Fellowship – BT10

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Prophetic rhema words about fellowship

 

 

 

The Lord has directly spoken prophetic rhema words to me many times about koinonia sharing about the Spirit, about the beauty of joy, about Spirit-practice and Spirit-practice-drums, Spirit-performance and Spirit-performance–drums, about peaceful rest, and many other things I will share in this website.  And I long for much more of this sharing with God and with you!

 

Sharing about the fruit of the SpiritGod showed me that Galatians 5:22-23 is only a partial list of “flavors” of the singular fruit/nature of the Holy Spirit of God who is unconditional-love per 1 John 4:8, 16!  Paul expands on this in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, the “love chapter.”  The Lord desires to share all these “flavors” of Him so that we can progressively, genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know Him!  He desires to share the Spirit’s unconditional-love “self-mastery” with Christian musicians, sharing His skill with them!  The Holy Spirit is God’s “interface or way to powerfully-enable all of this!”

 

Sharing the beauty of joy in creation:  The Hebrew word yatab and Greek word kalos for joyful singing and playing includes the idea of being gloriously and harmoniously beautiful by nature – they don’t have anything to do with skillful singing and playing as some bibles have mistranslated!  God told me He was revealing His beauty in sunsets, flowers, birds and their songs, music – if we were still and restful long enough to observe them closely, then we would start to see and feel Him and come to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know Him.  God told me once: “All of creation is because of ME, through ME, and for ME, and still held together by ME, LOVE.”  Brother Thomas of Celano wrote in the biography of St. Francis: “As he looked out of his cave and down to Assisi from the heights of Mount Subasio, it was as if the whole of creation were spread out beneath his cave, and God’s ‘goodness’ rushed in upon him. He could only think of that pure ‘Goodness’ and how God shares His life with us. Everything ‘good and beautiful’ comes from God. St. Francis praised The Artist in every one of his works; whatever he found in things made, he referred to The Maker. He rejoiced in all the works of the Lord’s hands, and with joyful vision saw into the reason and cause that gave them life. In beautiful things he came to know The Beauty itself. They cried out to him, ‘He who made us is infinitely good.”

 

Sharing music:  That’s why He put music, His own creation, into musicians to discover – not to just find for themselves, i.e., their own pleasure, fame, money, or whatever they want to use it for.  This is all “might and power” flesh.  No!  He shares His music with musicians so that they will pause when they feel those intense feelings – yes, pause, be still, and start to experience God’s very nature.  God wants to share Himself with musicians so that they can genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know Him.  I will share much more about this on the Spirit-Practice and Spirit-Performance pages.

 

Sharing drumming:  Once while I was Spirit-practicing through George Lawrence Stones’ Stick Control, I found myself going “into the zone” in almost a focused trance, feeling incredible joy and intense curiosity and fascination, so much so that I was being overwhelmed.  I had to stop because I was tearing up and couldn’t see the page!  I asked why this was happening to me.  Then words came into my mind and I understood that God was sharing His profound emotions He has when He plays music.  I was shocked to hear this!  He said, “Do you think you created music?  Remember who I AM.  I enjoyed creating music long before any man discovered it.  I’m still fascinated when I explore it and still enjoy it immensily.  I am sharing My curiosity, fascination, sense of adventure, and joy with you so that you can know Me better.  I AM My thoughts and feelings.”  Another time, He showed me myself making sandcastles on a beach, lost in a daze of curiosity and fascination.  When I looked back at the sandcastle, it was me playing my drums since I was 8 years old!  He said that there was no better place to be than in that place of curiously exploring my drumming creativity and He smiled with pride.  I have had many such conversations since and look forward to more!  He also told me that He would share His control/mastery (a) with me if I didn’t make “might and power” skill (b) my objective as the Gentiles run after (c), but instead His “by My Spirit” (b) presence.  I will also share much more about this on the Spirit-Practice-Drumming page. <Notes> a) Galatians 5:23, b) Zechariah 4:6, c) Matthew 6:32.

 

Sharing peaceful rest:  After my many Spirit-baptisms where God shared His overwhelming unconditional-love with me, resulting in a flood of tears of joy that He also shares with me, which often just wrecks me for at least a half-hour, then I have noticed God then shares with me this “peaceful rest of God that surpasses all reasoning-mind that guards [like a military sentinel] our hearts and/coupled [us] in Christ Jesus” (a), for this too is a “flavor of the singular fruit/nature of the Spirit (b).”  While in bed on occasion, He has told me to share His peaceful rest and I could then feel the Spirit’s comfort wrap around me like my warm bed comforter.  Many times He has told me to “be still, cease my activity, and ‘take a vacation’ to experientially, relationally know God” (c), to share in His “Sabbath Rest” (d), because the Lord knows that I’ve been really driven most of my life.  This He showed me was the “taskmaster spirit” that was in those people who whipped the Jews to make bricks out of mud and straw.  Now He says, “Get up from your work, change gears, and stay in joy!  Get up from the burden of bible study for My yoke/harness (f) to learn from Me is feather-light and so easy to carry” (e).  I’ve also been told while Spirit-practicing drums that “tension is evil” and that I am to “share in His rest by relaxing, staying loose, staying in His joy, and letting the skill come to me.”  <Notes> a) Philippians 4:7, b) Galatians 5:22, c) Psalms 46:10, d) Hebrew 4:9; Luke 23:56, e) Matthew 11:28-30, f) zugos:  harness that connects inexperienced animals with experienced animals for training purposes; a common metaphor in Judaism for the Mosaic Law strictness (Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1; 1 Timothy 6:1), particularly the scrupulous observance of the oral Law in order to be a disciple of a particular rabbi, most who had greatly expanded the “burden” of scripture placed on people to obey.  Christ’s “yoke of discipleship” was completely different-in-kind!

 

As Christian musicians, has God shared with you anything about fellowship and sharing with Him or others that would helpful to others?

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT9

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Limits to our fellowship with others

 

 

 

But just as with  unconditional-love, there are divinely-specified limits as to how far you can go with koinonia fellowship, especially with unbelieving, divisive false teachers in the Church (a), especially that we should carefully, watchfully, be wary of the legalistic leaven of the Pharisees (b), even to “have nothing to do with this, do not be partners with this, flee this, destroy every argument and lofty opinion raised by them, taking every one of their thoughts captive to obey Christ, rebuke them sharply, silence them, and even charge them to stop” (f).  Paul doesn’t mince words!  Therefore closely watch Christian teachers (c), even who you may ordain for ministry because you don’t want to co-participate in their sins (d), even closely watching yourself so you don’t lose your reward by receiving/welcoming people who “don’t abide in the teaching of/about Christ,” not even greeting them so as to co-participate in their wicked works (e).  There are definitely limits to your love and fellowship! <Notes> a) Romans 16:17, b) Matthew 16:6, 11-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9, c) 1 Timothy 4:16, d) 1 Timothy 5:22, e) 2 John 1:8-11, f) Titus 1:11, 13; 1 Timothy 4:7, 6:10; 2 Timothy 2:14, 23; Titus 3:10; Ephesians 5:7; 2 Corinthians 10:5.

