Sunday, May 20, 2018

Two Sides to the "Koinoneo"

I have to laugh when people outside the church think I am in the ministry for the money. Some people, believe it or not, think that those who receive an honourarium for preaching or pastoring are automatically "in it for the money". I recently saw this expressed in a short post on social media. It had no context, and no names mentioned. It was just a general statement: "IF YOU'RE PAID AN HONORARIUM TO PREACH STOP SAYING GOD SENT YOU. YOUR POCKETS SENT YOU!"

This proves that the person who posted this does not have a balanced understanding of the Word of God and clearly has no understanding of most pastors. I have met a lot of pastors, and very few of them, if any, are in it for the money, let me tell you. It also shows that this person has no idea what an "honourarium" actually is.
Now, to be fair, there have certainly been some who abuse the role of pastor or minister. They treat it like a money-making scheme and that is not the heart of God. It is tragic and should never be the case.

BUT.... Ohhhhh Boy. If you think I am in it for the money, you better laugh hard at me. I would be one of the world's worst money-makers if that were the case. My honourarium is not even a part-time wage. My cheque is, in accounting terms classified as a "travel expense". It is based on whatever little is left at the end of the month after all other expenses are paid for. Yet I am VERY grateful to God for it. I give way more back than I receive. And I am grateful to Jesus for that ability. Most of my income comes from my full time work as a department manager in the retail world. That makes me bivocational. I am grateful to Jesus for every cent I get. But I can assure you, if you knew what amount I get from church, (we get paid AFTER all other expenses are covered and it varies from month to month- it's how to survive as a small church) then you would laugh at anyone who thinks I am in it for the money. Nope. I am in it for JESUS! Jesus sent me to preach and teach the word at Church On The GO, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
 I always have been focused on the call and continue to be. The little bit of money I receive each month is just another small side benefit. But the REAL meat is doing God's will... the will of my heavenly Father, just like Jesus. In fact, I actually started off as a volunteer minister, 17 years ago. I only started getting an honourarium after years of faithful service and it was in line with 1 Timothy 5:17-18.

SO for a person on social media to blatanly paint all ministers/preachers with one absurd brushstroke is quite ridiculous. I mean does this person even understand the definition of
"honourarium"? According to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/honorarium it means:
"A payment given to a professional person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required."
Did you catch that? This means that honourariums are VOLUNTARY in nature, not REQUIRED.
This is the heart of the issue. And did such person even stop and wonder why so many of us are bivocational pastors now? WHY? Because pastoring does not pay much these days and many pastors need a second job in order to make ends meet! Perhaps this poster, God bless them, should get up-to-speed with the times in which we live.

When it comes to any topic, including money, balance is key. Don't go from ditch to ditch, but stay centered on the Way, the Road, Jesus Christ. Extreme views are neither helpful nor Biblical, especially coming from those who hide from church and are out of touch with all that God is doing in His local churches.
There are two sides to the "koinoneo" (sharing money/goods).
Today we have a word in English: coin. That word refers to a small usually metalic disc with two sides on it used as a basic form of currency in most countries. It is interesting that Koinoneo and coin sound so similar and are on a related wavelength. Especially here in Canada, (where we have $1 and $2 coins) those are often what we give when we want to help someone or donate to a cause.

So let us briefly discuss two sides of the coin, or the two sides of the "koinoneo".
------------------------
One side of the "coin":
One ditch to avoid is asceticism: or imposed poverty and complete denial of any luxuries in this life. It is the belief that being poor is the only way to gain God's approval and those who hold such views IMPOSE poverty on ministers and Christians. This is wrong and out of balance and it is unbiblical.
ONLY JESUS is the Way to God, not poverty. Now if one minister CHOOSES voluntary poverty, that is just fine. God can and does call some people to such a lifestyle. BUT it is never Biblical or right to impose poverty on others. Jesus promised to SUPPLY OUR NEEDS if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Mat 6:33) Such supply is the opposite of poverty.
Colossians 2:18 ESV Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,
Colossians 2:23 ESV These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

1 Timothy 5:17-18 NKJV
17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double HONOUR, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

From Blueletterbible: "HONOUR" is "TIME (ti-may)" in the Greek and is G5092 in the Strongs concordance. It means:
"a value, i.e. money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:—honour, precious, price, some."

