  But more than that, the “Daysman” had exclusive authority in when and where the matter was to be handled.  This description reminded me of 2 Corinthians 6:2:

[2] For He says, “In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!”  (Amplified Bible).

As the “Daysman” who alone can reconcile God to man, His day is today!  No appointment necessary!  No waiting for a court docket to be set!

Our Advocate (1 John 2:1-2 AMP):

[1] But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father–[it is] Jesus Christ…  [2] And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

ADVOCATE – (Greek. parakletos, one who pleads another’s cause, who helps another in defending or comforting him.)

It is a name given by Jews three times to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7) where the Greek word is rendered “Comforter”).  It is applied to JESUS in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered “Advocate”.

Jesus not only stands in the gap for us as an arbitrator…He also is an advocate for us in speaking to the Father pleading our case.

Our Reconciliation (Colossians 1:21-22 NLT):

images[21] This includes you who are once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.  [22] Yet now he has RECONCILED you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

BANK RECONCILIATION, most of us know: The analyses and adjustment of differences between the cash balance shown on a bank statement, and the account holder’s records.

My wife has been reconciling our bank statement now for over 50 years now.  When the account doesn’t balance, and that seldom occurs, it is usually because of a mathematical mistake on our part and not the banks.  But since we are both human, mistakes will happen, and it never seems to be a “deposit” error.  Go figure!

When it comes to reconciling our spiritual account with God however, the “bank” is never wrong!

God’s Reconciliation is a change from enmity to friendship.  It is mutual, i.e. , it is a change in relationship where both parties have been at enmity.

In verses 21-22, the word used there refers to a change in the character of the sinner who ceases to be an enemy to God and yields to Him with his fullest confidence, trust and love.

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, the apostle Paul appeals to the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God”.

Jesus stands in the gap as an ARBITRATOR…He is and ADVOCATE pleading our case…And He is our RECONCILIATION so we can be joined together in our relationship with God.

He is other things too!

Zechariah 6:12:  Judah’s BRANCH

“Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord’ (NIV).

12832310_499659870242323_30992538862626766_n

Jesus is the BRANCH of God and extends from the house of Judah and to all the peoples of the earth.

The BRANCH represents humility: “branching out from His place” – that the true Messiah will be a Jew reaching out to the peoples of the earth and not a foreigner reaching into assist the Jewish people.

The Gate–the DOOR (John 10:7-11):

The only way to enter the kingdom of God in the present or in eternity is through Door #! only–JESUS!

[9] “I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved”

Also, all true earthly SHEPHERDS (pastors, teachers, etc.) must enter through the Gate–anyone who teaches what is contrary to Jesus’ teaching is a “crook or robber, who climbed over the wall” (verse 10)–and not a shepherd.

False teachers can be identified by their way of entry into the flock.  Anyone, any “religion” who denies Jesus has not entered the kingdom of God:

  • false shepherd
  • false sheep

And the A.K.A. List goes on in the bible!

The Son of God, called IMMANUEL – God with us (Isaiah 7:14) –

“God with us,” what does that really mean to people today?

The Latin verb, INCARNATE means, “to make flesh.”

When we say that Jesus Christ is God, “incarnate,” we mean the Son of God took on a fleshly, bodily form (John 1:14).  However, when this happened in the womb of Mary, Jesus’ earthly mother, He didn’t stop being deity.

Although Jesus is able to be both man and God at the same time, one of the great mysteries of Christianity, nevertheless a test of accepted orthodoxy (1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7).

Jesus has TWO distinct natures…DIVINE and HUMAN (John 14:11).

When Jesus took on the form of a human, His nature did not change, but His position did!

Jesus in His original nature of God in spirit form, humbled Himself by laying aside His glory and privileges (Philippians 2:6-8).  

God can never stop being God (Hebrews 13:8).

If Jesus stopped being fully God for even a split second, ALL LIFE would cease (see Acts 17:28).

He’s Our REDEEMER (Ephesians 1:7-8) –

He’s Our SACRIFICIAL LAMB (John 1:29) –

He’s Our AUTHORITY over the Enemy (Luke 10:19; Acts 16:18) –

Luke 10:19 – AMP. bible:  Behold! I have given you AUTHORITY and POWER to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.