 

There’s certainly a divinely-specified limit how far our unconditional-love and koinonia fellowship with unbelievers can go!  Paul warns Christians to not be changed-sharers-with (a) the sons of disobedience for which God’s wrath is coming, not co-participating in their unfruitful deeds of darkness. . . [I strongly urge you to] ongoingly not in possibility sugkoinonia fellowship with the unfruitful deeds/works of darkness but rather reprove (b) them” (c).  One of those “unfruitful deeds” was common temple sacrifices to idols.  These sacrifices are actually to demons and so Paul wills/desires/purposes (h) that they in fact not ongoingly have koinonia fellowship with demons” (i).  Paul also strongly urges with the imperative:  “Ongoingly do not in possibility routinely unequally-yoke/harness/connect-together with (d) unbelievers, for what changed-sharing (e) has righteousness with lawlessness, or what konoinia fellowship has light with darkness” (f)? The Lord’s voice warns Christians “to come out from Babylon in order that you definitively/wholly not in possibility sugkoinonia fellowship with her sins, lest you receive her punishing-calamities/plagues” (g).  Many have seen “Babylon the Harlot” the corrupt Roman Catholic Church at the end.  Many have seen the Vatican ties to corruption throughout the world.  The Vatican’s net worth is at least 15 billion. <Notes> a) sun + metochos, b) elegcho: correct/convince with solid, compelling evidence, c) Ephesians 5:5-11, d) heteros + zugos = with different + harness that connects inexperienced animals with experienced animals for training purposes, or a disciple/student with a rabbi/teacher.  If mismatched animals, then the harness won’t work very well and/or the animals won’t learn from each other.  Either way, their training will be either take much longer or never happen to get the job done, e) metoche from metochos: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker with, f) 2 Corinthians 6:14, g) Revelation 18:1-4, h) thelo, i) 1 Corinthians 10:19-20; Revelation 9:20.

 

But there’s even a limit to Christian fellowship!  1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says “not in possibility to ongoingly identify with (a) sexually-immoral people – not at all meaning the sexually-immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to leave this world, but now I am writing to you not in possibility to ongoingly identify with (a) anyone who bears the name of ‘brethren’ if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even in possibility to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Is it not those inside the Church who you are to judge?  God judges those outside!  ‘Purge the evil person from among you!’”  Once again the teaching that “we should never judge anybody” is just a false “wind of doctrine” to mislead people!  2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14 “commands (b) in the name/authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw/keep-away from any brethren who is routinely walking/living as a transient (c) and/coupled not down-from/according-to the tradition that you received from us . . . if anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and/thus do not in possibility ongoingly identify with (a) him in order that he may be ashamed – see Donations.  <Notes> a) sunanamignumi: with + up + mix, so mix closely/intimately-together with upward toward a purpose, thus to be identified with, b) paraggello: orders or charges, as a commander his troops, c) ataktos: not + arranged/ordered, so out-of-line, disorderly, unruly, in context: that refuses to work for their own food/needs.

 

As Christian musicians, why are we judging non-Christian musicians more harshly than Christian musicians living in just about every sin imaginable?  Isn’t judgment supposed to start in the house of God?  I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been in worship-ministries for pastors that were actually teachers of the Law that were pointing the finger at every other church completely oblivious that Paul would have kicked them out of the Church!  And when I said something they said, “Maybe you need to find another place to worship?”  Then couldn’t admit that they violated the clear teaching of the NT.  Some were teaching philosophy from an unbelieving world!  I had to write a resignation letter to all the elders of the United Methodist Church I worked for a year because they were severely violating scripture in at least 4 ways!  I could no longer violate my conscience playing for a church involved in so much sin.  I could not share in their sin!  Yes, there were good, godly people there, but the organization was tolerating despicable sin!  But Christians do need to judge themselves for “borrowing” so much for the world to help them become “successful,” but these are just stones building The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit.  I’ve played in several big churches that were run more like a secular corporation, and I’ve worked for enough of those to know this well, than as a godly ministry.  I’ve seen what goes on behind the “Wizard of Oz” curtain!  If more Christians did, they would run from these churches!  I eventually did!  We have to come out from Babylon!  I know more unbelievers who are honest about than their problems, weaknesses, and sin than most Christians I’ve worked with!  Revival always begins out in the streets and some of the last ones to get it are the pastors!

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT8

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Divine fellowship shows up in our giving and evangelism

 

 

Yes, our horizontal fellowship with others is also reflected in our giving and evangelism. Thus the Greek words for fellowship above can also mean: “the outcome of such koinonia fellowship/partnership, such as a joint contribution, gift, or collection of money that acts to communicate, exhibit, embody, or prove such koinonia fellowship/partnership actually exists, even to validate one’s trusting-relying-faith (a). A great example of this is Philemon 1:6 where Paul “proseuchomai conversationally-prays that the sharing-communication (i.e., evangelism) of your trusting-relying-faith may become active/energetic/effectual (b) by the means of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of every good thing in you by the means of Christ.” Our vertical connection to the Lord directly affects the effectiveness of our evangelism.  You can’t freely give out what you haven’t freely received (c)!  Churches wouldn’t need their contrived evangelism programs, which are often just another “work for the Lord,” if their members were actually sharing in the life of Christ through intimate fellowship. For months after every Spirit-baptism I had, you had to stop me from sharing my faith!  Another example is in Philippians 4:14-17 where Paul said:  “It was kind of you to share my trouble (v. 13: hunger and need) . . . and you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel [preaching] when I left Macedonia, absolutely in fact, not even one church shared/partnered with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.”  Our Donations page is patterned from Paul’s attitude of shared blessing.  Paul was mystified that the Corinthians had been changed-sharers (d) with their financial giving to other so-called “apostles” but wouldn’t do this for Paul, the one who started their church (e)!  <Notes> a) Philemon 1:5-7; Galatians 6:4-6; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 2 Timothy 2:6, b) energes, c) Matthew 10:8, d) verb metecho, metochos adjective: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker with, e) 1 Corinthians 9:12.

 

Generosity and evangelism all starts with conversational-prayer to intimately know Christ’s working in us to activate, energize, and make effective our trusting fellowship with Him in order to share/communicate this with others. Generosity and evangelism is an inside job, a bi-product of an intimate fellowship with Christ. Yet, you hear so many churches – so desperate for money and fuller pews from new members that would guarantee this income – constantly preaching sermons on giving trying to guilt Christians into obeying OT commandments about tithing, adding these commandments to avoid the displeasure of God. They simply don’t understand that “the Torah Law (a) made nothing perfect/mature/complete” (b), and so Paul asks:  “Are you so foolish?  Having begun [the Christian walk] by the means of the Spirit, are you now [attempting to] be perfected/matured/completed by the flesh” (c)? <Notes> a) of conditional-favor that is based on obedience to 613 commandments, b) Hebrews 7:19, c) Galatians 3:3.

 

As Christian musicians, will we trust God to bring people into our lives to share in the blessing of our ministry, or will we get desperate and start cleverly begging for support?  Can we believe that the closer we get to the Lord, the more He will perceive His care for us?  And what about us financially giving to others?  Sharing the Lord will be naturally easier and easier as we actually share more in the life of Christ.  Can we trust that by bringing people into the actual presence of God that God will direct people the way He wants them to?  We don’t need to coerce people!

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT7

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Christian fellowship is all about shared Body-of-Christ ministry party, not 1-man shows!