So to double the "TIMAY", as Paul wrote, means that the elders should receieve TWO kinds of "honour", the reverence of being a faithful and true minister, and also monetary compensation that allows him or her to live. That's what DOUBLE HONOUR is about and it is what inspired the term "honourarium". It is given voluntarily by the people in the church. There is no requirement placed on them. But an exhortation is given here, and this is where "koinoneo" comes in:

Galatians 6:6 KJV Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

"Communicate" is an old word meaning "share" or "give". The Geneva Bible is older than the King James Bible by 51 years, but actually makes this point more CLEAR:

Galatians 6:6 GNV Let him that is taught in the word, make him that hath taught him, PARTAKER of all his goods.
 
The word "communicate/partaker" in Greek is G2841 "Koinoneo" and according to the Strongs concordance on Blueletterbible means:
"to share with others (objectively or subjectively):—communicate, distribute, be partaker."

In the old days of the church, sharing goods was a common way of making sure everyone's needs in the church were met, especially the pastors. So the act of "koinonea" has a physical and literal sense to it in this context. It requires action. Giving money ("coin") in order for that person to buy these goods is just as valid. But it is something that is done willingly by the giver, and of their OWN FREE WILL. The pastor/minister never compells or requires people to pay for his service, for that would be out of step with Scripture. The just shall live by FAITH. (Habakkuk 2:4) THIS is why honourariums are Biblical.... because by definition, an honourarium is voluntarily offered. It is never required or under compulsion.

That brings us to the other side of "koinonea":

-------------The OTHER side of the coin:----------------
The OPPOSITE ditch to avoid is GREED and MAKING MERCHANDISE of the Word of God. God gives to us freely the gift of salvation. Money cannot buy the Gift of the Holy Spirit or the gift of Salvation. ONLY the Blood of Jesus has been accepted by God as payment for our sins. We should NEVER turn our messages or services into a money-making scheme that compels or guilt-trips people into giving money. Never. Always minister by faith, not by pay-cheque. If people cannot afford to give, then love them and serve them just the same. They may have OTHER ways to give to the work of God. And if you do walk by faith in the Holy Spirit, the Lord will supply your financial needs. Among all His inifinite numbers of ways of supplying us, one way He does this is through His churches. As Ephesians 4:16 says - every joint (believer) in the Body supplies the needs of the others. (Eph. 4:16)

Below we see examples of what God condemns: Greed and making merchandise of God's house.

John 2:16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
 
Acts 8:20 NKJV
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

 
So we see here that Simon the sorcerer was trying to "Buy" the Holy Spirit. That is blasphemous. God cannot be bought. I am very certain that IF Simon had the idea that he could BUY the Holy Spirit with money, then he was planning to MAKE MONEY by selling the Holy Spirit as well. This is NOT what Pastors and ministers are called to do. We are called to what Jesus says:
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Somewhere in the middle of the road is the balanced Biblical model: church leaders should partake in goods and offerings of those they serve in the local church. Those offerings of goods or money should be offered freely by the giver and processed through proper accounting and legal procedures. The ministers are never instructed to "take". But the church attenders are encouraged to "give". Notice that distinction in Scripture.
If the ministers are faithful and true to the Gospel, then support them as you are able to with what you can give! Can you give them time and do volunteer work in the church? Do that! Can you help by doing gospel outreach on the streets? Do that! Can you give the church an extra jar of coffee for its machine? Go for it! Do you feel the church needs to pay it's lighting and heating bills and that the Pastor should eat? Then feel free to put money in the offering and be a joint that supplies the Body in faith - IN CHRIST. Do it as you are willing to. Do it out of what you have, not out of what you do not have. The Bible says:

2 Corinthians 9:7
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

The labourer is worthy of his hire as the Bible plainly says. A true labourer is not worried about how much people are paying, they are only concerned about preaching the Word of God correctly and about loving God and loving the people of God. The heart of the true minister always puts Jesus first, and also puts the people of God above himself. Yet they also gladly accept any help they can get so that they can live and pay the bills. Jesus is the supplier, always. And He supplies us through His Body many times.

