R.P. Amos

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An Effective Ministry, A Guest-post by Randal Amos

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Paul’s ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2

2:1 – Paul taught his entrance among the Thessalonians was a positive thing.

What qualified the ministry to be counted as positive?

13-16“Ye received it [the word preached] not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God”.  Therefore the Word effectually changed their hearts.  They became followers, not of Jewish religion and its legal practices, but of the other churches of God in Christ Jesus.  And they suffered for this culturally and religiously but kept going on.

Why were the results effective?  Following are 8 things that characterized his ministry. 

#1.   2:2The Right Mentality  (mental toughness)

Paul was jailed and shamed in Philippi.  Yet he and the others did not quit.  They then went on to Thessalonica and “were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention”.  They had the heart of a lamb but the hide of a rhinoceros.

Negative happenings did not change their faithfulness.   

#2.   2:3-4The Right Message

Their message was not religious law, political reform, financial prosperity, a better health-diet or a self-help program but “the gospel of God”.  Their “exhortation was not of deceit” with twisted error or trickery.  It was a message that did not try to please men but only God.  He opened God’s Scriptures and proved the gospel – that Christ suffered fully for our sins to save from our due judgment.  And that this Jesus rose from the dead showing He is that Christ (God’s anointed Lord and Savior), Acts 17:1-3.

Many speakers dynamically motivate but with the wrong message.

#3.   2:5-6The Right Motive

Paul did not wear a “cloke of covetousness”, i.e. pretending on the outside to care and represent God which would mask from them his real reason – being after their money through guilt, greed and gimmicks.  He did not make “merchandise of you” (2Pet. 2:3).

Neither did he flatter their egos to make them feel ok and special the way they were so they would like him.  “Nor of men sought we glory” that would make him a spiritual hero to them thus making it easy for him to take advantage of them.  They, as saved souls, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ were his only glory and joy, 2:19, 20.

He was not in it for self but for God – Who tries the heart, and is a witness of it.  

#4.   2:7, 11The Right Match  (balance)

When Paul was among them he was neither a tyrant nor a wimp.  He had both father and mother qualities to him.  He was “gentle among you” (not harsh) as a nursing mother is with her dear children.  But he also “exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father” does his to children.   He was kind but firm in the things of God.

He had grace and truth like his Lord. 

#5.   2:8, 17-20The Right Moving  (what moved his heart was love, not self)

He had heart affection for the people themselves.  He just didn’t give them the gospel and ‘hit and run’. “Ye were dear unto us”. With desire he tried to return – then wrote them.

He loved the Lord and His people also.  He knew a head has a body – both are cherished.

#6.   2:9The Right Method

It was more than just bringing the saving gospel word to them but he used methods that were strategically meant to reveal God’s character and ways – thus aiding their knowledge of God.  Because they needed the example to work for a living, he, rather than depend on them for financial help (which was his due, 1 Cor. 9), “labouring night and day” with his own hands in hardship to help meet his needs. (Acts 18:3, 20:34).  Thus they would learn not to covet.  Later he could compellingly and un-hypocritically charge from God to the idle busy bodies; “if any would not work, neither should he eat”, (2 Thess. 3:10).

The method in telling the message of God should compliment the God of the message, (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

#7.   2:10The Right Manner of Life

Paul not only told them what was right, he lived what was right.  “How holily, and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.”  Holy is piety toward God.  Justly is righteous fairness toward man.  Blameless is public reputation.  Paul was a living example of his message – written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.

Paul not only talked the walk but he also walked the talk. 

#8.   2:12The Right Mark  (aim of ministry to hit – goal)

Paul was not after money or fame.  He was not after stunning numbers but after their walk“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory”.  As he would further write in 4:1; “ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more”.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”, 3John: 4.

May we seek these 8 qualities by His grace in our ministries for the Lord Jesus.

Discipleship and the Church: A new way for a new day (A guest-post by R.P. Amos)

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

While our Lord was on earth we read of “His disciples”. A disciple is one who learns from and follows his master’s ways. The 12 disciples had one teacher to disciple them: Jesus on earth. But the early Christians did not have Jesus on earth to teach them.

What they had was a plurality of men: the Lord’s chosen apostles. The apostles received the Lord Jesus’ continuing revelation of new mysteries from heaven (1 Cor.2:7,10,13). They transmitted it orally or in written form, called “the apostle’s doctrine”. In this way the chosen apostles fulfilled the risen Lord’s command to them: “teach [disciple] all nations …teaching them to observe all things…I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:16-20).

But the term “disciple” is never used again in God’s Word after Acts 21:16. The written instruction to the Christian church (the epistles) uses in its place terms such as“brethren” (family relationship), “saints” (holy ones indwelt by the Holy Spirit), “body” (a living organism connected to the Head). Now, by definition, our Lord Jesus Christ does what no other discipler of men could or can do! Christ is not merely with us at times teaching us. Christ is in us continually teaching us (“revealing” to us – giving us to understand) “the deep things of God” through His Spirit that is given to all believers (1Cor. 2, Eph. 4:20,21). Now we have the whole written Word taught by His Spirit.

