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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Launch Out

By Gillian Mc Donald

Now, when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. (Luke 5:4)

You have been serving God but you seem not to be making any progress, you need to make a decision, you can stay where you are for the next several years and remain in your misery or you can launch out into the deep.

Simon had fished all night and had caught nothing, he was despondent, but nevertheless at Jesus' command, he let down his net. Many of us have found ourselves in the same situation Simon was in, he launched out into the deep, what are you going to do, are you going to obey Jesus' command?

You know for sometime God has been speaking to you about launching out into missions, into ministering to youths, into full time ministry or what ever he has been speaking to you about.

You have been fishing all night but you still haven't caught anything, the truth is you are not going to catch anything because you are in the wrong place, taking up somebody else's place, because you are walking
in disobedience.

Because you can't see into the future you are afraid to launch out.God is saying step out of your comfort zone and step into the faith zone and let your faith propel you forward. The christian life is a faith life

You can't go with God and remain where you are at the same time, things are changing around you, but yet you hold back because of fear you are afraid to step out. Its time to do and time to go where you have never ventured before.

In the natural its easy to get discouraged, its hard to walk by faith, but believers are not supposed to walk in the flesh, you can't be a coward or a quitter. Time is passing you by, all you have to do is to begin to see what God is showing you through the eyes of faith and act.

Jesus told his disciples, if you have faith like the grain of a mustard seed, you could tell the mountain to be removed and it would obey you .The mustard seed is a very tiny seed, Jesus was telling his disciples the size of their faith was not the problem and likewise you don't need more faith , you need to exercise what you already have

So take a step of faith and launch out into what the Lord has told you. Keep your eyes on him and begin to see things around you change for your good

Gillian Mc Donald

A christian teacher who loves to read the word, pray and write articles about christian living, natural health and self improvement.

http://ucanhope2.blogspot.com

Self-Improvement - The Great Motivator Jesus Christ

By Mark Bowser

Paul Thigpen tells a cute story about his wife reading to their two year old son, Elijah, at bedtime. She was reading to him Jesus's story of the Good Samaritan. She got to the place in the story where the expert in the law confronted Jesus with a question. The lawyer asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

At that point little Elijah spoke up with what he thought was the answer, "I know! Mr. Rogers!"

I grew up on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and many of you probably did too. The values and lessons we learned through this program helped shape us to who we are today. Jesus Christ motivates us sometimes through programs such as Mr. Rogers's show. But the underlining motivation that Jesus uses to inspire us is LOVE. Jesus always motivates through love.

Let's take another look at the Good Samaritan story. For some of you this will be a visit to one of your favorite stories. For others of you it may be a first visit. Jesus tells this story in the book of Luke. The story goes as follows. There was a man who was walking on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. This is a very dangerous road and robbers jumped the man. They didn't just take his money, they unmercifully beat him up. His body was bruised and bloody. His clothes were ripped. The robbers left the man lying on the edge of the road.

Some time had gone by when a Jewish priest came walking on the road. He saw the beaten man but decided to walk on the other side of the road and leave him there. Next, a Levite came by and he went up and looked at the injured man. After staring at the man, he decided he didn't want to bother with him either so he also walked by on the other side of the road. A little time later, a Samaritan came walking down the road. Now, you need to understand that the Jews hated the Samaritans. Samaritans were only part Jewish and so the Jews did not accept them. So what this Samaritan was about to do was very uncharacteristic. He saw the bloodied man. His heart went out to him. You see, it didn't matter if the man was of a different race or religion. It didn't matter whether they had anything in common or not. All that mattered was that he helped this man. The Samaritan was motivated by love. The Samaritan poured olive oil and wine on the man's wounds and then took him to an inn where he nursed him back to health.

The next morning, the Samaritan gave some money to the inn keeper and said: "Take care of this man. If this is not enough money then I will pay you back when I come again."

Jesus motivates us through love. We are to love our neighbors as ourself. Let's commit to living our lives like the Good Samaritan. That's what living is all about!

I would now like to invite you to receive a Free Preview of my inspirational book "Power Nuggets". You can receive it and sign up for our Free The Empower Newsletter at Corporate Training. From Mark Bowser of http://www.MarkBowser.com - Thanks for reading today.

What is the Difference Between Praise and Worship?

By Thomas Sinfield

For so long in churches praise and worship have been stereotyped as 'praise being the fast songs, and worship being the slow songs'. I don't know about you but this has never sat right with me - because sometimes I feel like I am praising even during slower songs at church and worshiping in parts of the faster songs. There has to be a better way of describing the difference between praise and worship.

Let's take a quick look at a couple of verses that mention praise and worship, then we will discuss them as well as a few dictionary definitions to try and find the difference between praise and worship - when we look at it from a music perspective in church.

Verses On Praise:

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, this is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. - Hebrews 13:15

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. - 1 Chronicles 16:8-10

Then David said to the whole assembly, "Praise the LORD your God." So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king. 1 Chronicles 29:19-21

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: "He is good; his love endures forever." Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud. 2 Chronicles: 5:12-14

You can see from these 4 verses how large the scope of what praise really is. We have:

* A sacrifice of praise

* Singing

* Telling of his wonderful acts

* Bowing - being prostrate

* Musical instruments

That is from4 verses on praise. However praise is mentioned 351times in the Bible and gives us a lot more ways to praise God. The reason for this is because of our English language. The english language has one word, praise, for 7 Hebrew words - each giving a different definition for praise. They are:

* Hallal: "to laud, boast, rave, to celebrate" - It is used approximately one hundred times in the Old Tes tament.

* Yadah: "to worship with extended hands, to throw out the hands" - It is used over ninety times in the Old Testament. (Yad means "hand.")

* Barak: "to bless, to declare God the origin of power for success, prosperity, and fertility" - It is used approximately seventy times in the Old Testament as praise to God.

* Tehillah: "to sing or laud" - It is derived from hallal and is generally accepted to mean "the singing of hallals." It is used over fifty times in the Old Testament.

* Zamar: "to pluck the strings of an instrument, to praise with song" - It is used almost exclusively in the Psalms and occurs approximately forty times in the Old Testament.

* Todah: "to extend the hands in thanksgiving, a thank-offering" - It is used only a few times when trans lated "praise" but occurs many other times in connection with thanksgiving.

* Shabach: "to commend, address in a loud tone, to shout" - This is the exclamatory form of praise in a special sense and is found only about seven times in the Old Testament.

You will notice 'Yadah' which actually means to worship with extended hands. Does this mean that worship as we know it is actually just a form of praise?

As we continue to discuss the difference between praise and worship lets take a look what the Bible has to say about worship.

Verses On Worship:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship. - Romans 12:1

Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD. - Genesis 24:25-27

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." - John 4:23-25

I guess when we are looking at the difference between praise and worship from a worship service perspective that praise seems to be more an outward showing with hands raising, clapping, dancing, bowing and singing. Whereas worship is something much deeper. It is where we are offering our bodies, and ourselves, giving them to God to have his way.

Learn more about worship at http://www.iheartworship.com

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Is The Power Of The Cross?

The cross in itself is of little value. The cross itself cannot save us. It is what happened on the cross that saves us.

Jesus came to Earth as a baby, conceived of both a woman, Mary, and the Holy Spirit.

He lived a sinless, blameless life. He fulfilled the law that we could not.

God's punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Someone had to die for us to become righteous in God's sight, but it had to be Someone who didn't sin.

Therefore Jesus became our Substitute, our living Sacrificial Lamb. Jesus was the only Sacrifice that wouldn't have to be repeated year after year.

The officials sentenced Jesus to death because they believed He blasphemed against God.

They beat Him with a thick cat-of-nine-tails thirty-nine times until his skin hung on the whip. They spit on Him. They nailed His hands and feet to the cross with big, stake nails similar to the ones that we use to put up a tent, and they dug a crown of thorns into His head.

God judged Him for all our sins--past, present and future. He judged Him with all our sicknesses, and all the curses that came from the law.

He died, went to Hell, where He took back the keys to Earth from satan who had gained them by deceiving both Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). This allow sin to come into this world (Romans 5:12).

On the third day, as a sign that the New Covenant had been made, Jesus rose from the dead (John 21:14).