As a side note, I have been in leadership ministry for 17 years. As a pastor myself, my advice to all people considering pastoring as a vocation is this: don't get into it for the money. Such a calling does not typically pay much so only get into ministry if you are willing to live by FAITH.
There is an incorrect notion floating around, a false "wind of doctrine" stating that pastors should not get paid at all. Well how are they supposed to live?
I was called of the Lord to enter the ministry, and that same pure calling motivates me today. My small honourarium cheque prove that. Anyone who had the dollar signs in their eyes would have abandoned my post years ago.
 So the calling of the Lord should always be your motivation. Besides, pastoring simply does not pay much for the average small church minister. So make up your mind to serve the Lord because He called you to do it. If your church can give you something in return, graciously accept it as part of their way of HONOURING you as per 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
But never let money be your motivation. It should always be the Lord who motivate and guides you. And don't refuse His help when He sends you money through His body. That simply is not wise or Biblical.

So let's shake off the legalistic notion that pastors should NOT get paid. And let's also shake off the false notion some people have that pastors should CHARGE for their ministry. Jesus did not charge money for His service. He only required FAITH as the currency of exchange for miracles and ministry. We know this is true. But His group had an actual money bag, kept by Judas Iscariot. How is this possible? I believe it is because Jesus accepted the free-will offereings of those who chose to give money. After all, Jesus had no house, no bank account, no earthly business. He was human as well as God. So He had to eat to live. It is just practical Biblical teaching to financially support the ones who freely minister to you. Serve by faith in Jesus. And then let the Lord supply your need through your congregation. He never fails!
God Bless,
Pastor Curtis
Assistant Pastor
churchonthego.ca
Sun May 20 2018 4:03pm EST 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Forgiveness and Trust: Related but Not the Same

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man.

Forgiveness and Trust are two different yet related Concepts.

Forgiveness is about a release from the past, and trust is about investing in the present and the future.

BOTH forgiveness and trust help you move forward in God.



Forgiveness is about releasing people from past debts. We must forgive others in order to be forgiven by the Heavenly Father according to Jesus. It helps us let go of past hurts, and it prevents us from being trapped in the past. And Trust is an investment into the present and the future. You are never commanded to trust anyone except the Lord. But trusting other people wisely will be needed. Trusting the Lord is required for LIFE and SALVATION and SECURITY. And trusting individuals will be needed many times. That is what relationships are built on: trust. If someone violates your personal trust, either willfully or unwittingly, forgive them. Perhaps they are sincerely sorry and they need more chances. That is what mercy is for. The Lord promotes MERCY. The Bible is all about sparing the humble and repentant soul and offering MERCY. That is what you and I should do, because in time, we ourselves will fail, and will need MERCY also! None of us are flawless and we all need forgiveness from time to time. The Lord knows I make mistakes, and I repent and try my best to learn from them and correct such mistakes. We may see those in the SAME position around us getting away with the same failings and being held to a lower standard and yet we are expected to rise up. That is called a "double standard". Such things sadly do exist in marketplaces of different kinds.
When two people in the same job are held to differing standards that is sometimes very disheartening because you are seeing injustice. But forgive and repent for your own failings. Don't worry about the other person, just concern yourself with your own failings and repent and improve! Remember that the Lord will balance all the books in the end. Have a gracious and humble attitude. God promotes humility! Forgive people as often as needed. Be humble and gracious. Someday you will need forgiveness too.

Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
However, should someone neglect you and take your trust for granted, then that is a time for biblical DISCRETION. You are not required to keep trusting the untrustworthy person. Yes we forgive the PAST failings, but we prevent FUTURE failings by removing the investment of our TRUST in that person.
Proverbs 1:4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion— Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you,

Proverbs 10:26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy man to those who send him.
So you are not required to endlessly trust the untrustworthy person. As Prov. 2:11 says, discretion or discernment will preserve you (and your life, your business, your family, your finances etc etc) If someone breaks your trust, and you learn of it, there are three things to do. 1. Be prepared to Forgive them unconditionally. The Bible makes this very clear in passages like Mark 11:25.