The New way: the Church in Christ

Each member of this body has different manifestations of the Spirit. These are called gifts, (1Cor. 12:7). While no one individual possesses all the given gifts, the body as a whole does. No longer is it just one individual that is complete, like Christ or even an apostle. Now it is the body, joined together as one, that is both multi-gifted and complete. This unique group is Christ’s living extension. This is “the church”. For this reason the epistles put the emphasis on believers learning by assembling together “in the church” (a meeting). There, the different gifts given from the one Head “come together into one place” (1Cor. 14). In the New Testament church meeting, when this plurality of gift functions, the results are “that all may learn” (1 Cor. 14:31). In the Greek this word “learn” comes from the word “disciple” – it is what a disciple is meant to do.

The Shortcomings of the Old Way for Today

We all know how horses were once a great way to make progress in travel. But to ride a horse on a super highway today presents many dangers and would border on insanity.

To view discipleship as mainly one person teaching or mentoring another person (or persons) belonged to a past age before the creation of the Body of Christ. This is not to say that there is never liberty to teach others outside the “four walls” of a church meeting. (See Acts 18:26, 20:20 / Titus 2, etc.). But to fail to view God’s design of the New Testament church and its meeting, that uses a functioning plurality as His new and ordained way for learning, misses the new body dynamic – and can present the following dangers.

Danger 1 – Man is perceived as a master Discipling implies the one teaching is the master. There is only one master (teacher) and He is in heaven; “all ye are brethren” says the Lord (Matt. 23:8-10). We read in Acts 20:30 that from among even those who were elders some would speak perverse things to “draw away disciples after them”. All true ministry will therefore guide believers to dependence on the Head and to fellowship with His body.

Danger 2 – Bypassing God’s checks and balances Individual discipling can unwittingly bypass the accountability God has ordained in His church. A plurality of elders or overseers (who meet the qualifications) with the Holy Spirit’s enabling is to shepherd each local church (Acts 20:28). Correcting an erring believer will require the whole assembly when ‘one on one’ was insufficient to succeed (Matt. 18: 15-17/ 1Cor. 5:4). We are not to be accountable to just one person. Serious failings and sins are not to be kept secret or limited to the knowledge or judgment of only one person. The NT church meeting has a plurality of gift that function with accountability. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge”.

Danger 3 – Bypassing the plurality of gifts and elderly wisdom “Discipling” can lock a person into only one person’s style and abilities – with its limitations. By God’s intention, no one person has all the gifts. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing …” (Romans 12:4). Titus 2 teaches that the aged men and women, with their wisdom, experience and godly example, have a great role to play toward the younger ones. To bypass involvement in the body is but a partial diet that will stunt one’s growth.

Danger 4 – Bypassing the Lordship of Christ displayed in a church meeting We’ve learned why individual discipling is not the highest form of learning. It is “in the church” of God that believers not only learn the word, but they also learn the ways of God. Among other things this includes reverence, order, protocol, respect, and the authority of headship and submission. There is an authority and an experience of the way of the risen Lord that is uniquely demonstrated when in assembly (1Cor. 14:23-37). It is what Psalm 77:13 speaks of: “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary”. A body has only one head and needs authority and wisdom from that Head to function effectively

Danger 5 – Not providing an outlet for interactive growth Discipling is learning. But to learn all that there is to be learned we don’t just hear words. We also need to do according to what we heard. So for a body to grow and be healthy it not only needs to take in (eat), it must also exercise and give out to others. The NT church meeting is not just a place to sit and receive. It is also a place for the body members to function according to one’s heart, gifts and roles for the edification of all (1Cor. 14). The more a person grows from a baby into adulthood, the more that person increasingly develops the ability to give to others, which matures them in life.

When you’re involved in the NT church you are involved in the new way of discipleship!

Guest-post by R.P. Amos: In light of World Political Events . . . A Vital Reminder

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

SOMEONE HIGHER THAN POLITICS

“The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” – “The powers that be are ordained of God” Daniel 4:17 / Rom. 13.1

NebuchadnezzarA dictator monarch  “whom he would he slew; and whom he would he                                                                            kept alive; and whom he would he set up…”.  Dan. 5:19

THE MOST HIGH GOD – Gave him power “The God of heaven hath given thee a                                                                      kingdom, power and strength, and glory”.   Dan. 2:37

NebuchadnezzarAnti Semitic and destroyed Jewish temple  “Came Nebuchadnezzar                                                             king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it”.  Dan. 1.1

MOST HIGH GOD – Gave him victory “The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into                                         his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God…”.   Dan. 1:2

NebuchadnezzarDeported Jews from Israel to Babylon  “that he should bring certain                                                           of the children of Israel…to…the king’s palace”.  Dan. 1:3-4