 

 

In every NT passage that talks about Body-of-Christ ministry you see urgent calls (a) for “[reciprocally] one another” (j) and “[individually] each one of you” (k) sharing of the Spirit’s grace-gifts, sharing of testimonies of God working in their lives, sharing of prophetic revelations even as logos messages of wisdom and knowledge or as tongues with interpretations, sharing as they “conversationally-addressed” or “reciprocally taught one another” a lesson of doctrine (b), and admonished “by placing in mind through urgent reasoning, instruction, or warning” (c), and encouraged or exhorted (d) one another reciprocally, even with instrumental psalms, acapella hymns, and Spirit-kind-of psalm/hymn odes that is likely a reference to anointed, prophetic, and spontaneous music (e).  Yes, encouragement!  “Let us ongoingly consider how to excite/provoke one another reciprocally to unconditional-love and/coupled good (f) works, not in possibility routinely abandoning/deserting/forsaking the assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging (g) one another reciprocally, and all the more as you see The Day drawing near (h)” (i).  Man, I’d like to go to that church! <Notes> a) by the use of the imperatives, b) 1 Corinthians 14:6, 26, 30, c) noutheteo: Colossians 3:16, d) 1 Corinthians 14:3, 14:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11, e) 1 Corinthians 14:26; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16, f) kalos: beautifully, harmoniously, magnificently, inspiringly excellent, g) parakaleo: alongside-counselling, advising, encouraging, comforting, h) eggizo: approaching near, often used of communing in conversational-prayer as in James 4:6-8, Hebrews 7:25, i) Hebrews 10:24-25, j) allelon: a reciprocal pronoun meaning mutual, back-and-forth action.  This is not 1-way communication but a dialogue, something you rarely see in church services today, k) hekastos: each individual in a group viewed distinctly.  Again, this directly opposes the 1-man show taking over the group, which sadly is the case in most church services today.

 

There was so much “party” excitement in the early Church about sharing the Spirit’s grace-gifts that Paul had to write 1 Corinthians 14 just to help them understand God’s priorities to build up the Church and how to take turns sharing so that everybody could learn from each other!  Have you ever been in a church where everybody was encouraged to share by taking turns, “letting the others weigh in what is said . . . . so that ALL may learn and ALL be encouraged” (vv. 14:27, 29, 31).  There are so many things spoken from the “1-man show” pulpit that could have been corrected or balanced if the congregation were allowed to do this – see Coaches and Facilitators!  This is a significant part of the foundational problem of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in churches.  There are so many warnings in the NT about all teachers, let alone false teachers – see Teach One Another!

 

That’s exactly Paul’s point in Ephesians 5:18-21 – don’t “party down” like the world does by getting drunk on wine and then getting involved in all kinds of sin, but instead “party down” with God’s people by “routinely being filled to completion by the Spirit!”  That’s exactly what Spirit-baptism is!  But this isn’t a 1-man show either!  No, it’s a Christian “party” where you “routinely conversationally-address one another in/by/with psalms and/coupled hymns and/coupled Spirit-kind-of-odes . . . routinely giving thanks . . . routinely surrendering-control to one another reciprocally out of reverence for Christ.”  Once again we see Paul trying to curb the 1-man show tendency!  We see this same sharing emphasis in a parallel passage where Paul adds:  “You were called in one Body . . . routinely teaching and admonishing one another reciprocally . . . whatever [plural] you ongoingly do in/by/with logos message or deed [do] ALL in the name/authority of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks” – this how the logos message will dwell in the Church richly” (a).  As throughout the NT the logos message is clearly having to do with Jesus, The Truth, and His logos gospel message (b) as shared with one another reciprocally. <Notes> a) Colossians 3:15-17, b) Ephesians 1:13; Acts 15:7.

 

Where is the common “bible-study discussion” that every church tries to call a “fellowship” and that they suppose is the way “the logos gospel message will dwell in the Church richly?” After all, back then the Jewish-Christians did have an OT bible that was much thicker than our NT, but 97.4% of the OT (see Logos Word of God – BT5a) isn’t the gospel!  But didn’t they have a few letters of the NT?  But you never see the Church say this in the “when you come together to use your grace-gifts” passages (a)!  The Spirit-given logos messages of wisdom and/coupled gnosis info-knowledge uttered was shared by members in the congregation (b) and these weren’t from the bible or a favorite Christians book but from the Spirit (c) through prophecy (d).  There certainly isn’t anything here about 1 pastor doing all the preaching or teaching of logos messages!  Quite the opposite!  Sharing is the very meaning of fellowship! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, 12:12-31, 14:26; Colossians 3:16-17; Ephesians 4:7-16; 5:18-21, Romans 12:3-8, 10; 1 Peter 4:8-11, b) 1 Corinthians 12:8, c) Colossians 1:9, 2:3; Ephesians 1:17, d) 1 Corinthians 12:7-8; Acts 6:10.

 

There is no evidence of a 1-man show or even a small ministry-team show.  In fact, we see plenty of warnings against this!  The very first thing Paul warns the Roman churches about if they want to escape “conformity to the world and be metamorphically changed by a renewed mind” is “I say to everyone among you absolutely in possibility not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (a).  Then he talks about Body-of-Christ ministry (b).  John tells his churches to not even trust the teacher-leaders at all because many will “try to deceive you,” but “the anointing that you have already received from Christ (c) actually, ongoingly abides/dwells/remains in you, so that you have absolutely in fact no need that anyone should teach you, but as His anointing actually, ongoingly teaches you about ALL things and/so is trustworthy and/coupled no lie – just as it has already taught you – actually, ongoingly abide/dwell/remain in Christ (d).  <Notes> a) Romans 12:2-3, b) Romans 12:4-8, c) The Holy One of 1 John 2:20, d) 1 John 2:18-27.

 

The “equippers” (a) of Ephesians 4:11-16 weren’t supposed to be doing “the work of ministry” but only coaching and facilitating so that the “saints” could be the ones actually doing the “work of the ministry for the building up of the Body-of-Christ!”  Can you imagine going to a football game and watching the head & assistant coaches, waterboys, cheerleaders, and band all out on the field trying to play football instead of the actual football players?  Ridiculous!  I’d ask for my money back!  But that’s what goes on in most churches every week!  And for the few churches that do use their services as “training sessions,” do you think any of them have ever been to any sports training sessions, because ask yourself:  Who is “running the plays” during these “training sessions” – the coaches or the players?  Yet I’ve rarely been to a church service “training session” where anybody but the pastor was doing most of the talking, and there certainly was no “practicing of the training” going on by the congregation that I could see.  There was no “on-the-job” training!  I don’t really see very much “reciprocal one-another” mutual display of submission or ministry.  It’s mostly one-directional!  The way you can tell is if the band or preacher suddenly stops or “hits the ball into the other court” of the congregation – it’s usually blank stares with dead silence or a whimper of participation.  The frogs have been slow boiled!  The ticks trained well not to jump out after you’ve taken the lid off!

 

Another purpose for sharing Body-of-Christ ministry instead of the ball-hogging “equippers” ministry-style according to Ephesians 4:14-16 is to insure “that we may no longer be carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness of deceitful schemes.  Rather [plural] YOU [who are] routinely speaking The Truth in/by/with unconditional-love, WE are to grow up in every way into Him who is the Head, into Christ, from Whom the whole Body is routinely fitly-joined or held-together thru-the-realizing-channel-of every-of-a-kind (b) binding-joint that contributes/supplies, down-from/according-to the effectual-working in/by/with the metron measuring-cup (c) of each/every one/part that actually, ongoingly, [reflexively] makes [as with a performance] the Body grow so that it builds itself up in/by/with unconditional-love.”  Whew, Paul creates long, complicated sentences! <Notes> a) apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and/coupled teachers, b) pas rarely means “the whole of,” c) v. 4:7: “metron measuring-cup of the grace-gift [of the Holy Spirit] of Christ given by grace to each of us,” thus not based on our natural talents or ambitions.  The metron was a single-sized cup that measured the exact same amount of whatever was put into it.  It insured that merchant trade was fair, equitable, or just.  Our word “metronome” comes from it – a device that “clicks” when the exact same amount of time has transpired!  We use it in music to play precisely in time!