2. Speak with them kindly about the situation with an attitude of mercy and forgiveness.

3. Trust them conditionally. It is based on if they have repented and tried to make things right with you or not. If they show no signs of change or repentance, then the conditions of trust have not been met.

So if the Lord is showing you that such a person is just using you, abusing you, or neglecting you, it may be time to withdraw your trust. Still always love and be kind. But lovingkindness and trust are also two different concepts. Always be courteous as the Bible tells us to be so (1 Peter 3:8). There is never a need for rudeness or meanness or accusations or gossip. Just kindly release the untrustworthy person from your trust. Your trust is a VALUABLE resource, a kind of wealth. The Lord has given you to that wealth to invest it primarily in HIM! Trusting people is up to your discretion as the Holy Spirit is leading you. Be wise as serpents and harmless and as gentle as doves. Don't judge a matter too quickly. Give it time and prayer always. And always place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
Psalm 146:3 Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Jesus says:
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

God bless,
Pastor Curtis

Mon Feb 19 2018 2:15pm EST

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DIVERSE GIFTS, ONE SPIRIT

Walk Only in Tested Gifts and Tools
God wants spiritual unity in the Body of Christ. That unity is in spiritual understanding, in thought, and in general practice. That unity is when we all have the mind of Christ.
 
Ephesians 4:13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

That unity allows for flexibility from generation to generation. Tools may change, styles may change, creative approaches may be developed and become different over time, but Jesus and the Word of God remain perfect, flawless, unchanged, and timeless.
 
A good example of this is the youth in my Sunday class. They do not dress like I do. I love to wear a good neck tie and a shirt and a suit jacket... they are more casual with jogging pants and sweatshirts. That's OK! No problem because God looks on the heart, not appearances. James ch 2 tells us not to show partiality based on clothing or appearances.
I tend to appreciate emailing, which became big in the 90's... but my youth students tend to prefer social media platforms over email. That's ok! I have also been using social media in my ministry.
 They do not like to sing, while I love singing. That's OK, not to worry! They DO love to play musical instruments, so we find a common ground in that regard. I have been teaching them the Word, Prayer, and how to play music to Jesus with bongos and pianos. Two of these youths are on my Sunday morning worship team! Just because I taught the generation before them how to sing to the Lord does not mean that THIS generation needs to "SING". They can be just as effective by PLAYING INSTRUMENTS. No sense in forcing a tool or style or activity on someone who does not feel able to walk in it.
 
Ultimately, we find common ground in Jesus Christ... and they love the Word of God and they love to play musical instruments... so I have chosen to help them by equipping them with the tools that work for them. They are a different generation than I am. They are young, full of life and energy, and they have their own style of dress and their own style of ministry expression in Jesus. So I say: let them have their own style. I refuse to place my own style or gift or tool expectations on them. They must discover and test out all the tools and gifts for themselves. My job, as their pastor, is to support and guide them in the Word and in prayer, and to be there for them when they need help or have a question.   

 What might vary from person to person is the set of tools they use in the ministry, and the gifts they employ in such a ministry. David was activated as a deliverer for Israel by the present leadership, King Saul, but David needed tools that he could walk in... tools and gifts that differed from the previous generation. That does not mean one set of tools is BETTER than another, it just means that each person is used by the Holy Spirit in equally legitimate, but diverse ways. Read about David's need to test equipment and tools before using them:
 
1 Samuel 17:38-40
38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.
39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.


What works for one may not work for another. What counts is the presence of God's anointing. Your ministry leader has sent you to do a new work, and you have his blessing. But you may not operate in the same tools and gifts he or she can operate in. You need to discover and test the set of tools and God-given gifts that work for you. Don't feel pressured to do things the old way if it hinders your walk and your ministry in Christ. Let your style and your creativity in solving problems be like David's: full of faith in the Lord and full of zeal for taking a Godly stand. And here's the thing: what tools and gifts you DO use, they might make you LOOK ill-equipped to meet the challenge ahead! Just consider what Saul must have thought about David facing the Giant Goliath in battle WITHOUT the traditional tools of war!! But yet, by the Spirit of God, David got the victory using his own creative and unconventional tools and gifts!  
What natural tools and technologies have you tested in the Lord? What kinds of gifts have you tested?
 