For the first time in history, anyone who accepted Jesus (Romans 10:9-10), could become righteous in the sight of God not by our own works but by the shed blood of Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21).

For the first since the fall, humans could go boldly into the throne of grace and find grace and mercy in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16). All through Jesus' shed blood.

We cannot earn our salvation. We do not deserve it, but if we accept Christ (Romans 10:9-10), it is ours nevertheless.

God wants a relationship with us, but He couldn't have a relationship with us while we were dirty and in our muck. He had to made us righteous in His sight.

He had to judge and punish a sinless, blameless Person for our sins, then we could be righteous through the blood of that Person, Jesus.

He went through a lot of trouble to have a relationship with mere humans but that shows how much God loves us.

What is the power of the Cross, though?

When Jesus hung on the Cross, God judged Him for all our sins. When we accept Christ (Romans 10:9-10), God remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).

Jesus wasn't just judged for the sins we committed today and in the past but for our future sins as well.

All we have to do is "...confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV).

Once we do that, we are saved, we are now in right-standing with God (II Corinthians 5:21).

Now when God sees us, we are not filthy from our past and present. Instead we are covered by the blood of Jesus. He sees Jesus' shed blood that covers us instead of our sins. Now we are righteous in His sight through Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21). How cool is that?

We are righteous. What does the Bible say about the righteous?

They prosper (Psalms 1:3). Their prayers are answered (James 5:16). They are not moved (Psalms 55:22). We have all the benefits of being righteous through Christ. We don't deserve them. We couldn't earn them. They are ours nevertheless.

We have two choices. One, we can act like we are righteous through the shed blood of Jesus as we truly are. Two, we can act as if we are still sinners in our muck and mire.

Think about this for a moment. Imagine a woman, a princess, dressed up in torn and dirty clothes, who lived on the street outside the palace.

That seems ridiculous, right? It seems absurd for a princess to wear tattered clothes and sleep on the streets, right?

Most of us are doing that. We are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10)--children of the Most High God--and yet we are living way below our privileges.

God has entitled us to grace through Jesus' death, resurrection and the stripes He took on His back. Through Jesus, and not through our own efforts, we are to have God blessing (Galatians 3:14), healing (Isaiah 53:4-5, I Peter 2:24, Romans 8:11), delivering (Psalms 107:20, Psalms 91: 15) and prospering (III John 2) us. These are a part of our salvation package when we accepted Christ (Romans 10:9-10)..

Most of us are sick, broke and in trouble, and we think it is God's Will. We think that God is teaching us something or that God is somehow punishing us.

God judged Jesus for all our sins on the cross. He is not holding any of our sins against us. If we have accepted Christ, God sees us in right-standing with Him. We are special to Him. We are His children...and He wants to heal us, prosper us, deliver us and love on us.

The power of the cross is that through Jesus, we are going to Heaven when we died. It is that God judged Jesus for all our sins. It is that God has already forgiven us of every sin the day Jesus hung on the cross. It is that Jesus' blood has atoned for every sin we will ever commit or have committed.

In addition to that, Jesus paid the price for our health, our prosperity, wealth and our peace (Isaiah 53:5), so that we can have His peace (John 14:27), which in Hebrew is the word Shalom, meaning nothing missing, nothing broken. He paid for us to be whole here on Earth.

Most of us don't know that God is our Healer, our Provider, our everything. We should recognize that the gifts and the Giver are not separate. They are the same.

We need to focus on Jesus and what He did for us. We must see Him on the cross, taking our migraines or our shingles, our poverty, our problem. When we focus on Jesus, we will receive the full benefits of what happened on the cross. And that pleases God.

By: Annagail Lynes

As an ebook, freelance and mystery writer, Annagail Lynes was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications. For Her E-Books, go to http://www.booksbyannagail.com/ For Her Blog, go to atouchofdailywisdom.blogspot.com/ For Her Free Ezine, go to www.annagaillynes.net/currentezine.html

God’s Delays Are Not God’s Denials


“If I only had this, I would be happy.” In the next breath you say, “Yeah, but it will never happen for me.” Or “I don’t really want that, I want this.”

Often we say we want something, but then quickly change our mind or are so ambiguous about what we really want we wouldn’t even know if we got it. I believe God (Higher Power, Universe, Supreme Being) wants us to have the best of what we can have and yet, if we are unclear how can God possibly give us what we what.

God cannot give you what you want until you decide what you want. Simple as that. Again, it goes back to, even if you got what you “want” you wouldn’t know because you have not been clear.

For today, when you think about what you want in your life, be very clear on how you describe it. Get a sense of what it would be like to have the experience you claim you want. It is in that clarity it will be much easier for this to manifest for you.

The amazing part of all of this though is often what we think we want may not be in our highest good. There may be times when what we desire does not fit into the master plan for us. Or, it may be that God’s delays are not God’s denials.

Recently, I saw a great example of God’s delays not being God’s denials. Although I don’t watch much television at all, when I do I have a few programs I very much enjoy. One of my favorites is America’s Got Talent.

In a recent episode, Queen Emily, was the last contestant of the evening. Prior to her taking the stage she shared a bit about her dream of being a singer. Emily grew up in the projects and became a single mom of three children. With her priority being her children her dream of singing professionally was put on hold for many years.

From the moment she stepped on the stage and began belting out the song made famous by Aretha Franklin many years ago, it was apparent that her dream IS coming true.

For years she chose to do what she was called to do; be the best mother she could be. Although often a struggle, she never faltered on her responsibilities.

To see her dream unfolding during America’s Got Talent, with her three children waiting in the wings, was one of the most incredible experiences I have witnessed on the show. It became apparent very quickly that, God’s Delays are NOT God’s denials.

There are times we simply have other things to do before we are meant to have that which we say we want.

There is no doubt Queen Emily is living her dream and God did give her what she was so clear on wanting and willing to wait for.

By: Kathleen Gage Speaker

To get a daily dose of thoughts from author, Kathleen Gage visit http://www.blogger.com/

The Wartleys - Chastity



In a world where infidelity is everywhere, Abby proves that some believers are still waiting until marriage.

Time Alone With God

By Tina Marino

Is it possible to get to know God? Does He really want you to have a relationship with Him? Just as you know your spouse, the sound of his or her voice, the beat of their heart, you can know God; just as you are able to differentiate the many cries of your child, you can know God. To know Him you must spend time with Him; time alone with God.

I am not speaking of a legalistic routine that must be gotten out of the way like brushing your teeth or taking out the trash. But, there is a joyous place where you can meet with God, where He can talk to you and you can really talk to Him. It is a place of quiet, where the noise and cares of the world are turned off. It is a place of rest, where the taskmaster of your time is silenced for a spell. It is a place of instruction, where the confusion and fog of indecision are lifted. It is a place of healing, where all the hurts and damage the world inflicts upon you are repaired. Ahhh, it is a comforting place.

When God first drew me aside daily to get to know Him better, He asked me to spend time with Him early in the morning. There is something to be said for meeting with Him early, before the noise and schedule of awakened life starts to take over. Here are just two of many scriptures that speak of communion with God early in the day:

God you are my God. Early I will seek you. Psalm 63:1

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place and He prayed. Mark 1:35

For many, perhaps even most, people, early morning is the best time to meet with Him. But you should do what works best with your body, your energy levels, your schedule, as long as you don't put it off until there is no time left in your day!

So grab your bible, find a quiet place and get to know your good God!

I invite you to hear more about spending time with God. Please visit: http://www.FaithMama.com .

Tina Marino

Minister, Author, Speaker, Business Broker

tina@tinamarino.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Honoring God in Everyday Conversation

By Hannah Henderson

There are ample biblical scriptures that teach on the power of words. They are used to bless and to curse (KJV James 2:8-9). The sin of taking God's name in vain is committed with words (Exodus 20:7). In Matthew 5:33-37, Jesus warned against swearing which is done by words. Finally, in Matthew 12:36-37, Jesus said, "...every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Honoring the God of heaven and earth in everyday conversation is something that everyone can easily do whether they are a Christian or not. Such honor certainly doesn't take the place of salvation; but, it does show respect for God which affects society as a whole in a positive way. Years ago, many people in the United States who didn't claim to be Christian, had respect and honor for God in various ways. Merchants didn't sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday. People didn't curse while in a church nor in the presence of a minister. Most Americans were proud of the national anthem which includes the phrase "God bless America" in reference to the God of the Holy Bible. Millions of students willingly pledged allegiance to the flag of this "one nation under God".