 

There is only 1 Head, 1 Shepherd, 1 Leader, and 1 Teacher (d)!  But many joints that ALL need to share the responsibility of keeping the Body-of-Christ together and growing!  Everyone needs to be sharing their grace-gifts (a) that come down from the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit (b) as given by Jesus Christ (c).  But that can’t happen if you have the coaches and facilitators hogging the ball!  As we’ve seen, ministry is supposed to be “reciprocal, reflexive, conversational, and focused on the individuals of the group” by definition of the Greek words used!  Where is there a stage, a speaker, a worship-band, and an audience called for or taught in the NT?  All this came into the Church after the church buildings were designed by the pagan emperor Constantine, designed with an elevated platform for 1-bishop rule with all the people facing him, and all of this “borrowed” from the pagan world of Greek and Roman temples!  These are the “stones” building The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church!  This must be reformed!  Read The Problem with Wineskins: Church Structure in a Technological Age by Howard A. Synder.  <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 4:10-11, b) Ephesians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31, c) Ephesians 4:7, d) Ephesians 5:23; John 10:16; Matthew 23:8-10 – see Teach One Another – BT10.

 

Christian fellowship is more than hanging out in the foyer for 15 minutes before Protestant church service eating donuts and drinking coffee, or shaking the hand your neighbor and saying “peace be with you” in a Catholic church.  It is “each individual part” of the Body-of-Christ effectually-working their grace-gifts during their “coming together” times in order “to build up the Church – the saints do the work of ministry!”  The correct image of the “assembly of the saints for fellowship” is that of the “family or household of God” (a).  What “family or household” sets up a stage and has everybody face 1 person who does all the talking or to a small group to do all the music playing?  When you look at church history carefully, you find that all of this comes into the Catholic Church around 200-350 AD, “borrowing” from old covenant models to build a faulty foundation and then “borrowing” stones from the pagan world to build The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit. <Notes> a) Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:5, 15; 1 Peter 4:17.

 

As Christian musicians, do we really just want to perform for an audience or involve the audience in worship to the Lord?  Maybe we should consider involving them instrumentally, not just vocally?  Are we so concerned about sounding pretty that we can’t see that the Body’s playing to the Lord is just as important as ours?  Are we encouraging them to use their grace-gifts by hogging the ball?  Is not sharing the stage really fellowship?  Is the stage-audience format just a pagan “tradition of men” that actually communicates that we aren’t one big family around the dinner table?  Are we creating a party atmosphere where we can abandon ourselves and even get “drunk in the Spirit” or is it more like a business board meeting conducted by Robert’s Rules of Order?  Or have we just turned into a Christian concert for the “entertainment of the saints?”

 

Would people have more fun going down the local bar?  Many people will say they have more actual fellowship at their local bar than at church!  At my local bar I had 25 friends for 15 years that we could talk about anything and learn from one another, but try that during a church service – and I’ve been in 15 church ministries!  In many ways, the church isn’t meeting fellowship needs!  Are we promoting “each other, one another, reflexive, reciprocal, weighing in, sharing, conversational dialogue” or 1-way communication?  Where is the 1-man show or small-team ministry taught in the NT?  Where’s the checks and balances to prevent error and false teaching?  Are we asking the congregation to submit to us, but we aren’t submitting to them, when the verses about submission are bi-directional?  Are we still thinking that we are the ministers instead of the coaches and facilitators for the saints to be the actual ministers?  Who really is supposed to be on the field playing – all of us together, right?  Why aren’t we?  Why do we still use terms like head pastors when we only have 1 Head?  Why even pastors or shepherds when we have 1 Shepherd?  Why leaders, when we have 1 Leader?  Why teachers, when we have 1 Teacher?  I guess we just don’t believe Jesus or believe someone else more than Jesus!

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT6

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Dealing with sin through confession, repentance, and reconciliation to restore fellowship

 

 

 

The whole idea of reconciliation (a) is about restoring people back into fellowship with God that was lost in the garden of Eden (g), which is thus a key to gospel ministry (b), even all things to Himself (c), between Jew & Gentile (d), between husband & wife (e), or with others (f). <Notes> a) diallasso: reconcile or reach mutual concession, where people in conflict come together through meaningful change, ending hostility; or katallasso, katallage: change down-from to an exact point, or exchange of coins or enmity resulting in friendship – exchanging 2 different positions for 1 position, a change on the part of one party induced by an action of the other party; or apokatallasso: reconcile back again, bring back to a former state of harmony, thus to reconcile completely, b) Romans 5:10-11, 11:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 2:16, c) Colossians 1:20-22, d) Ephesians 2:16, e) 1 Corinthians 7:11, f) Matthew 5:24; Acts 7:26, g) Genesis 3:8.

 

Yes, this reconciliation is about restoration back to fellowship, especially in the Church.  Paul strongly urges: “Be repaired/mended/restored (a), comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace” (b), and “Brethren, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are Spirit-kind-of [people] should repair/mend/restore (a) him in a Spirit of gentleness” (c), and “I appeal to your brethren . . . that all of you agree and/coupled that there may be no divisions among you, but that you be restored to the same mind and/coupled the same judgment” (d).  Peter encourages:  “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all unconditional-favor-of-grace . . . will Himself repair/mend/restore (a), confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (e). <Notes> a) katartizo: adjust down-from/according to, exactly fit to be in good working order to fully function; to mend, repair, complete; to fit, equip, order, arrange, adjust, b) 2 Corinthians 13:11, c) Galatians 6:1, d) 1 Corinthians 1:10, e) 1 Peter 5:10.

 

Forgiveness leads to reconciliation between God and man, and between us and others, so “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (a).  Thus be “bearing with one another, so if one has a complaint against another, then forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (b), because “if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (c). <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:32, b) Colossians 3:13, c) Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37.

 

Surrender, repentance, and confession leads to forgiveness and back into fellowship.  That’s what Paul found out about confessing his weaknesses – that’s how he actually became strong in the Lord (a).  That’s also what John realized as to how we can continue walking in the light to have koinonia fellowship with God: not by denying our weaknesses or sin, hiding from it, or trying harder to overcome it, but to confess/agree with the Lord about them.  Then “He is actually, ongoingly faithful and/coupled righteously just in order to definitively/wholly forgive us our sins and/coupled definitively/wholly cleanse/purify-from-admixture us from ALL (b) unrighteous injustice (c)” (d). <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:5-10, b) pas: rare case where this means “the whole of”, c) a violation of God’s justice that brings divine disapproval, d) 1 John 1:5-10.

 

We can see this link between koinonia fellowship with God’s Holy Spirit and fellow Christians in 2 Corinthians 13:14, where the Greek directly links the consoling/counseling comfort (a) of Christ with the consoling comfort (b) of koinonia fellowship with the Holy Spirit (c), but this is linked to koinonia fellowship with others, even house to house (d), even daily (e). That’s what Irenaeus observed around 200 AD – the churches that rejected the charismata grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit were also devoid of its fruit, particularly unconditional-love for others!  Koinonia fellowship with God and others is the fruit of Spirit-baptism! <Notes> a) paraklesis, b) paramuthion, c) the Parakletos:  ‘close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, d) Acts 2:46, e) Acts 6:1.

 

As a Christian musician, the only way to restore fellowship with God from sin is by surrendering-control, confession, and repentance that leads us back to trusting-relying-faith in Christ’s perfect sacrifice to satisfy justice and actually cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If this involves “working” for God through “acts of penance” we are stuck in the old covenant way of “works righteousness.”  The way of reconciliation is through the Spirit of gentleness.  Receiving and giving forgiveness is the only way to experience this.  Only through restored fellowship can Christ’s Spirit of Holiness continue to destroy the works of the devil in our lives to make us holy.  This “work of Christ to destroy the works of the devil” proves that we are God’s children!  The only way to continue producing fruit is to continue abiding/remaining in the vine of Christ.  The only way to escape the condemnation of the world because of lust is to continue being partakers of the divine nature through the promise of the Holy Spirit.  If you deny Spirit-baptism with His grace-gifts, then you are denying Spirit-power and the “fruit of the Spirit” that flows from this.  But all this continual fellowship depends on regular proseuche conversational-prayer!