The apostle Paul is confronted by a demonic spirit and in Acts 16:18 he demonstrates his given authority:  “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”  Notice that the word used is not “ask” but “command”.  That is the authority that Jesus’ name can bring.

If we are connected with Jesus…our relationship with Him gives us the AUTHORITY over Satan!

What I have presented in this study, is but a taste of the characteristics of JESUS as described in the Bible.  Writers, Poets, Artists, Songwriters, and all Believers who have experienced the love of God, have always tried to express who Jesus is…all the names, titles and expressions in the world still fall short in describing the matchless CHARACTER of the man called JESUS.

He possesses the name above all names–which all human words fall short to describe Him!

Philippians 2:9-11 (AMP):

[9] Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name.  [10] That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.  [11] And every tongue [frankly and openly] confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.

What an honor that we bear His name! – CHRISTIAN.

 

 


CREDITS;

got Questions?org  “What does incarnate mean?” gotquestions.org Home

Photo Credits:  Google Search IMAGES

 

 

 

 

Events Have Transpired-The Shadow of Things to Come (Part Two)

THE SPRING FEASTS –[Part ONE recap]:

As we have seen, the four Spring Festivals presented in Part One, have been FULFILLED by JESUS, who was our Passover Lamb; died on the day of Passover.

He was, without a doubt, buried of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Jesus was in the grave during the day of Unleavened Bread; He was the kernel of wheat buried in the earth.

JESUS arose from the grave as “First Fruits” of the barley harvest, He Himself being the first to rise from the dead.

Finally, the promised New Covenant arrived during the Feast of Pentecost, or Weeks, to gather all the believers in Christ Jesus to be God’s Spring Harvest on earth.

THE FALL FEASTS–A Prophetic Foreshadow of Things to Come!

FEAST OF TRUMPETS (Leviticus 23:24):

Feast of Trumpets
Feast of Trumpets

“Say to the Israelites, On the first day of the seventh month [almost October], you shall observe the day of solemn [sabbatical] rest, a memorial day announced by the blowing of trumpets,  a holy [called] assembly.”

A 2014 Announcement…

This year, between September 25-26, Rosh Hashanah occurs.  Coincidentally, the FEAST OF TRUMPETS falls on my 50th Wedding Anniversary. We will be listening for the blast of the TRUMPETS.

GOD Seems to ENJOY Trumpets sounding… 

Ever since Issac was spared by the ram caught in the thicket by its horn, God seems to have enjoyed the TRUMPET.

He used it when Joshua conquered Jericho, and in Leviticus 25:8-10…He specified its use in having trumpets sounding,  “proclaim liberty throughout all the land…”  (The quotation appears on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia demonstrating that America was founded by Bible readers).

The FEAST OF TRUMPETS occurring in our month of September (Tishri on the Jewish Calendar), and the jump in time from the FEAST OF PENTECOST in May or June, represents the Church Age in God’s planning.

The “TRUMPET” Was A Signal…

jesus_christ_image_321

The field workers of old, when they heard the shofar (the Ram’s Horn) blasts, they were to come into the Temple to worship God almighty.  The HIGH PRIEST actually blew the trumpet and the faithful would stop the Fall Harvest.

Since the TRUMPET unquestionably represents the RAPTURE, or the “catching up” of the Church; when we hear the sounding trumpets, those who are in Christ, the living believers will cease their HARVEST and will rise from the earth (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17):

“Take notice! I tell you a mystery (a secret truth, an event decreed by the hidden purpose or counsel of God). We shall not all fall asleep [in death], but we shall all be changed (transformed).  

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] LAST TRUMPET CALL. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (free and immune from decay), and we shall be changed (transformed).

For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us, this nature that is capable of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death).

And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory [Isa. 25:8]”  (1 Corinthians 15:51-54 AMP).

THE FEAST OF ATONEMENT (Yom Kippur):

“The LORD said to Moses,  The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the Lord by fire.  Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the Lord your God”  (Leviticus 23:26-28 NIV).

This FEAST on the Jewish Calendar provided a day of confession, the highest of holy days.  On our calendar, the FEAST  OF ATONEMENT begins on October 3rd 2014 at sunset and ends on October 4th 2014 at night fall.

“Yom Kippur”…

Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the HIGH PRIEST (nobody else) may enter the Holy of Holies and meet there the glory of the LORD (the Shekinah)(Hebrews 9:7).