MOST HIGH GOD – Used him  “Nebuchadnezzar…my servant”.   Jer. 27:6

NebuchadnezzarChanged Jewish culture  “The king appointed them a daily provision of                                                                                       the king’s meat, and of the wine”.  Dan. 1:5

MOST HIGH GOD – Taught him wisdom from Jews “In all matters of wisdom and                                                              understanding…the king enquired of them”.   Dan. 1:20

NebuchadnezzarFurious temperament; out to purge the wise “the king was angry…                                                  and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon”. Dan. 2:12

MOST HIGH GOD –  Awakened him “Of a truth it is, that your [Daniel’s]God is a                                                                         God of gods…”.   Dan. 2:47

NebuchadnezzarForced religious worship & practiced torture  “whoso falleth not                                     down and worshippeth shall…be cast into… a burning fiery furnace”. Dan. 3:6

MOST HIGH GOD – Grew him in knowledge & protecting Jewish religious rights

                                     “God…changed the king’s word…Every people…which speak                                              anything amiss against the God…shall be cut in pieces…because                                                  there is no other God that can deliver after this sort ”. Dan. 3:28-29

NebuchadnezzarAn arrogant great builder  “Is this not great Babylon that I have built                                 for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour                                          of my majesty”?   Dan. 4:30

MOST HIGH GOD –  Humbled & Converted him “The inhabitants of the earth are                                   reputed as nothing…Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and                                        honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways                                          judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase”.  Dan. 4:35-37

“The appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords”.  1Tim. 6:14, 15.

The Divine Plan Revealed in the Orderly Layout of the Bible

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Randal Amos’ latest outline is available for download in pdf. here: Orderly Plan new.

Guest-post by R.P. Amos: Inclusive Diversity Or Exclusive Singularity – Which is of God?

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

The Bible answer would be both. But it depends on the setting. For example, most are inclusive of a diversity of food from potatoes to potluck but they are exclusive of eating garbage. Most include a variety of friends for their children but would exclude criminals.

There are three major areas in which God operates: the world of nations, the church of Christians and the kingdom of heaven (to come). Let’s consider the strategy of all three.

1 The World “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”

God’s agenda to the world is salvation and His tool is the gospel of Christ. The gospel (good news) of forgiveness, pardon from judgment and acceptance with God through the Lord Jesus Christ is open to all nations. Salvation is inclusive of all continents, classes, cultures, conduct and color. One’s religious upbringing, politics, gender, morality, finances, or sin does not exclude them from repenting and trusting the Lord Jesus. When saved they are equally forgiven, given the Spirit of God, and have His everlasting life.

The Corinthian church was taught about fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and extortioners, and told, “such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Yes, the gospel invitation is the most inclusive, pluralistic and diverse offer in the world.

 2 The Church “the church of God at Corinth … for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”

God’s agenda with the church is edification in holiness. His tool is the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s goal in salvation is to have a separated people for Him. The saved church, unlike the condemned world, is to be an exclusive place from sin and error so God alone is glorified. While believers can befriend the world and aren’t to punish it (God will), yet in the church there is to be discipline of those practicing sin to maintain holiness unto God.

All believers are given the Holy Spirit. A transforming work begins to conform them alone into the image (likeness) of His only Son, Jesus Christ. The church has a single head – the Lord Jesus. It has a single power – the Holy Spirit. It has a single body of truth – one faith. It has a single authority on morals and truth – the Holy Scriptures. It is to have unanimity of mind, message and judgment under one Lord – Jesus Christ. It has one God and Father. And it has one hope for the future – the coming kingdom of heaven. Rather than staying a pluralistic diversity the church is to become a singular similarity.

3 The Kingdom the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD

God’s agenda with the kingdom is peace on earth with justice for all. His tool is the return of Jesus as King. Only the righteous inherit the kingdom (God’s church is to be a microcosm of this coming kingdom). It’s where Christ alone will be the world king. It’s where all nations shall come to the Lord Jesus alone for teaching and worship. The unrepentant, the unbeliever and the unrighteous are excluded from it. And it is because of this exclusion that there will be peace at last and glory unto God as the whole earth will be at rest. Like having peace in a marriage, all other wooers must be excluded.

{Some Scriptures: #1. The World. Mark 16:15 / Gal. 3:28 / Col. 3:11 / Rev. 5:9 / 1Cor. 6:9-11.