How can one honor God with simple words in a practical way in everyday conversation? What advantage would such behavior have? Most believers are quite timid to witness Christ to others and will find that the simple honor of him in ordinary speech opens doors to speak of the Savior in a subtle and gentle, but powerful way. Those who are not Christian may simply choose to honor their Creator in a sincere manner and thus, let others know of their adherence to most Christian values.

The Bible gives a very simple method for reverencing the Lord in day to day speech. People often speak of their plans to do various things. They converse about their plans to go to college, to marry and start a family, to start a business, to buy a home or car, to throw a party, to go on vacation, and a host of other things that are common to the pursuit of happiness and success in life.

God's word reminds man that as he's making his plans, he should remember that he will not do or see any of them if the Lord doesn't allow him. He will not even be alive if God doesn't permit. Therefore, he owes his Creator honor when mentioning future plans since the future is not promised to him. Man reverences the Lord when he says: "I'll go to college next year, God willing", "we'll marry next month, if God wills", or "I'll be opening a new store, if God is willing."

Is the giving of such honor to God actually scriptural? Yes, it is. In fact, to consciously refuse to honor God once one has come into the knowledge of how to reverence him, is sin. The scripture of James 4:13-17 says, "go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city and continue there a year, and buy and sell and get again. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, 'if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that'. But now ye rejoice in your boastings. All such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

Such a practice is actually quite common in other cultures, but nowadays, one who honors God in this way may receive a few strange looks here in America. If, however, he is ashamed of such looks from others, he may do well to remind himself of what Jesus said in Mark 8:38 when he warned that, "whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels".

Bible studies and Christian articles featured at http://www.HeavenlyManna.net

God's Supply: What He's Got, You've Got!

by BILL WALKER

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NKJV Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I’m thinking today about the phrase according to. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines this phrase as used in Philippians 4:19: by, after the manner of, by any means, beyond measure We can see that the phrase according to does not mean only that God supplies our need from His riches in glory, but after the manner of His riches. For example, Bill Gates, I believe, is the richest man in the United States-surely one of the richest. He could quite easily supply some of my financial need from his earthly riches. He could do that by giving me $100. That amount would not go far but he would be supplying me from his riches. However, if he were to supply my need after the manner of his riches he would be treating me as if his riches were mine. I would be living after the manner of Bill Gates! That is what God promises us—in greater terms than what could be offered us by any earthly billionaire! Besides, Gates could give me only money. (Yes, I said “only” money!) He could not supply “all my need.” Although the need for money is often on our mind first, this verse is not limited to money-although this verse speaks to that need as well. “All your need” includes spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, and mental need as well. Look at this verse in the Amplified version, which incorporates the fullness and richness of what the original Greek says: “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” It says “liberally supply” and “fill to the full“. Even if I could get some billionaire to give me access to his fortune (a fantasy), that would give me just unlimited wealth (Yes, I said “just unlimited wealth“-believe it or not there are many things I want more!) So here’s the promise. Substituting our definition Philippians 4:19 would read: “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need after the manner of His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” But don’t forget the “in Christ Jesus” part. This is not “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it.” This is the promise of our Heavenly Father to the believer as he concentrates on seeking (and finding) Him. Remember Jesus’ words: Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:30-34 NKJV If you have a relationship with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you’ve been grafted into the body of Christ and this promise is yours. Love, Brother Bill

Brother Bill is the creator and webmaster of Everyday Christianity, which provides ministry and resources for Christian families. This article may be shared freely as long as it includes this resource box and a link back to the website at Everyday Christianity.

Image of the beast / Image of God comparison

by NIKOLA DIMITROV

“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelations 13:14-15
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Revelation 14:9-11

I know these verses are speaking for a time yet to come. Some say that this is speaking about a human being that will be manifested in the Earth, and that will have nature of the devil in himself, e.g. Antichrist. Others say that is speaking of a whole system, and not just a mere man. Whatever the case might be, there are spiritual principles we can draw from these verses.

1. The devil has an image. Of course, it’s exactly contrary to God’s image. 2. The devil will impose that image of his upon this human being (AntiChrist), or upon a whole demonic system (kingdom), trying to rule upon the Earth. We see that this human representation and extension of the devil is Anti-Christ, Anti-God, Anti-The Anointed One, Anti—The Savior, Anti-His destiny, purposes and intentions. 3. The devil’s final purpose is every person to receive the same image of the beast in themselves – some because of deception, others because of fear. This image was given power to speak, act and perform miracles (Revelations 13), so it does require the people that have received it to act accordingly, speaking its language, doing his works, even receiving its supernatural power.

It’s main purpose – the self to be promoted and rise against and above Almighty God Himself.

We know that the devil fooled many angels to join him in his battle against the Lord in Heaven and they were all cast out. Now, in the Revelation events, we see him trying to do the same thing with men on Earth, gathering an army that is meant to attack the Lord when He comes from Heaven to the Earth (Revelations 19:19, 20; 20:7-8). That will be an army consisting of totally deranged, mentally distorted and emotionally destroyed people. Why? Because they will have all accepted the beast’s image and that’s exactly what the devil is.

Somebody will say, “Well, what does that have to do with us? The AntiChrist (man or system) is not yet manifested and nobody has yet accepted the image (mark) of the beast as Revelation says”.

Here’s the spiritual parallel we must draw. It’s point number 4.

4. The Bible says in (1 John 4:3 and 2:18-22) that the spirit of the AntiChrist is already working in the world.

“and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:3

It is definitely trying to creep into the Church, into all it’s structures and to respectively permeate every area of the Church life, Christian thought patterns, ways of behavior, ministry ethics, Christian moral, Bible standards and all else.

That’s the spirit of religion we are dealing with. Not the pure religion that Apostle James is speaking about in James 1:27. This pure religion is actually a lifestyle of hearing God’s word of truth and obeying it; it’s a lifestyle of being pure, holy, separated and trustworthy. It’s a lifestyle of doing good and breaking every yoke of the devil (Acts 10:38). It’s a lifestyle of following the Lord every step of the way, receiving His image in us and exercising His authority in doing His will by bringing His purposes and destiny to fulfillment on the Earth, as it is in Heaven.

The spirit of religion and of the Anti-Christ I’m talking about is exactly the opposite. It’s being hearers only, but not doers of God’s word (James 1:22-25). It’s going to Church, but not actually being an integral part of the Body of Christ. It’s being like the Priest and the Levite that saw the wounded man lying half dead on the ground and that passed by him, without helping him. It’s being religious politicians, deceiving ourselves and the others. It’s saying, but not doing, being a Pharisee, a religious fanatic, a fault finder, seeking always to find faults in others, but never checking ourselves at the same time, beholding the mote in our brother’s eye and ignoring the plank in our own one. The examples are endless. That’s the image of the beast – the image of self-righteousness, raising its ugly head above and against God’s humility and grace.

Now these 4 points show the devil’s side of things. But we all know that the devil is not a Creator – He is a counterfeiter. he takes from the Lord’s principles and thwarts them, perverting them. So, let’s look at the original structure:

1. The Lord has an image. It contains all Himself, His Glory, His power, His authority, His Character, His gifts and fruit, His ministries, His dreams, purposes, intentions and destiny. 2. The Lord sent His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ (as opposed to Anti-Christ). Jesus was the human representation and extension of God. We can see that clearly in the following Scriptures:

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3- 4

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” Colossians 1:12-19

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:1-17

3. The final purpose of God is to place that same image of Christ on the inside of every one of us, so we can be, speak and act as God is speaking, acting and being.

The main purpose – God’s Character to be developed in us in full humility, grace and peace, so we can be mature sons and daughters of God, ready to enter into the inheritance the Lord has for our lives, our families, our children, our ministries, our Churches, our jobs and careers, our neighborhoods, our cities, our nations, and to the ends of the Earth.