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT5

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Vertical fellowship with God to deal with sin affects our horizontal fellowship with others.

 

 

Our vertical fellowship with God also naturally affects our horizontal fellowship with God’s other family members (a), by “remembering/discerning together Christ’s physical body and/or spiritual Body/Church through the Lord’s Supper that they should be devoted to koinonia commune through (b) and be changed-sharers in” (f), and again be “changed-sharers (f) of the Lord’s table” (g).  During this they should also be devoted to sharing in proseuchomai conversational-praying and eating together (c), especially at their love feasts (d). That’s why John can say that “routinely walking [all around] in darkness” (i), which in the context refers to hating fellow Christians (j), proves that we don’t really have koinonia fellowship with God or Christ “in the light,” even if we say we do, and proves that we really haven’t horao observed/perceived-known/discerned or experientially, relationally ginosko knowing either God or Christ (e). For more about discernment – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  “Unity of peace” with God and others comes from the singular fruit of the Holy Spirit that is unconditional-love (h).  <Notes> a) 1 John 1:3, b) 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, Acts 2:42, c) Acts 2:42, d) 1 Corinthians 11:20-21, 33, e) 1 John 3:6-9, f) metochos: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker with, g) 1 Corinthians 10:21, h) Galatians 5:22; Colossians 3:14; Romans 14:17, 15:13; Ephesians 4:3, i) 1 John 1:6, j) especially 1 John 2:9, 11, 3:14-15, and 4:20.

 

Division is the opposite of peace that Jesus created by His very coming – the believers from unbelievers (c), “might and power” soulish living from “by My Spirit” living (d), and the church from dividers of the church (e).  Paul admitted that “there must be divisions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be publically-apparent” (f). Our outward actions reflect our inward reality, no matter how hypocritically we live.  Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (a). James says “demons believe” so “faith without [proving Christian] works is dead” (b). <Notes> a) Matthew 7:16, 20, b) James 2:14, 17, 19, 26, c) Luke 12:51, d) Hebrews 4:12: Christ, “the Logos message of God that is living and active” is so “sharp” that it “pierces to dividing the soul and the spirit/Spirit [of man] . . . the [soulish] thoughts and [spirit/Spirit] intentions of the heart,” e) Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10, 11:18, 12:25; Galatians 5:20; Titus 3:10; Jude 1:19, f) phaneros: shining, apparent, manifest, publicly evident, plainly recognized or known: 1 Corinthians 11:19.

 

Sin, falling short of the ‘mark or target’ God has for mankind, is the result of “not in fact scrutinizing/examining-in-order-to-prove-genuine to hold/retain God in their genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge, so God gives them over to a reprobate/depraved mind to do those things that should not be done” (a).  In other words, they once had intimate fellowship with God (early in human history or even as a child), but didn’t want to “look into” holding onto that!  The result is a mind that drags them down into the gutter!  But knowing about the commandments of God’s Law only brings us into intimate knowing of sin – not God, which then actually increases sin (b).  John makes it clear that the “practice of sin” comes from not “abiding in Christ” but being “of/belonging to the devil who has never stopped sinning” (c).  Jesus warned: “If you routinely remain in Me and I in you, you will actually, ongoingly produce much fruit for without Me you are not in fact powerfuly-enabled to actually, ongoingly do/make [fruit]” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 1:28, b) Romans 3:20, 5:20, c) 1 John 3:6-8, d) John 15:5.

 

Sin comes from looking for zoe genuine-life in all the wrong places instead of fellowship with God!  Jesus clarifies for us:  “Now this is-defined-as actually, ongoingly the everlasting, zoe genuine-life – that they might ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know You, the only true God, and/coupled who You actually, already sent:  Jesus Christ” (a).  Let’s just face it:  We can all get bored with the routines of life, but if the lack of joy from being disconnected from the Spirit of joy (b) builds up, we can be tempted to find it somewhere else – in “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (c).  All of us have experienced this “escapism!”  <Notes> a) John 17:3; Jeremiah 31:34; Hosea 6:3; 2 Peter 1:2-3, 2:20; Philippians 3:8, b) Proverbs 17:22; Acts 13:52; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, c) Hebrews 11:25.

 

So how do we get back into fellowship with God?  By trying harder with our “might and powerto obey God’s “Law of commandments expressed in ordinances” (a)?  No!  That’s OT religion!  Paul says:  “Now the Law came in to increase/multiple the trespasses” (b) since “thru-the-realizing-channel-of the Law [is] the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of sin” (c) – it wasn’t meant to stop sin but brings us into the experience of even more sin!  That’s why it’s called the “Law of sin and death” (d)!  “The Law was added for the sake/cause of (e) transgressions [from specific commandments] UNTIL the ‘offspring’ should come to Whom (f) the promise had been made” (g). Paul says the “offspring” is Jesus Christ!  “The [OT] Law was our legally-appointed paidogogos child-educator/superintendent-guardian UNTIL Christ came in order that [now] we might be justified/made-righteous by trusting-relying-faith, but now that trusting-relying-faith has come, we are no longer in fact under a paidogogos . . . but are sons (i) of God” (h).  Paul clarifies our sonship:  “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (j).  Our inheritance we can claim only when we are free, mature “sons” didn’t come by the “slave children” under the Law (k).  Sonship inheritance only came through Jesus as the “mediator of a New Covenant” (l). <Notes> a) Ephesians 2:15, b) Romans 5:20, c) Romans 3:2, d) Romans 7:23, 25, 8:22, e) adverb charin from charis unconditional-favor-of-grace that furnishes the reason to take action of, f) Galatians 3:16: Jesus, the Christ, g) Galatians 3:19, h) Galatians 3:24-26, i) huios: although we are adopted sons, we are NOW under the New Covenant made to share the same nature as their Father, j) Romans 8:14, k) Galatians 3:18, 4:30; Ephesians 1:11-18, l) Hebrews 9:15, 10:36, 11:8; Acts 20:32; Exodus 32:13; Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Peter 1:4.

 

So how do we get back into fellowship with God?  By abiding/remaining in Christ by trusting/relying pistis faith!  And we know that pistis is a relationship word with people, not objects!  John warns:  “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works [of sin] of the devil – no one born/begotten out-of God ongoingly sins because God’s sperma seed (the life of the Holy Spirit) ongoingly remains in Him, and so he cannot in fact ongoingly be [a passive victim] of sinning . . . we know that everyone who has been born/begotten out-of God does not in fact ongoing sin, but the One who was [and routinely is] born/begotten out-of God (Christ) protects him, and/so the evil one does not in fact touch-to-modify him” (a).  <Notes> a) 1 John 3:8-9, 5:18.

 

Paul warns about sin:  “God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:  ‘The Lord actually, definitively, wholly, experientially, relationally ginosko knows who are His” and/coupled ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must depart/stand-off/withdrawal/desist from injustice/unrighteousness’” (f).  Jesus warns about sin:  “Abide/remain in Me, as I also abide/remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide/remain in Me.  I am the Vine; you are the branches.  If you abide/remain in Me and I in you, you shall indeed bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing” (d).  Paul also warns:  “Whatever does not proceed from trusting/relying faith [in Christ] is sin” (a). Peter also reminds Christians already born because of trusting/relying faith that they were “given exceedingly great and precious promises that thru-the-realizing-channel-of these you might be koinonia partakers of the divine nature [by] definitively, wholly, routinely escaping the corruption that is in the world in/by/with/because of lust” (b). In other words, God has given us a “toolkit” to use to stay in fellowship with God thru trusting/relying faith in Christ to abide in Christ. The Lord told me in a vision that this go to Him regularly in proseuche conversational-prayer for intimate fellowship! This is where we are transformed into His likeness (e) <Notes> a) Romans 14:23, b) 2 Peter 1:4, c) like trusting/relying faith from 2 Peter 1:5, d) John 15:4-5, e) 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:2, f) 2 Timothy 2:19.

