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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' (discussion) on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

4-29-2017            New Beginnings

Before I arose from my bed the other morning, Father was playing some things through my mind which He has been mentioning to me recently.  Several times, now, He has given me the thoughts of checking into renting our city’s park band shell and doing a combination of music and sharing His word.  Using the music to show people God enjoys a variety of music styles and most music is OK with Him.  I said ‘most’, not all.  There is music out there that generates confusion, anger, hatred, etc. – not OK.  But music that is joyful, peaceful, praiseworthy, edifying, relaxing and so forth comes in many genres even some which may seem a little boisterous.  No, I’m not going to talk about music today.  BUT, Father has been giving me a different (for me anyway) approach to sharing His word.  So I thought I’d just mention it.

The early entries on this blog helped readers understand a little about where I come from.  I shared somewhat of who I am and what I felt the Lord has called me to do. 

I always ask Father what He wants in the blog before I write and I’m persuaded that what has gone into the entries is what He wants, so far. 

I am a part of the ‘prophetic’ movement.  I talk with Father and I hear from Father.  Especially when I write or speak and I seek His direction in that which I do.  I don’t want to be writing what I want, but what He wants. How does that prayer go?  “Father, not my will but your will be done. (in my life and through my life), then I sit down and let the Spirit write through me.  However, He still has to filter what He says through my system.

In the header to the blog is a disclaimer that what we talk about is not a complete argument or presentation on what is being said, but rather enough to get the ‘juices’ flowing so you might be inspired to want to learn more and thereby ask Father to guide you in your personal understanding in further research. 

I love the Bereans (Acts 17:10-12).  They received Paul’s preaching but searched the scriptures for themselves to see if what he said were true.  Seeing that Paul’s words were true, the Bereans not only accepted but believed the words they heard (from Paul) for they agreed with scripture they read.

I KNOW the day Father brought me into His fold (saved me) and I know, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that was when I gave my heart to Him.  But, I’ve spent more years than I care to admit learning how to give my life to Him.  Yielding our lives to Him, then serving Him as He has called us is our task in this world.  Our growth is predicated on our desire to walk closer with Him and to strive towards that mark, knowing His presence and our calling.

I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost about six years after my salvation experience.  And as I said, it has been a long, excruciating (for me) experience (not earth-shattering,but tough) in learning how to give my life over to Him.  I mean REALLY give my life over to Him.  Not just attending church.  Not just reading a few passages from the bible whenever the mood strikes.  But since Father took my beloved wife to be with Him, now more than a decade ago, Father has been teaching me what it really means” to “yield” my life to Him.  Don’t get me wrong, I know I still have a long way to go, but today, I am leagues, miles, ahead of where I was even just a few years ago. 

What Father has been showing me, teaching me, started to ‘snowball’ a little over two years ago.  After He gave me the ‘word’ on the Watchman’.  That was the beginning of His saying “It’s time to get busy and quit lollygagging around.”  I have a task for you.

The process of yielding to Him will continue until either the day Jesus comes back for us all or, at least, until He calls me home.  But this year that snowball has been getting bigger and rolling faster.  At times I feel like I’m going to burst with what He has been showing me.  If it weren’t being able to release some of that pressure through this blog. Sometimes, I think maybe I might explode.

But Father is telling me to start doing that for which He has truly called me.  Am I now a biblical scholar with umpteen degrees in theology, ready to go out there and shake up the world?  “I” don’t think so, but Father says “Let’s get the ball rolling and shake the world up without the degrees!”

I follow the lead of the Holy Ghost so I’m not sure how things are going to come out as time goes on, but today, I’m going to start sharing some of what Father has been putting on my heart.  The approach to what He is starting to unfolding in my life:

In the beginning God.  End of discussion.  Nothing more can or needs to be said.  There was nothing until God started creating it.  In the book of Genesis, we see that God spoke words to create light and dark, night and day.  He spoke words to create the sun, the moon, the stars in the heavens and the earth.  He spoke words to create the waters upon the earth and the air above its surface.  He spoke words and land masses appeared.  Again God spoke words and all the plants started growing upon the face of the earth.  And again God spoke and there were animals, fish, birds and all kinds of living things upon the earth.  Finally God spoke, again, and out of the dust of the earth, He formed man – both male and female, as He had already done with all other life forms He had created (Gen. 1:1 thru 2:25).
God, Father, spoke everything into existence.  As we continue to read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, we see God speaking as to how He wants the earth and existence to function and the guidelines for how He expects man to live and behave.  The rest of the bible explains how He expects us to interact with His creation and most of all, with Him, the Creator, our Lord and Savior.  We gain insight as to how He feels about everything and what kind of relationship He desires to have with us.

