Monday, May 16, 2016

Rudiments of Communion

John 3:16-21 The Message (MSG)16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. 19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 15:11-15 The Message (MSG)"I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father."

Luke 12:15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” ESV/ Luke 12:15  And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.” GNT

Lexicon :: Strong's G2843 - koinōnikos
koi-nō-nē-ko's (Key)
Part of Speech
Root Word (Etymology)
Dictionary Aids
Vine's Expository Dictionary: View Entry
TDNT Reference: 3:809,447
KJV Translation Count — Total: 1x
The KJV translates Strongs G2843 in the following manner: willing to communicate (1x).
Outline of Biblical Usage
  1. social, sociable, ready and apt to form and maintain communion and fellowship
  2. inclined to make others sharers in one's possessions, inclined to impart, free in giving, liberal

One of the greatest difficulties in life is communication. If we who are Christians experience difficulty communicating with one another is it any surprise that we experience greater difficulties in communicating our faith to those in the world? The evangelist has one interest, communicating the gospel to those who do not know the Messiah. He (or she?) needs perhaps even greater linguistic acuity than a teacher for the sake of those whom he is sent to communicate the gospel of God in the Messiah. He will communicate with the lost. Do we think of communication as speech (and text, media) and as the exchange of ideas, facts, even data? But it is more than speech. The word itself arises out of a Greek word used in the New Covenant scriptures to define and declare the relationship between God and man, and even between the Holy Persons of the Triune God! Christian (Messianic) communication is the God to man spiritual relationship established by the grace of God in the Messiah (The Christ). 

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1 Corinthians 2:14-15

It ought to be very sobering to us that our Lord in making us spiritual in the Holy Spirit does enable us to receive the things of His Spirit by which we can judge all things. If this were not true we could not know what is right or wrong in God’s sight. Since it is true we do know Him and have access and communication (fellowship/partnership) into by and with His Spirit by whose help we can and ought to judge all things. If we judge anything according to another spirit that judgment will fail. Those not in communion with God in the Messiah and Spirit simply have faith in some other declaration and definition of what is right and what is wrong.

How important is it to know what is really right from what is really wrong? It is very important in rocket science and in the emergency room. The good news is that God the Father sent the Lord Jesus to us to teach us right from wrong. If anyone knows better than God right from wrong, that man could unseat God Himself! Frighteningly most all of us have tried to do that, and may try to do it again before we die. The sooner we submit our souls to They who made us in Their image, the better… and talk that over with God if you are not happy for my advice. But submitting to any other is among the most difficult decisions and habits facing men and women. Most of us will submit to a doctor when we break an arm. But all of us fail at times to properly submit to God who can save us and even heal us by His wisdom, power and direction. 

The exact opposite of submission is rebellion. Why do we not submit to God who is able to keep us safe in everlasting life? There is no good answer to that except that we do not know God. Why do we not know God? Why are we ignorant of God? We are born infants naturally with knowledge only by our five senses. At whatever point we begin to know God it is because He choose to make Himself know to us spiritually. And it is the Messiah Jesus whom God sent in flesh who we must know and trust for life, that is for everlasting life, and for any and every goodness and good thing. 

Acts 4:11-12  "This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders which has become the cornerstone.  There is salvation in no one else! For there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by whom we must be saved!"

From the above words of the Apostle Peter is communicated a bold reality. Communion with God MUST come through communion with Jesus the Messiah. To this communication we must submit or we will die and pass into a place and existence apart from God and life named hell and the second death. Take no joy in that reality which God has declared for those who refuse His Son Jesus the Lord who is the Lord of LIFE. There is no joy in refusing God’s Son. Sooner or later the absence of communication with God will prove to be joyless misery. From the reading I have done it is clear that two people groups more than most lead joyless lives: Homosexuals and Muslims. But there is another “people group” that is larger, and which includes homosexuals and muslims which are also joyless: those who do not have communion with God. They have no personal intimacy with God and do not know the joy of the Lord, and why? Because they do not know Him. If you do not KNOW Jesus, cry out to Him, for He is God the Son and delights to know those who weary of refusing His love and kindness. To know God will make submission to Him a joy! Why? Because God is good. God always knows and does what is right. God is love, and as love He loves us all in ways that are foreign to us UNTIL we bow before Him and admit we have not known Him. If we do not know Him, we do not know love, we do not know what is good and we do not even know right from wrong.

Everyone who seeks God in the Messiah Jesus with all their heart, mind, soul and strength will be found by Him and known by Him as He will reveal Himself to them, even and perhaps especially homosexuals and Muslims. God longs to be known by all and can show Himself writ large by healing those trapped in the most disgusting sins and rebellions.  