4. God’s Holy Spirit has been working in God’s people ever since Genesis 1:1-2 when He was hovering above God’s Planet Earth. In our new birth, He even came to live in us. Will we ever be able to grasp what the Lord has done for us? We have the Lord of Glory living in our hearts, through His Holy Spirit.

Nikola Dimitrov is a Pastor and Bible teacher and is also part of Life in Glory Church in Bulgaria. Dimitrov is also the director of In depth쳌Media ministry, editor-in-chief of Roma Destiny National Media, and the owner of the Metamorphu publishing company which focuses on the publication of Christian children material. More info at: Life of Jesus

Paul - That OTHER apostle

Revival, Reformation and Transformation

By Nikola Dimitrov

In order that the Lord stamps His image upon the Earth as a whole, three processes must happen. The first two are God's work in the Church, while the third one is God's work in the world through the Church:

-Revival: First we must allow the Lord to revive us. Every area that has become dead, inactive, passive, unproductive, apathetic, indifferent, lethargical, etc must be made alive again. The Lord can not work through dead people! Many think they are alive, even whole churches, but in fact they are dead. Just look at the Church in Sardis in Revelation 3:1. We must come back to our first love, we must be active, passionate, on fire for the Lord. We must be hot for Him, filled with His love, joy and faith! We must be activated like never before, ready to conquer the world for Him, through His love and compassion. We must be baptised in the Holy Spirit and in fire! We must be alive, full of energy and spiritual intensity, full of strength and vigor, we must bring back the high spiritual and moral standards of holiness in our life.

-Reformation: Once we are full of fire and passion for the Lord, we are ready to start reforming everything in us and around us - our thought life, our thought patterns, our way of behaviour, our belief system, our everything. We must get rid of the religious spirit at all cost and in every area of our spiritual and natural existence! We must be free to choose God's will and free to execute it on the Earth. Everything that is not effective enough, is not effective because the form is not being able to contain the new things of the Spirit of God. That's why, it needs to be re - formed (made into a new form, structure, body). Reformation is for the Church, not for the world! Oh, how we need reformation an all levels!

-Transformation: When we are alive and reformed, we are ready to bring transformation to our whole society. The world does not need a reformation, because it has never functioned in the right form. The world's form has never been right, then fallen, and then, in need of re- form - ation. No! The world needs a total transformation of its whole structure and life. It needs a complete transplantation of heart - the Lord needs to take out the stony heart and place a heart of flesh. This is a creative process, not a mending one. But that can only happen if first the Lord has worked in His people - the Church - and has completely revived and reformed them, so they can be carriers of His life to a society that's stone dead in its nature.

We can surely do all this by the Lord's grace. We can allow Him to revive us, set us on fire for Him, make us passionate for His purposes and destiny, reform us completely, deliver us from all religion, and use us to bring the lost at His feet! Amen!

Nikola Dimitrov

Pastor, Bible Teacher, Preacher, Translator, Educator, Author

http://www.life-of-jesus.org

From Glory to Glory

By Nikola Dimitrov

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"

2 Corinthians 3:18

As we are beholding the Lord's Glory, we are being changed into the same image and that's a work of the Holy Spirit. Our part is to continually behold and be willing to change according to what we are seeing. Being ready to change! Paying the price! Lifting up the Cross! David said:

"One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple"

Psalm 27:4

What is the Glory? Many Christians connect God's Glory with some spiritual or physical experience, some tingling, some emotion of feeling good in His Presence, etc.

Well, sure all that is a part of it, but let me tell you something else as well, which will give us a broader picture. The Glory of the Lord and the Lord Himself are inseparable. The Glory is the Lord Himself. Romans 6:4 says Jesus was raised by the Glory of the Father. Yet, we all know very well, that the Father Himself raised Jesus from the dead, through the Holy Spirit. The Glory is His Person. The Glory is the Person of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Glory is Himself. The Glory is His character. When Moses said to the Lord, Please, show me Your Glory (Exodus 33:18), the Lord did, by going before him Himself and proclaiming, "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth ..." (Exodus 34:6).

That's the Glory Moses was supposed to see - the Lord Himself and His attributes - His character, His goodness, mercy, love, etc. - the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The Glory also encompasses God's Power (Habakkuk 3:3, 4). The Glory is God's Purpose, His heart, His passion and His vision. The Glory is everything! When the Lord comes, He comes with all His Glory. All Heaven speaks of His Glory constantly (Psalm 29:9).

Of course, the Glory of God is such a vast subject of its own, so I will concentrate only on that part of the Glory that changes us into God's image.

When the Lord comes with His Glory, we can indeed have a spiritual and even physical experiences and manifestations of all kinds. At other times, His Glory comes when we hear God's voice or see His character and acts through His people. That may include seeing the manifestation of His Glory through listening to sound preaching and teaching; through reading a book, watching an anointed TV program; through the wise words and advices of our parents, leaders or friends. In all cases, the most important thing is: are we allowing the Lord to change us, transform us, and place His image in us in these experiences? Because His Glory carries His image.

Because the Lord comes to change us. And that happens when He shows us an image of His Glory - an image of Himself, His purposes, His character, His gifts, His fruit. Then, when we see that Glory (that image), we must allow Him to change us from one level of Glory to a higher level of Glory.

In other words, as far as we have known the Lord and allowed Him to work in us, we have received a certain image - a certain level of His Glory in us. The Bible says in Colossians 1:27, that Christ in us is the hope of Glory. Actually, Christ is the image of God's Glory:

"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell"

Colossians 1:12-19

To the extend that we have allowed Christ to dwell and rule in us, to that extend we have allowed God's Glory to change us. And actually, Psalm 85:9 says that the reason the Lord has saved us and is working in us on this side of Heaven is that His Glory may dwell in our land:

"Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land"

We must be the carriers of His Glory to the ends of the Earth, but before we can do that, we must ourselves experience it more and more and allow God to change us into every new and higher image of that Glory.

Now, there's a confrontation right here - will we just enjoy the new image of the Glory, enjoying also the experience of seeing it, saying later, "Whew, what a good time it was when the Lord visited me", "Whew, what a Conference it was", "Whew, what a conversation I had with this man or woman of God", etc. or will we change according to that same image and start walking in the new level of Glory?

You see, we can have all the experiences and never change an inch. If you don't believe me, just look at the Israelites and their journey in the wilderness. They had all the experiences with God we can only dream about - a pillar of fire by night, a pillar of smoke by day, supernatural deliverance from Egypt, even to the point of God dividing a whole sea, so they could walk through it on dry land, miracles after miracles, supernatural provision of manna, meat, water, supernatural protection and victory over their enemies, many occasions when the Lord literary was coming down on the mountain, so they could see, hear and experience Him, Moses' face shining so brightly with the Glory right before their eyes, and so much more.

Did they change? Absolutely not! Not even a bit! Why? Somebody will say, "But they were in the Old Testament, they were not born again, and that's why they couldn't change, etc" No, that's not the reason. Because some of them (like Joshua and Caleb) did allow the Lord to change them and mould them, form them into the great men He made out of them eventually. Then, when the new generation came, they all decided they will obey the Lord by obeying Joshua, and they had victory after victory until they inherited all the land promised to them in one generation.

So, it was a matter of decision. Please remember that word - decision. Because walking in the Glory and walking in progressively higher standards and image requires decision and sacrifice. It requires paying the price. That price is to let go of the past on one hand, but also to let go of all our self-centeredness, our self ambitions and agendas, our self images that we do like sometimes.

The Lord is a jealous God. He wants His image to be in and on us, not our own. Our own agendas, visions, plans and purposes must give way to His ones.

But that should in no way turn us down. Hey, that's what we want anyway, right? We want to serve the Lord with everything we are and have. We love Him so much. He loved us first and proved His love in the most sacrificial way.

Well, is our love true enough, so we can also sacrifice for Him? He is our Beloved, our Prince of Peace, our Comforter, our Love and Affection, our Desire, Dream and Passion.

So, we must be more than ready and willing to lay everything at His feet and say to Him, Lord, please give us the grace and help us to give ourselves totally to You, so You can place Your image on the inside of us.

The Bible says that, "... it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).