The High Priest…

The High Priest makes ATONEMENT for himself and for the people of Israel by the blood sacrifice of goats and bulls (Leviticus 16).

 HEBREWS 9:14:

“How much more surely shall the BLOOD OF CHRIST, Who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own preexistent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God?”

So Through JESUS’…

Through Jesus’ DEATH at the cross, our way to the Father is FREE…for everyone, at anytime (Mark:37, 38).

“And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world”  (1 John 2:2 AMP).

“God presented Him [JESUS] as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–”  (Romans 3:25 NIV).

At Jesus’ Second Coming…

When JESUS arrives on planet Earth for the second time, He will come out of the HOLY OF HOLIES (heaven).  And when He returns, besides other functions, He will come as the HIGH PRIEST to His chosen people (Zechariah 12:10).

This is the one FEAST not already fulfilled by the church…

The church owes no ATONEMENT.  The Church is not innocent, but it is exonerated.  The Greek word katallage [See footnote [i] ] is a noun derived from katallasso (RECONCILE), found in four places in the New Testament with the meaning “reconciliation.”  However, in each instance it is clear from the context that such “reconciliation” of sinners with God has come about only as a result of Christ’s work of atonement through His death on the cross (cf. Rom. 5:11; 11:15; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19).

THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES (Sukkot – “Booths”):

“And the LORD said…Say to the Israelites,  The fifteenth day of this seventh month, and for seven days, is the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths to the Lord”  (Leviticus 23:34).

FEAST OF TABERNACLES or "Booths"
FEAST OF TABERNACLES or “Booths”

From the age of 12 to the age of 18, my parents used to mark on the calendar on the back porch wall, specific days that the family was going camping in the mountains of Southern California [Idyllwild State Park].  We would pitch a tent after mom would rake, even sweep the ground where the tent would be placed with a camp broom (mom was more than ‘just neat’).  Our family CELEBRATED our days of family camping.

God Wanted to CELEBRATE the FEAST…

God wanted to celebrate the fact that He provided a shelter for the ISRAELITES in the wilderness.

Each year, devout Jews build little shelters or “booths” outside of their houses and WORSHIPPED in them.  And so TABERNACLES represents the Lord’s shelter in the world to come for those who believe in JESUS as their Lord and Savior.  His great TABERNACLE to exist in Jerusalem during the Kingdom Age (Revelation 20).

The LORD will establish HIS TABERNACLE in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 37:26) and the world will come every year to appear before the King of kings to worship Him (Zechariah 14:16, 17).

CONCLUSION:

You’ll probably agree, after reading this TWO PART SERIES, Christianity’s Jewish Roots offer an eye to the future as well as the past.  The next time someone mentions “The Seven Feasts of Israel,” you’ll realize they’re talking about the Seven Feasts of all time!

 

*For Footnotes, See PART ONE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Responsibilities as God’s “Plenipotentiary”

“Plenipotentiary” Definition:

Noun – a person, invested with the fill power of independent action on behalf of their government.

Adjective – having full power to take independent ACTION as a designated representative.

WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF A DIPLOMAT/AMBASSADOR/”PLENIPOTENTIARY”?

United States Ambassador
United States Ambassador

When United States DIPLOMATS negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler to the United States, they all have the same mission–REPRESENT THE INTERESTS and policies of the United States.

An AMBASSADOR is the President’s highest-ranking representative.

His/her qualities should be as follows:

—  A strong leader.

—  A good manager.

—  A resilient negotiator.

—  And, a respected representative of the United States.

Benjamin Franklin speaking to the qualities that should accompany a “plenipotentiary”– diplomat, said it this way:

“[The qualities of a diplomat are] sleepless tact, unmovable calmness,

and patience that no folly, no provocation, 

no blunders make shake.”

 BIBLE VERSE:

2 Corinthians 5:20

 

HOW WE BECOME GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE–CHRIST’S AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD:

Joel Santos says it this way–If God were like me, he would have used legions of angels, proclaiming, singing, shouting his message nonstop, simultaneously around the world.  But praise God, He is NOT like me! [i footnoted].

In 2 Corinthians 5:11-20, the Apostle Paul, responding to criticisms about his ministry by giving reasons why Christians should be involved in MISSIONS.