 

As Christian musicians, how is our playing going to express fellowship with God’s people in worship services if we really don’t have intimate fellowship with God?  If we are “at war” with some Christians, how can we say that we love God when we hate His children?  The closer we fellowship with God, the more the Spirit’s “unity of peace” we will naturally have.  However, not all division is wrong!  The Spirit is constantly dividing between the genuine and the fake!  Jesus’ very coming was intended to separate the goats from the sheep!  Sin causes us to excuse, deny, or run from the truth about fellowship with a holy God.  When we break from the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God and settle for anything less, God gives us over to a depraved mind that leads to sinful actions.  The Law of commandments just throws gas onto the fire!  We look for zoe genuine-live in all the wrong places, which leads us toward death.  Trying harder to obey only entrenches the sin.  The “work of Christ to destroy the works of the devil” proves that we are God’s children!  The only way to continue producing fruit is to continue abiding/remaining in the vine of Christ.  The only way to escape the condemnation of the world because of lust is to continue being partakers of the divine nature through the promise of the Holy Spirit.  This continual fellowship depends on regular proseuche conversational-prayer.

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT4

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Growing our fellowship with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit

 

 

Now that we are a Christian, our fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit grows by only one thing that I could find in the NT – sharing zoe genuine-life together through proseuchomai conversational-praying.  Out of 5 early Church “devotions” (c) that is what is mentioned most (a) and commanded to be practiced the most frequently, even routinely as expressed by the Greek present participle (b).  Tragically, this is one of the last priorities in many churches!  But I’ve dedicated the Conversational-Prayer page to this – it is radically changing my life!  <Notes> a) Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4; 1 Corinthians 7:5, b) Luke 11:9, 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1, c) proskartereo: earnest towards, persevering, constantly diligent, attend assiduously.

 

After a very long study on “The Plan A of God,” I found that Jesus came tosave or restore” God’s original “Plan A” given for the “least among you to the greatest” and simple enough for even “little children” so that no partiality is shown (a).  God had spelled it out to Moses to present to His people in Exodus 20:18-21 at Mt. Sinai, a plan for God to speak to the people directly (that’s prophetic rhema words) to “inspect them closely” in order to “purge sin from them,” a plan that the people rejected but Moses obeyed. Thus only Moses received the benefits of a direct personal fellowship with God, and the people got what they wanted instead – a religion of indirect communication with God, delivered by Moses as a go-between mediary, rules written down as scripture, gnosis info-knowledge secondarily taught by a hierarchy of fallible humans down “from the greatest to the least.”  But Jesus restored how God’s little children were to relate to their Heavenly Father – by the means of the “obedience of faith” where the righteous ones live by trusting-relying-faith, from one step of faith to another,” which is the very thesis (b) of Paul’s “Book of Romans,” the gospel explained to the entire Gentile world! <Notes> a) Luke 20:21; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; James 2:1, b) Romans 1:5, 17, 16:26.

 

God’s original “Plan A” still is to have:  a genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge that is an abundantly fulfilling, powerfully transforming, and abiding fellowship with God thru:  Coming near to God with simple, child-like trusting-relying-faith and relentless boldness thru:  A devoted, restful-waiting, still-watching, quietly-listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer dialogue where any routine ‘asking, seeking, and knocking’ is for God’s Holy Spirit to fill us with all the fullness of God Himself!

 

The Lord has shared with me several times as I was landscaping and watering, that genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him requires the same attention, the same cultivation, and the same care for this relationship knowledge to grow.  There are no short cuts.  This is not a “lump-sum event” or instant download that you have to just “take by faith” happened, but comes progressively and experientially during fellowship.  It’s like any intimate, love relationship – you need to spend regular, quality time just being together, optanomai gazing in awe with wide-open eyes into each other’s eyes (a), holding hands, really akouo listening to each other, and just enjoying doing things together.  The Hebrew idiom “drawing near/close to” (b) God is exactly the meaning of fellowship with God in proseuchomai conversational-prayer.  This is also where all the “work” gets done from God by the means of His Spirit.  And it’s where we really learn to worship<Notes> a) Matthew 5:8; John 16:22; Romans 15:21; Acts 13:31; 1 John 3:2, b) eggizo into the very presence: James 4:8; 1 Peter 4:7; Hebrews 7:19, and proserchomai: Hebrews 7:25. Proserchomai:  a Hebraism for “seeking an audience with, approaching, inquiring of, calling on to visit, or be heard by” God, thus closely akin in spelling and meaning to proseuche conversational-prayer and proskuneo worship

 

In Revelation 2:4-5, Jesus warns a region of churches, headed by one of the oldest churches Ephesus: “I have this against you:  You have abandoned The Unconditional-Love you had at first.  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent (a), and do the ‘works’ you did at first.  If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent (a).”  The “light” Christians and churches are to “let shine before others, like a lamp on a stand, so that the world may see your good ‘doings’ and give glory to your Father in heaven” (b) sure isn’t OT ‘works,’ but the ‘works or doings’ that are associated with “The Unconditional-Love that you had at first.”  When you first fall in love with someone, what is it that you “do” most of?  We talked about this above – being, watching, listening, laughing, loving, living – all really with each other!  I really didn’t understand this passage until after I had been married about 5 years and kind of fell into a “rut” of just going through the routines of life with my wife, the house, our jobs, etc.  Ephesus also fell into that “hard work and perseverance . . . having endured hardships for My name sake and have not grown weary” routine.  The Lord talked to me at length one morning about “remembering back to those first things we did together,” and I took this to mean my wife and I, so this was a good exercise for me to improve my marriage, but He said: “No,’ and then He reminded me of this Revelation 2:4-5 passage above I hadn’t read in years!  Then He said, “A lot of churches just like a lot of Christians are in that same place.”  I knew the Lord was getting me back on track, telling me what His priorities are – it’s a fellowship of unconditional-love!  Otherwise the “good works” turn into a duty and drudgery! <Notes> a) metanoia:  an after-effect of mind/heart/inner man, implying an internal change after an activity, where the ‘activity’ is defined by the context – see Surrender Control, b) Matthew 5:14-16.

 

Peter believes that if we have genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of the Father and the Son, then we’ll have unconditional-favor-of-grace and peace multiplied to us, and then God’s Spirit-power will [as it has already] grant us all things pertaining to zoe genuine-life and godly reverence, along with His great precious promises, so that we can be koinonos partakers of God’s divine nature in order to escape the corruption of the world (a).  Yes, zoe genuine-life starts and grows with the epignosis relational experience, just as Jesus said:  “Now this is/is-defined-as actually, ongoingly the everlasting, zoe genuine life – that they might ongoingly experientially, relationally ginosko know You the only true God and/coupled who You actually, already sent:  Jesus Christ” (b). <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:2-5, b) John 17:3.