#2. The Church. 1Cor. 1:2, 3:17 / Acts 15:14 / Eph. 3:21 / 1Cor. 5:9-13 / Gal. 4:6 / Rom. 8:29 / Eph. 1:22, 23, 4:3-6,13 / 1Cor. 1:10.   #3. The Kingdom. Zech. 14:9 / Rev. 19:11-21 / Isa. 2:1-4, 11:1-9 / Gal. 5:19-21 / Eph. 5:5-6.}

 Practical Application From Above: Same Sex Marriage

 This is the teaching of Scripture concerning the sins of the Gentiles (nations).  Their depraved sins are a result of God in wrath giving them up to a depraved mind. This is because they intentionally pushed God from their minds. Their impaired mind will cause them to self-destruct morally, physically, and spiritually without knowing it. (Romans 1)

Therefore, God has a day that He will judge the world. (Rom. 2:5 / Acts 17:31).  But until that day the church is to take them the merciful gospel of salvation.  We are not to punish the world or disassociate from them – yet we are not to be partakers of their sin. For if they repent and believe on the Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, they too are called out of this world for His Name, Acts 15:14. They will be forgiven, saved from wrath and given a new mind. We must not be sidetracked in fighting for political issues of social change. A straight married couple without Christ will go to the same hell as a same sex married couple. The answer is the gospel conveyed by our good works and word, Philp. 2:15, 16. The solution is not a better world now but the coming kingdom tomorrow, Rev. 11:15.

However, in the church we are called to judge within.  We must obey God rather than man, Acts 5:29.  If the church is commanded to perform sinful marriages, or allow such in fellowship, or if we must personally marry the same sex, or change the truth of His Word – then we must be prepared to suffer persecution by His grace.  The church is the pillar and ground of the truth as God’s holy house, 1Tim. 3:15.  The 7 churches were exhorted by our Lord not to judge the corrupt world they were in but to judge themselves and repent of certain things so that they might please Him as His house and lamp stand.

1Cor. 5:9-13 puts it concisely:

:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

In the world we are to be a pacifist but in God’s holy church we are to be an activist. In the church, Titus was told to exhort and rebuke with all authority. But in the world he was told not to fight or speak evil of men but be gentle unto all – for we used to live in sin too, and are only what we are because the Lord’s kindness came to us, Titus 2:15, 3:1-8.

Guest Post by R.P. Amos

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

CHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURES

“He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”

 

Old Testament – He’s coming                           Isa. 9:6 / Dan. 7:13-14 / 9:25

Gospels –              He comes                                Matt. 1:18-23 / 27:50

Acts –                    He saves                                  Acts 1:3 / 16:31

Epistles –             He leads                                  Eph. 1:20-22

Revelation –        He reigns                                 Rev. 11:15

 

Old Testament – He’s portrayed in picture types           Ex. 12 / Passover lamb, etc.

Gospels –             He comes in visible humanity              John 1:14

Acts –                   He comes in invisible Spirit                 Acts 2:32, 33

Epistles –             He’s interpreted in written words        1 Cor. 14:37 / Eph. 3:1-7

Revelation –       He comes in glory of world empire     Rev. 19:11-16

 

Old Testament – He’s promised to Israel                       Micah 5:2

Gospels –            He’s presented to Israel                      Matt. 21:5-9

Acts –                 He’s proclaimed to the world              Acts 1:8

Epistles –           He’s possessed by the church             1Cor. 3:16 / Gal. 4:6

Revelation –      He’s preeminent in the universe          Rev. 5:12-14

 

Old Testament –  The foretelling of His sufferings                     Isa. 53

Gospels –               The fulfillment of His sufferings                     Luke 24:44-46

Acts –                    The forth-telling of His sufferings                  Acts 17:1-3

Epistles –             The fruit and fellowship of His sufferings      1Pet. 3:18 / Php. 3:10

Revelation –         The fame of His sufferings                             Rev. 5:11-14

 

Old Testament – A lamb for a person, family and nation            Gen 4 / Ex. 12 / 1 Sam 7:9

Gospels –            A lamb for the world                                       John 1:29

Acts –                   A lamb for whosoever                                     Acts 2:21 / 8:32-38

Epistles –            A lamb for all history                                      1 Pet. 1:19, 20

Revelation –      A lamb forever                                     Rev. 22:3-5

 

Old Testament – Creates and Prophesies  Gen. 1:1 / Jn. 1:3 / Hos. 12:10 / Heb. 1:1

Gospels –           Dies and rises                          Matt. 27-28

Acts –                  Forgives and justifies              Acts 13:38, 39

Epistles –           Sanctifies and edifies               Eph. 4:11-12 / 5:26

Revelation –     Punishes and glorifies             Rev. 19:15 / 21:23

 

Old Testament

           Prophet / man is dark and needs guidance   Deut. 18:15 / Col. 1:13

          Priest / man is dirty and needs guilt removed   Ex. 30:30 / Heb. 9:14

          King / man is defiant and needs ruled    1Ki. 1:34 / Luke 19:14

Gospels –  He’s Prophet on earth to Israel         Jn 4:44, 6:14 /Acts 3:22

Acts –         He’s Prophet via Spirit to the nations    Acts 2:18, 33 / 9:15-17

Epistles –  He’s Priest in heaven for the church  Heb. 4:14

Revelation – He’s King of the world                      Rev. 11:15 / 19:15-16

Guest post from R.P. Amos: “What God Looks for in a Local Church”

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

When talking about a local church many will mention its “worship music”, or youth group, or dynamic preacher that leaves them inspired. Some will highlight the liturgy that emits holy feelings, or how their needs are met, or that they feel happy there. Others will focus on friendly care for the hurting or big numbers showing successful growth or gospel mission outreach. In the Corinthian church you will see 9 characteristics the Lord Jesus commissioned Paul to teach. These please the heart of God in His house.