GOD gave us ALL… the ministry of reconciliation…

This GOD-GIVEN COMMISSION is plain and clear–God’s mission of reconciling the world unto Him will be brought to completion through us, the redeemed!

Preparation For Being AMBASSADORS:

Before taking this honor as Plenipotentiaries, we need to make an honest attempt of knowing our responsibilities.  Consider the Christian as an AMBASSADOR who has a special motive of serving–the love of Jesus.

JESUS expressed LOVE in many ways, and as His AMBASSADORS, we need to take note:

He loved the lost – (Mark 10:21).

He wept over the lost – (Matthew 23:37).

He loved the outcasts of society – (Illus.: Luke 19:1-10).

The lack of love angered Him – (Mark 3:5).

He proved His love on Calvary…He died for us, so we live for Him.

A Christian Ambassador Responsibilities and Duties in the World– [ii]

1.  BE READY –

To be alert for chances to represent Christ while not backing away from a challenge or an opportunity.

2.  BE PATIENT –

Not quarrelling with others, but will listen in order to understand, then with gentleness, seek to respectfully engage those who disagree.

3.  BE REASONABLE –

Have informed convictions based on God’s Word/Scripture (not just feelings), give reasons, ask questions, aggressively seek answers, and will not be stumped by the same challenge twice.

4.  BE TACTICAL –

Adapt to each unique person and situation, maneuvering with wisdom while challenging bad thinking… presenting the TRUTH in an understanding and compelling way.

A Personal Experience of Being “Tactical”:

I have been blessed to be a part of 4 Billy Graham Crusades over the years.

As a counselor, when the Crusade Choir starts singing “Just as I am, without one plea”, was my cue to start my journey towards the center field of the football stadium.  To be qualified as “counselor”, we had to go through a week of training before Crusade began.

Mr Graham was positioned on a platform and after his message, those in attendance, started flowing down the long series of steps to the field. As counselors, we were to be sensitive to people’s needs, look forward to God-given opportunities, then to listen and share God’s Word with those who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

After meeting and talking to several people one night, and as the crowds gathered on the stadium floor began to disperse,  I also turned to leave.  When out of the corner of my eye, I noticed 3 men heading towards me at a rapid pace.  Two of the men, who were giants among men, were carrying a much smaller man by his armpits, his feet not touching the ground.  As they approach, I didn’t know whether to stay frozen in place, or turn my back and quickly remove myself from their sight.  I decided to stand my ground with trepidation.

One of the men spoke up and declared, “We our Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton.  We were here last night and got saved.”

Releasing the smaller man so that his feet could touch the ground, he continued saying, “This is a fellow-Marine.  We brought him here tonight so he too can be saved!”

 I thought to myself,  “Mel, this is a unique situation with unique men.  Lord, I need to quickly adapt to and apply Your wisdom…NOW!” 

Immediately, I proceeded to explain that their “fellow-Marine” needed to make his own choices in accepting JESUS;  their forceful and insistent encouragement might do more harm than good.  Scaring someone to Christ might sound “convicting”, but no, God’s Word doesn’t tell us to do so as His Ambassadors.

I then began sharing the Gospel Message with the help of a B.G.C. (Billy Graham Crusade) tract, and the young Marine accepted Jesus as his personal Saviour.

5.  BE CLEAR – 

Being careful with our language and not relying on Christian “lingo”.  [Ex.: manifestations, glorified, the rapture, justification, reconciliation, etc.].  Keep it simple.

6.  BE FAIR –

Be sympathetic and understanding towards others, acknowledging the merits of contrary views.

7.  BE HONEST –

Being careful with the facts that will not misrepresent another’s view, overstate his own case, or underestimate the demands of the Gospel.

8.  BE HUMBLE –

Do not press a point beyond what the persons evidence allows.  Know that their understanding of the TRUTH is fallible.

9.  BE ATTRACTIVE –

Act with grace, kindness, good manners (“fruits of the Spirit”)–do nothing that will dishonor the One who has sent you on the mission.

10. BE DEPENDENT –

Know that your effectiveness requires joining your best efforts with God’s POWER.