 

We are also to ongoingly fellowship with the Holy Spirit!  “God also bore witness by signs, wonders, and various miracles and/coupled by grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed down-from/according-to His will” (a) to these same Jewish-Christians “who having already been enlightened, who have already tasted the heavenly grace-gift and/coupled have already been changed-sharers (b) in the Holy Spirit and/coupled have already tasted the goodness of the logos gospel message of God and/coupled the enabling-power [of the Holy Spirit] of the age that is arriving” (c).  From Hebrews 3:1, these Jewish-Christian “holy brethren were changed-sharers (b) in a heavenly calling,” because “we have already become changed-sharers (b) with Christ – if in fact we hold our beginning confidence (e) until the end” (d) <Notes> a) Hebrews 2:4, b) metochos: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker with, c) Hebrews 6:4, d) Hebrews 3:1, 14, e) hupostasis: ‘standing under’ a guaranteed agreement, a title-deed or legal claim to precious promises or property, thus entitling someone to what is guaranteed under the particular agreement.  We are only entitled to God’s “precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4) if what we do “proceeds from faith” (Romans 14:23), for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

 

As Christian musicians, our playing must be birthed and growing from regular fellowship with God and the only NT earnest, persevering, diligent “devotion” that was commanded the most that early Christians practiced the most, was “drawing near to God” proseuche conversational-prayer but this is not primarily deesis asking-supplication prayer that religion has converted it into!  God’s “Plan A” was always to speak prophetic rhema words directly to His people.  Whenever we refuse to enter His presence to be “taught by God” due to unbelief, shame from sin, or fear of judgment, we will end up with second-hand gnosis info-knowledge at best through a hierarchy of authoritative teachers who will introduce error, but it sure won’t be transforming fellowship with God!  No, first-hand knowledge is genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge that is only acquired in intimate-love fellowship through proseuche conversational-prayer – real quality time for lovers to build a relationship with!  Many older Christians and churches fall into the “routines of marriage” and need to “repent, and do the first things” that lovers do!  That’s where we actually experience God’s unconditional-favor-of-grace, restful-peace, Spirit-power, and precious promises so that we can actually share in God’s holy nature and zoe genuine-life, including the Spirit’s grace-gifts and signs & wonders.

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT3

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The beginning of fellowship with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit

 

 

Father and Son:  All the Greek words above are used in the NT for this communal fellowship with the Father (a) and with the Son, even in sharing Christ’s suffering in the midst of our persecution (b).  Our vertical fellowship with God directly affects our “sharing in God’s holy nature” (g) or “being koinonia partakers of the divine nature” (d), which is the very reason we are “paideuo child-trained [by our Father] for our own good” (g), “treating us as sons” (c), “something all sons have been changed-sharers (e) in/by/with,” so that “we may not be condemned along with the world” (f).  Jesus “became a changed-sharer (e) in our flesh and blood nature so that through death He might destroy him (the devil) who had the power of death” (h). <Notes> a) 1 John 1:3, 6, 7; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Peter 1:2-5, b) Philippians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Hebrews 10:32-34; 1 Peter 4:13, c) Hebrews 12:6-7, d) 2 Peter 1:4, e) metochos: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker with, f) 1 Corinthians 11:32, g) Hebrews 12:10, h) Hebrews 2:14.

 

Our fellowship with the Father starts through our fellowship with the Son and this starts when we are united with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection during our water-baptism.  That’s also when our fellowship with the Spirit begins – yes, all this during our water-baptism!  “Blessed and holy/set-apart are those who routinely have/hold a share/portion (a) in the first resurrection – the second death has in fact no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him” (b). <Notes> a) meros, b) Revelation 20:6.

 

When does that happen?  Paul explains:  “Do you not know that all of us who have been water-baptized into Christ Jesus were water-baptized into His death?  We were buried therefore with Him by water-baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory (a) of the Father, we too might walk/live in/by/with newness of zoe genuine-life.  For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His” (b). Many verses like 1 Peter 3:21 and Mark 16:16 also say you simply cannot be saved without water-baptism because “Water-baptism . . . now saves you [v.20: like the ark safely brought Noah’s family to safety thru-the-realizing-channel-of water] . . . as an earnest-seeking-by-inquiry-for a good conscience toward/reaching God thru-the-realizing-channel-of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  Yes, this “seeking-inquiry” is exactly Romans 10:13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [Jesus] shall indeed be saved” – and all through the NT the place they did that was water-baptism! <Notes> a) Holy Spirit: Romans 8:11, b) Romans 6:3-5.

 

As Christian musicians, don’t we want to share in God’s holy nature?  If so, we must be like “little children of God” so-trained by our heavenly Father.  The NT is crystal clear that our fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit begins with our water-baptism.  If you haven’t taken this “obedient step of faith,” how can you possibly play “by the Spirit” if you haven’t experienced the initial “filling of the Holy Spirit,” which is called “Spirit-baptism?”  This is not some invisible gnosis “theology” you have to “take by faith” but a genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge that you either have or don’t.  If you don’t, then all you have is playing “by might and power” of the flesh!  And this is simply not the New Covenant Way!

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT2

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Bible-study knowledge won’t necessarily lead you to fellowship knowledge

 

 

My extensive studies on the Knowledge page make it clear that bible-study gnosis info-knowledge, sunesis connect-the-dots understanding, and sophia wisdom don’t require any fellowship with God whatsoever, and the scribes and Pharisees proved that!  The solution to immunity from false teaching or heresy is not more bible study as so many churches will tell you!  The bible is exactly what the Jewish-teachers were using to confuse Jewish-Christians!  In this case, you don’t fight fire with fire, as the Catholic Church also tried to do through “apologetics,” but with buckets of “Living Water” of the Holy Spirit’s revelational knowledge that only comes through intimate fellowship with Jesus!

 

Genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge absolutely requires fellowship through the Holy Spirit.  It’s the only way to actually be “taught by God” (a).  From 1980-1983 I was taught by the Church of Christ that you could have better fellowship with God by studying your bible every day to know the Word of God.  I was pretty faithful:  I had underlined and highlighted my bible; written cross-references in the margins; added a topical reference in the back; filled up notebook after notebook with study notes; created flash-cards to memorize key verses for witnessing and battling sin; attended a bible-study in the dorm every week and faithfully invited people to it; and went to Wednesday and Sunday services along with Friday campus ministry meetings.  Every one of these meeting had a sermon to take more notes from.  I can honestly say that the longest prayer in all that time was about 5 minutes, always asking God for something!  Their worship was 4-5 songs out of a hymnal with no instruments, followed by 30-45 minutes of teaching.  Just about the time you started feeling something spiritual happening in the worship, it was time to go onto something more important.  Sometimes their announcements or church-business meetings far exceeded the worship time and for sure, the prayer time.  And they called that a “Worship Service.”  I knew a lot about God from the bible!

 

But in 1983 after seeking God for a month in prayer after that church broke up due toleaders” vying for power, after I had my first Spirit-baptism where I actually fellowshipped with God, I found out that I had very little previous experience of actual fellowship with God.  After you’ve known the real-thing, it makes the counterfeit really stand out, just like bank tellers can spot a fake bill right away!  Previously, I always struggled to have a real fellowship with a God because I hadn’t had any distinct awareness of God since my water-baptism and not one person had either!  People would tell me, “Christianity isn’t about feelings but faith.”  But I found from exhaustive bible-study and experience that was completely wrong, too!  I never knew you could have God-visions or dreams, and could see akouo “hear” or eido “see” prophetic rhema words from God, because my church said that all died away with the apostles.  Careful study and experience proved that to be wrong, too!

 

But around May of 1983 everything started changing with my first Spirit-baptism!  Then another in 1985!  Then after much study of the bible and church history I learned that I was being lied to in many areas!  They were “blind guides leading the blind” (c).  Paul dealt with this very same problem with the Corinthian Christians who were just plain ignorant:  “Now concerning Spirit-kind-of grace-gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant (a):  You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.  Therefore I would not in fact have you be ignorant (a) . . . Now there actually are varieties of grace-gifts but the same Spirit . . . For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom and another the utterance of knowledge down-from/according-to to the same Spirit . . . to another prophecy . . . various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit” (b). <Notes> a) ognoeo, b) 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, c) Matthew 15:14.