There are many technologies available now: internet, computers, live streaming, social media, video sharing sites, cameras, microphones, tablets, phones, texting, email, cars, buses, etc etc. Use the tools that will help YOU personally glorify the Father in Jesus' Name and that help you walk with Jesus... and help you share His Gospel with others. If a tool is not a good fit for you, or for your generation, that's ok. Just keep true to the Gospel message and find other tools that will work for you... test them out and then walk in them!
 
There are many spiritual gifts from the Lord, and not all people possess all the same gifts - see 1 Cor 12. There are gifts of prophecy, healing, miracles, tongues, interpretations of tongues, teaching, administrations, etc. The Body of Christ finds its unity in the Holy Spirit - and the Holy Spirit issues out diversities of gifts as He chooses in the local churches.
 
Ephesians 4:3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
 
1 Corinthians 12:12 [ Unity and Diversity in One Body ] For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
 
1 Cor 12:4-7
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all
  
There is also the gift of singleness and the gift of marriage, as Paul describes them in 1 Corinthians 7:7.
 
1Cor. 7:7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself [single]. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner [singleness] and another in that [marriage].
 
1Cor 7:32-33, 35
32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.
33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife.
35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
 
Walk only in those things that have passed the test... the test is: will those gifts and tools allow you -personally- to walk fluently in the call of God? If not, don't encumber yourself. Don't allow yourself to be distracted or encumbered by gifts or tools that may not be a good fit for you in this season of life. Just walk true to Jesus, as JESUS has called you. 
 
Be respectful to those who lead you but don't feel as though their methods, gifts and tools are always a good fit for you. What you have in common is Jesus and the Word of God. The methods, tools, and gifts you use in sharing the Word may be different, but never the Word itself. Styles may change, but never Jesus. Tools may improve, but Jesus and His word are already PERFECT, and cannot be perfected any further. Gifts will be in your possession, but they may be different than the gifts the previous generation operated in. Both sets of gifts and tools are IMPORTANT. But it is also important that a pastor or a minister personally tests things out for himself or herself. Test all things and only hold onto what is good for your personal walk. This does not mean that any tool or gift is BAD... (far from it... ALL GIFTS from God are GOOD!!)... but rather it means that some gifts and tools are BETTER than others for YOUR personal walk with God.
 
1 Thes. 5:15-23
15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
 
THEREFORE: Don't worry if your method seems different than others. Your true empowerment comes from the Spirit of Jesus Christ and from the inner creativity He gives you to meet ministry head on and win spiritual victories. (Eph 6:13-18). The Holy Spirit and the Armour of Jesus Christ are spiritual, and universal. The Lord will tailor the armour to fit you, so you can WALK in the calling God has given you!! You will walk HOLY and in the ANOINTING of Jesus Christ! You may be unusual, in your methods, like David and his humble shepherd's approach to battle.... and others who love you may not always understand you, but your walk is unhindered and ministry is bringing forth victory and fruit in your life.
 
It boils down to Jesus: Jesus has called you and equipped you in a unique and personal way. He called you to walk a unique road: be true to Him.
 
Live as You Are Called
1 Cor. 7:17
17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches.
 
God bless!
PC - Jan 14, 2018 5:07pm EST  

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Priesthood Vs Priesthood - 8 Ways Melchizedek is Better than Levi

If you want an indepth study of Melchizedek, please read Genesis 14, along with Hebrews chapters 6, 7, 8. It is a worthy topic to discuss why Jesus, after the Royal Priesthood, the Order of Melchizedek is superior to the Levitical order.



Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV
19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.


Revelation 5:9-10 (NKJV)
And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

 Here are eight reasons why Melchizedek is better than Levi (but this list is not exhaustive):

1. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ, lives forever. The Melchizedek priesthood is based on eternal life. Levitical priests died and had to be replaced.