AMBASSADORS ON A DIPLOMATIC MISSION:

christian-embassy-un-logo-210x210

As Christian Ambassadors, “Plenipotentiaries”, we are to shine forth God’s Light–proclaim the message of SALVATION whenever and wherever we may be.  Sadly, Christians have lost the sense of our godly appointment in this world.  We’ve got our “ticket to heaven” punched, and we are home free!

May it never be, that as Christ’s Ambassadors, we are ordinary citizens in the world.  For if we feel that way, we will never fulfill the mission:

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion,  Your God reigns!”  (Isaiah 52:7 AMP).

 

[See previous Blog: July 8th, 2011 – https://theworddetective.wordpress.com/christ-ambassadors;-our-power-to-influence/.] 

Footnotes:  [i] Pastor/minister @Evangelical Christian Church – Network of Churches and Ministries in the Philippines.  [ii] Adapted from Greg Kouki,  “Ambassador’s Creed” and Roger Morris’ Characteristics of a Christian Ambassador.

 

 

JESUS Is More Than An Image!

“Who Is JESUS, Really?”

[15] “[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He us the firstborn of all creation.  [16] For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.  [17] And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together” (Colossians 1:15-17 AMP).

A Child’s Answer:

A Sunday School Class teacher once came up from behind a little girl busy drawing a picture.  She couldn’t make “heads or tails” of what the picture was revealing, so she asked the simple question:

“I can’t quite make out sweetie, the picture your drawing.  Could you give me a hint?”

And without looking up from her drawing she said,

“I’m drawing a picture of Jesus.”

Taken back by the little girls answer, the teacher said in a soft but authoritative voice,

“No one has seen Jesus, so you can’t really know what He looks like.”

“Really”, said the young girl.  Without a pause and her head still down, she went on to say,  “Well, after I finish coloring my picture, they will know what God looks like then!”

How Many Times Do We Color Our Own Images Of God?

People have seen Hollywood’s images of Jesus and famous artist renditions of Jesus, and with the replicas hanging on our walls.  We base those images on who we think He ought to look like; when we see His face in eternity.  We do this rather than what He is really like.

How many times do we make Jesus out to be something that He really isn’t?  Many people throughout our nation say that they love Jesus, but have no real idea who JESUS is!  So my question to you who are reading this blog today is this…WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?

I  am amazed at the answers to that specific question:  “Who is JESUS to you?”  Some people think he was a “great teacher”, a moral example, and some think that he was a prophet.  In fact, JESUS Himself asked this same question to His disciples,  [13] “Who do people say the Son of Man is?  [14] And they answered,   Some say…   [15] He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?  [16] Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  (Matthew 16:13-16 AMP).

But most people won’t answer the question, tending to deflect as if they were running for some political office.  They talk about what a good person they are.  Tell you what church they are a member of or talk about all the deeds they’ve accomplished and charity work they have performed in the community.

Some people will tell you that when they turned nineteen years old, they spent 2 1/2 years on their churches appointed mission field.   Sometimes I feel like acting like a judge in the courtroom.  I feel like saying,  “OBJECTION–just answer the question.  “Who is JESUS to you?”

The Apostle Paul answers this exact same question to the Church at Colossae.

Epaphras went to Paul while he was in prison in Rome asking for help in the newly established church.  So Paul wrote this letter not only remind the Colossians, but also to us in the church today who JESUS is.

JESUS IN HIS RELATIONSHIP TO HIS CREATION:

I need to clear up a little language first.  I found it interesting to know Paul wrote this letter to warn the church of the false teaching about JESUS.  It’s interesting because many false teachers today use this very same verse 15 to support their false teaching about JESUS.

The Mormon Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses misuse Colossians 1:15 in making it say what it doesn’t say; to support their false doctrines, that JESUS isn’t God.  Their explanation and use of the Word of God is WRONG!

Here’s what the verse means:  Just as the invisible Father is God, so is the Son who came to earth, a visible flesh; God incarnate.  The Amplified Bible uses “exact likeness”, while the NIV, NASB and the KJV use the English word “image.”

Greek Word “eikon”

The Greek Word “eikon”:

The Greek word was used to describe a STAMP, specifically used in displaying the image of Caesar on documents and other articles.  People in the Roman Empire knew when they saw the stamp, it was from Caesar personally from the “image stamp”.

In other words, JESUS is the exact representation, the exact likeness of God.  Is it something we can ever understand fully?  No.  If we could, we would be saying that are “little brains” are big enough to contain the thoughts of God Himself.