There's no better will for us than His will. His will is Perfect. You can not improve the Perfect thing - it's perfect!

Nikola Dimitrov

Pastor, Bible Teacher, Preacher, Translator, Educator, Author

http://www.life-of-jesus.org

Monday, July 28, 2008

Notre Dame Cathedral In Paris France

There is so much history in Paris often you do not know where to start, and with numerous different monuments to visit, you cannot forget visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral that is over 800 years old!

Situated on a small island called the Ile de la Cite in the middle of River Seine, its official name is The Notre Dame de Paris, but is often known simply as Notre Dame and is a Gothic cathedral that took nearly 200 years to be complete. It was first started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII, but did not get finished until around 1345.

Even though Notre Dame had held many important events, such as Henry VI of England being crowned King of France in 1431, over the years it fell into disrepair. But it was Napoleon that saved the church from demolition back in 1802 and then he got crowned Emperor here in 1804, however it was still in a very bad state of disrepair.

We are sure you have heard of the novel by Victor Hugo called the Hunchback of Notre Dame and this particular story was what brought people together to raise money for its restoration, which managed to bring it virtually back to its former glory.

And in fact, following the start of World War II, it was feared that German bombers could destroy the stained glass windows so they were removed and restored at the end of the war and one particular round stained glass window, called the Rose Window, was the biggest window in the world when it was produced back in the 13th century, and it still contains its original medieval glass.

Notre Dame translates as Our Lady and this monument in Paris is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral for Sunday mass, is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris and is utilised for major events when the famous bell is rung. But instead of manpower the bell is now rung automatically and by taking a climb up the spiral staircase, you can get to see this enormous bell that was saved from being melted down.

Also when climbing to the bell tower and further you can see the flying buttress style used in the construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral along with the gargoyles on the outside of the building, designed to ward of evil spirits plus going further you get an excellent view of the city but it is around 140 more steps.

Now it is obvious that every cathedral has an organ, but Notre Dame has actually had several, although the first ones were far too inadequate and the first sensible organ was installed in the early 1700\'s with some of the original pipe work remaining today.

But one of the old cathedral organs can be viewed at the Musee de Notre Dame de Paris, along with the music scores, notes and some personal articles that are on display from Louis Vierne, the famous cathedral organist and the museum is only one street away from the cathedral. Although small it is fascinating and holds extremely old, interesting documents such as drawings, plans and engravings, which reveal the mysteries and various development stages of the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral plus it recounts life in the City from Lutecia before it was known as Paris.

Also, in the square to the front of Notre Dame there is a plaque put in place by André Michelin, founder of the Michelin tyre business and it is from this point that all distances in France are measured.

Open every day of the year, The Notre Dame de Paris is free to enter although there is a charge to venture up the tower, which is accessed on the outside of the church on the left hand side when looking at the main entrance of the cathedral.

You can also have a guided visit, which is organised by the cathedral staff itself and these are conducted in different languages on different days of the week. For instance the English guided tours are provided on a Wednesday at 2pm, Thursday at 2pm and a Saturday at 2.30pm. Other language tours such as Spanish, Russian, Japanese, etc are held at different times, but any of these can be cancelled if there is a special occasion, so it always worth checking with staff on site, or telephoning prior.

So whether you are going for pilgrimage or just as a tourist, this fascinating building that has become a famous landmark in Paris, is not to be missed on your holiday in France.

http://www.placesinfrance.com/notre_dame_paris.html

What Is Salvation???

The Bible has a lot to say about salvation, in fact that is what the whole document certifies to. Church folk often speak of salvation and many there are who consider themselves saved. Some whole denominations are organized around the doctrine of salvation and a commitment to getting people saved. With all this emphasis on the salvation experience and camaraderie amongst the saved, does anyone really understand what this means? No doubt, there are those who can explain what it means using the appropriate words to express this fact in the light of truth, but it seems no one can go beyond this superficial designation. So let us try our hand at slinging those labels around and see what we can come up with.

For the most part salvation is considered a onetime experience usually associated with some kind of sinner's prayer. Others consider it a balancing act between maintaining and trying not to lose something. Some even come close to the Truth by saying: Salvation means wholeness in every area of life. But before we can see into just what salvation entails we must first know what it means. So what are we being saved from and what are we being saved into. Before there can even be a need for salvation there must first be a peril that has endangered us, which by its very nature will determine the form of our deliverance. You don't save a drowning man by throwing him a chain. So it is, that if we can determine the nature of our predicament, we can learn to appreciate how we were rescued from it.

Separation from God is the mortal predicament and the Gospel of Christ Jesus is how this dilemma was resolved. This one sentence is the sum total conclusion to the question of what is salvation! Notice first and foremost that it says: Was Resolved!!! Separation from God was an issue over 2,000 years ago but with the advent of Jesus that no longer holds true. Jesus healed the separation of our species from God and it is only your confidence in sin that keeps you in ignorance. Of course it seems at this point we must deal with the whole sin issue and show you, that it is NOT what you think it is. Only on the basis of separation from God being the mortal predicament and the Gospel of Christ Jesus being how that dilemma WAS Resolved, can we examine the subject of sin in the light of Truth.

Unbelief is the only sin in an AD World, under the old school indoctrination sin was an activity but such is no longer the case. There is a very good reason why mortal time is divided into the BC and AD eras. This watershed moment in the history of our species is unique and this is why. Unbelief is the only sin in an AD World. The Book of Hebrews in the Bible explains best how this whole transaction was accomplished, but we will need a condensed version for our purposes. Let's call this split the old covenant and the New Covenant. Until Jesus came our whole species was under the old covenant because the new had not yet manifested (Although it was in place). With the establishment of the New Covenant our entire species was delivered from old covenant restrictions. This was accomplished through the priesthood. Under the old covenant mortals were entrusted with the priesthood, which is why it was defective. Jesus became the High Priest of the New Covenant Priesthood once His physiology obtained glorification on behalf of our whole race. This changing of the guard for God's Holy Word is what split mortal time in twain and rectified every deficiency we can imagine. So that was the beginning of Salvation.

Well now, are we still dealing with the subject of sin or are we back on salvation or are maybe both of those things the same??? Unbelief is the only sin in an AD World, that is all you really need to know in order to deal with the whole sin issue. We have explained how this fact came to be so it must be time to step back up to salvation and see how this new definition of sin works. Once again under the old covenant separation from God was a problem and under New Covenant Law there is no separation from God. Now as simple as this distinction seems it can nevertheless be difficult to actualize depending on how stubborn your preconceptions prove to be. For the sake of efficiency let's say that you preconceptions are most likely synonymous with Unbelief and therefore represent the sin you must repent of eventually. That should speed things along!!! This is a most excellent generalization because you can only prove yourself an exception by examining your unbelief and hopefully flushing the turds while retaining the useful. So like it or not: In an AD World Unbelief is the only sin.

So what is Salvation anyhow, have figured that out yet??? Maybe now we are ready to get to the heart of the matter. So obviously we have been Saved from separation from God whether we accept it or not. But we have not been save from our ignorance of God if we are still busy ignoring Spirit. To save us from our ignorance requires we hear the Truth and Believe, which necessitates a witness to the Gospel in proclamation of the Truth. Once we hear and believe our eyes should be opened to provide our own Witness to the Gospel, thus only by seeing into the Truth can salvation flourish. So does that explain what salvation is, not quite good enough yet.

Salvation is an established fact regardless of our acceptance of it, so it seems that it all comes back to our acceptance of salvation. It can be assumed that if we misinterpret what acceptance of salvation entails, we are most likely to miss the benefit of what it really is. This is the problem we detect with mortal church, they dream of homeruns but they never get off the bench because they cannot. Our acceptance of salvation is the only part of salvation that is subject to change, because it is the only part that can change. Being an established fact, salvation is a static condition of immutability. If anything can change the unchangeable it is our acceptance of it alone that qualifies. Perhaps you are finally seeing why these things are so hard to talk about and why you never heard anything like this before. The mystery has been solved, the puzzle has been resolved, checkmate has been declared, the war is over and Victory has been achieved welcome to Salvation. Can you accept all that???