2. Levitical priesthood was exclusive. You had to be a Levite (Levi was only ONE of the 12 tribes of Israel) in order to be a Levitical priest. Melchizedek is INCLUSIVE. ALL who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ can be made into a Melchizedek priest! But it must be by faith in Jesus Christ. ALL may come by the ONE WAY.

3. Melchizedek priesthood is based on RIGHTEOUSNESS and BLESSING. Jesus our High Priest is completely RIGHTEOUS, with NO sin, and has atoned perfectly for the sins of the world using His own perfect sinless blood. The Levitical order was based on covering SIN, both the sin of the people, and the sins of the Levitical priests as well. The Melchizedek order completely wiped sin out, while the Levitical order could not fully eliminate sin.

4. Melchizedek is a ROYAL priesthood. Jesus is both KING and PRIEST. He is both LORD and SAVIOUR. He holds a Bivocational role in the office and order of Melchizedek. As a result, all who follow Jesus are joined into the same bivocational role of kings and priests. That is why Jesus is called KING OF KINGS. He is the Big King, and we believers are all His little kings! The Levites were NOT royal. They had no authority to rule in civic circles, only the authority to carry out the priestly duties as prescribed in Moses' law. But on the other hand, Melchizedek has ALL authority and power in ALL spheres and circles of influence in life and in the nations, in heaven and in the earth! The Name/Title of "Melchizedek" literally means "King of Right" and he is described in the Bible as the King of Shalom (King of Peace). Jesus Christ is the Righteous King and the Peace-bringing Priest. He brings peace between God and humans.

5. Melchizedek's office is based on divine eternal OATH, not lineage. God swore an oath to His Son Jesus Christ calling Him a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. The Levites' office is based on lineage.

6. The Melchizedek priesthood's past, present and FUTURE is eternally secure through Jesus Christ. Jesus lives forever. Thus the Melchizedek priesthood brings a balanced emphasis to both the single lifestyle (examples: Jesus on earth, The Apostle Paul, the Prophet Ezekiel (became a widower), and the Prophet Jeremiah) and the married lifestyle (examples: Peter had a wife,  and Priscilla and Aquilla were married to each other). Single people, and married people can BOTH join the Melchizedek order, through Jesus Christ, the only Door to Heaven. As created by God and ordained in the Garden of Eden, Marriage is sacred, and natural children are a natural blessing. So are spiritual children. Through adoption in Jesus, we are all made spiritual children of GOD!

SO the Melchizedek order WELCOMES natural children but CONSISTS of Spiritual children.

Melchizedek does not depend on natural childbirth for its existence, in the way that the Levitical order did. Melchizedek has ALWAYS existed, and always will. The ONLY WAY to be a Levitical priest was to be naturally BORN to a LEVITE. But the ONLY WAY to be a Melchizedek priest is to be BORN FROM ABOVE (Born in the Spirit) through faith in JESUS CHRIST! (John 3:3) Natural lineage/natural birth does not earn you the right to become a child of God or a Melchizedek priest, nor does it secure the Melchizedek line.... it is already eternally SECURE!
ONLY by GRACE through FAITH in Jesus may we become a child of God and a Melchizedek priest. Even if you die without children, the Melchizedek order continues! And by Jesus Christ, you will be resurrected! So your future is secure and so is the Melchizedek priesthood! There is no pressure for you to get married or to stay single. The choice between these two seasonal gifts is yours, take whichever blessing you would like to take in Jesus Christ! This blessed choice is yours because of the nature of the Melchizedek order.

 Because death is defeated by Jesus, (Heb. 2:14-15) He lives forever. And even when we die a natural death, as His followers, that is not the end for us. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. If we believe in Him, we WILL rise again, regardless of natural heritage or lineage.
 We WILL be resurrected in POWER by His Spirit at His return! Marriage and Natural children are always a blessing. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, by special miracle of God. And Jesus built His priesthood using 12 spiritual sons. Jesus Christ alone is who secured the Melchizedek order, and it is perpetually secure and final in the Heavens and earth!