In Romans chapter one there is starting at verse 18 a description of the slippery slope of unbelief: verse (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Unbelief starts simply when we forget God. Unbelief is known also as faithlessness and misplaced trust. It must have been that everything was good, that there was no indecency or disorder at all before Eve and Adam forgot God and forgot who they were. And now here we are thousands of years later and so many have not know God and others known and forgotten Him! Eve was the first to forget God. She was distracted and deceived by a fancy pants imposter dressed up as a long legged mac daddy (ladies man) snake we call satan. Her husband immediately forgot God when Eve brought the fruit to Him. It was as if satan led them to the edge of the very steep slippery slope and with a puff of his foul and perverse breath blew them out of communication with God. Do we lose our standing with God, our communion and communication (conversation) with God when we forget Him? Adam and Eve lost Eden, lost the abiding presence of God and lost their lives! Satan lost his long legs. Perhaps the first rule of knowing and remembering God is submitting to Him. We have to remember He is God, and we are not God, He made us and we did not make ourselves.  

Even a tyrant can create an appearance of success if enough people follow his/her lead. But the success of satan’s tyranny, which has in every age presented in various godless movements of ethnicities is exposed by the Eternal Word of God for what it is: evil, corrupt, and doomed for failure… as they say today “EPIC FAIL!”

Romans 1:18-32  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  (19)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.  (20)  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  (23)  And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.  (24)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:  (25)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (26)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  (27)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  (28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  (29)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  (30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  (31)  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  (32)  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Today the homosexual (LGBT) people are being deceived being led by a doctrine and practice of illegal pleasure, a doctrine and practice which they want to promote even by law. They cannot reproduce their own kind and therefore must proselytize converts in order for the LGBT “movement” to continue. It would die out in a few generations if they did not convert new “believers.”

WHAT IS REGRETABLE is that many people and even some Christians are enslaved by corruptions less disgusting in men’s eyes but just as vile and pernicious by God’s judgment. I heard a talk show host last night say the following, that he could not understand why a man would want to kiss (have sex with) another man but HE COULD UNDERSTAND why a woman would want to kiss another woman. We say we are against “transgendered” men or boys in girl’s bath and shower rooms but in most states an 18 year old girl is permitted to strip naked on a stage before men in a “night” club. In my city half those night clubs open at two in the afternoon and the dancers are frequently prostitutes pimped by the club owners… I KNOW this FACT because I was once enslaved to them. It is the demand of heterosexual men for women which creates the vast majority of prostitution. Jesus was very concerned for the prostitutes, not so much for those buying their “services,” He exposed the hypocrisy of those who condemned the woman caught in adultery, and excoriated the false religious tradition (system) of hypocrisy that His own people had created.

We need to be careful to remember that God’s wrath is reserved “who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” that is for those who being deceived embrace the deceit of sin and thereby deceive and lead others into sin. They know “the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, (and) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Not for nothing does God teach us that sin is deceitful, that is sin has the power to detach us mentally and spiritually from that which is good. We live in a war zone, and the enemy/adversary satan’s ammunition is sin empowered by deceit. BUT as the hymn writer writes; Jesus “breaks the power of cancelled (forgiven) sin.”

Today the Islamic people Muslims are deceived being led by a doctrine of submission to an criminal and false god. It is a false theocracy, government by a false religious belief. And Islam itself means submission. The only goal of the Islamic governors (Imams and Ayatollahs) is for the Muslim people to obey them and do exactly as they say. At the rate their various terrorist sects murder each other they seem also proselytize out of a need to replenish their ranks from the Muslim children.

WHAT IS REGRETTABLE is that Western Democracies now on the verge of collapse have also forgotten God and are sliding down the slippery slope into Sodom and Gomorrah. The sins of Sodom did include homosexuality. But that is the tail of the beast. What was the head?

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49  (READ Ezekiel 16! And the Old Testament! Jesus said “Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete (them, the law AND THE PROPHETS.”)

We Christians need to understand things as God declares them. The sin (iniquity, lawlessness) of Sodom was also that of Judah and Jerusalem. Full blown Jesus confronted it centuries after Ezekiel prophesied saying: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” Matthew 23:14  We need to face some very uncomfortable facts in the western church and the sooner the better.

A very well known bible teacher said that success is a greater test of Christian character than failure. Wealth is more dangerous than being poor. Many express pride over the Christian success brought about by Christian scientists and inventors. More recently the many successes of the Jewish people are heralded. Yet we remember King Solomon as the richest man of his day as a man: “he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.” 1Kings 11:3 Somewhat as the Kingdom was taken away from Saul for his disobedience Israel was split in two after Solomon’s women caused him to worship their false gods. Can it be in my nation, the USA, that our success and wealth have precipitated through our weak flesh the forgetfulness that produces sexual corruption and more importantly the arrogance of the wealthy over the poor? There is no more needy people group than America’s homeless, but have we rich Christians addressed the problem adequately?