1 – UNITY      1Cor. 1:10-16 – “perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment”

The unity the Lord is talking about is not just the absence of fighting or agreeing to disagree. It’s not just a unity of purpose – all sharing a common goal like fans do for their ball team. It’s unanimity: all speaking the same thing with the same mind by having the same thinking in discerning right and wrong. It’s a unity of truth!   This can only come by owning the Name (authority and wisdom) of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

 2 – GLORY     1Cor. 1:29 – 4:21 – “That no flesh should glory in his presence”

The church is to glory only in the Lord. As condemned sinners we by grace alone have been given (not earned) every spiritual blessing. So since all was given to us by grace there is no reason to “glory in men”. The Lord censures identifying our ‘Christianity’ by a man’s name – or – giving special titles to a man based on his gift or calling. Clerical vestments for the “ordained” that marks one out as more educated than other brothers and sisters are found not in NT Scripture. This would give a measure of glory to man. All believers are equally called “brethren” in Corinthians, matching the teaching of the Lord Jesus when on earth, (Matt. 23:6-12). The only one who gets a title is Jesus: the Lord Jesus. Things like a clapping ovation for man’s “performance” in the church would be strange when the Lord says, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord”.

 3 – PURITY (HOLY)     1Cor. 5 – 6 – “put away from among yourselves that wicked person”

A major characteristic of God’s house is holiness. We tend to focus on happiness. “Holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, forever” says the OT. And the NT says, “for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”. Holiness is a separation from sin and consecration to what is right. That’s why a “brother” living in certain sins is to be dealt with by excommunication, not toleration. That is not “shooting your wounded” but removing a cancer so health can be restored. Also, joining our body in an immoral sexual union is to be fled from for we are the Lord’s temple and His Holy Spirit lives in us.

 4 – FIDELITY   1Cor. 7 – “remain unmarried, or be reconciled – let not the husband put away his wife”

Faithfulness in the marriage union until death is to characterize a man and a woman in God’s house. The Corinthian letter to His church instructs a believing woman not to depart from her husband. But if she does separate (perhaps for some safety reason, etc.) from her husband, she is to remain unmarried or seek to be reconciled says the Lord Jesus. Only her husband’s death frees her to remarry, (1 Cor. 7:39).   And the believing husband (though he has marital authority) is commanded by the Lord not to put away (divorce) his wife. For the husband as head is to mirror Christ and the church. Will Christ the Head ever put away His church from His body because of our failure?

5 – CHARITY (LOVE)           1Cor. 8 – 10, 13 – “charity [love] edifieth”

Charity of course means to give. Charity or love is more than words but the giving of self for the welfare of others. Charity in matters of liberty is willing to give up personal freedoms before the Lord when it might offend another person’s conscience in his walk before the Lord. Charity will foster edifying over dividing. Paul said, “if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth …”. The Lord taught, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another”.

 6 – AUTHORITY 1Cor.11:1-16 –“the head of every man is Christ – the head of the woman is the man”

Based on creative choice, the Lord has established man as the authority over the woman. This will demonstrate itself among the churches of God with the woman being covered and the man uncovered when praying or prophesying. Also to show God’s choice, the man is to have vocal responsibility in the churches while the woman is to be silent there. Submission is not stating inequality in value for “the head of Christ is God”. However, the man is not without a head for his head is Christ. Therefore, whatever man does in relation to the woman needs to come from Christ and not his own personal desires.

 7 – MEMORABLY     1Cor. 11:17-34 – “this do in remembrance of me”

The Corinthians had turned the “Lord’s supper” into their “own supper”. What was meant to focus on the Lord in the church was abused and turned into meeting their social needs. They are reminded when they come together in the church that a primary purpose is the remembrance of the Lord. The Lord’s Supper is a continual object lesson to show forth the Lord Jesus Christ’s great redeeming death till He comes. It is a time of mutual fellowship in Christ when thanksgiving is offered as the Lord did. In a memorial service one in love focuses on the person who died, not his or her own personal needs.

 8 – PLURALITY    1Cor. 12 & 14 – “ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn”

Because the Spirit gives all believers various gifts, there is to be the liberty of a plurality of brothers involved in a church meeting. This will provide a varied and full spiritual diet to help the believers learn and be comforted. It will also help keep the brothers in the Word as they (not just one professional man) have some responsibility in contributing to the growth of the church. It’s not just sitting in the “pew” to take in. However, this liberty of gifts is an orderly plurality controlled by the Lord’s written commandments for His churches to promote learning and His headship protocol.