It would seem we have answered the question of what is salvation and perhaps a few questions we never thought to ask. What more can we say about the unspeakable to help you think the unthinkable??? We better not go there because you are not ready and I'm sure we have said it already just not here. You have no idea of the Labels we can sling, but without some reference others find relevant the words are meaningless regardless of their accuracy. One good point to make here is that the word Infinite Self is no more Infinite than the word water can quench your thirst. Words are just words not the thing spoken of, so even if we say "IT" nevertheless it is not it, it is just a word. That should alleviate some of the fear of Infinite self because Infinite Self is just a word. Peace, Love and Joy are words too and they relate to that that word well in the actual experience that the word represents. It is the experience that the word represents, when we refer to Salvation regardless of what we call it, that we are talking about. So there you go, our opinion of what Salvation means to Us. Do with it as you will as we are sure you will as you do what you do.

By: B Weiser

Salvation is at home in Immortal Society, join us there at newreformationnow.com You have the Freedom to be Free, to waste that opportunity in America seems almost disrespectful.

Beautiful Thoughts, Beautiful Soul

By Dawn L. McIntyre

We are given distinct characteristics that we can use to enhance our lives and we are also given a set of patterns, if you will, that are essential for us to transform. And in the process of transformation we become more conscious, we become more aware of the beauty that is us and is life and we become more serene and happier women as a result.

Our souls are constantly evolving from lifetime to lifetime. They choose particular patterns to transform in order to evolve into their full potential. Most often the personality, ego patterns are difficult to let go of and it is challenging to relinquish limiting thoughts and paradigms when although they no longer work for us, they have become so familiar and so comfortable. When we resist this growth we become very restless at the level of the soul and sometimes we even create tragic events and circumstances to wake us up to our lessons.

Our birth charts are very helpful in determining exactly what the patterns and potentials are. I have made available to you a free chart analysis in the download section. What you need to look for is the placement of your north node, both the sign it is in and the house it is in. The sign indicates what your soul potential is and the house indicates how you would fulfill that potential. I am also including downloads for the characteristics that go with each sign and house for you to get a brief idea of your potential. In order to determine your patterns simply go to the opposite side of the chart from where your node is placed which is the south node. The sign there represents your ego/personality patterns. For example: my north node is in Gemini in the 8th house and my patterns or my south node is found on the opposite side of the chart from Gemini which is the sign of Sagittarius. Again, the charts available will give you an idea of the characteristics and qualities inherent in each of the patterns and potentials.

It has been my experience that there is nothing more freeing than knowing what my purpose is. It has opened me completely to the beauty of my soul and to the beauty and magic of life. I feel empowered and I feel a deep level of joy that even the unhappy experiences cannot dampen for very long. I urge you to explore what your soul's potential is and to say yes to it. Your life will never be the same; it will become incredibly meaningful and powerful. You will sense your connection to others and to the earth in a very real way and you will experience a strong reverence for life.

True beauty is achieved when there is a balance between inner beauty and outer beauty. Join Dawn L. McIntyre at Boldlybeautiful, as we all learn and grow together.

What's God's Purpose

By Martin Schmaltz

A lot is being said and written about purpose. This thought is prevalent in the business and motivational world. Companies are encouraged to find out what their purpose is beyond just producing a product or providing a service for profit. It is believed that in finding their purpose, they will become more successful. This success comes because of two reasons: first, by knowing their purpose they can focus solely on the actions that produce the desired results. Secondly, this focus of purpose provides a deeper motivation to achieve.

This idea of finding a purpose is also essential to effective ministry in the Kingdom of God today. However, the purpose we seek should not begin with the question "What is my purpose?" It should begin with the question, "What is God's purpose?" Once we understand this, it provides us the perspective and framework to grasp our purpose.

So I pose the question - "What is God's Purpose?" Tough question to think about. Me figure out His purpose? No! I need to go to the Word and see what He says about His purpose. Once I have done this, then I need to see if my purpose is in alignment with His.

In my review of the scriptures, it is apparent that God's purpose was to have His glory fill the earth. We are told that His glory fills the earth (Isa 6:3), the knowledge of the glory of the LORD will fill the earth (Hab 2:14) and all the earth will be filled with His glory (Num 14:21). There are numerous other scriptures that declare that there will be one king over this earth and all nations will come and worship Him. (Ps 86:9, Zech 14:8, Rev 11:15). So...God's purpose was to fill the earth with His glory!

If the earth was and is to be filled with His glory, what was God's plan to accomplish this? Glad you asked. I have a thought. Lets go to the creation of mankind. God created a perfect world and a place called the garden of Eden for mankind to live.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image , after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Gen 1:26

God created Adam (mankind) in His own image and gave Adam dominion or authority over this perfect creation. Adam was to act as God's representative to creation. Genesis 1:28 tells us that "God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." Mankind was to bear fruit in increased numbers and fill, fulfill or overflow the earth with the image of God.

Psalms 8:4-8 (for the sake of space I will not print here) many times is attributed to a prophetic statement of Jesus Christ. However, in light of Adam's creation and Jesus being the last Adam, I believe you can see where this applies to both - the first and the last Adam. The word used for angels in this passage is elohiym or God. Adam was made a little lower than God, crowned with glory and honor. Adam was made to have dominion over the works of God's hands. All this was because Adam (mankind) was intended to fill the earth with the glory and dominion of God! Wow! Mankind was created to reveal the glory and image of God! What a privilege we have, to be God's representative.

Food For Thought Have I determined what my purpose is in Christ, and more importantly; is it filling the earth (my world) with His image and glory?

till next time - Martin Schmaltz

http://www.apostolicmissions.org

http://www.martinschmaltz.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Historic Progression of God’s Kingdom

Author: Nikola Dimitrov

Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 3:18

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

This Scripture is revealing to us the fact that there is a progressive image of the glory the Lord is leading us to. That means that the Lord is constantly revealing more and more of His Glorious image to His Church and we all, beholding that image and responding to it, are being changed (transformed) into that respective image. That image is being revealed to us directly from the Lord, by the ones that have first received it directly from the Lord, by their spiritual sons and daughters, or by somebody else down the line, depending on where on the spiritual ladder we are standing.

Somebody will say: “Can’t everybody receive their image directly from the Lord?” It depends. There are segments of God’s image which every one of us is responsible personally to acquire from the Lord. Those are connected with our calling, our gifts, graces, anointings the Lord has placed on the inside of us and the things the Lord wants us to develop as fruit of the Spirit, moral character and the like in our own life – e.g. our individuality.

We are indeed responsible to seek the Lord ourselves in all these areas and acquire God’s image that will make us distinctive, set aside for His purposes, personalities.

That is our responsibility and the Lord will hold us accountable for all this.

There’s another area of responsibility that I am talking about here though, and it’s ours as well. This is the responsibility to see, hear, perceive, respond to, and accept God’s Global image, coming from the people He has revealed it to. You see, there’s only one Martin Luther, yet, there are millions of Lutheran followers. There’s only one Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Elijah, Jesus, Apostle Paul, Wesley, Finney, etc, yet, there were millions called to receive God’s image from them and continue to spread it to the ones after them.

I am talking about those millions that are being classified into the pattern categories we’ve just seen – spiritual sons and daughters, sons and daughters of the initial sons and daughters, and a company of believers (generation), carrying the same spiritual image and anointing as the father.
Now remember, the image of God is a progressive one and the Lord is all the time moving forward, revealing more and more of His Glory. Now we have a responsibility to respond to and accept every new image of God’s Glory that the Lord is revealing. If we don’t, we stop God’s image to our level and respectively, for the next generation. Thus, we become kind of Gehazi type of people, that settle for anything less than God’s best.

Now, the 2 Corinthians 3:18 Scripture is placed in a context where Apostle Paul is explaining God’s progressive moving from Old to New Testament image. There’s an interesting verse in that same context, which is saying:

“For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory” (3:9)

The expression: “ministration of righteousness” in connection to God’s progressive image, got my attention. That’s because there’s another Scripture in Matthew 6:33 that I believe everybody knows, and it says:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

When we combine the whole passage of 2 Corinthians 3 and Matthew 6:33, we find out that the way we acquire God’s progressive image in each generation is when we seek God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness (God’s way of being and doing right).