No matter how smart you think you are–Scripture says your thoughts are not His thoughts–your ways are not His ways.  You and I will never completely figure God out!

Verse 15 also tells us…“JESUS is the firstborn of every creature.”

Those same false teachers of our day say…‘that proves that JESUS was created’.  They say that because they don’t know their Scriptures.

FIRSTBORN can mean one of two things:

It can mean born chronologically, like our daughter Karen.  Karen is our firstborn child because she was born before Kristin and Kevin.  That is not the sense here.  Even though JESUS was born of a virgin, that’s not where He began.

John 1:1 says,  “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God  Himself.”

In John’s vision (Rev. 19), he sees Christ Jesus returning as Warrior-Messiah-King, and “the title by which He is called is The Word of God…and Lord of lords”  (Revelation 19:13, 16).

The Gospel of John goes on to say,  “And the Word became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us”  (John 1:14 AMP).  JESUS wasn’t first-born in the chronological sense.  He couldn’t because He was without beginning or endAs God, He is eternal.

JESUS was born in the other sense of the word–JESUS was born according to His rank.

He is above ALL of creation and He has ALL the rights, privileges and responsibilities of His Father.  To say that He is the Firstborn of all creation carries the exact same meaning when Scripture tells us JESUS is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He occupies the position of prominence.  And as God of very God, verse 16 tells us JESUS created ALL THINGS:

“For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.”

When you read the creation account in Genesis 1, JESUS was with God and JESUS was God as God created the heavens and the earth.  Nothing exists that JESUS didn’t create and nothing continues to exist that JESUS doesn’t sustain.

Atheists say “God is Dead!”

GOD is not dead, JESUS is not dead!  The only reason an atheist is able to say, “Jesus never existed”, is because JESUS is alive and well!

Verse 17 tells us that by ALL THINGS consisthold together:

“And He [JESUS] Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).”

If JESUS was to remove His sustaining hand from creation for one brief moment, everything would collapse and cease to exist.  His relationship to His creation is as our creator and our sustainer.

The Christmas Exchange–

Most of us know why we celebrate the Christmas season: To celebrate JESUS’ birth, the giving and receiving of gifts, the decorations, and the smells of Christmas.  But when it comes to the exchanging of gifts to the stores on the day after, that is a different story.  All the stores are a disaster; shopping cart after shopping cart full of things people are exchanging.  Clothes that don’t fit, the wrong color or style of choice.  People line up at the customer service desk trying to exchange things.  But let me cheer you up with the exchange JESUS made for you and me:

“And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross”  (Colossians 1:20 AMP).

Over 2000 years ago, JESUS exchanged His life for yours and mine.  But not only did He exchange His life for yours, He exchanged His death for yours.

Man’s Fall Into Sin–

“Therefore as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned”  (Romans 5:12).

We were all born into sin, sworn enemies of God according to His Word.  The only thing that man deserved was the total wrath of God.  Our relationship with our Creator was irreconcilable, sort of like divorce proceedings in America– by irreconcilable differences.  That was how things were on earth until JESUS paid the price to reconcile, to redeem us back into the relationship by His blood on the Cross.

The Two-fold Purpose of Reconciliation

“Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] RECONCILED [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence”  (Colossians 1:22 AMP).

1.  To take away your unrighteousness.

JESUS’ perfect sacrifice accomplishes that for you.  But of that was all there was, it still wouldn’t reconcile you to God.  It would just bring you back to neutral and take away His wrath.  His wrath would be gone, but you would still be empty, without eternal purpose, an interrupted relationship. 

2.  JESUS’ perfect life clothes you in righteousness. 

While His perfect sacrifice takes away your sins, His perfect life can clothe you in righteousness.

A PICTURE OF DIRTY LITTLE HOMELESS CHILDREN–

World War II Picture

I want you to visualize a picture of a dirty little homeless boy (or girl), living in filth and poverty out in the streets.  A servant of the king invites him off the streets and to come into the palace of the king.

In order that the boy to stand in the king’s presence, the boy must be washed of all the filth accumulated on the street.  But not only bathed, he must put on new clothes.

That’s the picture of what JESUS does for us in salvation.  He washes away all the dirtiness by His spilled blood–ALL of our sins– and gives us new clothes; He clothes us in His righteousness so we can stand reconciled before Him as our King.