Then in the Gospel of John chapter one we the read words “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”.  Understand, the Word’s unity with God was not just something for waaaaaaay back then.  We probably, and rightfully, could change that little word ‘was’ to that even smaller but more powerful word ‘is’!   As we continue to read chapter one we see that the Word is the Light of men.  John (the Baptist) testified that ‘he’ (John) wasn’t that Light, but the one who comes after him is and that Light is the Word made flesh which lived amongst men giving those who believe on Him and receive Him into their hearts, the power to be the sons of God.  This Word, this Light is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  That little baby boy who was born in Bethlehem and who died on the cross in Jerusalem to redeem us back unto the Father by cleansing us of all our sin (s) nature and individual commissions (Gal. 3:13).  And to the glory of God (the Father) this Word, Jesus, rose from the dead and the grave on the third day showing us the way to that eternal life and He is now seated at the right hand (power and authority) of the Father, waiting to come back for us so we can be with Him throughout all eternity (Eph. 1:20-23).  Amen!

Jesus preached the “kingdom of God”, true love (Mark 12:30, 1 John 4:8), while He was physically on this earth.  But, He also preached that there is a life to live (John 14:15) to please the Father (through Jesus) because Jesus is the doorway into the Father’s kingdom (John 10:9, 14:6).  He also taught about a relationship between the Creator of all that is and man (focus John chapters 14-17) Peter, John, Mathew, Paul and all the disciples since have also preached the resurrected Jesus.  For without the resurrection, our hope for eternal life would still be just a scholastic hope and not a real anticipation (John 11:25).

Now, what Father has given me to say today.

The Niocene Creed establishes what we, as Christians, believe.  Three councils convened between 325 AD and 451 AD to determine what our Christian faith and beliefs are.  Niocene, Constantinople and Chalcedon.  About a century later (@540 AD) we see the Anasthasian creed mentioned, which expounds, goes into more detail than its predecessors but wasn’t widely accepted by all the church. 
As we read the creeds remember that for the first millennia (1000 years) the Christian church was one church.  The Orthodox churches didn’t split from Rome until the eleventh century and then the Protestant Revolution brought on what has been a continuing split since the sixteenth century which has resulted in the various Protestant denominations.

I mention this because in these creeds you will see the referenced ‘catholic’.  the word catholic used in these creeds is the Greek word “katkholikos” or the Latin word ‘catholicus’ both (or either) which mean “universal”.  In our ‘mind sets’ when we see the word ‘catholic’ we  automatically go into ‘denoominational’ mode and think 'the Roman Catholic Church', the denomination.  But, even in Rome,’catholic’ still means universal or world-wide, the church collective, they just seated it in Rome.  However, when we see ‘catholic’ think the whole Christian church collective, Roman Catholic and all the protestant denominations which have emerged therefrom.  Okay?     

The Nicene Creed (325 AD and 381 A.D.)

The first Nicene Creed was formulated at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD to help settle issues of the trinity and the divinity of Christ.  A second Nicene Creed which would be more correctly called the Constantinopolitan Creed was based on the 325 Creed but was formulated at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD.  The Creed was again modified to its current form at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD.  All referred to as the Niocene Creed and all convened to resolve issues like the divinity of Christ and the unity of the Godhead.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
The only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Chalcedonian Creed

The Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council met in 451 AD to resolve issues of the trinity and the divinity of Jesus Christ, specifically whether Christ had both divine and human natures. 

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.

The Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed is attributed to the Alexandrian theologian Athanasius but may well be the work of several theological scholar groups.  Its origin is placed sometime after the Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) and was first mentioned as a creed in 542 AD.  The creed focuses on the trinity and the divinity of Christ and is accepted by some, but not all Eastern and Western churches.

Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic (universal) faith.
Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith:  We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity neither confirming the persons nor dividing the divine being.
For the Father is one person, the Son is another and the Spirit is still another.
But the deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.
What the Father is, the Son is and so is the Holy Spirit.
Uncreated is the Father, uncreated is the Son, uncreated is the Spirit.
The Father is infinite, the Son is infinite, the Holy Spirit is infinite.
Eternal is the Father, eternal is the Son, eternal is the Spirit.
And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal.
As there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.
Almighty is the Father, almighty is the Son, and almighty is the Spirit.
And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.
Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.
And yet there are not three gods, but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord and the Holy Spirit is Lord.
And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.
As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say there are three gods or lords.
The Father is neither made, nor created nor begotten.
The Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father.
The Spirit was neither made nor created but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.
Thus there is one Father, not three fathers, one Son, not three sons, one Holy Spirit not three spirits.
And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other.
But all three persons are in themselves coeternal and coequal and so we must worship the
Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.
Whoever wants to be saved should think this about the Trinity.
It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.
For this is the true faith that we believe and confess:  that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son is both God and man.
He is God begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father and he is man born in the world from the being of his mother
Existing fully as God and fully as man with a rational soul and human body,
Equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity
Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.
He is united because God has taken humanity into himself, he does not transform deity into humanity.
He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.
For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.
He suffered death for our salvation.
He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life.
Those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith.
One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.
I had come other things to say, but for this entry, Father said cite the creeds and let the readers seek Him about them.

Pretty lengthy, huh?

Be aware that there are two other creeds which we won’t cite today, but only mention.

One is the Old Roman Creed
The Old Roman Creed seems to have been based on a Greek formula of faith dating from the 2nd century AD but is clearly identified in writings from the mid 4th century.  The biggest argument against the Roman Creed is that if the apostles had actually used it as such, greater efforts would have been taken to keep it as it was originally cited and not leaving room for later modifications as noted with the subsequent creeds.

And, what is referred to as, the Apostles’ Creed
A brief statement of belief originally attributed to the 12 apostles.  According to legend each Apostle contributed one clause, but later scholars came to think that this creed was actually geared off of the Old Roman Creed.   But, now it is more widely agreed that the Apostles’ Creed developed as a baptismal confession of faith. Three primary sections (beginning with clause 1, 2 and 8) correspond to each aspect of the trinity and correspond with the three questions asked at baptism.  Even though similar forms were present in the early church in the 5th and 6th centuries AD, what is now called the Apostles’ Creed didn’t really emerge until the early 8th Century AD and may very well be a culmination of attempts to unify the creed which was first referenced in writings as early as AD390. 
During this season (7 year period beginning in Jan. 2015), Father is preparing His children for a mighty task in the next season.  A huge, Spiritual explosion which will impact the whole world.  He is raising a ‘lot’ of children who will know that He is the only true and living God and who will be the true reflections of the ministry of Jesus Christ.  That is, we will see the things that Jesus did and more as Father draws souls into His kingdom and who will allow the Holy Spirit free reign in their hearts.

But we need to truly understand what we believe so we can yield our hearts to His will and defend our stand, the things we know to be true, to the world.  Just as Paul and the apostles did over two thousand years ago.  We also need to have a good handle on what the bible says for it is what we have today to justify our faith.  as we grow in the Lord, nothing can match our ‘personal’ experiences with Jesus.  People may not be able to understand our relationship (with experiences) with Him, but they can’t take that relationship away from us.

Consider the creeds and what they mean.  

There is so much more to say, but that is for another time.  Father is talking, are we listening?  Many of the things written in this blog are to inspire the reader to learn to hear our Lord and Savior and to be obedient to His Word.

Should our prayer be:

Shekinah kavod Adonay Elihuw bo shalach anokiy amen  (in Hebrew)

Loosely said: the glory of God in our midst (we [I] are His friends), my Lord, my God, come.  Send me.  Let it be so.

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