 

9 – VERACITY (TRUTH)      1Cor. 15 – “I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received”

While charity (love) is a key characteristic, we learn that charity “rejoiceth in the truth”. Truth gives the right understanding of God. Truth sets free from satanic deceptions to entice one away from the Lord’s ways. So in chapter 15 the Spirit guides Paul to correct the doctrinal error that the resurrection is past. He does not keep silent so as not to offend. But he reveals truth to encourage the church as “the pillar and ground of the truth” in a dark world. He did not use opinion or popular consensus but the Word from the Lord.

Notice this all starts with the unanimity of chapter one of having the same mind in God’s wisdom – “the mind of Christ”. If this is off, the rest will be harder to reach. Are we seeking a church with these characteristics and helping such with our involvement?

Guest post from R.P. Amos: “The Tyranny of Choice”

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

America is known as the land of the free with liberty for all. Its very government was built on choice to escape religious oppression and political tyranny. There was the choice to pick one’s leaders, not a royal dynasty. There was the choice to own property, as you were able. There was the choice to choose your education or profession. And as it grew richer the opportunity was there to fulfill that dream of choice. There was the choice to choose your religion (or no religion). There was freedom of speech to express oneself religiously or politically. And government had no power to suppress that personal choice.

Governmentally speaking, Choice was a delightful baby in a world of oppression. It allowed for mutual respect of all citizens and coexistence in peace. It provided the incentive to be all that you could be. And in the free market system America became the richest and most powerful country in the world. The gospel and the church flourished here because of this very freedom and became a beacon of light to darker nations.

Choice, however, did not have a birth certificate (its legal documents) stamped with the gospel of Christ (His cleansing blood) or the Word of God. Choice was birthed in the womb of assumption that its citizens would be grounded in morality and virtue.

 “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”     John Adams

 “Unless virtue guide us our choice must be wrong.”     William Penn

 “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”      An old adage

 “Righteousness exalteth a nation.”    Proverbs 14:34

  Now Choice has grown up and has become a king not a servant. Choice gives a woman the permission to have legal freedom to kill a baby in her womb. Choice grants one the freedom, without being judged, to choose their sexual lifestyle when and with whomever they choose. Choice permits one the liberty to marry the same sex. Choice gives one the right to be a witch or wizard and worship Satan or a plate of spaghetti.

Choice is not a preacher. It does not instruct in absolute morals, ethics or virtue. Choice is conscienceless and sterile. Choice is non judgmental. Choice is not biased. Choice is tolerant. Choice is accepting of all. Choice is kind. Choice is fun. Choice is love.

And now Choice as a master is tyrannical. Choice demands that it be submitted to as the only way and truth. To criticize another’s choice as sin is sin against Choice. To claim there is only ‘one way’ is to deny Choice’s one way – blasphemy. To choose to refuse another’s choice (no matter how void of morals or truth) in your business or school or even a church’s legal functions such as marriage is becoming a criminal act and could be called a felony – worthy of punishment. To not make your restrooms open to Choice is discrimination. To not grant Choice every area of your life and government is looked at as insubjection and insurrection. Choice now wields the sword – bow or be punished. Choice judges those who judge her.

Choice decrees the judging of evil is more wrong than the doing of evil. Choice will not tolerate what doesn’t tolerate her.   Choice will not accept what doesn’t accept her. Choice will absolutely censure what absolutely claims absolutes. Choice will not be kind to those who are not kind to her. Choice will not love those who don’t love her. Choice will not let others choose who don’t choose her. Choice denies only “one God” – but her. Choice is now god. Therefore, Choice will wage war against her atheists. Choice will choose what you’re free to say. Choice has chosen to enslave her subjects.

The Gospel and the Church.

1 Peter 2:4 says of the Lord Jesus, He is disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God”.

The gospel of God in His Son Jesus Christ the Lord is offered equally to all sinners. It doesn’t consider color, sexual gender, age, class, country, lifestyle or religious pedigree. Any sinner who repents of his or her sin (wrong choices) and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (who fully bore our sins in death and rose again as eternal Priest) is equally blessed. They are saved from sin, self, and Satan (deceptions via choice). They will never see hell-judgment but have eternal life being equally in the body of Christ.

A sinner is not forced to do this. He has a choice. But if he chooses to freely come to Jesus as Lord, then Christ and not Choice will be his Lord. “Not my will, but thine, be done”, like his Savior, will be his new thinking. This is because he is born again of the Spirit with a new heart that now desires and is able to understand God’s choices. The gospel teaches and provides that true virtue and morality must come from within. The believer is to show he agrees with God’s choice that Jesus is Lord by public baptism.