Going Back to the Question, “Who is JESUS to you?”

JESUS SAVES you for a purpose; to die to the flesh and live for Him.  The question is, “do you know the real JESUS?”  Or…have you been dealing with a cheap imitation?

If you have never trusted JESUS as your Lord and Savior, then now is the time for you to come out of the streets of squalor.  Begin to make your calling and election sure and start serving Him where you are today.

If you know Jesus for sure, that He is your Savior, but have turned your back on His lordship, then turn back to Him today.  For when you do so, this is what JESUS will immediately do:

“…present you holy and faultless and irreproachable…  [23] [And this He will do] provided that you continue to stay with and in the faith [in Christ], well-grounded and settled and steadfast, not shifting or moving away from the hope [which rests on and is inspired by] the glad tidings (the Gospel),  which you heard and which has been preached  [as being designed for and offered without restrictions] to every person under heaven…”     (Colossians 1:22b-23 AMP).

How Confession Begins–With “Old Camel Knees”!

How Confession Begins

“OLD CAMEL KNEES”

In an article by Jon Peterson, “Writing in the 4th Century by Jerome records that ‘James, the half-brother of Jesus…prayed in behalf of the people, insomuch that his knees were reputed to have acquired the hardness of camel’s knees’.”  Thus, the nickname stuck!  Therefore, what better place to begin the blog on confession through prayer but The Letter of James.

THE THREE QUESTIONS

“Is anyone among you afflicted? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise (to God). Is anyone among you sick?”  (James 5:13, 14).

1.  WHO’S AFFLICTED?

2.  WHO’S MERRY; GLAD AT HEART?

3.  WHO’S SICK?

AFFLICTION

“Affliction” doesn’t refer to a sickness or illness; that topic is referred to in verse 14.  The word means “to be attacked or persecuted for the sake of the gospel. A by-product would be poor choices we’ve made that go against the Word of God. A Scriptural example can be found in The Book of Romans, where Paul says;

“Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?”  (Rom. 6:16).

That’s “reaping what we’ve sown”.  Remember, “Words Determine Your Thinking”; that’s right words and wrong words.  In Creflo Dollar’s “8 Steps to Your Destination”, he starts the conversation by, YOU determine your words that you say. Either God’s words or the worlds.  “Your words then, determine your thinking; your thinking determines your emotions; your emotions determine your decisions or choices”.  WRONG choices will lead to “affliction”.

THE REMEDY

It always starts with your prayer life; that doesn’t necessarily mean to petition God. Prayer is the “vehicle” of our relationship with God; asking for wisdom, studying/reading His word; enjoying quiet time with Him without saying a word. All of those thoughts are prayer (fellowship). Relief of affliction comes through your relationship with God.

“Relationships last a lifetime!”

I heard a pastor one morning, start his sermon with this quotation: “I don’t want to KNOW ABOUT God.  I want to KNOW God”.  

It’s personal and it ALL starts with a loving relationship with Jesus. 

“And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”. 

With social networks, smart phones, computer email, it seems we are never involved in a face to face relationship anymore. We are even finding a future spouse via on-line dating. What has happen to the relationships in our lives?

“MERRY” OR “GLAD OF HEART”

When was the last time you could say to yourself, “Boy, I am sure feeling “merry”; “glad of heart” lately?  Scripture says we should be making “a joyful noise unto the Lord”  (Psalm 66:1; Psalm 81:1; Psalm 95:1-12; Psalm 98:4-6; Psalm 100:1). 

I sang with a worship team on Sundays for about two years.  I looked at some of the faces singing and it was hard seeing people who were singing without “joyful noises”, without “thanksgiving”, without expressions of praise in their singing.

Looking back now at the experiences, knowing I wasn’t aware of what they might be going through, perhaps a time of experiencing  affliction as they stood singing. 

James is telling us in verse 13, no matter what our affliction might be, we are to be “glad at heart” IN… our affliction.

“I CAN’T BE HAPPY WHILE I AM GOING THROUGH ‘STUFF’…”

Paul and Silas clothes were torn off, beaten with rods, struck with many blows to the face and thrown into jail with their feet fastened in the stocks (Acts 16:22-24). Now that’s affliction!

“But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God”  (Acts 16:25).