7. The Levitical order existed as a temporary measure until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, came to earth and accomplished the perfect atonement for all our sins. The Melchizedek order is a PERFECT and PERMANENT solution and is fixed in place FOREVER.

8. The Melchizedek order is ETERNAL. It had no start, and it has no end. It has no mother or father, it has no genealogy. It exists from before the earth began and it will continue to exist eternally in the New Heaven, the New Earth and in the New Jerusalem. The Levitical order had a start and an ending. It was finished when Jesus died on the cross and finished the work of atonement. The veil was split in two and the way to the Most Holy Place was now made available through Jesus Christ. All who want to come, may come by the way of Jesus, to meet with God. Isn't that just AWESOME!

------------------Have a look at Hebrews chapter 7 below to learn more! God bless and Happy new Year 2018!-----------------------
PC - Wed Jan 3 2017- 9:10pm EST
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Hebrews 7 (NKJV)

The King of Righteousness

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

Need for a New Priesthood

11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.  15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies:
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Greatness of the New Priest

20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:
“The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek’”),
22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Biblical Social Media Behaviour

Today in church I was teaching the youth in youth class how to use social media properly in a Biblical way:
John's 3rd epistle was a physical letter sent to the church of Gaius. In it we see behaviours from Christians in the church. Some were godly behaviours (receiving the Christian workers, preaching the Gospel, and loving the church) and some were ungodly behaviours (denying/not receiving/blocking the Christian workers).
Let us translate those behaviours into the modern world where we meet in person in church AND we also interact online through social media on the internet using devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. Social media is a TOOL in our tool kit. It does not replace physical attendance in the local churches, but can be a great AID to helping Christians stay connected in between services. It also is a great tool for reaching non Christians with the Gospel in fun and creative ways. I personally use social media to share my original Christian songs with the world.
The Apostle John writes in one verse:
3rd John v8
"We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth."
 
I taught my youth class a number of things using 3rd John as my starting point:
 
1) Be kind to all on social media platforms, especially your fellow Christians in your own local church and community. But also be kind to strangers. Jesus taught that we can befriend even those who were socially unacceptable to the Jews.... like the Samaritans. 
2) Don't pick fights with people online, seek peace
3) being kind to strangers does NOT mean you have to trust them. Be wise and cautious.
4) don't share your personal info, address, phone number, bank info etc etc.in a public profile where the world can read it.
5) speak truth (not lies) online, and do it in polite ways that encourage others. Only speak truth in small doses... so people have time to absorb and reflect on it.
6) you don't have to accept every friend request from every Christian necessarily in order to be kind and accepting of them and to pray for them. But you should not block them either.
7) blocking should only be done when you are being harassed/threatened by someone online and/or they are sending inappropriate messages to you. In those cases, by all means, use the block feature, and gain your peace back.
8) In social media, It's better to be friends predominantly with people who you know in person. And it is best not to block harmless people. Contrary to what you may think, those personal local Christian connections will feel left out or hurt once they discover you have blocked them for no good reason. And trust me, if they care about you, they will find out.
If you do NOT want to accept the friend request, just leave it, or delete it. No need to block unless you are being endangered or harassed by someone.
I have been on both ends... both the blocker and the blockee. And trust me, if you are harmless, and you don't know why you are being blocked by a fellow Christian worker (or more than one) in the faith, it hurts. I only block when I have been threatened or repeatedly harassed online. No explanation needed there.
 
Receiving is better than blocking. Blocking the fellow workers is similar to the negative thing that Diotrephes did.


3rd John v9-10
"9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church."

Now, if someone is a weird stalker or abuser, then by all means, block them and deny access.
But it is my humble and experienced opinion that it simply is not necessary to block those fellow workers, those fellow local Christians. You don't have to be "friends" with them on social media either. But you also should not slam the door by blocking. What you are saying by blocking is "I am ok with the weird strangers of the world seeing my public social media profile but not with my brother or sister in Christ seeing it".
Let us find ways to make peace and promote the LOVE OF CHRIST.
These are just my opinions and some food for thought.

Blessings
PC
Happy New Year!
Sun Dec 31 2017 4:01pm