But beware of Master Choice trying to regain control of the mind and God’s church. Choice will tell you that “grace” still allows you to choose. Choice will tell you that choosing to obey the Lord Jesus’ commands is legalism, not love. Choice will tell you that your choices are more logical than God’s choices. Choice won’t tell you that God’s choices free you from sin to be all that you can be for His glory. Choice won’t tell you that in being a slave to God you will be free from master sin that frees you from true joy and spiritual heart satisfaction.

Choice will tell you to go to the church of your choice. Choice will let you choose what you like: your style of “worship”, music or church government. Choice will promise you liberty. And in time, Choice will liberate you and your children – from the wisdom of God and a spirituality that emits from the church functioning by the Lord’s choices. (A plurality of gifted men involved in a church meeting, the man’s headship over the woman, the centrality of the Lord’s Supper in keeping us focused on Christ, and holiness by the purging of sin and bad doctrine that can spread like yeast in the Christian church).

Choice will free you – from God’s growth, joy and rewards. Christ will bless you.

{Some Scriptures for The Gospel and the Church section. 1. Paragraph #2 – Acts 17:30, 31 / Romans 5:9, 10 & 10:9-13 / Gal. 3:28. 2. Paragraph #3 – Rev. 22:17 / Luke 22:42 / Rom. 8:4 / Acts 10:48 / John 3:3-7. 3. Paragraph #4 – Rom. 6 / John 14:15 4. Paragraph #5 – 1Cor. 5 & 11-14   5. Paragraph #6 – Rev. 3:10 / Eph. 1:3 / Psalm 1.}

Guest-post from R.P. Amos: “A Mystery Revealed in the Ark”

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The law given to Israel had different categories. There were the commandments: fundamental instructions to do concerning God and morality. There were the judgments: civil law governing social behavior to their fellow man. There were the statutes: religious law of how to worship and serve the Lord correctly. Also there were the testimonies: the Lord truthfully giving witness of what is right or wrong or how something occurred that could not be observed by all. (See Deut. 6:20, 1Kings 2:3, Acts 13:22) We read in Psalm 19:7, “the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple”. And in Psalm 119:24, “thy testimonies are also my delight and my counselors”. One can know the wisdom and knowledge of life by trusting God in His testimonies.

God’s testimonies range from what is right and wrong to the account of Noah’s world flood. From what marriage is between a man and a woman to who Jesus is (His beloved Son). From why Christ died on the cross to His resurrection, seated on the heavenly throne as our only Priest. From what salvation by grace is to why this world will end in cataclysmic judgment before Christ’s kingdom comes. As the prophecy of Revelation 19:10 says: “…worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”.

One of the names for the ark in Israel’s tabernacle was “the ark of the testimony” for in it was to be placed “the testimony”. One of the things that made its way into the ark of the testimony was the Ten Commandments. They are called, “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God”, Ex. 31:18; 25:21, 22. The testimony of the Ten Commandments in the golden ark witnessed the mysteries of life. They say there is only one God who is not to be blasphemed. They say He is the author of morality declaring stealing, lying, murder, coveting and adultery as sin. But the fourth commandment tells Israel to only work six days and then rest the seventh, completing the week. The reason given is that the God they bore witness to was the Creator who created all things in six days and rested the seventh, Ex. 20:9-11; 31: 15-18. In the ark we then learn the mystery of the origin of the universe and life. It testifies that we have a Creator and that He made it all in six days. Whose testimony do you trust?

Guest Post by R.P. Amos: 7 Meeting Places of God with His People

Friday, June 27th, 2014

The Lord’s desires to be near His people.  “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psa. 50:5).  There are 7 places in Scripture where God’s people as a whole habitually meet with Him.  Not just going to a service or a school to learn, but to meet Him.  Three are history from which we can learn. One is present of where we meet with God now.  Three are future of which it gets better.

1. MOSES’ TENT      “Moses…called it the Tabernacle of the congregation”

God had just judged Israel for its golden calf idolatry.  The sanctuary tabernacle with its holy places and altar had not been constructed yet.  Because the Lord was announcing He would not be in the midst of such a hard people, Moses took the tent where God met with him to talk, and moved it outside the corrupted camp of people.  God’s glory cloud then came to that tent (tabernacle) door and now; “every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation [meeting], which was without the camp.”  Now to meet with God, the people had to separate from the popular corrupted encampment and meet the Lord outside it where He was.  Meeting with the Lord would now have feet to it.

Now believers in Christ Jesus (He suffered outside the religious city gate) are told to “go forth therefore unto Him without the camp” [Christless corrupted religion], Heb. 13:13.

2. THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE   “there I will meet with the children of Israel”

Once the portable tabernacle with its holy places had been pitched, God’s desire was to be in the midst of His people journeying home.  Now his people’s occupation was to “bring an offering [sacrifice] unto the Lord” at “the door of the tabernacle of the congregation [meeting]”.  It was first a place of bringing to God, not to get something.

Now the church is His spiritual house.  We are His holy priesthood that offers up to God (not for ourselves) spiritual sacrifices (praise, good works, charity, service) by Christ.