Let’s just mention about the Kingdom of God here briefly:

“All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power”

Psalm 145:10-11

When John the Baptist came, he preached like this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). When Jesus came, He preached like this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). When Jesus sent the apostles to preach, He told them to preach the same thing (Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-9).

Well, the Lord is a King. That’s His image – King of kings and Lord of lords. So, He wants to establish His Kingdom first in our hearts:

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you”

Luke 17:21

Then, He wants to establish His Kingdom in our families, our neighborhoods, our churches, our work places, our cities and our nations.

“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

Daniel 2:44

So, the progressive image of God’s Kingdom in our generation is the image we must build in ourselves and our Churches, so we can establish God’s Kingdom in every area of existence:

Ø Spiritually – Bring God’s salvation to the ends of the Earth by flooding the Earth with the image of God’s Glory (Psalm 85:9).

Ø Naturally – Bring God’s government in the market place. That means affecting our communities, cities and nations spiritually, morally, economically, politically and financially.

If you don’t believe in the natural aspect of God’s image, look at Joseph (the Prime Minister of Egypt, a worldly Empire), and at Daniel (the second ruler of Babylon (the greatest most occultist Empire of all times). The Lord placed His image on the inside of these two servants of His and they brought that image to the governments they were in, to the point that both Pharaoh and the Babylonian rulers (Nebuchadnezzar and Darius) admitted that the God of Joseph and Daniel ruled above the affairs of men. (Daniel 4:34-37; 6:25-27).

Now, what does all this practically mean to us and how can we apply it today?

Well, the Lord has progressively been moving from Martin Luther and the time of the Protestant Reformation to fully restore God’s Image in His Church.

With each new progressive image being restored (each new move of God coming), there’s a challenge set before the people of God – to respond to and accept the new image or stay in the old. Staying in the old means blocking and limiting God’s image, grace and anointing to the level of your individual, denominational, ethnic, cultural, economic or whatever else understanding.

Please know that there is always more. The Lord is always moving progressively. His revelation is always increasing. Jesus told His disciples: “There are things that I can not reveal to you right now, because you will not understand them, but when the Holy Spirit comes, He will move you progressively forward in My truth” (John 16:12, paraphrased).

So, Martin Luther brought to us the truth of being born again by grace and not by works. Some followers (spiritual sons and daughters of his) took that truth and distributed it abroad, until it reached a company of people, a whole generation and ultimately, that became the foundation of every believer in the world today. That was called The Protestant Movement.

When the Evangelical / Holiness Movement came though, it added new truth to God’s Image. Not that is had not been a part of God’s initial image, but that particular part (that revelation truth) had been lost somewhere along the way and now the Lord restored it back. Now the Lutheran people (The people from the Protestant Movement) had a challenge before them – to accept the new truth and thus acquire the progressive image of God for them, or to reject it and continue in the old one. Well, that’s a challenge, don’t you think?

The same challenge was placed:

Ø Before the Evangelical / Holiness people, when the Baptist Movement came about;

Ø Before the Baptist people when the Pentecostal Movement came about;

Ø Before Pentecostal people when the Latter Rain and Deliverance Evangelism Movements came about;

Ø Before the Latter Rain and Deliverance Evangelism people when the Charismatic Movement came about;

Ø Before the Charismatic people when the Faith Movement came about;

Ø Before the people from the faith Movement when the Prophetic Movement came about; and

Ø Before the prophetic people when the Apostolic Movement (also called The New Apostolic Reformation) came about.

The Lord had been restoring truth upon truth, laying the foundation according to Hebrews 6:1-2. The Bible says that Jesus can not return until the wholeness of God’s image (God’s revelation truths) is not restored to the Body of Christ, so it can become a Bride without spot or wrinkle:

“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Acts 3:20-21

“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:27

Nikola Dimitrov is a Pastor and Bible teacher and is also part of Life in Glory Church in Bulgaria. Dimitrov is also the director of In depthMedia ministry, editor-in-chief of Roma Destiny National Media, and the owner of the Metamorphu publishing company which focuses on the publication of Christian children material. More info at: Life of Jesus

What Does it Mean to "LOVE"?


By DeBorrah Ogans

What does it mean to love someone? Does it mean you give them everything they want? Does it mean letting someone run over you? Does it mean you tell them what they want to hear? Does it mean you never make them angry? Does love ever end? Webster defines love in this way; strong affection for another based on kinship ties. Example: maternal love for a child. Attraction based on sexual desire. Admiration or benevolence. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. A beloved person: Darling. Brotherly concern for others. To hold dear. To feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness. An unselfish concern of God for man. The scriptures tell us that "God is Love." Tell me can you really truly love someone and not know God? Or better yet to the degree you know God; does it help you love in a profound way? According to I Corinthians LOVE...is PATIENT...is KIND...does not ENVY... does not BOAST... Is not PROUD...is not SELFISH. Keeps no record of wrong doings...does not DELIGHT in EVIL...but REJOICES in TRUTH. Always protects. Always TRUSTS. Always HOPES. Always PERSEVERES. Does your definition of love encompass Biblical principles?

I have found that love is a term that many people use loosely. If you listen clearly they usually base love on doing or not doing something for them. Love is not giving someone what they want. Love is not letting people run over you. Love is not telling people what they want to hear. If you love them you will speak the truth in love. Just know when you truly love people they will get angry with you sometimes! Their perspective of you will modify. You are no longer the kind wonderful person that they thought you were. All of a sudden you will be perceived as being cold, uncaring, and selfish. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don't give them what they want. Don't fret! God knows your heart. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them.

There are many angry people who will chew you out at the drop of a hat. They have oodles of pent up unresolved anger. Cancer, high blood pressure, eating disorders, temper tantrums and depression are just a few results of stored anger. It's okay for them to have a tantrum. But you are expected to appease them. Anger is natural. Encourage them to find healthy ways to express their anger. Suppressing anger is unhealthy. Just know it takes more control to not respond than to throw a fit. Did you know you can be angry and sin not?

By the way you must let go of some people you love. I am not talking about letting go like in divorce. Divorce occurs because two adults are not able to work through whatever problems they are experiencing. They are not able to keep the commitment they made to each other for whatever reason. Often this is because they really didn't think things through first. Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for an enduring marriage. (But that's another column). When I say letting go I mean putting them in hands of the Lord. Allow Him to intervene. There are those who just enjoy a habitat of tension and confusion. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Letting go and allowing them space to feel the consequences for their actions can be beneficial to their spiritual maturity.

The world is a very inconsistent place. God's standards are not respected nor appreciated. God must be the central focus of your life for true successful living. The prophets pleaded over and over with God's people to return to his principles. God wants to be first in your life. God has instructed us to; "Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest....... (Deuteronomy 6) God loves us and is faithful. His WORD is true.

Love will help you weather the storms of life. Love must be balanced. The term conditional love is often used today. I often hear I can do without your kind of love. Well your kind or my kind of love is not love at all. God sets the standard. God is love. Unless we measure it by His standards it's merely subjective opinion. For example; the more I don't rock your boat you love me. Once you rock my boat I tell you to get out. Now all of a sudden you cry, "You don't love me". As long as I let you rock my boat it's thought of as love. WRONG! How can something as important as Love be reduced to such insignificant terms. Don't get love confused with how you feel. You can not like what someone does and still love them. It is love that actually helps you to respond or not respond to them despite the way you feel. Remember God's love rejoices in the truth! Beware of counterfeit love. When you have been truly loved you will know the difference. True love is kind of like quality; you know it when you see it. "I love the Lord because he heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to my prayers." (Psalms 116) This is one of my favorite passages of scriptures. We are saved by God's grace. The Lord has saved my entire household! This motivates me to stand for what is right. Our purpose for living is to praise and worship HIM! Knowing that forever we will be together gives me an unexplainable peace and security in the midst of a world full of turmoil. For this I am eternally grateful!