If you have thought it was hard for you to sing praises in YOUR affliction on Sunday mornings, remind yourself of Paul’s and Silas’ circumstances and sing as loud as you can in gladness the next time. “Sing praise to God”. It becomes your intent to please Him; not to please yourself and looking like ‘road kill’ while trying to please God in your affliction.

IS ANYONE SICK?

Scripture teaches other means by which healing is brought to a person. 

In James 5:14,  any sick person should call the elders of the church; assuming the elders BELIEVE in the laying on of hands to heal any sickness and praying over the sick person of the anointing with oil. 

Verse 15 says you must have “the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick”.  In other words, if you ask someone in the church who doesn’t believe that prayer can heal, your are not going to see results. 

A GOOD definition of FAITH is, “A practical expression of the confidence in God and His Word”.  And FAITH continues in HOPE’s definition: “is a heartfelt expectation of a thing with an out-stretched neck”.

If you call upon someone to pray for your sickness that doesn’t exhibit the “prayer of faith”, your sickness won’t go away. That’s not the WORD detective telling you, it’s God’s Word giving you the remedy. The prayer of faith shall save the sick! NO FAITH, NO HEALING!

THE “ELDERS”

The word “Elders” isn’t necessarily referring to the position within a local body; although it is likely during the years of the early church when everyone believed in healing this would be so. I’ll leave it at that.

Most churches that I know don’t make a regular practice of laying on hands to heal the sick. They simply refer people to a doctor they know of that you can seek out.

An “elder” was translated in the Greek language, “prosbuteros“; translated to English the word is “presbyter” or senior member of the church.  NOTE the fact, that a person is an elder, that fits the requirement; it’s whether they know how to pray the “prayer of faith”.

“THE PRAYER OF FAITH” AS TAUGHT BY JESUS

“And Jesus, replying, said to them [His disciples],  Have faith in God [constantly].  Truly I tell you, whoever says to the mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it wilL be done for him.  For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]”  (Mark 11:22-24 Amplified).

SPEAKING TO THE MOUNTAIN

If sickness is the mountain, command it to be removed (healed); in the Name (Authority), using the word “SHALL” or “IT WILL” gives absolute certainty to what you’re asking for.  “I believe that I receive that I possess it, I confess it” That simple confession is the root of all prayer.

If a person isn’t healed, 1 or 2 things occurred and neither have to do with God or His will:

1.  Didn’t call the elders in faith but by religious practice.

2.  The request of others who were believing, or the elders present, didn’t make “the prayer of faith”.

DEALING WITH RELATIONSHIPS; Confessing your faults to one another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed”  (James 5:16 in King James).

We are to confess our sins to God but our faults one to another.  If I have injured you, then I should confess that to you.  BUT I will not confess my sins to you, and I don’t want you confessing your sins to me. You are to confess that to the Lord.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]”  (I John 1:9).

I cannot forgive sins; neither can any clergyman forgive sins–only God can do that.

Confessing your faults to one another doesn’t mean to grab a stranger next Sunday in church and start telling them your deficiencies, your character make-up; “I’m always late” or “I can’t thank God for anything anymore.”  It starts by developing a relationship first.

Also, a clergyman shouldn’t ask someone in the fellowship to come up to the platform and admit their faults; to make them feel better; getting rid of their burden.  You should know the “one another” before spilling your guts about what a critical person you are.  Remember, confession isn’t an apology; “I am sorry for the way I am”.  Repentance goes with confession; turning 180 degrees from where you’ve been. If you choose the wrong person to confess your faults too, that’s how gossip starts in churches.

CONFESSING YOUR FAULTS:

It means you confess or “I admit it,” what you did wrong.  Leave the other person’s mistake or fault to them–For THEM to confess.  Too often, we confess the other persons faults instead of our own.

“Old Camel Knees” says,  “confess your faults” and pray for each other “that you to be healed”. 

James isn’t referring to sickness, he has already dealt with illness in verse 14.  Rather, this “HEALING” refers to the reconciliation of relationships and healing any conflict among people.

I have covered but a few aspects of an effectual prayer life.  It all starts with our relationship with Our heavenly Father; for He is love.  And believers in His Son, we are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Confessing that Jesus is your Saviour and Lord, is admitting who He is and by faith your ‘are sticking with it’.