3. THE TEMPLE      “his habitation shall ye seek, and thither [there] thou shalt come”

Once Israel came into their land, God would choose a permanent place to reside among His people.  God eventually chose Jerusalem and had a permanent temple built by Solomon.  Now there was one holy city on earth where His presence was.  This one place was to be where His people could meet with Him.  All other places with names of other gods were to be destroyed.  Only His Name at His place was the only meeting place.

We learn in the church that God has placed His Name of “Lord” only on Jesus Christ.  All other names of identity are not to be taken by believers.  We are to gather in and call only upon the Name (authority and wisdom) of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ.

4. THE CHURCH    “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ when ye are gathered together”

When believers in Christ gather in His exalted Name and authority – Lord Jesus Christ, He promises to be in the midst of them by His Spirit.  So now in this age there is not one holy place on earth to come to but one holy Name to gather in, no matter where you might geographically be.  God’s Name has gone from Jerusalem to Jesus – the Lord.

So now “all that in every place that call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” constitutes His house, the church.  He is where all believers in any locale on earth continually come together into one place – in the Lord Jesus’ Name.  So now we don’t just “go to church” or to Bible study or to meeting – but to meet-Him.

And it’s His very presence that forms the church’s character:  Glory to be given only to Him (“no flesh should glory in His presence”).  Holiness is to be pursued (separation from the false and not letting sin spread among believers).  Reverence to be present.  Praise led by the Lord Jesus in the midst of the church in the power of His Spirit (not some worship leader or team).  Plurality of gifts involved in a gathering delegated by Him (not one ordained man).  Headship order His way with man and woman having different roles.  Remembrance of the Lord and His death at His Supper is to be the focus (not a human performance).  Word of the Lord is to be heard by His sheep (not using the Bible to prove our ideas but using it to form our ideas).

5. THE MEETING IN THE AIR     “to meet the Lord in the air…ever be with the Lord”

As important as it is meet with the Lord in Spirit on earth, He desires to be physically with His bride-body forever.  And so there is coming a great gathering to the Lord Jesus Christ of every believer in Christ – dead or alive.  He will descend and somewhere in the air between heaven and earth, all will be caught up to meet Him in the air to be united.  And so will we be forever meeting with the Lord Jesus Himself whether in heaven above or the kingdom beneath.  As the hymn writer said: “where Jesus is, tis heaven there”.

6. THE KINGDOM TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM    “all nations shall flow unto it”

The Lord Jesus will return with His united bride to rule on the earth for the thousand-year kingdom.  Once the unrepentant sinner is removed and judged there will be peace, justice and good will toward men.  His headquarters and palace will be out of Jerusalem, Israel with the rebuilt house (temple) of God there also.  Because King Jesus will now be there the name of Jerusalem will be changed to ‘Jehovah Shammah’ – “the LORD is there”.

But since the Lord desires to meet with all believers the door will be open for all nations to come to worship and meet with Him to learn His ways and word.  This will not be a union of all religions coexisting with each other but a “religious unity” where all agree that Jesus is Lord and His Word is right to walk in.  The fruit will be the abolition of war and the military for in the love and the fear of the one Lord Jesus Christ all will be united.

7. THE NEW JERUSALEM  “God himself shall be with them”

Even in the eternal state of the new heaven and new earth where the New Jerusalem descends from heaven, God desires to be with His people.  There won’t be a physical temple there for now the Lord is the worship center as He Himself with the Lamb is living with His redeemed – the bride.  And the Lord in this city will be the gathering center as all the saved nations will come to meet with Him and have their kings bring their glory and honor unto it.  And the door is never shut for no night is there – continual access to meet and fellowship with God Himself and His Lamb – Jesus Christ!

Yes, God desires to be near and meet with His people in His way.  Do you?

{Some Scriptures for the seven meetings.  MOSES’ TENT – Exodus 33:1-17.   WILDERNESS TABERNACLE – Exo. 29:42,43 / Lev. 1:1-3 (Church – 1Pet. 2:5 / Heb. 13:15,16 / Philp. 4:18 / Rom. 12:1).  TEMPLE – Deut. 12:1-14 / 1Kings 11:36  (Church – Philp. 2:9-11 /1Cor. 1, 5:4).   CHURCH ASSEMBLY – 1Cor. 1:2, 3:16, 5:4, 14:23 / Matt. 18:20/1Cor. 1:29-31/2Cor. 6:14-7:1/Psa. 89.7/Heb. 12:28 /Heb. 2:12/1Cor. 14:23-31/1Cor:11:3, 14:34,35/1Cor. 11:16-26/2Tim. 2:15, 4:2.  IN THE AIR – 1Thess. 4:16-18.  KINGDOM ON EARTH – Rev. 17:14/Isa. 2:1-4 / Ezek. 48:35.  NEW JERUSALEM – Rev. 21}