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Ezekiel 16:49 

  1. pride ~ arrogant
  2. fullness of bread ~ fat of body
  3. abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters ~ lazy
  4. neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy ~ callous to human need and suffering

Both the priest and the Levite passed by the man robbed, beaten and wounded on the way to Jericho. The Samaritan not only stopped, he attended to his wounds with medicine and bandages, put him in his car, took him to an inn, paid the innkeeper for the man’s lodging AND GUARANTEED PAYMENT for whatever other needs the man would be supplied!

Christians donate and pay millions of dollars in legal fees defending our right to have our religious monuments lettered in stone before the heathen. What is wrong with this picture? Let the unbelievers take them down. But meditate on the verses. Learn them. Live by them. Teach them to your children. And what then shall we donate and spend the millions on? And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), so that when it fails, they [those you have favored] may receive and welcome you into the everlasting habitations (dwellings).” Luke 16:9  The parable of the unjust steward is essential to the understanding of life in the midst of the wealthy and the poor.

“Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal.  Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal.  For where your wealth is, there your heart will be also.  ‘The eye is the lamp of the body.’ So if you have a ‘good eye’ [that is, if you are generous] your whole body will be full of light;  but if you have an ‘evil eye’ [if you are stingy] your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  No one can be slave to two masters; for he will either hate the first and love the second, or scorn the second and be loyal to the first. You can’t be a slave to both God and money. Matthew 6:19-24  (CJB)

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded; nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1Timothy 6:17-19 

This writer has MUCH REGRET that he did not understand then as he does now. Perhaps there is some place for defending stone tablets, but I don’t see it. I wonder how many people will be able to say: "I first believed after reading the ten commandments on the courthouse lawn." ????

Could the persecutions we experience in the USA be misunderstood?

Mark 10:17-31  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running (rich ruler, Luk 18:18) and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what  shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?  (18)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.  (19)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother.  (20)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.  (21)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  (22)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.  (23)  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!  (24)  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!  (25)  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  (26)  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?  (27)  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.  (28)  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.  (29)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,  (30)  But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  (31)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

At a bible study some years ago the woman leading said that selling all and giving to the poor was something for the rich young ruler but not for the disciples. She was wrong.

Luke 12:22-34  And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  (23)  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment (clothing).  (24)  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  (25)  And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  (26)  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  (27)  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (28)  If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (29)  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  (30)  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  (31)  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (32)  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  (33)  Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.  (34)  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Sell that ye have …” Sell part of that ye have?

When I was a much younger believer I found this prayer:

Two things have I asked of Thee; deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me falsehood and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with mine allotted bread;  Lest I be full, and deny, and say: 'Who is the LORD?' Or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9 

We live in perilous times. They are dangerous. Most major USA cities will have 100 to 300 or more people murdered this year. Most by some intent, some killed by bullets intended for others. Will we be afraid? I fear that may be so, but more I fear we will yet be found with:

  1. pride ~ arrogance
  2. fullness of bread ~ fat of body
  3. abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters ~ lazy
  4. neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy ~ callous to human need and suffering

And if so should we then wonder why sexual vice and violence of all kinds is increasing? In America? Perhaps we can do little to decrease it in the world. But in the church? But what does Jesus want of us? What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do? He died. He died and rose again, and ascended back to heaven from where He came… TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR US! Do you not know the promise of Jesus death and resurrection, the power and the security of your everlasting life? Nothing you can do will add to or take away from your security in the Messiah. If a stray OR INTENDED bullet ends your mortal life today you will by trusting His grace live forever with Him. PLEASE learn and do three things: to communicate with your God, to communicate with your brothers and sisters in the Messiah Jesus, and to communicate with your neighbor. Your neighbors may be rich, poor or middle class. They may be LGBT or Muslim. They may be heretics. But if they are without Jesus they are bleeding and dying on the Jericho road. Three things. This in my humble(?) opinion is the challenge of the Christian life.  To secure our own lives in this world is not one of them.

Matthew 6:33-34 "But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." ASV

Matthew 6:33-34 "Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." The Message

We who have Jesus as Lord are secure in Him, and He is our Everlasting Shield.

Gen 15:1  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying: 'Fear not, Abram, I am thy shield, thy reward shall be exceeding great.'

2Sa 22:3  The God who is my rock, in Him I take refuge; my shield, and my horn of salvation, my high tower, and my refuge; my saviour, Thou savest me from violence.

2Sa 22:31  As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in Him.

2Sa 22:36  Thou hast also given me Thy shield of salvation; and Thy condescension hath made me great.  (Jewish Publication Society Bible)

2Sa 22:36  You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; and Your condescension and gentleness have made me great. (Amplified)

2Sa 22:36  You give me your shield, which is salvation; your answers make me great. (Complete Jewish Bible)

2Sa 22:36  And Thou givest to me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy lowliness maketh me great. (Young’s Literal Translation)

Psa 33:20  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

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