Few people really know what it means to be loved. People live in estranged relationships for years. Households are literally filled with strangers. Sickness, anger, resentment and unresolved bitterness becomes the cohesive components to bind them together. Don't spend a lot of time in the garbage of life! God has a better way for you to live. It's never to late to implement His principles in your daily lifestyle. He can and will guide you. Get off the broad road. This is the worldly road. The broad road leads to destruction. The narrow road leads to God. But there are only a few that find it. Scriptures tells us that love covers a multitude of faults. This does not mean we ignore or condone sinful habits. Don't be deceived! There are consequences for sin.

God always allows you to choose. It is the unselfish concern of God for man that explains love in a nutshell. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. To redeem us from the power of sin. In order to free us from sin's captivity. He laid down His life for us! There is no greater love than this? Does grace give us the right to willfully sin? God forbid! Out of spiritual ignorance we support all the wrong things in people. We literally "love them to death". When they are six feet under we cry, rant, rave and shout. But why wait until it's to late? Why do we allow people we say we care about to slowly die little by little right before our faces? Why not do something while the blood is still running warm in their veins? It's because we don't want to hurt their feelings. Right! We don't want to hurt their feelings but what about hurting their life? We prefer to take away their motivation to change by comforting them in sin. Motive is always key in whatever you do. Some people have been loved so wrong for so long they can't recognize true love.

We can not change anybody. But we can stop supporting what we know is wrong. Some thing's will just not be understood on this side of heaven! Believe it or not God does not support wrong! I don't care if you have two or two thousand or two million people to support you if it's wrong it's wrong. No one is above reproach. Just try reading Jeremiah. Look at what obedience and love he had for God and His principles! For over 40 years he pleaded with Israel. They ignored a great opportunity for spiritual, moral and ethical maturity. They still chose to justify their sins. Did you know that they did not repent in Jeremiah's time? I wonder if they thought Jeremiah was too negative and needed a personality adjustment? Just imagine the rejection and ridicule he received for taking a stance against sin! Jeremiah didn't just talk the talk. He walked it! He was steadfast! God is about freedom! Sin is a slavemaster. Did you know that it is easier for many to believe a lie rather than believe the truth? God is a Spirit of Truth. "They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth"!

God will bless and keep you in any and all circumstances. Remember GOD is Love! God is eternal! "Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has set you free and be not entangled with a yoke of bondage! Sin is bondage. The Love, freedom, and security that God provides is priceless! Get off the broad road. Discover that narrow road that only a few find. Commit to making a conscious effort to sin less and love with Godly Love! HALLELUJAH!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master's Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide "How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do," and just released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married". She writes an ongoing Counselor's Corner for Alpha 7 Ministries to help individuals, couples, and families establish an intimate relationship with God, which in turn helps them establish better relationships with one another.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=DeBorrah_Ogans

The King

Author: Cliff Sanders

Who comes to mind when you hear the words "the king"? Some may think of Elvis or perhaps Henry VIII or King Arthur. Many kings have been egomaniac tyrants. King David was perhaps the greatest king who ever ruled. He was described as "a man after God's own heart."

God promised that through the linage of David would come one whose reign would be forever. Isaiah prophesied of this king - "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity" (Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT).

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem Magi followed His star to Jerusalem. They asked King Herod where the newborn king of the Jews was to be born. (Matthew 2:1-6) Jesus was born into this world to be prophet, priest, and king. He was the prophesied "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace".

When Jesus began his public ministry with miracles, signs, and wonders the crowds wanted to immediately make him king. In the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey the crowds hailed him as king. This fulfilled prophecy. (Isaiah 62:11; Matthew 21:1-11)

Jesus taught several parables concerning kings and the kingdom of God. In Matthew 22:1-14 a king prepared an elaborate wedding feast for his son. He sent out many wedding invitations for the feast but very few responded. How like today when the Heavenly Father calls many to the feast of salvation and the kingdom of heaven through His Son but so many refuse to accept His invitation.

When Jesus was arrested by the religious leaders and put on trial, Pilate, the Roman governor, asked him if it was true that he was a king. Jesus did not deny it but told him, "My kingdom is not an earthly kingdom . . . My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). Jesus' kingdom begins in the hearts of men. When Jesus was crucified Pilate put a sign on his cross that read "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews". It was written in three languages. The religious leaders wanted Pilate to take the sign down but he said, "What I have written I have written." Are you among those who deny Jesus as Lord and Savior?

I remember an old gospel song: "Who am I that a king would bleed and die for? Who am I that he would say, 'Not my will but thine' for? The answer I may never know. Why he ever loved me so, but to an old rugged cross He'd go for who am I?"

On the cross Jesus cried, "It is finished." Christ accomplished his purpose for coming to this earth. He truly is prophet, priest, and king. He proved it by arising from the dead on the third day, victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The king is coming back again, this time riding a white horse, and followed by the armies of heaven who are dressed in white. On his head are many crowns and on his thigh is written "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19:11-16). "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:6-11).

Yes, Jesus is prophet, priest, and king. Have you made him Lord and Savior of your life? "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).

Cliff & his wife have pastored churches in IA, ND, SD, & IL since 1973. He has ministered in prisons, has been a volunteer chaplain at a school for Native American children and the developmentally disabled, a teacher, & writer. In addition he contributes weekly to a Christian Blog, the DailyShepherd.com.

The Nicene Creed

By: John Schlismann

“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.” (Nicene Creed 381 AD)

The Nicene Creed was originally written at the first council of Nicaea in 325 AD as a guide to help early Christians understand their faith and as a response to the rising belief in Arianism. Arius was a presbyter in Alexandria in the early fourth century. Arianism taught that the father created the son in the beginning, and than the father and the son continued to create the world together. The result of this line of thinking and where it came into conflict with the church, was that it made Jesus Christ(the Son) a creation of God(the father), and it separated the two when they are in fact a part of the one Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Arius thought of things as a chronological chain of events, instead of as an eternal holy trinity. He believed that since the son was begotten of the Father, than the Son was inferior to the Father. The Creed was updated in 381 AD when the Second Ecumenical Council was gathered to discuss incorporating the Holy Spirit to combat the heretics at the time. Once the creed was expanded upon; the idea of the Holy Trinity was officially recognized by the council and Arianism began to die out. There was a Third Ecumenical Council in which the Creed was reaffirmed and it was forbidden to make any further revisions.

This creed set forth in very clear language exactly what a Christian was to believe and is followed by virtually all Christian faiths today (Although some did alter it slightly to fit their particular beliefs). The only exceptions to this rule are groups like Jehovahs Witnesses, Mormons, and Church of Christ. Most Christians do not consider these groups Christian based on the fact that they do not recognize the Nicene Creed. The creed is included in church services in both Catholic and Protestant churches.

The Nicene creed starts out by affirming that there is one God, who is almighty, one, lord Jesus Christ who was forever of the father. It goes on further to assert that Jesus was begotten, not made from the father, and that the father and the son are in fact one interconnected, in order to directly address Arius’s ideas. Than it states that we are saved through his salvation when he came to us through the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. At this point we have the Holy Trinity, (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). You have to come to the conclusion that God (the Father) and Jesus (the Son), and the Holy Spirit are eternal and although they are separate they are all combined together within the Trinity. The creed than tells how Jesus suffered for us, died, rose again on the third day, and will judge the living and the dead. It tells us that the Holy Spirit is the giver of life along with the Father and the Son. The Creed ends with the affirmation that everyone believe in one holy Catholic (Universal) and apostolic church, that baptism forgives sins, and that we look for the resurrection of the dead in the world to come.

The Nicene Creed has remained the standard statement of Christian faith for over 1500 years; and has remained virtually unchanged ever since its last major revision in 381 AD. As hard of a concept as the Holy Trinity is to understand the second Ecumenical Council attempted to make it an easier concept to grasp for the average person. Through this creed we can understand the core values of Christianity, which is why is has remained as such an integral part of the church service to this day.

References

The Nicene Creed. (2006). Home page. Retrieved June 27, 2006, from Internet Christian Library: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/creed.nicene.txt

Nicene Creed. (2006). Home page. Retrieved June 27, 2006, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed#The_Nicene_Creed_of_381

First Council of Constantinople. (2006). Home page. Retrieved June 27, 2006, from Wilkipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Constantinople

John Schlismann has an interest in history and religious studies. For more information on the Nicene Creed check out http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/sbrandt/nicea.htm