 

Once you are no longer content to remain “ignorant” but instead “ask, seek, knock by faith” (a) to “hear and see” from a God by the “good grace-gift . . . the Holy Spirit” (b) who is “not a mute idol,” you will never go back to just bible-study gnosis info-knowledge!  We have to “akouo hear/listen to understand Christ’ voice” (c) and “eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know His voice” (d) to actually be His sheep!  That’s why Paul prays for Ephesians Christians that: “the Father of glory may give you the Spirit of wisdom and/coupled of revelation in/by/with [singular] genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him, having already had, with ongoing results, the eyes of your heart that/toward/reaching you may eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know . . . hope . . . your inheritance . . . enabling-power” (e). Paul does the same thing for Colossian Christians, asking for “Spirit-kind-of wisdom and/coupled connect-the-dots sunesis understanding” (f). We must have revealed, anointed, prophetic knowledge!  Jesus reveals the Father to those He chooses (g). This is the “koinonia fellowship” difference of the New Covenant Way!  <Notes> a) Luke 11:9-11, b) Luke 11:13; Matthew 7:11, c) John 10:27, d) John 10:4, e) Ephesians 1:17-19, f) Colossians 1:8-12, g) Matthew 11:27; John 17:6, 26.

 

As Christian musicians, isn’t that what we want the worship music to accomplish – to bring ourselves and others into that intimate fellowship with God?  Well we can’t lead people to something we are not experiencing ourselves, even during that very moment!  You can’t give what is not flowing through you!  Don’t we want to offer more than the Pharisee-scribe expertise of the scriptures?  According to Matthew 15:14 and John 5:37-39, Jesus said they were “blind guides” that really didn’t know God even though they had “diligently studied the scriptures.”  Don’t you want to be directly “taught by God” and communicate this through your music? Shouldn’t your music just be a natural extension of your conversational-prayer with God?  Music that brings another Spirit-baptism to and through you to others?  The most powerful bands are those that surrender-control fully to allowing the Holy Spirit spontaneously guide them so that all of their music is anointed and prophetic!  Shouldn’t your music inform other of the Spirit’s grace-gifts instead of keeping them ignorant?  Shouldn’t your music be saying, “Come Holy Spirit – we welcome You to have complete control over all of us, even bringing signs & wonders?”

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship

Fellowship – BT1

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Fellowship with God, not religion of works, makes all the difference

 

 

Religion is about using our natural flesh’s “might (a) and power (b)” – our body’s strength and our soul’s identity of mind, emotions, and will-power to work/do (c) for God.  Religion is simply “doing” this individually and collectively.  But the completely different-in-kind New Covenant Way calls us to leave religion behind – “absolutely no longer in fact in/by/with might nor in fact in/by/with power but instead in/by/with My Spirit, says Yahweh of hosts” (d) – and instead embrace fellowship with God so His Spirit works or ‘does’ through us to will and ‘do’ His good pleasure (e).  <Notes> a) dunamis: enabling, b) ishus: endowed strength/power, c) ergo, d) Zechariah 4:6 – see Might and Power and Spirit-Power pages, e) Philippians 2:13.

 

Philia is a Greek adjective for “fond friendship” that we are NOT to have with the world unless we want to be a hostile enemy of God (a).  Philos is the noun for “a friend or associate of” like Abraham was with God (b).  We are to be friends with Jesus who laid His life down for His friends.  As disciples, we are friends, not servants if we do what He commands (c), though He kept it simple for us since there are only 2 NT commandments. <Notes> a) James 4:4, b) James 2:23, c) John 15:13-15.

 

Koinonia (noun) and koinoneo (verb) and koinonikos (adjective) refers to “interpersonal contact, social intercourse, common sharing, joint/co-participation, partnership, communion, intimacy, community, and fellowship, even by giving to one another service, money, or goods.  The verb sunkoinoneo is koinoneo “with or in others.”  Christians would also give “right-hand” handshakes, holy kisses, and embracing hugs (a) to show this. <Notes> a) Galatians 2:9; Acts 20:37; Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14.

 

Peter tells us God’s fellowship plan for Christians:  “His divine Spirit-power has granted to us ALL things that pertain to zoe genuine-life and godliness, thru-the-realizing-channel-of (c) the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, thru-the-realizing-channel-of (c) which He has granted us His precious and very great promises, so that thru-the-realizing-channel-of (c) them you may become koinonia partners of the divine nature, having already escaped the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desires” (a).  The parallelism is obvious:  God’s own glory and excellence IS His divine Spirit-power, and this grants us His precious and magnificent promises (b) that IS ALL things that pertain to zoe genuine-life and glory and this is the channel (c) we partner with God’s nature and get free of sinful desires.  There is a chain of channels (c) here!  God makes it available, but our part is to have that fellowship knowledge to partner with Him. <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:3-4, b) epaggelma: voluntarily made by God, not as result of our petition, c) dia.

 

God does indeed give us profound promises concerning zoe genuine-life and glory, but not just to know about these and sit on them!  Even the “Gentiles were made fellow-heirs, members of the same Body, and changed-sharers-together (c) [with the Jews] of The Promise (e) in Christ Jesus thru-the-realizing-channel-of (a) the gospel” (d).  But thru-the-realizing-channel-of (a) this “Promise” to become koinonia partners with His divine nature.  But none of this will happen through our human “might and power” works or through gnosis info-knowledge about God that only puffs us up (b).  No, it only happens thru-the-realizing-channel-of (a) genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God.  <Notes> a) dia, b) 1 Corinthians 8:1, c) summetochos: changed due to sharing or being an active-partaker together with, d) Ephesians 3:6, e) of the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 1:13 – see Promised Spirit, f) John 6:31-33, 41, 50-51, 58.

 

I had a vision one time where I was in my bible-study chair and a little bit of light from a high window shown through to keep me warm.  It was all those years of bible study!  But the walls were dark and barren!  I was told to stand up and walk to a door in front of me, who I was told was Christ, open it, and walk outside.  When I did, I experienced zoe genuine-life in the Spirit:  The sky was incredibly blue and the vegetation was vibrantly colorful.  I was full of joy and I looked up into the sky and saw what looked like diamonds floating down, but when they landed in my hand they were little flakes of bread, the Lord Jesus (a).  When I ate I was filled with more joy!  <Notes> a) John 6:31-33, 41, 50-51, 58.

 

The old covenant is about working for God as servants with our own “might and power,” but the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant is about working with God as friends (a) as “fellow workers” or “co-workers in God’s service” (b).  In Matthew 19:26, Jesus told His disciples who were frustrated about how to obey God’s rules under the old covenant:  “With man this is actually, ongoingly NOT powerful-enough-to-do (c), yet with/near-beside (d) God ALL things are powerful-enough-to-do (e).”  This close proximity to God requires intimate fellowship. And that’s what the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant Way was to bring!  <Notes> a) John 15:15, b) sunergos: 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 1:24, 8:23; Romans 16:3, 9, 21; 3 John 1:8; Philemon 1:1, 24, 2:25; Colossians 4:11; Phillipians 4:3, c) adunatos, d) para, e) dunatos, the adjective of dunamis – see Spirit-power.

 

As Christians musicians don’t we don’t we want to play by the Spirit’s power instead of only from our own “might and power,” expressing a real friendship with God to encourage others to enter in?  Don’t we want the enabling-power of His holy presence coming out thru-the-realizing-channel-of our instruments, which we acquired thru-the-realizing-channel-of the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him instead of settling just for the “work” of bible-study gnosis info-knowledge?  Instead of us “working” so hard for God to please God, isn’t it time we fully embrace the New Covenant Way of “working with/near-beside God” as “fellow-workers,” because we feel “God’s pleasure for us through Christ?”  “Everything with/near-beside God is then possible!”

 

 

 

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Categories: Fellowship